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Old 19-02-20, 08:35   #11
Kivlov
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Can't wait to see the review of levels 9-17 (my favorite ones)!
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Old 19-02-20, 16:49   #12
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YES YES YES YES!
Sheep's finally reviewing AoD!

Buckle up, friends! This is what we've needed for a long time now
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Old 19-02-20, 18:15   #13
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I am gonna follow this with a lot of pleasure (might not post a lot, but will read for sure)!

Also, loved reading the first entry! I've felt that the whole first section "until the next day" was perfect set of the tone and the story. Ahhhh, makes me want to play AOD now.

Can't wait for more!
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Old 20-02-20, 18:32   #14
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Love your reviews, thanks for this. Also I may not reply to every review but Iím definitely reading them.
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Old 21-02-20, 01:04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubsy View Post
Canít wait for the whole review!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakamichi680 View Post
A very pleasant read. Thank you!
I agree with the overall score. It's not a bad beginning for a game but they could have done it better (a lot).
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Originally Posted by Kivlov View Post
Can't wait to see the review of levels 9-17 (my favorite ones)!
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Originally Posted by HarleyCroft View Post
YES YES YES YES!
Sheep's finally reviewing AoD!

Buckle up, friends! This is what we've needed for a long time now
Thanks all for the nice comments!

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Originally Posted by ANoDE View Post
\o/

I think you nailed it with the first two levels perfectly. When playing the patched version, controls aren't that much of an issue, enabling the player to focus more on the surroundings and gameplay in general. In that light, your review is very similar to what I thought when replaying AoD recently.

I always disdained the lack of urgency during the second level, too. I'm really looking foward to your observations as the story goes on.

Can't wait to read more!
I'm interested to see what my observations will be on the story as well... it's been a long time since I've played AoD - like maybe 10 years or so - so I think I'm going to pick up on things that I wouldn't have back then.

Appreciate the comments!

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Originally Posted by _Tomb_Raider View Post
I am gonna follow this with a lot of pleasure (might not post a lot, but will read for sure)!

Also, loved reading the first entry! I've felt that the whole first section "until the next day" was perfect set of the tone and the story. Ahhhh, makes me want to play AOD now.

Can't wait for more!
Oh yes, the tone that the opening sequence sets is totally on-point for the game. While I may have lots of issues with AoD, I can't deny that the game almost always gets the atmosphere down.

Thanks!

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Love your reviews, thanks for this. Also I may not reply to every review but Iím definitely reading them.
Glad to see you again Fantasy.
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Old 22-02-20, 22:40   #16
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PARIS
Level 3 - Industrial Rooftops
Level 4 - Margot Carvier's Apartment




One of the things that I do appreciate a lot about the Angel of Darkness it how it paints real consequences for Lara's actions. This is both in a linear story sense and the pseudo-RPG type - which we'll get to in the second half of the review - but for now, I'm emphasizing the story's main arc in Paris, which revolves around Lara running from the police. While somewhat out of character for a Tomb Raider game, the first four levels show that Lara can't just get away with being at the scene of a crime with her former mentor. She may have been able to shoot up the streets of Venice, kill government and museum guards in TR3, and who knows what else during her various escapades, but her actions have real weight in the opening hours of AoD, and it's a refreshing change of pace.

Enter Industrial Rooftops. This is a mostly solid intermediary between the opening set and Lara's brush with Mademoiselle Carvier that introduces a few new moves while also keeping up the perceived urgency that the previous level had. I say "perceived urgency" because, outside of a few bites from the helicopter's gunfire, there's no time limit to speak of in any of the events taking place on the rooftops and the alleyways, which is perhaps a little disappointing and seems like yet another missed opportunity for some heavier stakes in these opening hours. *shrug*





I absolutely loathed this level on PS2 because of how dark the alleyway portions were. I couldn't see what was going on, and trying to find items was a nightmare - thank goodness they at least twinkle a bit in this game.

Upon coming back to it today, I can't say I dislike it, but it's just... there? I appreciate the few slightly-harder-to-reach pickups this time around, like the bandages inside of the rooftop box in the above screenshot. Pretty sure I never got that one as a kid, largely because I would always slide down the slope and momentarily forget that it was over there due to the darkness. But this time I did successfully slide and make the jump/grab, hooray! There's also a few large medikits stowed away in the warehouse and back alley too. There's also a devious dead-end behind a mesh fence which only houses an angry doberman. While I appreciate a reason to finally shoot something in this game - lol - I do wish we could have at least gotten some doubloons or something to make that venture worth it.

Industrial Rooftops also features the game's first detour - it's a pretty minor one, but you get the choice of either using the rooftops or the warehouse to make it to the ending. I chose the rooftops since I think (?) there are more pickups along that route, and I also like the feeling of having the helicopter hot on my tail, even if it for some reason avoids shooting at Lara for the rest of the level.



Our rooftop adventures end with Lara trapped - so, naturally, she performs a titanic jump across an alleyway to... grab on to an air conditioning unit and go... somewhere? Not really sure what her plan was once she managed to grab the thing, but in any case, she didn't get much of a choice to decide since it breaks and sends her plummeting to the alley below. This drop honestly should've broken some bones, but oh well, Lara's a freak of nature, so onward to the Mademoiselle's we go!

