PS3 Previews: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Preview

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Summer 2010

Publisher:

Square-Enix

Developer:

Crystal Dynamics

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action/Adventure

Sometimes, when a franchise begins to show its age and other titles begin to grab the reigns in the same genre, it’s best to offer fans a new-look option. There was a time when Tomb Raider was among the elite action/adventure titles out there but since that time, names like Uncharted and God of War have reigned supreme, and therefore, Crystal Dynamics has been forced to reevaluate the legendary tomb raiding series. The result is a downloadable adventure that, for the first time, eliminates “Tomb Raider” from the title and provides players with a slightly different perspective. For some old-school followers of Lara, this is a little disheartening as it’s clearly not your standard big-budget Tomb Raider release, and we have to think those days are long gone. But at the same time, shouldn’t we appreciate the effort to reenergize the ailing franchise? And we’ll get a classic story, too: an artifact known as the Mirror of Smoke has caused a clash of gods and the “good god,” Totec, eventually defeats his nemesis, Xolotl, and buries himself in the mirror in question.

Of course, Lara has to go and find it 2000 years later, bringing with her the expected band of mercenaries intent on stealing the artifact from her grasp. It wakes up both Totec and Xolotl and the battle begins anew. The cool part is that Totec will act as a teammate for Lara, so we’ll play with a partner, ala Prince of Persia when the main character always had the assistance of Elika. Obviously, this implies that while the game can be played by yourself – with AI controlling Totec – it will likely be better experienced with two players. You’ll throw down with the human thieves and Xolotl’s bizarre hordes, and you’ll also have to work together to solve a variety of puzzles and bypass certain environmental obstacles. Now, because it’s a smaller, downloadable title, you’re not looking at a complete, roving 3D experience. Instead, we get a classic top-down view that will remind you of old-fashioned games like Gauntlet or Diablo. You gain points for kills and for snagging any treasure you can find, and Lara will wield either dual pistols or a rifle, and she’ll also have a grappling hook.

That grappling hook will be used to deal with certain parts of your surroundings; she’ll use it to fling herself across gaps and launch herself to new heights, and she’ll also assist Totec as well. He can’t use that tool but he has the ability to actually balance on the rope attached to the grappling hook, so that will add more diversity to the gameplay. And because this is a buddy-buddy situation, Totec has some unique benefits of his own: his shield is not only helpful in combat, for instance, but he can also hold it over his head as a makeshift platform for Lara. He can also fire spears into walls for Lara to take advantage of; her acrobatic ability will allow her to flip her way around the environment with the help of such handles. Just so you’re aware, the levels will be altered a bit when you play single-player, presumably to accommodate the AI. Obviously, with two humans controlling Lara and Totec, things might go more smoothly, you know? Tomb Raider has always featured plenty of puzzles and with all sorts of timed elements, blocks to move around and arrange, pressure plates, and more, this new adventure will test your problem-solving skills.

Totec will have a rifle of his own for dealing with enemies, and both partners will have a ready supply of explosives that can either bring foes to their knees or reveal pathways in the levels. And although the game will be straightforward and mostly linear, Crystal Dynamics says we can expect some optional challenges and quests, too. While we might miss the larger scope of a full-scale Tomb Raider, we sorta like this new angle; we’ve seen lots of great downloadable games this generation that have turned out to be very successful. This may feel a lot more like a traditional dungeon crawler, with plenty of enemies to bash and items to find, along with lots of puzzles and a helpful overhead map that will help you keep your bearings. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Besides, past Lara efforts really haven’t been up to snuff so maybe this is best. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will launch on the PSN and XBLA this summer for $14.99, and we’ll be anxious to give it a try when it arrives.

3/13/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Superman915
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 1:32:37 PM
Reply

Lara Croft is hitting menopause.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

0_o
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 1:59:28 PM
Reply

2 players?!? how?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 2:00:13 PM
Reply

Poor Lara. If I can grope her torso then I'll buy this.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Natalisrubbish
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 2:16:42 PM

Well if they make it 3-D compatible and it also becomes PS move compatible, your wish may become a reality! hahaha

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Naztycuts
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 2:59:55 PM
Reply

So I'm left wondering is it trip-A quality game in dlc form, or will this be a crappy half hearted effort? I'm leaning towards the latter. Drake>Croft she should have stayed exclusive, now she's working the corners of the PS Store and XBLA.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Natalisrubbish
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 3:07:19 PM

haha too true my friend, too true.

