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Lara Croft

Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

Guardian of Light's free now for Xbox Live Gold members


You have two weeks
Jan 16
// Brett Makedonski
It's time for another predictable but helpful bi-weekly reminder that a new game is free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. This time, it's 2010's Summer of Arcade title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Of course, this offe...
Freebies photo
Freebies

Games with Gold: Sleeping Dogs, Guardian of Light


Free games for Xbox Live Gold members this month
Dec 30
// Jordan Devore
Before Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was my go-to game in the franchise. In many ways, this twin-stick co-op shooter still is. It's joining United Front Games' open-world action ti...
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It's never a good idea to steal Mario's power-ups


Kenway, Lara, and Master Chief, get their ass kicked
Dec 20
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Three iconic videogame heroes try to take on Mario with his own weapons. They should have known better than to cross the master.

Lara Croft is more than a survivor

Mar 11 // Taylor Stein
Survivor is too passive of a word to describe Lara's feats This Tomb Raider reboot serves a unique purpose: not to further the image of a gaming icon, but to explore the origins of how she became a legend. A theme is carried throughout the narrative as a transition from innocence to maturity. Naivety fades in the midst of hardship, and she is forced to bear a burden of life or death proportions. It was Lara's idea to enter the Dragon's Triangle in pursuit of archeological discovery, an area infamous for sinking ships, and it is her responsibility to save her crewmates from certain disaster.  The game hits the nail on the head in this regard, showcasing a completely different Lara before and after the experience; one driven by blind ambition and the other hardened by the weight of survival. Despite successfully presenting a thematic rite of passage, I would argue that the Lara Croft who emerges from the catastrophe is beyond a survivor. She is a warrior, a leader, and a hero. Lara actively pursues her foes from forest to mountain to hidden temple and successfully discovers the secrets of the lost kingdom of Yamatai. Even when seemingly perfect plans of escape crumble under misfortune, she remains determined and adapts to the circumstances whether it requires her to climb atop a frozen radio tower or traverse the depths of a derelict ship. For those who have yet to experience the game for yourself, let me grant you a brief preview. Lara Croft goes through absolute hell. Pushed to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion, the once inexperienced explorer is tested under the most extreme conditions. Impaled, strangled, stabbed, burnt, shot, pistol-whipped, and sliced are just a few of the inflictions that Lara endures. The physical wounds will heal as scars of remembrance, but the psychological toll is undoubtedly a harder pill to swallow. Lara is forced to make sacrifices for the greater good, to select choices when no appealing option is present. She is the picture of fortitude but her resilience is not the only aspect that makes her noteworthy. She doesn't just survive the ordeal; she charges it head-on and shoots it in the face. Channeling the anguish from the journey, Lara evolves into a true fighter. Any who cross her path are incapacitated without a second thought. Despite what seems like a constant flow of hindrances, challenges, and confrontations, she tackles each trial and thwarts almost certain death time and time again. Lara Croft has always exemplified the badass category, but now she owns it. Ferocity becomes second nature in a landscape riddled with danger in the form of wild animals, samurai warriors, and unpredictable terrain.  As heroes often represent the perfect models of humanity, the best and the brightest of us all, Lara Croft adheres to the standard perfectly. She is amazingly resourceful, fashioning life-saving devices out of discarded remains, determined, physically and mentally strong, adaptable, and intelligent; not to mention notably attractive. While her initial goal may begin as a primal urge to live, it evolves into a much more complicated objective; one driven by altruism and duty. Escaping isn't enough, the madness surrounding the resurrection of the omnipotent Sun Queen must be ended. Being a survivor is just the tip of the iceberg for Lara. While the term in question is technically applicable to the protagonist, it only scrapes the surface of her newfound strength. The transformation from ambitious explorer into the self-reliant, powerful Lara Croft is a revolution on every level. Rescue from this particular adventure is only the beginning of her story. Returning home to live as a regular woman, is not the life that Lara Croft will pursue and fittingly so. After facing such adversity, normalcy is a luxury that she can no longer find solace in and as we know from the franchise, she'll continue to co-mingle with danger for years to come.  Lara Croft is a survivor, but she is also a savior, a warrior, a leader, and a hero. Tomb Raider serves as an origin story but she has never been a damsel in distress. Staying alive was not the gift of coincidence or happenstance. Lady luck was undoubtedly on her side, but Lara continued to proactively fight throughout the entire ordeal. Perhaps this is a connotative dilemma spurred by personal meanings associated with the word, my definition of survivor may be different to yours for example, but I wholeheartedly believe that the, "A survivor is born" slogan does not do the game or Lara Croft as a character justice. Image sources [1][2]
More like epic hero photo
More like epic hero
For the past 48 hours, I have been completely enthralled in the world of Tomb Raider. Explosions, gun-fights, stealthy takedowns, weapon upgrading, and shooting defenseless bunnies has characterized my adventure, one that has...

Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

Lara Croft time-lapse painting makes you feel empowered


Seven minutes in artsy Tomb Raider heaven
Mar 07
// Tony Ponce
Our speed-painter pal Josh Summana is back with another lovely, lovely sippy cup of art juice. This time, he has set his sights on Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider. It's definitely a lot more tasteful than the sick filth ...
Guardian of Light photo
Guardian of Light

No plans for more Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light


You're breaking my heart, Crystal Dynamics
Mar 06
// Jordan Devore
Crystal Dynamics creative director Noah Hughes was asked by OXM if there are any plans to continue the rather terrific Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Here's what he had to say: "Guardian was a great opportunity to expl...
Tomb Raider Reborn photo
Tomb Raider Reborn

DeviantArt hosts Tomb Raider art contest


Draw for fun and profit
Feb 28
// Joshua Derocher
DeviantArt is hosting a Tomb Raider-themed art contest and prizes include Xbox 360s and up to $6,000 in cash. The goal is create an image that captures your personal interpretation of Lara Croft. All the official rules are a...
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Reviews Elsewhere: Tomb Raider


Lara needs no 'protection' from critics
Feb 25
// Jim Sterling
Tomb Raider reviews spilled their juicy guts all over the Internet today, and it seems Square Enix was right to confidently lift embargo a week early. Reviews across the board have been almost universally positive, with Lara ...

James Gunn: Some sexism controversies are 'silly'

Jul 20 // Jim Sterling
"Here's the thing. People online -- and in life in general -- are always looking for reasons to be 'right.' They look for ways to be morally superior by making someone else 'wrong,' or some work of art 'wrong.' That's what both the Lollipop Chainsaw controversy and the Tomb Raider controversy are mostly about. They're people looking to be outraged and offended so they can let off some steam.   "In LC's case I say 'more power to them.' I believe they've helped to bring attention to a very small game and turn it into a very big game," he continued. "Our sales are way beyond what we could have ever imagined, and I think that those offended helped in some small way. In Tomb Raider's case, a much bigger property, I think they're being a little unfair, and I think we need to wait to see the game. I remember when Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ came out and all those people were picketing, and none of them had seen the movie. These people are pretty much the same. Fifty years ago they probably also would have been calling up the Ed Sullivan show, protesting Elvis's hip movements." Gunn also had a few words to say about the issues surrounding the notorious Hitman trailer.  "What was poor Hitman supposed to do!? The poor guy was being attacked by those nuns in garter belts with huge guns," he argued. "OF COURSE he had to hit them and shoot them and strangle them. It was his life or theirs! What controversial about that?! "Oh, I see ... you mean that the creators decided to make the sexy nuns in the first place. Well, admittedly, that trailer IS shocking as hell. But, that's the point, isn't it? I think 'shocking' is written into the Hitman franchise's DNA.  As for the 'controversy' surrounding it, I just watched the trailer again on YouTube -- there were 3,200 'likes' and 130 'dislikes.' That doesn't really seem controversial. Obviously most people don't give a shit." Gunn closed by saying that a lot of the controversies are made up by news sites looking for content -- though he was kind enough to give Destructoid a free pass, stating that everything we post is "100% necessary." Thanks, James! As for Gunn's opinion on these controversies, I'm not as willing as he is to write any of them off. Even if some of the debacles are silly -- and I certainly agree that there is too much anger surrounding them, on both sides of the fence -- I still think the end result is beneficial. The fact that these discussions are happening, and exposing gamers to fresh perspectives, is ultimately a good thing, as I argued in my video series a while back. Some engrossing debate has been had, and I like to believe a good number of us have learned a lot.  Some elements have gotten too far, with people harassing and trying to take each other down, but I think the reasonable and rational among us will ultimately benefit from these storms. Maybe I'm just being far too optimistic ... but I'd rather be that than perpetually upset by the whole thing.  In any case, be sure to check out our full interview with James Gunn, as he discusses Lollipop Chainsaw and the issues of sexism in greater depth. 
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The videogame industry has had a fair few controversies pertaining to gender equality lately, with both Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider coming under heavy criticism for the way women have been used in their marketing. Acco...

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The EU Playstation Plus program nets two extra games


Jul 17
// Chris Carter
The EU Playstation Plus instant game collection is adding a few games this week -- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and Saints Row 2. For those who are unaware, the program is running in different regions across the worl...
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SDCC: Play Arts Kai figures from Tekken, Halo, and more


Jul 15
// Tony Ponce
Square Enix's Play Arts Kai line has produced some fascinating pieces from various game series like Metal Gear Solid and of course SE's own Final Fantasy. Not braking for anyone, the company is marching right along with a fre...

