By Nathan Grayson on November 15th, 2012 at 10:00 am.
Welcome, friends! Welcome. Come in. Take a seat. Here at Crazy Tom Braider’s Gently Used Car and Videogame Emporium, we have everything you could possibly want to suit your baddie-horde-bashing, 2000-year-old-Mayan-warrior-co-oping needs. We also have one car, but that’s not for sale because it’s mine. Then again, I suppose that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light isn’t technically for sale either, given that it’s actually free-to-play by way of this crazy ad-powered Core Online gadgetmowhatsit. Yessir, our prices are craaaaaazy. And by that I mean kind of confusing.
Guardian of Light joins the likes of Hitman: Blood Money, Mini Ninjas, and a Heroes & Generals beta on the browser-based service, and you can either earn game time by watching ads of various lengths or drop $9.99 to make those strange people stop talking at you forever. By comparison, Guardian of Light is $14.99 on Steam right now – not to mention part of a bewildering pre-order scheme for the new Tomb Raider that’s, um, kind of rendered moot by this entire “free” thing.
It is a very good game, though. John was quite taken by its raiderly charms – especially level/puzzle design and its ability to gradually lead players to mastery of their skills. I tried out the Core Online version briefly as well, and it seems to have made the jump without a hitch. Everything ran smoothly even on my mid-range machine, and Lara’s cold, ruthless destruction of vases with a spear was just as blood-curdling as ever.
So then, hooray for free things! Free-ish things. Aw, who am I kidding? Nothing in this world is free, and distinguishing the ever-blurring lines between various business models is maddening. It’s probably why I occasionally lose my mind and take on the fabricated role of Used Everything salesman Tom Braider. The only thing crazier than him is his prices, you know.