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phantomMenace
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 5:22:37 PM

HAHA, as much as this hurts me to say... Lara hasn't been a trip A game since the ps1 imo. The ps2 games were ok but they really got shorter, they weren't nearly as challenging and the shooting element seemed to be lacking greatly. I played the first four for the ps1 and loved them, then was pretty disappointed by the rest. Even the last one was a let down. Lara lost her touch.

Last edited by phantomMenace on 3/13/2010 5:23:08 PM

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Naztycuts
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 1:12:21 AM

I beat the first and second ones and then I had my fill of Tomb Raider

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Oyashiro
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 7:47:02 PM

Since when has Tomb Raider been exclusive?

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cxmnky
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 11:24:57 PM

"Since when has Tomb Raider been exclusive? "

You're right, it never was. IIRC, Tomb Raider was on the Saturn and PC before it was ever on the Playstation and all the sequels at least had a PC version alongside the console version(s).

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JackC8
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 4:28:26 PM
Reply

Jeez, sounds like a Super Nintendo game or something.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 5:42:10 PM

Which isn't a bad thing

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Scarecrow
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 5:43:04 PM
Reply

I think I might give this a try (rental/review)

2 player co-op = TASTY!

Tomb Raider II....man those were the days
They killed it when they went multiplat...

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LegendaryWolfeh
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 6:26:59 PM

dunno how'd you rent a DL game

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Scarecrow
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 6:28:26 PM

*whistle* did I say rent? *cough*

I meant demo the game (hopefully it'll have a demo...) OR just wait for psxe's review

So the game will be really small....(less than 9GBs probably)

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LegendaryWolfeh
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 10:43:05 PM

lol yeah, i mean i highly doubt the game will be all too large, probably around 4.5-7gb of data even on the full thing so..lol

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kraygen
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 8:17:30 PM
Reply

I'll have to see it to believe it'll be good. Big change for any series is a little questionable, but sometimes it turns out well, so we'll see.

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Jawknee
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 9:18:08 PM
Reply

Never cared for Tomb Raider. Still don't.

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___________
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 12:33:40 AM
Reply

actually had some hope for this....... till i found out its a download title only.
some games suit that and are fine with it, like joe danger.
some games dont, like ratchet and clank future a quest for booty.
if your going for a download only game your adding so many unnecessary restrictions.
your literally cutting your install base in half, because allot of people dont have enough bandwidth as it is, let alone to waste on a game.
than that restricts you to what you can have in the game, how long it will be.
everything, your just placing all these restrictions upon yourself for no real reason.
from what i understand there doing this to save money, but for fu**s sake if your not going to do something properly dont bother doing it at all!

why cant crystal dynamics go back to what made them famous?
PANDEMONIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Last edited by ___________ on 3/14/2010 12:34:04 AM

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Zorigo
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 8:07:21 AM
Reply

I'm not suprised this is a downloadable. in the face of uncharted lara croft is a mere shadow of its former self.
And as for the game itself, i'd rather buy trine. that is really fun...

Last edited by Zorigo on 3/14/2010 8:07:45 AM

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cxmnky
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @ 10:54:19 PM
Reply

"For some old-school followers of Lara, this is a little disheartening as it’s clearly not your standard big-budget Tomb Raider release, and we have to think those days are long gone."

What the hell are you talking about? Several other sources talking about the game have said that this title is a side project and another big budget title is still in the works. Where's the fact checking?

"Besides, past Lara efforts really haven’t been up to snuff so maybe this is best. "

Man, your Uncharted bias is showing. Since when has a high 70, low to mid 80 metacritic not been "up to snuff".

Last edited by cxmnky on 3/14/2010 11:03:43 PM

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spiderboi
Monday, March 15, 2010 @ 6:49:33 AM
Reply

might buy it if it features Angelina Jolie clips
*insert sarcasm here*

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