Free Tomb Play: Guardian Of Light Goes F2P

Wait, it's not what it looks like! I also don't really know what it looks like.

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.


  1. mr.ioes says:

    We should reconsider the term “free” when the requirement is a third party software noone has ever heard of or used, and more than likely opens new loopholes in your browser or os security which may or may not ever be exploited.

  2. Didero says:

    It’s not entirely free, since you pay with time (through watching ads) instead of with money.
    Or optionally still with money if you want, but why even use this service then?

    • redeyedsamurai says:

      If you’re working free-lance, and get paid about 10 quid an hour, then paying for the game and not watching the ads, will probably turn out cheaper in the long run…

    • Wut The Melon says:

      It’s what? $4 during the Steam sales? I say you should wait a month and just buy it… I liked the game, fun to play especially in co-op, and the offline co-op support on PC is a nice thing too.

  3. CMaster says:

    Lara Croft and the Guardian Of Light is one of the best coop games that’s been made I ‘d say.
    However I’d also so buy it for a couple of quid in an online store sale, rather than arse around with adverts.

    • mbp says:

      Seconded. I am currently playing this with my daughter and having an absolute blast. Well worth spending a few on to avoid ads.

    • Hillbert says:

      I never played it coop but it was certainly a great little game and well worth a few quid of anyone’s money.

      Also whilst not “casual” it was a game where you could pick it up for half an hour and blast through one level whilst a pie was in the oven. Having to faff with adverts and so on could possible spoil that sort of enjoyment.

      • Falcon says:

        From what I’ve heard, the puzzles were completely different in co-op than single player. I remember the very last puzzle in the game when my friend and I were on Skype: “No, they didn’t… Wow. Wooooow.”

        Well worth playing co-op over single player just for the puzzle difficulty/solutions.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Wish I had played coop. The game is surprisingly fun in single-player too. It’s really a pretty good effort all around.

  4. cheezr says:

    I thought forcing customers to watch ads in exchange for goodies has been proven to not work. This is like those ‘free’ services you used to see in the dotcom bubble. Shadowbane attempted this too in 2006 in an attempt to save itself but it ended up dying in 2009 anyway. Square is crazy to attempt a business model like this again.

    But hey, I’ve been wanting to play Mini Ninjas so I’ll take it for a spin.

    • Snakejuice says:

      I remember when Internet was really slow and you paid by the minute to play quake at 2-300 ping (and as much input-lag because no pushlatency), there where offers off free internet connection at night if you installed a program that showed ads (you could work around this and get free internet without having to put up with the ads).

  5. Crane says:

    Wait, isn’t this the game they’re using as a pre-order incentive for the new Tomb Raider?

    “Hey guys, we’re going to offer GoL for free if people pre-order our new game, right? That way, we can hopefully use it to make some quick extra cash!”
    “Excellent plan Bob! And while we’re at it, why don’t we ensure that people can play it for free without pre-ordering our new game! That’ll really help add profit to the pool!”

  6. Rubyace says:

    Never played Tomb Raider games before and now I have reason not to. Been playing it a bit and I don’t think it is too bad to watch a video about video game that lasts for 1 minute to gain 20 minutes of gameplay. Of course it kind of breaks the feeling when you run out of time in tight situation but that is the worst part and I can deal with it.
    The game seems to run quite well, a bit of lag when going near the entrance of next room but it isn’t crucial.

  7. fish99 says:

    Wait for a steam sale TBH, but it’s a fun game. Puzzles needed to be a little harder, but the combat and exploration were good. Shame they never made a sequel.

  8. pupsikaso says:

    Ok, so since this (in my opinion) piece of carp is now free, does that mean I get a refund?

  9. Kdansky says:

    I played it with my non-gamer wife, and we had a blast. I even shelled out for the DLC, which was really bad.

    Can someone make something else that’s good for split-screen coop?