It is not surprising that the new game has no “Tomb Raider” in the title for it was already announced beforehand by Crystal Dynamics, the developer of Lara Croft games. In the previous games, the series had maintained certain narratives which is now completely different which cleared all the reactions and other Xbox 360 video game review concerning the alteration of title. But it is not really all about the title because by looking at the video, screen, and hands-on time aspects, it is undeniable that the game has progressed well. That’s not all until you actually play the game from start to finish and you will know that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is one of the recent title with the best gameplay execution.
With a thrilling start having a cooperative gameplay, the story will be triggered after Lara Croft discovers the so-called Mirror of Smoke located inside a Temple where bandits will eventually fight Lara to defend the mirror and take it away from her. What makes the mirror interesting is that it will become the object of the game wherein a demon named Xolotl will be summoned – a demon evil enough to end the world and has the capacity to literally end the game. But along with the demon, the summoning also brings Totec which is known to be the loyal protector of the mirror who will join Lara Croft through adventures longing to save the mirror before sunrise in order to save the world. Lara Croft must successfully run 14 levels going through not only the Temple but also jungles, swamps, and underground areas. In this adventure, the narrative makes the game more exciting and tight by making you overcome certain puzzles.
The game allows you to either play as a single player (Lara Croft) or play in co-op mode where the AI Totec accompanies Lara in her adventures. The Diablo-comparable isometric view is amazing and the controls work like a double stick shooter where one functions for character movement and the other for aiming. Lara weapons include her trademark twin pistols upgrading to shotguns, machine gun, Gatling guns, and grenade and missile launchers. Unlockable weapons can be found around the area and there are lots of weapon varieties to find. Lara’s rope plus Totec’s shield and spear equipment are keys in getting through the adventures. Choosing single player will let Lara use the spear of Totec which will help her go through some sticky scenes.
Lara’s rope is very assistive when it comes to high walls and climbing. The shield and spear helps in the same obstacle but in a different way. Aside from being a protection from enemy weapons, Lara can also jump high places using the shield. On the other hand, the spears can be planted on walls where Lara can also jump up high.
The game’s ability to give the player a deeper perspective view when looking at lower grounds can be a helpful hint on Lara’s pass-through and secret items around the area. Puzzles this time are more encouraging compared to the former Tomb Raider games. In this game, puzzles usually include breaking gates by defeating giant rolling metals and stones while fighting surrounding enemies.
The only frustrating thing about playing this game is in a level where you must get though enemies and obstacles where each can kill Lara many times. This is where the undying skeletons or the fire traps are located. In this level, Lara will respawn to where you last saved the game and in this case the entire level must reload again.
Action-packed combats, unlockable rewards system, and interesting challenges make Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light a solid action game full of fun and ultra-satisfying experience. So get ready to break lots of boulders and defeat huge quantities of enemies until Lara finally save the Mirror from Xolotl. Graphics and viewpoint looks great and helpful especially showing the depth of places. When it comes to heart-pounding soundtrack, this game has a great music and audio effects. Overall, the gameplay is pure action and fun.
Peter Eykemans, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Review (Xbox 360), TeamXbox Reviews