Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light review
Even after consulting with the office crystal skull, no one could have predicted this: instead of being the boxy, shrunken offspring of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light is this year’s best PSN download. What’s that, crystal skull? It’s the best game on the store? If you say so.
The story sees Lara up to her usual artefact-borrowing thievery, trekking off to South America to find the Mirror Of Smoke – who needs specular reflection when you look this good? As expected, she’s ambushed by local warlords who nab the relic and inadvertently release Xolotl – the big, bad, demon-summoning Keeper Of Darkness.
Luckily, Guardian Of Light Totec is on hand to help Lara recapture Xolotl, ideally before dawn breaks and the world is overrun by giant demon spiders. No pressure, then.
Ditching the neck-snapping falls and sexy handstands, the game opts for an isometric viewpoint and focuses on twin stick shooting and puzzle solving. The single-player game has Lara and Totec splitting up, leaving the tiger-blamming temptress to explore the stony depths on her own.
It’s cunningly crafted and fun, but the game truly engages all the crunching stone gears in co-op, where you have to combine the characters’ talents: massive Mayan skirt-wearer Totec packs a shield on which he can give Lara a boost, while Crofty has a magnetic grapple that can act as a tightrope or hoist for her reincarnated buddy.