Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light | Review

Rounding out the 5-week Summer of Arcade is Eidos and Crystal Dynamics attempt at re-inventing Lara Croft; this time by shifting the perspective, dramatically changing the control scheme and placing a little less focus on exploration and more on combat. But this time, you're not alone...

Click past the break for our full review

Presented in a beautiful 3D isometric view a'la Diablo, or more recently, Torchlight, you control Lara's movement with the left stick, while aiming her trademark dual pistols (or later added firearms), with the right stick in the same vein as Geometry Wars.

The story unfolds as your latest adventure takes a 180 degree turn as you find the Mirror of Smoke and upon it's discovery it awakens Xolotl, setting up the very reason for your upcoming adventure (sounds like Lara could use a vacation), and explains your "partner" Totec, as he is the Guardian of Light, woken to protect the mirror.  Using a few new tools such as Totec's spears, and grapple-hook, you'll tackle levels of increasing complexity and solve puzzles to prevent Xolotl from destroying the world.

As you raid the tombs, you collect gems, and other various 'upgrades' to health and ammo.  Missing are the RPG-elements I was hoping to find, but there is enough variety in the artifacts you find that enhance gameplay to your liking.  Score more points and complete specific level challenges to earn more 'end-level' artifacts, firepower, or enhancements.

Out of the gate, Lara Croft is a Single-Player game, but also a 2 player co-op affair, but unfortunately it's only offline.  That being said, we haven't delved into the co-op quite yet, but on September 28th, in a planned Title Update, they're adding Online Co-op (same day release as the PSN and PC platforms), but they're touting a phenomenal experience, one that adapts to the fact you're playing with a partner, and puzzle solutions become specific to the fact you're playing with another.  We'll return in one month with a Co-op update.  As for the single-player, it's currently calling my name...

Mashbuttons gives Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light 8 out of 10

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