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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Review
publisher: Square Enix
developer: Crystal Dynamics
genre: Action Adventure
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Sep 28, 10 (released)
|» All About Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light on ActionTrip|
There were so many Tomb Raider games in the past, I find it hard to remember half of them let alone every game that was released and the various developers that kept themselves busy with the franchise. Most of these developers were trying to answer one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: how best to enlarge Lara Croft's boobies and make 'em look real at the same time? Anyway, boobies aside... Where was I? Oh yes, the Tomb Raider series. Crystal Dynamics -- best known for their awesome Legacy of Kain series -- got involved with the TR franchise in 2006, when they created Tomb Raider: Legend. TR: Legend became the fastest selling game in the whole series, shifting over 2.6 million units worldwide. Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Tomb Raider: Underworld soon followed, both of which landed to a largely positive response from reviewers and the public.
Realizing that eager gaming crowds were getting a bit tired of the same old TR gameplay mechanics, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos (yes, and Square Enix) decided to give us something slightly different this time around. So, with Diablo-esque isometric hack'n'slash (or in this case shoot-everything-in-sight) style gameplay, we accompany Lara on her latest adventure.
This is too hot for me.
Damn, Lara. The camera's this way.
The plot is a tremendous clich' and reminds us of almost all action adventures we've played for the past decade or so. It also feels like nearly every Tomb Raider story we've heard about a dozen times before. Lara Croft goes on a quest to locate a powerful artifact called the Mirror of Smoke. During her quest she inadvertently unleashes a long-forgotten evil and a hero warrior named Totec (how convenient).
As you may have gathered, the game can be experienced in single-player, where you control Lara as she explores the rich surroundings, fights baddies and solve puzzles. In addition, you may try out the co-op mode where the hero Totec joins in and things become a bit more interesting. For one thing, when playing with two characters, the puzzles and challenges are different from those you'll see in solo play. Once enemies start attacking in waves, Lara Croft becomes exceedingly enjoyable, particularly in co-op when one player has to provide cover fire, while the other tries to unlock activate a pressure patch. Of course, in most areas players must work together in order to solve certain puzzles, which makes the game a lot more fun than in single-player mode.
The real shame that's bound to piss off most players is that the online co-op segment isn't included with the game. At least not yet. The developers promised to include online co-op at some point in the future. Well, they still haven't incorporated it, so the only way you're gonna play co-op is offline.
While the game is best when you play it with a friend, you should also get a kick out of the single-player mode. The puzzles are challenging enough, the combat is damn fun and there's an amazing variety of enemies to gun down.
8.6 Very Good
Everything is fun in this game - the combat, the puzzles, co-op, the sounds and music, and it's only $15;
Lack of online co-op, which we hope will arrive at a later date, the story is tacky and boring, as are the few characters.