Hands-On With Lara Croft And The Guardian of Light’s Co-op - Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - PlayStation 3 - www.GameInformer.com
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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Hands-On With Lara Croft And The Guardian of Light’s Co-op

When Crystal Dynamics started working on its next Tomb Raider title, the team decided that it was time for Ms. Croft to have an adventure of a different kind. The developer took the engine it had used to create the last few Tomb Raider titles, and set to work on a downloadable action adventure game that Lara could share with a friend. We saw the game earlier this year at GDC, but now that we’ve actually had the chance to get our hands on the game we can honestly say we’re more excited than ever for Lara’s next archeological dig.

The game opens with Lara in the middle of one of her classic adventures. Deep within the jungles of Central America, she stumbles upon an artifact called the Mirror of Smoke. Legend surrounding the artifact holds that it once banished an evil entity by the name of Xolotl. But if Tomb Raider has taught us anything, it’s that nothing stays banished forever. As soon as a group of mercenaries steals the mirror, Xolotl is resurrected. Fortunately, an ancient guardian of light by the name of Totec also arrives to help Lara retrieve the mirror and prevent the world from plunging into eternal darkness.

Our time with the game had us exploring the inner workings of a cavern called the Spider Tomb. A large Shelob-like boss awaits players at the end of these tunnels, but we had plenty of smaller foes and puzzles to solve before we got that far. The whole game is played via a top-down perspective, which gives this Lara Croft adventure a distinctive feel (hence the lack of Tomb Raider in the title). We found ourselves checking out the game’s map quite a bit, which is handy since certain sections of the game are not linear, but will require you to explore different parts of a larger tomb to solve puzzles and collect artifacts. Bonus puzzle-like challenge tombs are also scattered around the environment, which encourages deep exploration for all the junior archeologists out there.

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  • Actually, Borderlands changed its graphics because it wanted to stand out in a crowd of clones.  Which it did.  The fact that you don't like the style is your choice, but Borderlands has sold and scored well.  The first Halo was revolutionary.  The rest of them were nothing more than another FPS game.  Also as far as "messing with the franchise", sometimes you either have to do something new or put it away.  Continuing a dated and convoluted (or boring) game is not going to make anyone more proud of their series.  Keep your pride in the games that have been delivered, but open your mind to the possibility of the game being improved upon.  Otherwise there is always Madden <insert year>.

    I applaud the studio for going in a different direction.  It's nice to see people taking risks.  For a PSN/XBLA game this will fit nicely I think.  Not to mention the previous incarnations were getting stale.

    Take some risks and let's breathe life into the gaming industry.

  • @Jessie Scott:

    That may well have been why Borderlans changed it's art style, but I'm not so sure. Borderslands biggest reason for success isn't it's art style, it's incorporating 4-player co-op in an RPG... that combined with the huge weapon variety.

    I agree that the first Halo was the best, but the sequels are hardly just "another FPS". A run of the mill FPS gets something like 8.0 review scores, not 9.5 or higher. I think the scope and settings of the Halo franchise are undeniable. Most people -- in my experience -- who don't care that much for Halo, just don't care much for Sci-Fi.

    I also agree that some things have to change to keep a series fresh (which is why Halo:Reach has many changes), but that doesn't mean a studio should totally change the whole style of the game, to the point it no longer feels like the same universe. The answer, is to just space out sequels sufficiently, and in the years between them, put out some new IP.

    The fact that this game isn't really even the same type of game, makes it understandable -- as I said before. I just don't want to see the next big Tomb Raider game being Borderlands-shaded. If it were, that's one entry I wouldn't be picking up.

  • I stopped playing tomb raider after the second one, it just got to same old same old for me. This titles new direction has peaked my interest ill get the trial for sure, i was a big fan of the baulders gate and D&D format of play.

  • looks good, despite the change

  • Great news to hear this title is actually going to be worth our time.

  • Sounds interesting, and looks cool so far! Is there an announced release date as of yet?

  • Looks impressive. I've never been into Lara Croft games, but this could change my mind.

  • I only have one thing to say about this game: