Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
My favourite part of Tomb Raider has always been seeing forgotten spaces and exotic landscapes, with all the key-collecting, dull puzzles, and (until recent games) wonky combat being the price I had to pay to enter exciting new places. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [official site] is less good at awe, but the top-down shooter spin-off makes up for it by smooshing action, puzzles, and platforming into one big merry romp. It’s a cracker of a co-op game too.
You know how it goes: Lara’s in somewhere she shouldn’t be, looking to nick stuff, when someone accidentally awakens an ancient demon and the guardian who fought him. But! Playing quite different to Proper Tomb Raiders, Guardian of Light is a top-down shooter-y thing with physics-based puzzle-platforming. A grappling hook and climbable spears send Lara leaping around the place, grabbing loot and items, and solving puzzles which I enjoyed far more than those I remember in Proper Tomb Raiders.
It’s even better in co-op, as puzzles are ramped up when her pal the Guardian of Light joins in. He hurls spears into walls for her to climb on, she slings grappling lines he can walk across, he has a shield she can stand on, and it’s all very pleasant (and often hectic) as you fling and haul each other around while gunning down hordes of nasties. Good stuff!