And, with this visit comes the first opportunity to discuss one of the most RPG-style features of AoD: the dialogue system.

Now, let me be clear that I'm not at all opposed to the TR series flexing some new stuff to make it distinguished from former titles. What's even better about AoD's usage of the dialogue options is that it has the strong storyline to make it viable; if the story had been as loose and bare-bones as TR3, for example, the choices in dialogue wouldn't have felt warranted. But in AoD, there's a story filled with lore/intrigue and branching paths all over the place, so having the ability to choose what Lara is going to say next can actually be utilized.



As a result, it's entirely disappointing once we realize that the potential this system had got wasted on results that don't really end up mattering much at all in the end. The biggest thing we get out of the conversation with Carvier is whether or not Lara has to search her apartment for Werner's notebook afterwards. Because this option is presented to us, it doesn't feel like there's any sort of saddle on us at all for failing to win her over. This is a recurring theme throughout the game, unfortunately.

The other thing that these conversations give us is information, and like 90% of the RPGs out there, the idea is to "exhaust the dialogue wheel" by saying things that are going to get you the max info. In real conversations, this type of thing isn't really possible - you either go in one direction or another and don't always get the chance to have divergent paths rejoin later on - but in gaming, it's a common staple of conversations to ensure that the player feels they're getting the most awareness possible.

With Carvier, choosing the right dialogue options can yield you more information about the Obscura Paintings and even a brief mention of Eckhardt. I appreciate that the game gives Lara a chance to get brief notes about these things early on, and then elaborates heavily on them in future conversations. Carvier is pretty much the last big character we meet prior to Bouchard, as most of the ones scattered around the Parisian Ghetto don't have much knowledge of the game's overarching plot and are only interested in Bouchard/the ghetto.



Of course, not all of the divergent dialogue paths are designed to hide additional information - a few of them can actually determine whether or not the Mademoiselle gives Lara the notebook at the end. Again, while I'm a fan of the game putting consequences on Lara's actions (even if it unfortunately means we don't get to hear some of the game's greatest lines, should we go to the "correct" route - looking forward to some of the encounters in the ghetto ), it ultimately feels hollow when the notebook is easily found in her kitchen anyway.

However, undeveloped dialogue system aside, I can't say there's anything particularly wrong about this exchange, and on the whole, I think it's a good way to close out the game's "on the run" section. The first three segments introduce us to the control schemes, and then the fourth begins to flesh out why Werner's death was so significant by giving us some insight into the work he was doing. While I do roll my eyes again at the mention of Lara's amnesia on whether or not she killed Von Croy, it does introduce a bit of mystique around who really did - even if the audience knows there's no way it could've been Lara herself.



And yep, thievery is an excellent thing to add to Lara's list of crimes. For real though, I appreciate that the designers had the gall to allow us to steal a Cognac and ring from Carvier's apartment, all while being under a time limit to gtfo as well.

Conclusion

Pros:
+ Good use of a small diverging path and some hidden areas
+ Conversation with Carvier is insightful and brings clarity to why Werner's death is significant

Cons:
- Tbh? It's just a boring setting. Not much to really say about that.
- The consequence of Carvier not giving you the notebook is too easily remedied by simply ransacking the kitchen.

AoD's opening hour isn't its best work by any stretch of the imagination. While I can bring some praise for the interesting conversation with Carvier, that's really the only thing about this pairing that stands out to me. The bulk of Industrial Rooftops is just kinda meh, and while that's a lot better than making me feel anger/frustration, I can't say this is a part of the game that I think about too much at all. It could've been enlivened with some time limits or gendarmes in the alleys - but my guess is that, like so much of the time in AoD, it was scrapped due to development constraints.

Rating - 5/10
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Old 22-02-20, 22:55   #17
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About the area with the dog behind the fence in Industrial Rooftops - thereís actually Impactor batteries in a garbage container around the corner... So it isnít for nothing.
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Old 22-02-20, 23:08   #18
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About the area with the dog behind the fence in Industrial Rooftops - there’s actually Impactor batteries in a garbage container around the corner... So it isn’t for nothing.
Wait there is? I never noticed.

Too bad the Impactor has way, way too much ammo (and a glitch on PS2 EU where Lara gets more ammo each time you change level.) so that's kinda not helpful but I never knew that was there.

Since each pick-up gives Lara 10 shots and each one is a single hit takedown so just get 3 pick-ups and you can breeze through the Louvre section taking out every human enemy instantly.
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Old 23-02-20, 14:30   #19
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Originally Posted by Tomb Raidering View Post
About the area with the dog behind the fence in Industrial Rooftops - thereís actually Impactor batteries in a garbage container around the corner... So it isnít for nothing.
Had no idea... thanks for the correction!
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Old 28-02-20, 08:24   #20
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Thanks for the review sheepman23.

Looking forward to read more about your adventures of Lara Croft.
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