Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a first entry in the Lara Croft series. Unlike traditional Tomb Raider games, it has multiplayer functionality, both offline and locally.
Lara Croft becomes interested in an ancient Aztec legend of the Yucatán Peninsula, In Mexico, which was believed to be the battle ground between a ground. Totec, the Guardian of Light, waged war on the demonic, Xolotl, the Keeper of Darkness. Xolotl wielded a powerful artifact, known as the Mirror of Smoke to summon a horde of creatures to serve as his army. Totec's followers were all slaughtered in the battle, Totec alone survived. He discovered a way to turn the Mirror against Xolotl and trap him inside the mirror. The mirror was hidden, in order to be kept safe. Lara sets out to find the artifact.
Several weeks of trekking through the Jungles of Yucatán, Mexico, Lara finds the temple that houses the Mirror, however she was tailed by a local warlord, named Vazco, who also sought the Mirror. Vazquez, either did not know, or did not believe the legend of the curse of the mirror. He takes the mirror from it's pedestal, releasing Xolotl back into the world, who then slaughters Vazco and his men. Xolotl's return causes a statue of Totec, to reveal itself to be the real Totec, who was standing guard in the event of Xolotl's return. Xolotl taunts Totec that he will never stop him, and flees. Totec warns Lara that Xolotl must be returned to the Mirror of Smoke and returned to the pedestal by sunrise, or else Xolotl will plunge the world into darkness.
Lara and Totec team up in an effort to stop Xolotl. They fight their way through hordes of enemies, overcoming ancient death traps and puzzles. Xolotl is impressed by Lara's skill, and offers her a chance to serve him. Lara rebuffs him, he promises to make a robe from her skin, leaving a giant troll to kill her and Totec.
As sunrise draws nearer, Xolotl sends larger and more deadly enemies after them, to stop them, including resurrected dinosaurs, and a giant amphibious monster, however Lara and Totec overcome all of his obstacles, and track Xolotl to his stronghold. They do battle with the god, and manage to defeat him and return him to his mirror prison. Totec warns that they must hurry, as dawn is approaching, and they rush back to return the mirror. Lara asks what will happen to Totec if the mirror is returned, though he reassures her that it is his destiny to keep a watch over the mirror, and prevent Xolotl's return, keeping the world in balance, Lara returns the mirror to the pedestal, ending Xolotl's threat over the world and turning Totec back into a statue.
Lara bids farewell to Totec, and departs from the temple, wondering how long it will be until someone else discovers the mirror?
Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light is a twin stick shooter, a first for the series. The campaign is playable in local co-op or online co-op. The campaign is also available in solo with the player controlling Lara, who has some of Totec's abilities to assist in solving puzzles. In co-op Lara and Totec work together to defeat enemies and solve puzzles, with Totec equipped with his spear and shield and Lara equipped with her grappling hook. Players can find new weapons and artifacts that change their character's abilities, and levels are filled with secrets to discover and challenges for players to accomplish.
The Guardian of Light was well received by critics, and holds an 85 out of 100 on Metacritic. Critics praised the level design, clever puzzle solving, and replayability. Daemon Hatfield of IGN stated "Each level begs to be replayed thanks to the varied challenges that promise substantial rewards. Gamespot gave the game an 8.5 stating that "Guardian of Light is a rousing success that ranks as Lara Croft's greatest adventure."
However the game's story as universally disliked, being called a "throwaway plot" and a "cheesey and forgettable plot." Despite these faults, the game received general praise and was often referred to as Lara Croft's triumphant return.
Main Article: Lara Croft and the Guardian Of Light: Weapons
There are over 28 weapons. Lara's twin pistols and Totec's spear are unlocked by default. They fall into several categories:
- Assult Rifles
- Heavy Machine Guns
There are three game expansion packs that add more environments and puzzles and combat encounters.
- All the Trappings Challenge Pack 1 - Adds four new maps, filled with hordes of undead enemies and hazardous traps to overcome.
- Things That Go Boom Challenge Pack 2 - Adds four new challenge maps with a variety of tense puzzles, traps and combat encounters.
- A Hazardous Reunion Challenge Pack 3 - Adds four new Maps, featuring mind boggling puzzles, waves of intense combat action and a firey reunion with an old friend.
Two character packs were added, allowing the campaign to be played as different characters from other franchises.
- Raziel & Kain Character Pack - Allows the entire game to be played as Kain and Raziel from Crystal Dynamics' Legacy of Kain series.
- Kane & Lynch Character Pack - Allows the entire game to be played as Kane and Lynch, from IO Interctive's Kane & Lynch series.
Main Article: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
The game was followed by a sequel, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. The game offered a four player co-operative mode, featuring new characters.
As well as this, a five issue comic mini series was published by Dark Horse comics titled, Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen,
- The lips of the character models in the cutscenes don't actually move. The camera cleverly moves behind whichever character is speaking to hide this oversight.
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (PS3 / PC). Nixxes Software (21 March 2011).