Have You Played… Lara Croft & The Guardian Of Light?

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!

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  1. Xocrates says:

    Indeed I have, and aside from the completely token story it’s probably the best Tomb Raider game out of Crystal Dynamics.

    Sadly Temple of Osiris didn’t turn up nearly as good, even though they clearly spent a lot more money on it.

  2. draglikepull says:

    It’s a good game, one of the better twin-stick shooters out there. I’d definitely recommend playing it co-op if at all possible, since the co-operative puzzles are less interesting if you have to switch between characters and control them both.

  3. fish99 says:

    Fun game. My only real complaint were the puzzles were a bit too straight forward.

  4. deadlybydsgn says:

    My wife really enjoyed playing this with me in co-op.

    It had action, but nothing so difficult as to make her feel pressured. There were puzzles, but nothing that left us overly frustrated. She controlled Lara, and I got to be a Mesoamerican Shakespeare (of sorts). All-in-all, it was exactly the right formula to get her enjoying a game.

    We haven’t tried the sequel yet, but I’ve heard mixed things about it.

    • andytheadequate says:

      The sequel is nowhere near as good as this. If it wasn’t a bug ridden mess then it’d be just about OK, but it’s such a sloppy game that I can’t recommend it. Some of the bugs are pretty game breaking, the fact it’s a till in that state so long after release shows they don’t really care about it.

  5. Ferno says:

    I’m playing this through with my girlfriend at the moment. It’s really good fun in short bursts

  6. Fenix says:

    I really enjoyed the puzzle design of this game, it had the ‘magic touch’