E3: The new Tomb Raider is a terrifying thrill ride

Jun 05 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tomb Raider (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixTo be released: 2012 The demo starts shortly after Lara has just escaped from a deranged native on the mysterious island her ship has crashed ashore on. The island is somewhere near the coast of Japan, within the Dragon's Triangle (like the Bermuda Triangle.) We see Lara on a cliff side, high above, overlooking the ocean and a number of shipwrecks lining the coast. Lara is visibly hurt, with blood and dirt all over herself. She can be seen holding her belly as she moves into the island, still in pain from the rebar she had to pull out from herself. She spots a lifeboat below, and feels a small sense of relief hoping others may have survived the shipwreck. Lara makes here way into the island where she comes across a gap, and the only way she can cross it is by climbing onto a World War II-era plane hanging against a nearby wall. Lara jumps onto the cockpit, climbs upwards, and then to the right of the wing, finally jumping onto the other side of the cliff. Contextual menus appear telling you how to climb objects and such. As she lands, the plane wing comes down with her, almost smashing Lara. I would like to note that it's at this point in my note taking that I wrote "holy fuck this game is gorgeous." It truly is. Everything from the characters, jungle, fire effects, and more look amazing. There were some points where the visuals took a hit, making Lara look weird here and there. The issue was brought on probably due to the game not being final code more than anything else. Lara soon finds her friend Sam's backpack, but sadly Sam is nowhere to be seen. Lara scavenges through the pack, taking a video camera, matches and a walkie talkie with her. Lara presses forward, jumping across another gap, only this time she slips, falling off the cliff side and sliding down, tumbling over herself until finally coming to a halt. This whole time it's been raining, and Lara is just wearing a tanktop and pants. She's seen visibly shaking, freezing from the cold and rain. You can't help but feel for her. She finds a path with a cover overhead, and a fire-pit where she starts a fire. With the fire going, she falls asleep, and wakes in the morning with the sun piercing its rays through the cloud and jungle top. Lara is hungry, probably famished from everything that's she just gone through in the last 24 hours. She can't do much about it, until she comes across a body hanging upside down from a tree. The body has long been dead, but there's a bow on the corpse she could use. Lara climbs up the tree, inches close to the hanging body, and leans towards the swinging corpse. Once close enough, Lara grabs the body and the pair fall to the ground. She now has the bow, and with plenty of arrows scattered around the world, has to go hunt some food. Holding the left trigger will see Lara draw her bow and load up an arrow. You can immediately shoot the arrow off, but the longer you hold back, the harder your arrow will impact a target. She can't hold the arrow forever though, and will fire the arrow off on her own if the tension gets too much. There are plenty of deer in this little area, and once you've killed one, a cutscene kicks in depicting Lara begrudgingly eviscerating the deer, with blood splattering on the screen. Not really counting the creeper from the caverns, this is the first time Lara has had to kill anything on her own in such a way. Lara starts this journey as an innocent 21-year-old college graduate, full of aspiration and dreams. Tomb Raider is her origin story, and will depict her transformation from a relatable girl to the strong iconic woman she's known as. From here, the player has to return to the camp they made the night before, either by using landmarks in the environment or by pressing the Survival Instincts button, turning the world black and white and highlighting special key interests to help the player should they need it. In this case, a nav-point is brought up to show the player where to go. Back at the camp, a cutscene kicks in where Roth, a mentor figure and friend of Lara's, comes over the talkie. Roth had sent out an SOS from the ship before it crashed, and is telling all survivors to regroup on Roth's position. Lara then proceeds back to the area she went hunting before, and this time discovers a shack which previously had its door shut tight. Lara enters the shack, and proceeds to head down some stairs after grabbing a torch to light up the dark path. The underground cavern is slightly flooded, with water reaching chest high. She eventually makes it to some high ground, and the passage ahead is locked. There's a room slightly blocked by some wooden objects nearby, but placing your torch against the boxes will instantly burn them. The game is smart enough to automatically pull out the torch stick when near a fire source if you need to relight the torch, too; a small thing, but something I loved, as it saves players some time from annoying item management. With the path cleared, Lara discovers an icepick and uses it to pry the door open. She then comes across another set of ladders, and climbs out of the cavern. Now in a new section of the island, Lara can hear voices off in the distance. Once close enough, she finds her friend Sam. Sam happens to be with a man who