Lara Croft Xbox 360 launching without online co-op

Multiplayer feature to be patched into Crystal Dynamics adventure game on September 28, the same day full game arrives on PlayStation 3 and PC.

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was supposed to be the first outing to feature online multiplayer action for the solo adventuress. And it still will be, just not right away.

Xbox 360 players will get a month to hone their skills alone before teaming up online to guard some light.
Xbox 360 players will get a month to hone their skills alone before teaming up online to guard some light.

Developer Crystal Dynamics today announced that when Microsoft caps off the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade next week with the launch of Lara Croft, the game will not include the promised two-player online cooperative mode or leaderboard support or voice chat functionality. Instead, those features will be included in a free update to the game to be made available on September 28. That's also the date Lara Croft will launch on the PlayStation 3 and the Steam digital distribution PC gaming platform.

Crystal Dynamics global brand director Karl Stewart told GameSpot the online portion of the game needed more development time before it could live up to the developer's promises but stressed that the single-player and offline cooperative modes would be delivered complete at launch.

"Everybody's disappointed, but we're also excited. We're making a stand to say we're not going to have somebody download the game on August 18, play it, and feel like we came in a little under par on the online portion. It was a tough decision, but I think we made the right decision."

After the game launches, Crystal Dynamics has three months of downloadable content offerings planned out. From October through December, the developer will launch a series of five add-ons for the game. The first three will be expansions featuring new "puzzle, exploration, and combat experiences," while the last two will include new playable characters for the game.

The studio did not say who the characters would be, but Stewart said they would be well-known characters pulled from a range of Eidos titles. In addition to Crystal Dynamics' own Legacy of Kain series, Eidos boasts a number of recognizable brands, including Hitman, Deus Ex, and Thief.

[UPDATE 8/18]: Contrary to the original announcement, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light launched on the Xbox 360 with leaderboards for all available modes and standard voice chat compatibility.

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manu97416

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nevermind playing alone is fun with games like this

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inaka_rob

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I am glad to hear this. My friend and I bought this JUST so we could play online co-op. I saw it got a good score and on XBLA it said it was 2 player co-op. boy we were pi$$3D when we found out it was only local 2 player. I can hold off 1 month and play co-op then.

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inaka_rob

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@ClaTheNinja I get where you are coming from, but no not 100% of the time. 1 game I can think of off hand is Battlefield Bad Company. My friend and I bought it just so we could play and chat. Turns out it doesn't allow party chat of any kind. You cant even chat with your whole team. You can ONLY chat with your squad. I am sure there are a few other examples that don't support party chat.

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ClaTheNinja

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"[UPDATE 8/18]: Contrary to the original announcement, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light launched on the Xbox 360 with standard voice chat compatibility. " Umm... what? What do you mean? You mean XBLA games don't automatically support Party Chat or something? I don't understand what kind of "standard voice chat compatibility" there would be in this game at this point since it doesn't have any sort of online multiplayer.

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Lord_Daemon

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I was about to be annoyed but then I realize they stated that the offline co-op will still be there which honestly is something I think is actually more important than online support. Too many games with multi-player features lately don't support local co-op as it is which is something that really should never happen so I'm glad this game has it.

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McGuirex3

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In my few the add-on/DLC thing is and has been getting out of hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i.e. sale us the (whole)-game (now) nevermind the dam DLC/dig deeper in our pockets crap already!!!!!!!! 5-add-on's in three months, give me a break!!!!!!!!!!

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frankj22

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Agree with Traumerei112 Uncharted take the lead for this genre of game. I try for many year to like Tomb Raider titles but the clumsy gameplay and the average storyline of this franchise never convince me. Sure Lara look great but that all. Tomb Raider franchise is like Sonic franchise, just let it go away.

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jmartin1016

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I know it's not their character, but if they could figure out a way to license Batman into this for the DLC I would buy it. Kain and Gex would be cool as well.

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gbrading

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Interested to see where Guardian of Light goes.

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PDJ

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I think this is going to heavily affect sales on the 360. The game was made around the idea of CO-OP and yet it won't be available for weeks for those willing to pick the game up when it first comes out? Seems a bit backwards to me.

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Get_Shorty

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Hmm I was looking forward to playing this game with a friend of mine when it came out but now I'll have to wait. Maybe the Castelvania game with multiplayer will have to be my option now.

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jscapo

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Daddy Like

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Dan21278

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I think that's great.

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Tripwolf

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It should have just launched on all 3 platforms at the same time. Would have saved a lot of headaches. I imagine M$ is to blame though, trying to rush it ahead of everyone else. I'll be picking it up off of Steam for PC.

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Traumerei112

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Uncharted blew Tomb Raider out of the water ... It's a dead Franchise .

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steveguttenberg

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Because waiting a few weeks to release the complete game would make too much sense?

