I have to say that even with my love for directional shooters aside, this one had me going all day long. Regardless of your fandom for the buxom brunette, Lara Croft’s new take on a older, simpler way to traverse the dark caverns of temples is refreshing. Though not without it’s faults, Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light is certainly a fresh take on one of gaming’s oldest, and most vibrant heroins.
Taking out the “Tomb Raider” in the starting line, Lara finds herself in the middle of South America, where after finding a mirror and waking up an evil demon she must team up with Guardian of Light, Totec, himself to save the day. And while the cheesy cut scenes and overly used comic-style angles don’t add anything to an already watery storyline, it is a way to get Lara to start shootin’ and lootin’. Though depending on which way you like at it there are issues with even that mechanic. Initially, you are not given any guidance in relation to controls or direction. The above-view, 8-way shooting style is a breath of fresh air, but it can be something of a nuisance when trying to find something to aim at. This lack of “please shoot here” tends to crop up here and there, and it’s enough to slow things down, but not enough to stop the game entirely.
The same general things happen with the gaggle of enemies that you fine lurking in the levels. Though it’s obvious that you’re supposed to take them down, they tend to try and run away from you, making you give chase and waste you precious time and patience. Eventually they will still drop dead, it’s the pointless ramblings that you have to go through that will really annoy you.
On a positive note, you have a wide assortment of weapons and explosives at your disposal to fend off whatever comes at you. Your assortment of weapons include grenades, rocket launchers, spears, AK-47s and up to 40 more, trust us you will never really get tired of using a different weapons against a baddie. The multitude of boss type enemies that you come across like Spiders, Mammoth T-Rex’s and of course the demon that you are hunting do help to keep the game moving and challenging.
The thing that really makes this game unique is the addition of a two-player co-op, giving you and a buddy a chance to tag-team the score count on the Achievement boards. Though when playing through, it was a very big step towards Gauntlet Legends and other arcade strollers of the type. Considering that this is Lara Croft, the feel of something this different makes the impact that much more unique, but having that four-player experience would have pushed it that much further.
As far as the game goes, it has some hiccups: some are comical and don’t affect the experience while there are some that take you right out of the gameplay. Regardless of how you feel though, the game still packs enough of a punch to make you want to play it over a few more times, to try and beat your friends high score, or go though again in co-op play.
ZoKnowsGaming gives Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light an 8 out of 10