Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is one of the latest video games to hit the Xbox Live Game Marketplace. The newest adventure in a long line of Lara Croft video games centers around Lara’s quest to seal away a great evil in a magical artifact before dawn with the help of a new ally, Totec. A trial is available but unlocking the full version of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will set you back 1200 Microsoft points ($15 USD). This review will help you decide if the game is worth it based on graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, story, and replay value.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is played from an angled top-down perspective. While this may be different from what fans of the Lara Croft series are used to, it actually works pretty well for Guardian of Light. The graphics are nothing revolutionary but they get the job done and get it done well. The character models are fairly detailed as is the environment and you’ll notice various graphic enhancements such has dynamic shadows and lighting not always found in Xbox Live Arcade games.
The most important aspect of any game is its actual gameplay and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light excels in this department. The gameplay is somewhat of a cross between classic Tomb Raider games and games like Zombie Apocalypse. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has plenty of action-packed battle sequences to keep trigger-happy gamers interested as well as the exploration and puzzles that die-hard fans of the series have come to love.
The control scheme works very well and is very easy to learn. While the top-down perspective does, in some ways, seem to take away a dimension from the game, the new approach is both fun and intuitive.
This is where Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light both shines as well as disappoints. The game features a local multiplayer mode in which you and a buddy can take control of Lara and Totec to get through the game’s levels. However, short of the leaderboard, the first Lara Croft game to feature a multiplayer mode contains no online multiplayer features. You can’t always be on the couch with your buddies; it would have been nice if the developers had included a method of playing the game with friends over Xbox Live.
The storyline in Lara Croft and Guardian of Light is a bit lacking in depth. With the exception of Lara having an ally this time around, the plot follows your basic Tomb Raider cookie-cutter mold: search for some artifact, stop the bad guy, save the world. Not exactly imaginative but the game isn’t really the type that centers around the story anyway,
While Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is entertaining, there’s not a whole lot to do once you’ve completed the game. With no competitive or cooperative online multiplayer, Guardian of Light will probably be a game you beat once and forget about for awhile.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light isn’t your standard Tomb Raider game and it may not appeal to some fans of the series; however, it’s a good game on its own and with elements of games like Zombie Apocalypse and Crimsonland, it’s likely to draw in people unfamiliar with the Lara Croft series in addition to some long time fans. While you probably won’t find yourself going back and completing the game multiple times, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a fun (albeit somewhat short) game that most would agree is worth the 1200 Microsoft point download price.