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NaldoKing

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Oh boy I think I see another disappointment coming our way

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Bashers79

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@TheDere I really wouldn't use GT5 as some shining example, bearing in mind they charged us to play a prologue and have been keeping us waiting for 2 years now with actual release date in sight.

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twistedmalice

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That sucks. I'm a big Lara Croft fan. I'll get the game anyway.

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Hvac0120

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ouch... Maybe it shouldn't have been part of the Summer of Arcade if it wasn't going to be ready... oh well; it's a free download and it seems like a great SP game from what I've seen.

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The_Mad_Hatter

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the new tendency is "half finished games"

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theslimdavylp

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at least its a free update

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AngelCage-2

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MS: "THE GAME COMES FIRST TO x360!!!!!! .... well, half game actually, BUT IT COMES FIRST!!!!!!!!"

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bakasora

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WTH SE, not that i want this game but this is just plain disgusting. $quareEnix

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SicklySunStorm

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weird decision.... why not just launch all formats at the same time with full support for all features, then there's no conjecture or disappointment?

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SapSacPrime

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That style of game is better suited to a kb/m anyway so Ill pick this up on steam eventually, once its had a few price cuts though.

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laptop12

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what the heck? what kind of release is this? i smell only that M$ pay, pay pay pay ...

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jimbob_1977

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At least the games only 1200 microsoft points and the patch is free...DLC is entirely optional stuff anyway and the last 2 which will include new characters from outside the Croft universe is not something I would get anyway. Yeah, its obviously not finished and thats a shame but at least it's not a $60 release!

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SaltyMeatballs

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If every game was like GT5 then we would have nothing to play.

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TheDere

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It seems that the only game which will be complete at release is going to be Gran Turismo 5. I miss the old day when nobody played online, so games had to work when they were sold...

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drummerdickens

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*sigh* Will gamers EVER get a full game at release ever again?!

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Dr_McTeabag

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Dawg9000, the 360 is apparently the easiest platform for developers to, well, develop with. That being said, obviously Microsoft rushed them to complete a product that had no chance of being completed by their due date. Why? So they could package it in their whole summer of arcade promotion thing. It's too bad the only great game out of this year's SoA was Limbo and it doesn't have anywhere near the replay value of past summer arcade greats like Shadow Complex, Trials HD, etc... Oh well, time for retail games next month.

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nickythenewt21

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What the hell. Thank God I'm not interested in this game.

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Jeff-Ryan

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ok this sux. and I thought xbox LIVE was cool

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Deano

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worst, decision, ever. just delay the release a month till it's finished properly

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OliBangs

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I never liked the Tomb Raider games but this one lookc nice.

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gstealer

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What's up with all the thumbs down when somebody says PS3? Don't need to get angry or nothing 360 will still have online anyway... And I agree with firehawk998

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JOKER677

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At least they are fixing the online instead of releasing a medicore playing experience. Get friends besides online

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firehawk998

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Why do I have a weird feeling that this game is not 100% finished yet.

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SpedKnight

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silly xbox...ps3 for the win.

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SpedKnight

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i was going to get it on ps3 anyways...its my buddys turn to buy the game and i can game share it from him 360

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relentlessH52

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I will admit I am kind of disappointed by this announcement. Still, at least they're not exactly expecting extra money for the online co-op. Also, I've seen quite a bit of negative press already on this game, but I like to reserve judgement until I at least give the game a try. You know, I try to be reasonable.

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erix43

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I think this was an attempt to get it out on the market and make money as fast as possible. Much like most video game companies nowadays. They sacrifice quality for deadlines and money. I think this will back fire. How do you launch a game without online play on day one nowadays? The campaign better be epic. This is asinine.

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tbailey184

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Shoddy workmanship at its finest. Why put out the substandard product and risk alienating your base?

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masonfilms

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This folks is what we like to call a deal breaker. NO SALE.

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POkemonfreak101

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@Spartan-1657...It's not that easy!!!!! oh wait, yes it is! I'm with you 100% of the way about the complete package from day one. Oh well, at least it's free unlike Resident Evil 5

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f4t4lfury

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ok with me. i'll be playing offline co-op when it comes out anyway. i appreciate that they want to fix the issues and not half ass it like many devs/publishers.

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Spartan-1657

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Just make the game complete, and don't plan DLC ahead of time, just throw it in the game to begin with and make DLC later on down the road if you have to charge us more money. Games cost enough in the first place and unfortunately a lot of the time, DLC is not as well done as the game. Just give us a real finished product, damnit.

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GearHead3000

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Do you hear that? It's the sound of Micrsoft strangling Square Enix behind the corner.

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Crasical

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@linkdarkside Well I kinda disagree with your original comment. Don't get me wrong, I think putting a price on downloadable content for a game you purchased is pretty greedy, but I do believe it's just a case on expanding an 'already' finished product. Now in Resident Evil 5's case, when Capcom decided to release a versus mode but with a price, I do agree with your original comment. RE5 was unfinished.