Combining special co-op moves is a common theme, and it never gets old.
The visuals don’t disappoint, either. Crystal Dynamics opted to go with a cel-shaded look for loading screens and the main menu, which serves the game’s style quite well. Cutscenes are unskippable but mercifully prompt and to the point. The voice acting is on par with previous Tomb Raider games, and character animation seems to have improved. The only flaw I’ve found in terms of production value is a torch flame that was displaced from its torch - but this was a background piece and would have been overlooked completely if not for the fact that it happened to be mounted where we were trying to climb up.
The Guardian of Light’s tombs and outdoor areas are really fantastical, and provide a great sense of depth. You’ll traverse the levels laterally and vertically, climbing and jumping your way through some of the prettiest surroundings I’ve seen in a downloadable game. There’s something really cool about activating a suspended pressure switch and seeing a bridge deploy some 200 yards away and below in the background.
At any given time you can carry three optional weapons in addition to your basic weapons - for Lara, that would be her twin H&K handguns...and for Totec, it’s a never-ending supply of throwing spears. The spears are fun, by the way, and are great for knocking small enemies on their butts. Because some areas require Lara to use the spears for climbing, she has to relinquish her pistols for spears in single-player, unfortunately. And while the gun enthusiast in me would have liked to have seen some more realistic shooting mechanics, the casual gamer in me is perfectly fine with the lack of reloading and slow fire rates; it’s an issue of personal taste and nothing more. The default weapons have unlimited ammunition, but any secondary weapons that you pick up are fired at the expense of an ammo meter that can be refilled by picking up blue power-ups. Remote mines are also in unlimited supply and can be used offensively, but more often than not they’re better served clearing doors and activating puzzle switches from afar.
Your choice of weapons increases fairly early on, but the best guns come to those who explore.