04 February 2015

Lara Croft and The Guardan of Light

Game score: 85%
Platform: Steam, PC
Steam link:

Run, run, jump, throw a spear, jump onto spear, jump and fire a hook to the closest ring, swing left and right to gain speed, jump to the platform, get to the rock, roll it through four monsters that just spawned, keep rolling to the nearby platform. The gate opens. You step in. Ok, the easy part is done. Now... go and get the artifact and keep pushing forward to reach Xolotl and finally stop him!

There's no need for any introduction when it comes to Lara Croft and Tomb Raider games. The difference between this game and all the other Tomb Raider titles is the pace of action and camera view (fixed isometric), as well as a multiplayer option (two player co-opeative hot-seat or via internet). Lara is still equipped with her dual pistols, remote bombs and grappling hook but she can expand her arsenal during this adventure with dozens of weapons (although you will most probably stick to 3 or max 4 of them). 

The story. Is it really important? Alright, here's the short version: Lara was hunting an ancient mirror that entrapped a creature of darkness for centuries inside a Mayan temple. A band of mercenaries got there before her and released the spirit. Now it's up to Lara and Totec, an ancient guardian, to hunt him down and stop his evil plans of world domination. Honestly, it's completely unimportant and unimaginative and the real value of this game is in its gameplay.

This is still the same, good old Tomb Raider game. It's just a little bit faster and the levels are shorter. Your goal is always the same: reach the level exit until you can finally face Xolotl and be done with this adventure. Once you complete a level, you can go back to it at any time and that is simply wonderful! The puzzles are pretty simple and will only require you to control your character with some skill to be done. The real challenge are... challenges! Each level has a number of them, including speed runs (beat the clock) and some item collecting (each level has 10 red skulls that need to be found). Honestly, I really loved completing challenges and I kept repeating each level until all were done. I would usually try and beat the score challenge on my first run, as well as collecting the skulls and power-ups, then come back and try the speed run. Some challenges on some levels are real easy and you won't even notice you completed them (meaning that you will be surprised when the "challenge complete" text flashed out) while some require strong effort. For example, the very first level has a "Disable Xolotl's fire trap in under 00:30" and that took me more than 30 minutes to complete. Fortunately, dying in game is not really punishable (you lose 5000 points which is ok if you are not doing the score challenge) so you can commit suicide and just try again from the save point. Another great thing is that you can collect weapons, artifacts and other power-ups in any order - once you collect them, they are saved. You can even quit the game right after picking up an item and it's ok, you will never have to do it again. You can even pick up a grenade launcher on level 7 and go play level 1 with it in your inventory, possibly making some puzzles easier with it. Cool, eh?

Now the real fun is the multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, I never tried it (nobody wants to play with me!) but I've seen videos and I loved it. In multiplayer, two players control Lara and Totec, while some puzzles (and solutions) are different than in a single player game. The game requires true co-operation and seems to be very fun to play.

Overall, this game provides a lot of joy. It takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete the single player game and probably another 15 to complete all the challenges. There are 12 achievements in the game and 11 are really easy, while the last one asks you to complete all the challenges. It's far from hard, but it takes time to complete. I know I will do it, I really enjoyed completing time runs and I am not really a kind of gamer who likes speed runs in any games. This one is somehow different.


No comments:

Post a Comment