Picking up after the events of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, the sixth entry in the Tomb Raider franchise finds Lara Croft once again reunited with her mentor, Werner Von Croy. Von Croy has been asked to find five Obscura Paintings for a client named Eckhardt, who is somewhat psychotic, and Von Croy fears for his life. However, Lara is rather reluctant to help after the events in The Last Revelation, and tells her mentor he should handle it himself. But seconds later Von Croy is dead and Lara is suspected of his murder. Being chased by French police, Lara has to escape and prove her innocence.
Angel of Darkness retains most of the same style of gameplay as the previous Tomb Raider games, adding in some new skills to Lara's moveset, as well as some new skills for the new playable character, Kurtis Trent. These new moves include:
- Stealth: Allows Lara to sneak around and take out her enemies in silence, and avoiding combat while on the run. It can also be used to hug walls and peer around corners.
- Farsee: This allows Kurtis to see further into levels, and is only usable in certain areas and cutscenes.
- Unarmed Combat: Allows for hand-to-hand fighting.
Changes from other games in the series
Angel of Darkness went in a different direction from previous games. One of the most notable features was the removal of Lara' trademark akimbo pistols.
- Skill system: The game includes a simple "upgrade" system, that allows the player to improve Lara's upper and lower body strength stats. This allows her to grip for longer, awards her new moves and allows her to access areas previously inaccessible. Most of these upgrades are obtained during the course of the game. The skills are only upgraded by performing very specific actions and so the whole thing was really just a fancy key system - players had to find the running "key" so they could get through the tunnel in time.
- Improved graphics: Lara was redesigned to look more like a real person and less cartoonish. As well as this, the power of the PS2 and PC allows the game to look smoother and more realistic, leading to better looking environments.
- Additional playable character: Kurtis Trent was introduced in the game and is playable for a few levels and has some psychic abilities.
| A series of recent events have cast a shadow over Lara's life. For a while, she'd been missing and many had presumed her dead after a disastrous field trip in Egypt with her mentor Von Croy. She has refused to comment about time spent amongst north African tribes, however, events in Egypt have changed her, and since her return she has become almost a recluse in her Surrey home.|
| Trained as a Lux Veritatis by his father, Konstantin. He left and joined the Foreign Legion when he was 19, and is often linked to bizarre occult events, earning him the nickname "Demon Hunter". At age 24, Kurtis was living the life of a freelance ercenary and hears from his father. He never sees him again after this. When Kurtis is 29, he finds out his father had been killed by Eckhardt. This is the wake up call Kurtis needed, and in a rage of vengeance he begins hunting the man who killed his father.|
| World-respected archeologist and Lara Croft's mentor in her early years. Now in his 50s and living alone, he's recently been instructed to search for the Obscura Paintings.|
Pieter Van Eckhardt
History about this man is hard to pinpoint. Early European texts mention the instance of a 14th Century genius known as the Black Alchemist who seems to have shared many of the same characteristics as Eckhardt. There are also unconfirmed rumors of Eckhardt being imprisoned for over 500 years in a containment pit until his apparent escape in 1945. After this, Eckhardt set about the revival of an ancient biblical race known as the Nephilim.
On release AoD was not well received. While it received some praise for its looks and sounds, a lot of the other features were heavily criticized, such as the combat, camera, and control systems. Also, after many delays, it still featured a lot of bugs, especially on the PC, which also had relatively high system requirements for the time. Because of this the game was often regarded as unfinished and rushed.
- Missing textures on surfaces and characters - one character actually had no face, just a hole where his face should be.
- Certain weapons seemed to have been left out, such as Lara's famous dual pistols. The game starts her with one pistol, with the idea of finding another later, however any other pistol found just gave extra ammo. In the PC version a cheat could be entered to take the user to a secret "level", which was a black room with every item in the game, including the dual pistols.
- A new feature was to be an RPG-like character interaction element with dialogue trees. This seemed to have been abandoned during development as Lara only gets to talk to a couple of characters and the choice of dialogue she makes has no effect in the game. Each conversation can be instantly restarted by talking to the character again and making different choices, meaning the player could keep retrying getting a different conclusion each time.
- The PC control scheme was changed from the traditional layout to a cumbersome mouse control.