Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Review: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
I'll be honest. This is the first Lara Croft game I have ever played. It was a little hard to pick up any of the Tomb Raider games when the protagonist is the epitome of impossible biology and poorly planned outfits. But, this blog is called Game Like a Girl, I HAD to download it. And I have to give Square-Enix credit (or XBLA or whoever made the decision) that there are no gravity defying boobs in the promo pic (above). That gave me hope. Did they finally figure out that a lot of people play video games to, oh I don't know, play the game rather than get their yahoos over a bunch of pixels?
Yeah, nope. This is what you're lookin' at for the majority of the game:
This position is also a recurring theme:
Sure, Totec ain't wearing much either, but if we are going to get all deconstructing exploitation here (Oh, we are? Yes, just a little.) lets discuss the fetishization of oppressed peoples that just happened to have an advanced civilization until the conquistadors, as the intro so helpfully explains. His outfit at least makes sense in "historical" context. Lara's does not. I mean really, you just told us about hiking through the "dangerous Yucatan" for three weeks. I don't think hot pants are gonna keep the creepy crawlies out of your undies.
But, back to the game play...since its an arcade game with a third person perspective, the action isn't totally thrilling, however it lends itself well to the puzzle aspect of the game. The levels are designed to be visually interesting and complex. The strength of the game is by far the co-op mode. My first run through was in co-op and after that the single player version seemed very stale. The puzzles are exactly the same, only instead of having a partner whose strengths and weapons you have to coordinate to succeed, you work your way though assisted by giant balls. Yep, giant balls.
I think the single player mode could have been helped by levels that Lara has to navigate on her own (sans balls). The intro tells us all about her finding the mirror and fighting with tomb raiders who are also trying to steal artifacts (for profit, not education like our heroine). That storyline would have been awesome to play, but then it is an arcade game you download for about 15 bucks, we can't expect too much.
So yeah, an archeologist smashing around ancient Mayan ruins in a crop top and being condescending to a 2,000 year-old revived member of the original civilization. Whatever, Indiana Jones does the same thing with added Nazi's and more appropriate clothing choices. In the end, its a video game. A fun, cheap summer download that has a great multiplayer option.
But come on...if Wonder Woman can finally get rid of her skirt, isn't it about time Lara found some pants? Those holsters really have to chafe the inner thigh.