Crucified: Big games murdered by the critics

The self-proclaimed saviors that ended up nailed to the cross...

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (PS2, PC) | Eidos | 2003
This one was something to get really excited about. The four previous Tomb Raider sequels had all been reasonably well received, although the intangible magic of the original game was still proving elusive. Surely with all that extra grunt power inside the console, Lara Croft's PS2 debut would be the jewel in the series' crown?

Certainly with a new Tomb Raider movie on the way and Lara starring in UK TV ads guzzling fizzy glucose drink Lucozade, things looked to be building momentum nicely and Ms. Croft looked destined for a high profile, show stopping comeback. But then the game missed its first release date and insiders hinted that all was not well with Lara's new adventure...

Finally arriving over six months late and with nary a single tomb in sight, Angel of Darkness landed like a poorly constructed, horribly buggy portent of doom that - many prophesied - would effectively be the end of the road for gaming's greatest heroine. Luckily, the story was to be continued...

Above: Lara may have enjoyed a considerable bump in polygons, but Angel of Darkness was still the crappiest Tomb Raider ever

And Eidos did shout from the mountaintop...
"A new Lara Croft for a new generation. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness sees the return of the world's most famous video game character in her greatest adventure ever."

Lo, the critics were angry and did spit fire and brimstone...
GamesMaster: "Tomb Raider was great when the competition wasn't so advanced. Sadly, this episode already belongs in a museum."

GameSpy: "Not only is AOD almost unplayable when it's working, it's also plagued by a host of glitches that will make you glad that you can save the game at any point. In fact, if you're planning on playing this game, I recommend that you save your progress at least every five minutes. If the twitchy controls don't wind up getting you killed, a glitch in the game might."

PSM2: "Between the dialogue choices, bizarre random upgrade system and precarious ledge-shuffling, playing Tomb Raider is a nerve-jarring, brow-furrowing, joypad smashing experience... Dissing Tomb Raider is like calling your Mum a whore, but this just isn't anywhere near as good as you were praying it would be."

TotalVideoGames: "Whilst we found ourselves forgiving Lara for moving like a 7-ton dumper truck and [developer] Core for basically realizing that their new ideas weren't quite cutting it, we can't say the same for the bugs that rear their ugly heads all too often - we've simply lost count of the number of times we've had to reset our PlayStation 2 because Lara has got stuck in a wall yet again."


I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.
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