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May 30, 2003
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
11/7/2003Eidos InteractiveCore Design1$99.95

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Lara avoiding the lasers.
It was bound to happen. Eidos Interactive and Core Design have finally (well, way back in early 2002) announced the latest Tomb Raider game. With a full title of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness the game is set to appear as an console exclusive on Playstation 2. While the game has suffered from some delayes (it was originally scheduled for release on Fubruary 28th), it is looking better by the month. This extra development time has given the developers plenty of time to make this the best game yet in the popular series which has sold well over 6 million units to date. One of the more interesting things is Core Design's plans of making this a darker and more gritty game.

As Adrian Smith, Operations Director at Core Design says, "Our vision is to take the player somewhere dark, a place they might not necessarily wish to go, but a place they will have to venture if they are to bring Lara back. Lara will have some tough moral choices to make. It's no longer a clear-cut case of good versus evil - this is a more complex tale, which will ask more complex questions of the player. It will be a new experience for people who have played Tomb Raider in the past."

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Certainly plenty of blood.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is classic Lara as both hunter and hunted relying on her ingenuity, athleticism and a new edge that has arisen from her dark inner demons. However, this time she faces more evolved characters and situations, calling for more involved decision-making. Lara now has the ability to interact with characters and the choice of which path to take. Upgrading her trademark style and look and dropping her into a bombshell scenario calls for a new resourcefulness making her a stronger and more complex heroine.

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The game employs a brand new engine built from the ground up to fully utilise the power of PlayStation 2. Lara is now made up of over 5,000 polygons as opposed to just 500 in previous Tomb Raider games on PSOne and PC. She must traverse an intricately detailed world, which takes her from the back streets of Paris to the hellish depths of Prague. As you can seen in the surrounding screens the game has a much more gritty and dark feel to it which should be an interesting departure from the more light-hearted and comical games in the past.

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Nice lighting effects.
Lara herself has changed since her experiences in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. She has become darker, harder, less tolerant and her tomb raiding days are a distant memory. A desperate phone call from her former mentor Von Croy leads her to Paris. Von Croy has been asked by a sinister client, Eckhardt, to track down one of five 14th century artworks - the Obscura Paintings. She arrives in Paris to find a city in fear. Von Croy has been the victim of a horrific murder and framed for the crime, Lara has no option but to go on the run.

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Is this from the movie Contact?
During her exploits Lara encounters a kindred spirit in Kurtis Trent, a hardened adventurer like herself, who is in pursuit of Eckhardt. In her struggle to unravel the trail left by Von Croy, Lara becomes involved in underworld deals, grotesque murders, the dark side of an advanced form of alchemy and a history of blood, betrayal and vengeance spanning across hundreds of years.

This will be the first Lara Croft game on the Playstation 2 and it looks wonderful. The game has a darker and more exciting look (some may spot more then a couple of similarities to a certain Konami title) to it then the more recent titles and if you want to play this game you will have to have a Playstation 2. XBox and Gamecube owners may soon be regretting their decision. Expect a worldwide release in late June to co-incide with the new movie.