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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – Xbox 360

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – Xbox 360

LCGOL_xblaPlatform: Xbox 360

Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Publisher: Square Enix

Release Date (NA): August 18th, 2010

Genre: Action/Adventure

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by AKA Persia

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is definitely a fun, albeit short, game where there’s never a dull moment. Definitely different than what you’re used to playing with the other Tomb Raider games starring Lara, but the basic similarities are still there.

Lara Croft GoL 1The game starts with a quick introduction to the main story told by Lara. She tells the tale of a cursed, ancient object called the mirror of smoke. The mirror was used in a battle between Totec, the Guardian of Light, against the evil Xolotl, the Keeper of Darkness. The ultimate winner, of course, being Totec, while Xolotl was condemned within the mirror itself. Thousands of years later, Lara finds the mirror somewhere in Central America and is then captured by a group of mercenaries, who take the mirror from her. They unwittingly release Xolotl from the mirror and he ends up killing all of the mercenaries, and for some reason spares Lara. Totec is also brought to life and warns Lara of Xolotl’s evil. Lara ventures out to stop him.

What is most obviously different about Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light versus other entries in the Tomb Raider series is the camera angle. Playing the Tomb Raider games, you get used to the third-person, over-the-shoulder camera angle. This game is a fixed camera angle, looking down upon Lara.

The controls for using Lara’s weapon are a little strange, utilizing the right stick to draw her weapons/guns in any direction she points them to. Other than that, it’s pretty simple to control her due to the stability of the unchanging camera angle.

Lara Croft GoL 2Lara’s dual pistols are unlimited ammo, as usual, as well as a golden spear she receives from Totec at the beginning of the game. They are pretty effective weapons, which makes you thankful they’re unlimited. You do pick up different guns along the way that should be familiar to the Tomb Raider series players: shotgun, dual Uzis, machine guns and the like. She also has unlimited bombs that she can drop and detonate at your convenience. This is extremely helpful when fighting big enemies and when surrounded by several annoying smaller enemies. Lara can hold up to four weapons at a time.

You also collect artifacts along the way that can increase certain abilities, but also decrease others at the same time. For example, increasing your defenses can decrease your health. Relics that you collect provide regains such as more ammo or health. Many jewels are on the ground that are added up at the end of the level that unlock and provide Lara with different weapons.

Along the way, you can get pickups that increase your health or ammo by a little. These are scattered everywhere across each level. You will also come across a large green, glowing energy that completely heals Lara, but eventually dies down when used enough. These are not as generously scattered, but it makes you all the more grateful to come across them.

Lara Croft GoL 3Thankfully, there are many tombs to be explored filled with the puzzles Lara is famous for encountering. Generally, the puzzles aren’t that complicated and are pretty quick and easy to solve. Yes, they do become more difficult as the game progresses, but still are never difficult enough to spend more than a couple of minutes to solve. This alone makes each level very quick to beat.

Encountering enemies means you are bombarded with several small enemies at a time, with a few larger “bosses” (I guess you could call them) in the mix. Usually, one hit with any weapon will destroy smaller enemies, but the bigger enemies take a good combination of well-placed bombs and firepower. Enemies do not get harder to defeat, really. They follow the same basic pattern and are killed the same way. Sometimes, you are able to simply run away from the enemies instead of having to defeat them, which is actually a little disappointing. I always just cleared an area before I passed through it, but the option was available to run away! run away!

The game is overall very fun and action-packed. I downloaded this game through Xbox Live Arcade. I definitely recommend this game. It’s a pretty quick game to get through, but enjoyable throughout.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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