Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was made for co-op. Blam. There, I said it. Whether Crystal Dynamics did this on purpose, or whether the stars aligned just right...the co-op in this game is not to be missed. If you play the single-player first, you’ll find that all of your favorite special moves are even better in co-op. If you play the co-op first, you’ll use the special moves in single-player with a fond remembrance of how fun the co-op was.
Let’s start with what makes The Guardian of Light fun, from a simple gameplay perspective... First of all, the controls are near perfect, in my opinion. Rather than being a mindless twin-stick shooter (which is not a bad thing), the right analog stick aims and the right trigger fires. Using the sticks this way adds a bit of extra control. You have a button for a quick rolling dodge, one to jump, and one to lay or detonate a remote mine. It’s classic Tomb Raider action and controls transferred onto a Diablo-esque dungeon crawler.
Combat is fluid and a perfect mix of decent challenge and ease-of-use; more on that later. The puzzles themselves range a bit more in difficulty, but I’m glad to report that for the most part they are not boring, and each one is original enough to stand out. I’d be hard-pressed to say that any of them are baffling, but they’re not always as simple as flipping a series of switches. There are some really neat surprises, yet always within the format of a nostalgic dungeon crawler.
Fans of Blizzard and Snowblind Studios will feel right at home here.