lives on the island, telling Lara that he helped Sam and is happy to see another face. Lara isn't buying the guy's story, and tries to get Sam to move away from him. The guy quickly drops the act, grabs hold of Sam, and heads off into the jungle. Lara tries to give chase, but gets caught in a bear trap. She tries to remove the trap, but doesn't have much time as some wolves come investigate what all the commotion was about. Lara is stuck on the ground, with her leg trapped. The player has to defend themselves from three of the wolves, each striking one by one. Each time one attacks, the game slows down and the player has to take out the wolf with the bow and arrow. Mess up, and the wolf clamp its jaws down on Lara's face, killing her as blood splatters on the screen. Dying will quickly just set you back to the beginning of the sequence, so there's no real penalty. Still, I felt tension during this sequence not from fear of dying, but from fear of seeing Lara get hurt. The kills in Tomb Raider are absolutely brutal, one scene in particular I'll be describing shortly gave me chills. With the wolves dead, several other survivors come across Lara. They help her out of the trap, and all but one take off to find Sam. The one who stayed to help Lara is Dr. Whitman, and goes to check if the area ahead is safe while Lara catches her breath. With the cutscene over, Lara, who can miraculously walk again, heads over to Whitman's position. Whitman has found a temple that can be opened by the two gears in front of the door. One of the levers for the gear is missing, so Lara needs to find materials, referred to as salvage, to strengthen her icepick. The area is filled with crates and boxes with salvage, and it takes five crates worth of salvage to upgrade the icepick. Fighting enemies, harvesting animals, exploring, and more will all add to your survival experience points, which can be used to upgrade Lara's weapons and abilities. With the icepick reinforced, Lara is able to turn the giant gear with Dr. Whitman, and the duo enters the temple. Whitman is ecstatic to be exploring the temple, with Lara more worried about the situation on the island than anything else. The pair don't have much time to explore, though, as some of the islanders get the drop on them. For some insane reason, Whitman doesn't put up a fight, calmly telling Lara to just listen to the islanders and go along with them. Lara ignores Whitman and tries to escape. Lara gets slapped, and the next scene shows Lara with her hands tied behind her back as her main captor goes to check in on his men. There are guards patrolling the entire area, killing off other survivors of the ship and burning random structures. Lara has to press forward, all while hiding behind cover to avoid the patrolling guards. If Lara does get spotted, a guard will shoot an arrow into her chest, and another right into her face. Eventually the guards discover Lara is missing, and the seemingly leader of the group finds Lara hiding in a shack. He points a gun at Lara, telling her to get out of the shack. The guy now is pressing up against Lara, stroking her face. His intentions are obvious. Lara fights back, kneeing the guy in the stomach as the quick time event button pops up. The man pulls Lara back up against the side of the shack, this time going in close, breathing against her neck. Bad move. Lara goes in for a bite, ripping off some flesh, causing the guy to fall back and drop his gun. Lara breaks free from her restraints as she lunges for the gun. She gets it, turns on her back and points at the man all in slow motion as he jumps towards Lara. The player has just enough time to get a shot off, and due to the timing, impacts the man's groin area. The shot wasn't enough to stop the man, and the two are now struggling for the gun. Through a QTE sequence, the player has to point the gun at the mans face, and once there can pull the trigger. The bullet pierces his face, with Lara pushing the guy off of her. He's still alive, gasping and choking on his own blood before finally dying. This whole sequence was a quick time event. Failing the first portion will see the man wrap his hands around Lara's neck, shaking and strangling her violently as the screen slowly goes to black. Fail the part with the gun struggle and the man will get a shot off on Lara's face, brutally killing her with her blood splattering on the screen. It's a harrowing sight, one I could hardly believe. Crystal Dynamics is pulling out all the punches. The demo ends with Lara in tears, as she's covered in the guy's blood and burning buildings fill the background. She stands up, catches her breath, and looks towards the screen, gun in hand. Beaten, battered, but far from broken.   Crystal Dynamics has done an absolutely stellar job at creating a gritty, and dark new take on a much beloved series. I found myself disgusted, shocked, and surprised all during the Tomb Raider demo. My heart plunged at multiple points, feeling pain for Lara in her ordeal. Most of all, I was surprised at how emotionally invested I found myself right from the start. This is one game you truly can't afford to miss.
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One game we've barely seen much of over the past year is the new Tomb Raider. Our first, and really last, look at the new adventure was way back at last E3. The only piece of news to pop up since then was the delay announceme...

