Like no other Tomb Raider game, Angel of Darkness polarises the minds of people. Some call it the black sheep or even downfall of the series while others describe it is an underrated, unpolished diamond. One thing is clear: AoD has a special place among the community and received a cult-following.
I still remember, when The Angel of Darkness was released I was not quite as happy with the makeover that Lara had received for her PlayStation2 debut as I am now. She looked so different from the Lara I was used to. Way more grungy, with her hair more of a reddish tone than the familiar hazelnut colour and thick black liner applied to her eyes.
From secret societies dating back hundreds of years to ancient conspiracies to revive a lost biblical race – the Angel of Darkness draws from a huge amount of history, myths, and legends to create the epic adventure that Lara and us as the players go on.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness came out in 2003 and was developed by Core Design. This game took a dark turn for the Tomb Raider series, some might say for good. For me personally, the whole new theme that Angel of Darkness has, fits extremely well with the series. It is something new, something different. It has a whole murder mystery aspect to it, something that kept us all at the edge of our seats of did Lara commit the murder or was it someone else?
2003 saw the release of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness and with it the introduction of Kurtis Trent; a secondary playable protagonist and a first for the franchise. Although making Croft share the spotlight with a male character could be considered controversial, Trent is ultimately an interesting addition to AoD
Tomb Raider’s music compositions have been crafted to reach amazing levels of greatness (TR3 and Anniversary’s soundtracks remain true music score masterpieces to me). But Peter Connelly’s work for Angel of Darkness is just out of this world. No other video game music score has really achieved that kind of emotional level. As I replayed the game, several hypotheses came to me about its purpose in the game.
When Lara Croft finds herself in Paris the city is quiet and free of traffic and tourists – unlike in real-life. But the locations in the game are not completely unfaithful, and, sleeping in derelict metro cars aside, you might be surprised how well the average tourist can retrace Lara’s footsteps from the early levels of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness.
"Make it the same, but different." That was the basic brief given to writer Murti Schofield when he joined Core Design to create Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. It’s a familiar message to all new writers in established franchises. Studio executives, marketers, long-time fans, and the unknowing public all crave more of what they love, but with a fresh, exciting twist.
We’re fast approaching the 20th anniversary of Lara’s sixth outing, and I want to extend Raidercast’s library of media to include writing. Articles and letters from fans of the series, sharing their passion and fascination for various aspects of the world of Tomb Raider.