It’s a shame they didn’t take notes from Guardian of Light when developing the most recent reboot of Tomb Raider. While Lara croft in the most recent core entry in the Tomb Raider series is trying her best to shed all the enjoyable puzzles and adventuring that made the series famous to instead become the new quick time event action movie star and dethrone Drake from Uncharted, Lara Croft in the Guardians of Light offers everything that made Tomb Raider great.
The game is centered on fast paced action combat, exploration, and completing various interesting and sometimes challenging puzzles. Unlike the core entries in the franchise, Guardians of Light takes the approach of having players control the game from an isometric view point, this type of view point allows for a very enjoyable seamless co-op mode experience.
As far as visuals go there’s nothing in this game that will overwhelm you, but for an isometric view game from 2010 it holds up very well. The level design on the other hand is absolutely brilliant, offering a wide variety of puzzles ranging from one room dungeons to entire expansive multi-tomb map sized puzzles. The puzzles are normally completed through various interactions between Lara and her co-op companion Totec, the Guardian of Light. Each character plays slightly different from one another, each with their own pros and cons, Totec is bulkier and has a shield so he fits more into the role of a tank, he also uses throwing spears as his primary weapon that can also be used to make platforms for the much lighter and more nimble and agile Lara Croft. Totec can also raise his shield above his head to use as a platform and then Lara can use her grappling hook to pull up Totec or make rope bridges for him to climb up. There are many instances in the game where you are put into a situation where you have to act very quickly and rely heavily on your partner to either lift you into the right position or to carry you to safety before you are either crushed, mauled, or mutilated, and in these intense, fast paced, high pressure situations is where the game shines.
The combat handles just the way you’d expect it to for an isometric view arcade shooter. There aren’t really any complaints as long as you aren’t the guy who gets stuck as player 2 using a gamepad controller, because you’ll be SoL and instead of a crosshair you will get stuck with the tiniest little light that shines on the wall in the direction you are facing as your point of reference for the general area in which you’ll be firing. This honestly wouldn’t be that bad, when you see the light it works really well, but the problem is that it’s constantly being hidden behind objects in the foreground and you have to blindly fire at enemies while you franticly search for your little light. The game does offer a fairly extensive variety of weapons to choose from, from pistols to assault rifles to flame throwers, they’re all present and accounted for. Each character has their own primary weapon; Lara’s being her pistols and Teco’s being his throwing spears, both of which have unlimited ammunition, all of the other weapons are useable by both characters and their ammunition is monitored by a depleting ammo bar below your health bar that is replenished by the abundant ammo drops located on the map and from enemy drops.
The game tries to shake things up and keep the gameplay from feeling stale by adding various challenges for each level such as reach the end of the level by “X” amount of time, or blow up a certain number of random objects placed throughout the map. Completion of these challenges result in acquiring a unique perk or item that can be applied to your character to greatly aid you in your adventures. An example of the most beneficial perk I came across during my adventures was a perk that became activated if I managed to chain together a large enough kill streak without being injured by any enemies, my gun would then switch over to rapid triple shot mode and allow me to plow through hordes of enemies like a true bonafide bad ♥♥♥. The best part is that all the perks and items you acquire are useable on both characters, so you don’t have to worry about your partner hording the juicy loot.
Overall Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light provides an excellent experience that becomes even that much more enjoyable when played with a friend in co-op. The fast paced action combat is thrilling and there is an abundance of quality puzzles that keeps you engaged and entertained. With the only complaint being minor control issues for player 2, the Guardian of Light is truly a game worth buying and enjoying alongside a friend.http://noobsthatplaygames.com/