E3: Discover the new Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

Jun 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tomb Raider (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixTo be released: 2012 Lara is traveling on the ship named Endurance on the way to her first big adventure. Nature, however, has other plans for the British bombshell, and a ravenous storm tears the Endurance apart. By pure luck, Lara manages to survive and washes up on an island near the coast of Japan. Surviving the storm used up all of Lara's luck, it seems -- the heroine regains consciousness hanging upside down in a sea cave. Someone got to Lara before she could wake up and has strung her up with evil, disturbing intentions as evidenced by all of the corpses hanging alongside her.  This is where the player takes control and the only thing you can do is swing Lara with the analog stick. Lara's restraints are simple cloth and can easily be burned off if Lara can just get herself to touch one of the torches near her.  With enough momentum, Lara is able to do the unthinkable and use the fire to burn the cloth, allowing her to break free. Not only did she just burn herself, but getting free means she's about to have a hard landing on the rocks below. That would have been painful enough, but unfortunately Lara manages to fall right onto a piece of rebar that pierces her side.  Lara has to pull the rebar out and doing so requires the player to tap the X button. The entire process is just cringe worthy as Lara is shrieking in pain and her facial expressions nail the horror she's going through. Crystal Dynamics did a superb job on Lara's body language based on what's happening around her. And while I'm not a fan of the voice actress, she does a good job nailing Lara's pain too.  With the rebar pulled out, Lara starts looking for a way out while clutching at her side. Lara finds a torch which helps her see in the darkness and uses it to solve some minor obstacles by burning more cloth to clear a path.  Soon Lara has to crawl through a small hole and just as she sticks her head in, a shadowy figure appears from behind and grabs Lara's legs. A quick-time sequence begins and the player has to get out of the hold. Fail to do so and the attacker slams a rock climbing pick right through Lara's chest and kills her. I was shocked by how brutal the act really was. The game restarts you pretty much at the same spot and this time Lara breaks free of the man's hold and makes it through the hole just as a rock slide seals the path off.  The next area sees Lara in a large room where the ocean tide is quickly filling the cavern up. There's no way out so you'll have to make one by blowing up a wall. You'll need to solve the puzzle in the area in order to do so, which consists of getting a few explosive barrels into a cage, setting them on fire and launching the barrels against the wall to escape.  Sounds simple enough, but water is flowing from all around that will extinguish your torch. And if you do get stuck in any puzzle, you can utilize Lara's "Survival Instinct" ability which highlights objects and areas in the world of special interest to help put the clues together. Once the explosion in the cave goes off, Lara makes a mad dash towards the light at the end of the tunnel, literally. As Lara ascends the cave, the player has to avoid some falling rocks through more QTE sequences and the mysterious man from before gets to Lara again. It's another struggle between the two, but this is the last time you'll be dealing with him as he gets crushed by some falling rocks. You actually get a nice clear view of his death as a rock crushes his skull in.  Lara makes it outside and is happy to see the sky and ocean. The happiness doesn't last long; she has no idea where she is. Even worse, all around the coastline, Lara sees wrecked ships and planes from different eras such as a pirate ship. This is no ordinary place as we later learn Lara is in the Dragon's Triangle, a cousin to the Bermuda Triangle.  The next section takes place about four days later and starts up just as Lara finds a man named Roth. Roth is a mentor figure to Lara and was also on the Endurance. This isn't a happy reunion, though -- Roth gets attacked by a few wolves. Roth manages to shoot down all of the wolves but only after getting hurt pretty badly.  Lara helps him to the ground and learns that one of the wolves managed to run off with Roth's pack to a nearby cave that contained a radio transmitter and a first aid kit. Roth passes out due to his injuries leaving Lara to retrieve the pack. This section takes place outdoors at night during a major rain storm. Off in the distance we can see a large mountain, a radio tower and other natural landmarks. As Crystal Dynamics stated, everything we were seeing is completely explorable. There will be multiple ways players will be able to solves puzzles or explore the environment and this is the biggest space Crystal Dynamics has ever created for a Tomb Raider game.  The cave is not too far from where you found Roth, the only challenge is climbing up the cliffside to get to it. Lara Croft is still the acrobatic superstar you expect her to be so getting to the cave is no challenge for her. She makes use of the buildings in an abandoned village nearby to get some leverage and scales the cliffside to get to the cave. Once in, Lara slowly makes her way to the beeping sound being produced by the transmitter as a wolf is running around in the cave somewhere. It didn't become obvious until this segment, but Lara is constantly talking to herself. At first I presumed she was doing this to calm herself down as she described out loud what was going on or had to do in the first tomb. Hearing her talk in the cave though made me realize she's going to be doing this pretty much throughout the game. It's an okay storytelling device, but I feel like Crystal Dynamics is relying too much on it.  Anyway, once Lara grabs Roth's pack, she makes her way back out, but the wolf finally appears and pins Lara to the ground. Fail this QTE and the wolf rips out Lara's neck. Succeed, and you'll see Lara stab the wolf over a dozen times to death.  Once the wolf is dead, Lara apologizes to the creature. This is Lara's first adventure and she's not yet used to the idea of killing another creature or able to cope with violence. You'll find that as you go through the game, Lara grows stronger and gains confidence, so these types of events won't impact her so heavily. Back at the camp, Roth regains consciousness and the two catch up. The adventure is far from over. The duo need to escape the island. The only obvious way to do so is to head up to the radio tower you see off in the distance and call for help with the transmitter. Roth can't due to his injuries and Lara is scared to do the task alone. Roth motivates Lara and convinces her that she can. It's a touching scene and you can see that the two have a real close relationship, like a father and daughter. This is where the gameplay portion of the demo ends but Crystal Dynamics continued by showing us some of the other features we'll be messing with in the game. Players will be able to upgrade Lara's skills, equipment and combat. How exactly wasn't detailed. Equipment will be very important and will be key in navigating the environment. Just because you can see the mountain in the distance like I described earlier doesn't mean you can climb it right away. You have to have the right gear and equipment first. Equipment will also tie into the Fast Travel System, which allows you to quickly go back to other parts of the island you've already explored. You'll find that there are areas you can't explore, not until you've gained the new ability or the right piece of equipment later on in the quest. I went in hesitant at first, but now I cannot wait for the new Tomb Raider. I grew up during the Tomb Raider craze of the '90s and seeing Lara brought back in such a shocking way is a breath of fresh air. This new vision is stunning and I believe fans of the series will love the grittier take. Most of all, I love that Crystal Dynamics is focused on what really makes Lara, Lara. It's not just some hot girl with a gigantic pair of tits wearing skimpy clothing. You are really going to feel for Lara as she's put through hell and more while she tries to survive the world. This adventure is the making and defining of Lara Croft as a character. 
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Yes, the Tomb Raider franchise is receiving yet another reboot. I think the general reaction when everyone first learned about another revamp was a giant eye-roll. Again, really? Especially considering that the series was get...

