Review XBLA: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Lara made her first energetic and bold appearance in the title ‘Tomb Raider’ in 1996 and went on to hit highs and lows in the titles that followed. This certain charming protagonist has battled through the entire history of her own series and against her current competition, alongside this she has been nurtured through the best & worst of times in various talented hands. This new chapter in the series has been moulded by Crystal Dynamics and brings new directions to the series we haven’t seen before in such a small yet refined light.

Lara Croft: GoL comes set in a refreshing isometric third-person point-of-view, with this view-point being very important in the game everything else like platforms, enemies and puzzles are placed and woven neatly into the levels to give you a healthily paced experience till the end. Keeping in with one of the more popular and reliable traits that runs though these games, Crystal Dynamics have made sure to give gamers their necessary fill of puzzles and obstacles which you have to pull, push, shoot and clamber your way out of but with an excellent addition of a friend – Totec.

Lara joins forces with Totec to stop an evil power Lara has released in her typical haste for un-earthing glory. You’ll start at the Temple of Light and work your way through fourteen levels of familiar themed and well structured platform levels consisting of mini puzzles and obstacles to fit the variety of challenges that run through-out the game. These challenges can consist of bridging gaps, scaling vertical walls and dodging moving traps all while kicking-ass, sounds true to the ‘Tomb Raider’ titles but the new view point and multiplayer focus shines through the game, giving this small change of direction some very attractive quality’s as you play.

Single Player and Co-op Multiplayer both play very fluidly and most levels have their own balance to compensate for the lack or added benefit of another human player. Also in Single Player mode Lara will be given most of the tactical benefits when you adventure through the game like, for example the Spear weapon Totec would normally carry but if you were to play Co-op the player using Totec would get use of that Spear only and brings Totec’s variety of physical traits into play to. Either way you choose to play you won’t be disappointed and the levels aren’t arcade short or just played once as they’re tombs and upgrades to discover, also the game weights in at a hefty 2GB so get ready to be patient for the experience if your broadband crawls.

The 3rd person isometric point-of-view means no more fumbling around backing into things as you get platforms to run around in and as you play the weapons and the grapple features are instantly more entertaining and pliable. Fans that feared a shakeup should put their fears to rest as the game keeps most of its legendary character and dramatic charm with the added benefits of this new structure, LC GoL also reinstates Keeley Hawes as the voice of Lara Croft adding more quality to the games dialogue as you play.

For an arcade game it’s damn good, for a ‘Tomb Raider’ game it’s not as instantly exciting to play but for this new ‘Lara Croft’ chapter it works perfectly well in arcade form as it’s very addictive and dinky altogether, a welcome addition the whole series and with DLC packs on the way should make it and keep it a enjoyable experience for many.

Score: 9/10

Publisher: Square Enix Europe

Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Genre: Action & Adventure

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One comment on “Review XBLA: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

  1. Great review been in two minds whether to get this or not being a TR fan from the start, the change was putting me off and I read a few reviews but non have convinced me to buy it until now thanks Kitty.

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