First look at Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Thankfully, anyone looking for a single-player experience won’t be saddled with an idiot AI, or forced to switch between players constantly. Instead, all of the puzzles are being redesigned with just Lara in mind. Rather than getting Totec’s help in the puzzle above, for example, there’ll be a Totec-sized stone ball that she can roll onto the pressure plate, and then use as a platform from which to jump.

As for the levels themselves, we only saw a couple, one of which was a big, nonlinear area that surrounded a Mayan temple; in order to gain entrance, Lara and Totec had to track down three different “sun discs,” which were protected by enemies and puzzles, and which could be collected in any order. We were also shown the Spider Tomb level, a sort of inverted tower that Lara and Totec have to fight through from top to bottom, all to reach a drawbridge that was frequently visible in the distance, even from the upper levels.

Above: It’s next to that arrow, see?

Also it was filled with endless swarms of giant spiders, which should keep things interesting if you’re not all that keen on environmental puzzles.

Above: SPIDERS!!

So far, LCGL – slated for release on PCs, XBLA and PSN sometime around the end of this summer – looks like it could be a lot of fun. It’s also backed up by the same graphical engine behind the full-sized Tomb Raider games, meaning that while it might look simplistic, it packs in some impressive detail – including cool lighting effects and dynamically moving vegetation – to compensate for its fixed perspective and small onscreen characters. In any case, ithas the potential to be a uniquely interestingco-op experience, so we’re looking forward to seeing more.

Mar 23, 2010