Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (2003)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness attempted to evolve the series with a darker story and new mechanics. Despite its mixed legacy, it remains a fascinating chapter in Lara Croft’s adventures.


In 2003, the Tomb Raider series took a daring turn with The Angel of Darkness. This installment aimed to redefine Lara Croft’s adventures with a darker tone and new gameplay mechanics.


The storyline follows Lara Croft as she attempts to clear herself of being the suspect of her former mentor Werner Von Croy’s murder while investigating the activities of a black magic cult. The gameplay follows series tradition, with Lara navigating platforming environments while incorporating stealth and character growth elements.

The game begins with Lara Croft being accused of the murder of her former mentor, Von Croy. Lara becomes a fugitive on the run. To clear her name, Lara has no choice but to confront the secret alliance whose destiny it is to take over the world2.

The gameplay of “Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness”, like previous Tomb Raider games, is a third-person action-adventure puzzle game. Players control the main series protagonist Lara Croft throughout the majority of the game. The majority of Lara’s basic moves are carried over from the previous installment, such as walking, jumping, climbing, swimming, crawling, swinging on ropes and standard gunplay. Her new moves include a small hop, army-crawling, hand-to-hand combat and a “super-jump” that can be performed while running. Lara can also sneak up on enemies and perform stealth attacks, flatten herself against walls and peer around corners.

The game’s development began three years before its release. The intention was to create a different game from previous entries in the franchise, one that could compete better with newer action games and fully exploit the potential of the sixth generation of gaming platforms. It was also planned to be the first in a new trilogy of Tomb Raider games released for the new generation. However, development was fraught with difficulties, which led to the game being delayed twice and numerous planned sections of the game were scaled back in order to meet deadlines.


Besides Lara Croft, the game introduces several key characters, including Kurtis Trent, a fellow adventurer with his own mysterious past, and the sinister Pieter Van Eckhardt.


The game expands Lara’s abilities to include stealth maneuvers, improved combat, and character interaction to solve puzzles and uncover the plot.


While The Angel of Darkness is seen as a flawed gem in the Tomb Raider saga, its ambition and narrative depth continue to intrigue players and critics alike.

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