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Sideshow Collectibles' Lara Croft open for pre-order


Jun 06
// Brian Szabelski
[As originally posted on Tomopop] Well, by now, you've probably already heard and seen all about the new Tomb Raider game coming out, so perhaps we can interest you in a statue to match? Sideshow Collectibles has a new Lara ...
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Lara Croft is a bloody mess in first Tomb Raider trailer


Jun 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The new Tomb Raider tells the tale of a young Lara Croft on her way to her first real adventure. The ship she's on is ravaged by a storm and sees Lara waking up on a mysterious island. She survived, but she must struggle to survive the hardships of the island. We'll be bringing your more Tomb Raider next week at E3. Until then, what do you think of this new and gritty look at Lara Croft?
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Personalized MS press badge hints at E3 Halo reveal


May 23
// Nick Chester
My pass for Microsoft's E3 press conference just arrived, and it's the first multiple choice badge I've received for any event. The Mad Libs-style pass comes with blank spaces for various things including: "Status," "Favorite...
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Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens duo to pen Tomb Raider film


May 05
// Nick Chester
The new Tomb Raider movie -- the reboot we've been hearing about since the last Tomb Raider movie in 2003! -- now apparently has its writers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, said writers are Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, t...
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New Tomb Raider movie confirmed, will be a reboot


Mar 08
// Jim Sterling
As Lara Croft gets ready for her billionth reboot, it seems her movie counterpart is going to do the same. Crystal Dynamics and GK Films has announced that a brand new Tomb Raider movie is on the cards, and it'll be the first...
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Job listing hints at multiplayer for Tomb Raider reboot


Dec 23
// Nick Chester
For Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot, it's not  just the popular heroine that's getting an overhaul. The franchise's new look, gameplay hooks, and more are all detailed in the latest issue of Game Informer -- it soun...
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Lara Croft and Totec hit App Store


Dec 16
// Nick Chester
Without much notice, Crystal Dynamics has released an iDevice version of its downloadable title, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Two versions of the game are available -- one for iPhone and iPod Touch for $6.99, and ano...
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After a few weeks of teasing, Crystal Dynamic's new Tomb Raider title has been revealed. Simply called Tomb Raider (that's how we do series reboots these days), the details of the game will be revealed in the next issue of Ga...

