LARA CROFT AND THE GUARDIAN OF LIGHT
Xbox 360/XBLA (also on PS3/PSN, PC)
The most pneumatic heroine in gamedom is back – although something
looks a bit, well, different. It took us a while (no it didn’t,
we’re just trying to inject some drama), then we twigged. She
doesn’t appear as, erm, buoyant as she once did. Could Lara’s
programmificating handlers have matured a tad, bringing her
proportions vaguely closer to those of real womankind?
Short answer (as this isn’t some raging feminist manifesto),
apparently. Yay! However, when Ms Croft is trundling about pulling
shafts and playing with balls we’re not going to give too much
credit for the boys having grown up. But when they pop out a game
this good, we’re prepared to overlook some trespasses.
Just don’t call it ‘Tomb Raider’ anything, for this is an adjunct to
that particular legend, whereby our formerly floatatious heroine has
entered the realm of isometric 3D, and buddied up with some Mayan
bloke called Totec (the titular (no snickering, please) ‘Guardian of
Light’). A big nasty demon’s been released, and they must negate it.
End of story.
LCatGoL is, in many ways, two games. The solo campaign’s
challenging, what with the puzzling, jumping, lancing, shooting,
shimmying, collecting, achieving challenges, boss defeating and
general arcadiness that you contend with. But kick this baby into
two-player co-op and the whole experience goes up a notch, as the
emphasis is very much on teamwork.
Some worship Lara Croft games for the heroine’s polygonical beauty.
We were too distracted by the gorgeous vistas, time-sucking gameplay
and myriad urns to smash (after all, urns are the new red barrels).
If this had been a boxed game we’d have been titillated – but as
it’s a more affordable download we’re just really bloody impressed.