Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is easily one of the best games of the summer. It is a co-op experience created by Crystal Dynamics that brings life back to the presumed dead Lara Croft series.
In the game, the player is in control of one of two characters, Lara Croft or Totec, a guardian of a mystic and powerful mirror. The game puts players working together in order to solve puzzles and kill creatures that stand in the way of finding Totec's mirror.
There are approximately eight levels that very in size. While eight levels may seem short to some people, it is the replayablity of the levels that make the game stand out above others. At the beginning and end of every level there are a set of challenges that the players can either skip over or try to accomplish. These challenges include attempting to find certain artifacts that are scattered across the level, getting a high score, and completing the level within a certain time limit. I find myself going back and replaying levels over just to see if I can find everything and compete the level within a certain time.
When it comes to artifact collecting, each of the different artifacts creates a bonus for your weapons, health, status effects, or ammo. Once an artifact is collected it can be used to increase your chances of survival in the level and beyond. Different weapons are unlocked depending on which of the challenges players are able to finish, making the decision to replay levels easier because it will lead to that stronger rifle or grenade launcher.
The levels pose lots of different challenges and using the special abilities of both Lara and her companion is necessary. Lara has the use of a grappling hook, while Totec uses a shield. The hook allows Lara to swing from gold rings and Totec can stand on it to cross pits and to get to higher ledges. The shield is the only way to be able to block in the game. Additionally, Lara is also able to climb on the shield to get to higher areas on the screen. Totec also has the use of spears that only Lara was able to jump atop of. This mixture of unique gameplay along with the level puzzles came up with some real intriguing possibilities.