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Crucified: Big games murdered by the critics

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."

9 comments

  • isipisi - December 26, 2009 7:39 a.m.

    dammit u just had to quote gamesradar didnt u. thats so lame, but otherwise good article
  • killemall - May 13, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    Actually i did have a lot of fun playing as a demonhog in sonics latest adventure so i have to say that sonic might make a comback yet...
  • wolfwing187 - May 12, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    i have played sonic the hedgehod and personnaly i think its ok. not great but ok. me and my stepsister just like to mess around in the co op levels. AOD, i have. it my dads and well neither of us really like it. he thought it was too hard and i never liked tomb raider.
  • JohnnyFirebird - May 13, 2009 2:10 a.m.

    I've actually paid money for Driv3r twice... the first copy of my game got lost. But, I dunno, I... I kinda liked it. The graphics were much better than any other game out at the time, and the on foot sections were generally pretty easy. The driving, when it didn't glitch out, was nicely weighted and more on the drift side - it's no surprise that GTA IV takes this driving physics model lock stock and barrel. It also took the create-a-movie director mode, too, something which was sadly removed from Driver Parallel Lines. The Getaway suffered from similar problems, though the writing was at least sharper in this series. Driv3r ranks as having some of the worst cutscenes of a big budget game that I've ever seen. Long, gabby, boring. Good voice talent rambling on about a dull plot no one, even the writers, cares about. Still, I've got my money's worth out of Driv3r. Don't regret buying it. Here's hoping the PS3 will get a Getaway... one day.
  • crossed23 - May 11, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    Driver 3 sucked so bad. I played that garbage for like maybe an hour and thank God my friend was a store manager of the store I bought it at and got to swap it out wihtout loosing any money.
  • Morning Ninja - May 11, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    I bought Driv3r because the back had a IGN preview that gave it a good review. I god ripped off, scrated the disk on purpose and sold it back to the store. Then, I felt better.
  • Xplosive59 - May 11, 2009 6:18 p.m.

    woot i love gamesmaster got a subscription and everything
  • pimlicosound - May 11, 2009 1:37 p.m.

    reCaptcha: "Amsterdam purchase". Hm, I wonder what that could be...
  • Danomeon - May 11, 2009 12:27 p.m.

    Whenever anyone brings up that Sonic's fallen on crappy days, a massive sonic fan usually calls them, "Fags" or "idiots" or "ignorant." I wonder if he will ever actually succeed to make a better sonic game...

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