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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light E3 preview

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Posted by: Michael Lafferty

Holy shades of Gauntlet, Lara Croft fans. The gun-toting counterpoint to LucasArts Indiana Jones is on her way back in a new adventure and while it looks decent, it is not what Tomb Raider fans are likely expecting.

Touring the Square Enix/Eidos booth at E3 in Los Angeles provided a glimpse of the new adventure for Ms. Croft and it is an isometric cooperative downloadable adventure that is akin to arcade games like Gauntlet. In the game, Lara partners with an ancient warrior named Totec in an effort to put an evil, magic-wielding villain back in the plane from which he escaped. To that end, Croft and Totec will have to work through levels cooperatively, using their individual skills and attributes to work through the puzzles. While the strength of the game is cooperative, there is also a single-player element in which gamers can play as Lara and she is given attributes of both primary protagonists. In the solo effort the puzzles change and the environments change to reflect one player working alone.

The game is a combination of puzzles, exploration and fighting with point scores racked up in a variety of ways. The developers have also taken care to ensure that each character in the cooperative campaign work within their skills. For example, Totec has ranged attacks with spears. He can throw the spears into a wall to provide Lara the ‘stepping stones’ needed to reach higher areas. Lara can then lower a rope to allow Totec to cliimb up.

The game looks decent and is rife with destructible environmental elements. The controls are reasonably intuitive as well and the game does transition the story with good looking cut scenes.

Is this the kind of adventure Croft fans want? Probably not, but it may be the kind of game that resurrects Croft’s video-game career.

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