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Raziel, Kain, Kane, and Lynch spotted in Lara Croft: GoL


Dec 01
// Jordan Devore
This is what happens when you swap the character models in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for Raziel and Kain from the Legacy of Kain series. It's ... weird. Just weird. The bizarreness only increases when you see these...
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Lara Croft: GoL on PlayStation 3 gets online co-op


Nov 22
// Jordan Devore
The excellent Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has online cooperative play for Xbox 360, and as of now, so does the PlayStation 3 version. Developer Crystal Dynamics tweeted that the latest title update is now live, enabl...
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Guardian of Light will get free downloadable content


Sep 21
// Colette Bennett
In our recent interview with Crystal Dynamics about Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, we got to find out all kinds of cool info about plans for the title, but there was one we didn't see coming -- new content.  Cryst...

Crystal Dynamics: Bringing online to Guardian of Light

Sep 21 // Nick Chester
Making sure the online experience is up to par Stewart admits that the Crystal Dynamics team had decided very early on that both offline and online cooperative play was going to be a "huge component" of Guardian of Light. So what happened? "We reached a point in time where we evaluated where we were with the online, [and] we decided that the experience wasn't up to par. We believe it should comparable to the single-player and the offline co-op version [of the game]." That meant making the tough to decision to release the games without cooperative play, in order to fine tune the online experience to get it just where they wanted it. Simply put, the team just needed more time to make it a reality. Despite what you'd think based on many gamers' response to the lack of online co-op at launch, adding the functionality to a game isn't quite as easy as waving a magic wand or pressing a button. "There's complexities you wouldn't normally find in offline co-op," Stewart explains, "with leaderboards and being able to drop in and out. We just wanted to make sure that when players got their hands on it they felt that it was a consistent experience with everything they had played before that." More than just an online co-op patch Stewart even reveals that when the XBLA game receives an update (tentatively scheduled for later this month), it'll be more than just an online co-op patch -- it'll include additional content. "It will be a free title update, and we're also giving away the first downloadable content pack for Xbox 360 users for 30 days, free of charge," he says. This first of a monthly wave of DLC, the content will feature a brand new set of challenge maps created based on what both players and focus testers loved about the core experience. "They're pretty tough levels," he warns, "and they're made of a combination of exploration, combat, and sort of the whole traversal world we've built into Guardian of Light." While he wouldn't commit to this same content being free for PC and PSN when the titles receive their respective updates, he does say an announcement is forthcoming in the "very near future." Guardian of Light a success, highest-rated Tomb Raider game since series debut With or without online cooperative play, Guardian of Light has been receiving stellar reviews; we rated it a 9 out of 10, saying "it's not to be missed." Stewart says Crystal Dynamics was thrilled with the response, pointing out that it's the highest-rated Tomb Raider title since the first game's debut in 1995. "I think we've managed to everything that we said we wanted to do," he says, in respect to delivering a high-quality downloadable title, Crystal Dynamics' first. "We're even more excited to get the online portion out; that's our next big goal." "We want people to be able to play as we said they would be able to play, and that's with friends online," he says. "That's a unique experience that we know from playing online co-op games; it's a unique experience from playing couch co-op. We wanted to make sure we get it right."
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Much like the Xbox Live Arcade version that shipped last month, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light won't support online cooperative play on PlayStation Network and PC when it's released on September 28. But don't worry, it'...

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Rumor: Open world for next Tomb Raider


Sep 21
// Nick Chester
According to rumors out of the UK edition of PC Gamer, Lara Croft's next tomb raiding adventure may be her biggest yet. According to the magazine, Crystal Dynamic's upcoming Tomb Raider game may be set in an open world. "Set ...

