Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Hands-On

Lara Croft stays in the tombs but finds an interesting new way to raid.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a spin-off entry to the Tomb Raider franchise. Departing from the previous games' roots, players take control of Lara Croft or the Mayan warrior Totec in an overhead arcade-style shooter. Set in a Mayan ruin, the players will have to fight fearsome, magical demons and solve intricate puzzles. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is planned to be released in August 2010 for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC.

Guardian of Light is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, the same team that has handled the Tomb Raider franchise for nearly seven years. The publisher is Square Enix, best known for its epic role-playing games. However, neither are well known for isometric shooter action detailed within Guardian of Light.

The in-game graphics are smooth and detailed; they're on par with other high-caliber downloadable games, such as Shadow Complex. The ancient Mayan environment feels at home with the rest of the Tomb Raider series. Lara and Totec traverse through lush jungles, raging rivers, and eerie temples.

Guardian of Light includes a variety of gameplay elements, including arcade shooter combat, environment-based puzzles, and item collection. One puzzle included stopping a trap by using Lara’s spear to ascend walls, roll down a boulder, and use it to block a hail of arrows.

Weapon drawing and aiming is controlled with the right analog stick, along with the right triggers to fire. The heroes must manually keep their weapons drawn and have no option to quickly fire by just tapping the shoot button. Changing through an array of items is used with the left shoulder, along with the face buttons. The X button on the Xbox 360 and the square button on the PlayStation 3 allow for quick dodging, while the Y and square buttons allow Lara to plant and detonate bombs. Due to Lara’s fragile health, the dodge button is a necessity, making for an uncomfortable juggle between the offensive and defensive controls.

What They Say: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a bold new step in the Tomb Raider franchise that gives players creative new options to solve puzzles and combat foes.

What We Say: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is an oddball entry into the series that may find a niche appeal or simply fade into obscurity.

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Discussion

22 comments
mjello
mjello

I just tried this game... I don't know what to think of it, but this is no tombraider game... Its not exactly bad. This is an oddball as said in the preview. It feels like any other isometric run and slash game I tried. I don't like that kind of gameplay. I sure hope this is just some dev team out to make some money on the franchise and not a sign of what to come from the next real tombraider. I'm glad they call it "lara croft" instead of tombraider or I might have bought it without trying it first.

ArguZ
ArguZ

WOW, nice one... I am kind of bored with 3D games in general and this will blow some fresh wind into the series I hope. Lets face it, Lara is dated and the 15 year old wanting to see her doing handstands on edges are in their 20s now. So either they do a game with an engine better than Prince of Persia and Death Space combined or bring back some isometric trigger happy fun like this one.

twistyanddark
twistyanddark

For some reason I seem to consider best of the series the remake of the first title. TR is all about walking alone in a dark corridor listening only to the wind and your steps and never knowing what the nest trap will be. We all know what happened to Angel of Darkness so I have a bad feeling for this l cz it doesn't evolve the gameplay, it changes it. I hope that I am wrong though.

aermeus
aermeus

just played the demo on xbox...im wondering where it will be sold for download on PC...Steam?

cpinheiro2
cpinheiro2

Why am I not fully optimist about this release?

Arthur_Skylark
Arthur_Skylark

hmmm Im a big tomb raider fan...hope this dosent dissapoint

UK5T0N3
UK5T0N3

I never managed to get into Tomb Raider games but for some reason I like the sound of this.

Smith_Machine
Smith_Machine

Quote: "Departing from the previous games' roots". Quite a big departure it would seem. I guess Crystal Dynamics' main motivation was to make a co-op version of Lara. It looks like fun, but then I do prefer puzzles to just plain shoot-em up games.

GematriaTKN
GematriaTKN

@cxmnky Thanks, for that =) either way, i think i might get it just to see what its like, the environments looks fun, and i love the puzzles that are thrown up in the lara croft universe, its nice to have to think in a game, not just kill everything to get to a checkpoint.

biokrysty
biokrysty

the time has come for a new lara croft game

cxmnky
cxmnky

@GematriaTKN: The controls were revamped once Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise. From TR:Legend onward, Lara's controls are closer to other third person platformers than the "tank controls" that she had when Core was developing the game. That said, the controls for THIS game seem to be completely different since it's a completely different game type (twin stick shooter vs. third person platformer). "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is an oddball entry into the series that may find a niche appeal or simply fade into obscurity. " Well, THIS is your problem. It's not SUPPOSED to be an entry into the series. It's a spin off game which, by definition, isn't meant to share the same space as the main series.

GematriaTKN
GematriaTKN

Is the movement in the newer games as good? i like the first 5 games in the series and the i played TR TAoD, and the movement was shockingly slow and un-responsive, and rather annoying to play.

joaomarcelo16
joaomarcelo16

If TR9 is only for ps3 ate least put graphics like uncharted 2, a camera like uncharted 2, and a cool story. that is what i think it would be...

fastpunk
fastpunk

Looks pretty fun to me. This should keep TR fans occupied until the next proper TR game.

speedfog
speedfog

Does this title says tomb raider ? no so it will be something differents :)

mitsios
mitsios

All tomb raiders was good except underworld....look forward to this one...:)

snes_vs_ps1
snes_vs_ps1

Sooo lame!Only when i hear the name of the game i start laughing:) Come on, what's this?Its nonsens!

wexorian
wexorian

it's not tomb raider but it looks good

Shaoran_Li
Shaoran_Li

honestly i'd rather they never have done this guardian of light download-only spin-off game. this is making everyone think its TR9, even though it officially isn't. no one's gonna think that. many are already jumping to conlusions thinking it's Tomb raider 9.

libra20seven
libra20seven

i rather they spend this time and money on making another "Underworld'esque" game. Though I do love Tomb Raider... and that will never change

otanikun
otanikun

Um, an arcade style shooter? I think the Tomb Raider series has nowhere to go but downhill; underworld was the last good game, and that was easy :\

MoNoXGT2
MoNoXGT2

and...here we go again....another lara game...dosent she get older with saggy B@@Bs?