Review: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Aug 16 // Nick Chester
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed], PlayStation Network, PC)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixRelease date: August 18, 2010 (XBLA), September 28, 2010 (PSN/PC)Price: 1200 MS Points/$14.99 Guardian of Light finds Lara on a solo mission where she unearths the Temple of Light, her tomb raiding ways leading her to uncover an ancient artifact called the Mirror of Smoke. When she’s ambushed by a mercenary who steals the mirror, an ancient evil known as Xolotl is released, prompting the relic’s long-dormant protector, Totec, to awaken. The story is told by way of a mixture of in-game cut-scenes and attractive, striking hand drawn comic book style animatics. But mostly, it’s secondary to the real reason for it existence -- to justify the game’s cooperative gameplay, a convoluted excuse to have Lara team with Totec to solve puzzles, hop platforms, and shoot the crap out of a Xolotl and his evil minions to save the world. At its core, Guardian of Light is a classic and familiar isometric shooter, with players using the analog sticks to move and shoot seemingly interminable streams of baddies. But Guardian of Light expands on this idea, adding platforming verticality to the mix along with nail-biting platforming sections across the game’s 14 massive, explorable environments. Guardian of Light is equal parts arcade action shooter, platformer, and environment puzzle solver, with each as fulfilling as the next. It's the games cooperative aspects that lend itself to some astoundingly entertaining gameplay scenarios, with both Lara and Totec bringing something different to the table with unique and notable abilities. Each player can use basic firearms (the ancient Totec picks up on automatic weapons rather quickly, it seems), along with an unlimited supply of bombs that can be placed on the ground and then detonated at a distance. Lara, for instance, is equipped with a grapple line which has various uses, including being able to create “rope bridges” for Totec to walk across or used to catch the ancient warrior before he falls to his death. Totec’s pretty useful himself, with a shield that can be used to block incoming enemy fire, and even put above his head to give Lara a boost. He also carries a endless supply of spears (don’t ask where he keeps them), which can be used as weapons, as well as to help Lara access new areas. By throwing the spears into walls, Lara can then stand on them reach ledges she normally couldn’t reach. (Don't try it as Totec; he's too heavy and the spears will break.) Because of each of the character’s unique abilities, the cooperative play -- especially when presented with environmental puzzles and obstacles -- is a dream. There are few games that can get this right (and make it fun), and Crystal Dynamics has nailed it perfectly with Guardian of Light. Working together with a friend to solve some of the game’s trickiest environmental riddles is a blast, with some puzzles requiring quick communication and timing that will demand both players to use their heads as well as fast fingers. While it’s advisable you take on the adventure with a buddy in tow, Guardian of Light’s single-player game shouldn’t be written off. You’ll be exploring the same areas, but the puzzles will be tailored for one explorer, in this case, Lara Croft. Going solo, Lara will have access to Totec’s spears, proving herself as a strong, independent raider of tombs. Everything about cooperative play applies here, from the fun, satisfying combat to the clever puzzle design. It’s so much fun, in fact, that even after completing the game with a friend, it’s likely you’ll go back to explore on your own. And there’s plenty to keep you coming back, as well. First playthrough you’ll probably see all of the game’s 14 stages (some of them are just boss battles) in about six hours, which would already make the $15 game an incredible value. But each level features a number of optional objectives, including hidden red skulls, scoring goals, sometimes brutally difficult challenge rooms, and more. Each unlocks something new, like a fresh weapon or an ability-enhancing relic or artifact. Unless you’re a savant (or extremely determined), it’s unlikely you’ll collect everything in one run, which could theoretically double the amount of time you’ll spend with Lara and Totec. Guardian of Light also looks phenomenal for a downloadable title, running on the same engine that powered Crystal Dynamic’s full retail title, Tomb Raider: Underworld. This means you’ll see all of the fancy particle effects and lighting that you’d expect from any current-gen title, and some of the best in the download space to date. Even more importantly, it's the engine’s physics -- especially with the abundance of rolling balls and crumpling floors -- that enhance that truly enhance the overall gameplay experience. With its first downloadable offering, Crystal Dynamics has come out swinging, with easily one of the best titles this summer -- digital or otherwise. More to the point, I feel comfortable saying that Guardian of Light may be the most fun I’ve had with Miss Croft in 14 years; it’s that good. Guardian of Light covers a lot of bases -- solid action, clever puzzles, nail-biting platforming, and remarkable cooperative play; it’s not to be missed. [Note: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for Xbox Live Arcade will not ship with online cooperative play functionality, as recently revealed by Crystal Dynamics. The title will receive an update on September 28, when the PC and PlayStation Network versions of the game are released. While much fuss has been made about this late omission, you shouldn’t in any way let it color your purchase decision. If anything, think of it as a reason to call up that friend you haven’t seen in awhile or get your significant other sitting on the couch with you for some single-screen cooperative play. Failing that, Guardian of Light still features six hours of an incredible single-player experience, certainly worth your time and money.] Score: 9 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
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Writing this is going to make me feel old, but here it goes: Lara Croft has been raiding tombs for some 14 years. In over a decade of adventures she’s seen her highs and she’s seen her lows (Angel of Darkness, any...

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Lara Croft will not have online co-op upon 360 release


Aug 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
While the Summer of Arcade has been impressive thus far, a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Lara Croft on the scene next week. It's an exciting direction for Tomb Raider and I know I'm looking forward to pl...
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Lara Croft dated for PS3/PC, add-on content confirmed


Aug 06
// Nick Chester
Crystal Dynamics has confirmed that its upcoming downloadable title, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, will come to PlayStation Network and Steam on September 28 for $14.99. The game will hit Xbox LIVE Arcade as a timed-e...
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Avatar sexy time: Lara Croft items and theme coming


Jul 24
// Matthew Razak
Ah, Lara. I can't count the amount of times I've put on your outfit and hung around in bars (I'm a lumberjack). But on the days when I'm feeling like hanging out in booty shorts, a shirt that simply refuses to cover my entire...

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