If you’re like me, you’ve been patiently awaiting the release of Lara Croft GO! by Square Enix (Montréal studio) Many claims have been made about its connection to the classic games. Well, wait no more, for the game is ready for download, and I played it until I fell asleep, and then when I awoke I beat it! It took me about 4 hours. Now, for those not nearly done, be aware there are spoilers by the billions on their way, so halt at this point!
The following review is my thoughts about the latest game release of Lara Croft Go!
Let’s start with the features:
Lara is clad in her old-school attire (hiker shorts, aqua tank, day pack, boots, twin guns etc.), which immediately adds the nuance of our old friend. As she walks through the vast puzzle environment the music plays on in the background. It is a sort of trance quality music befitting to the game with notes for adventure reminiscent of the original game music, of which I am partial to overall. The music Nathan McCree composed is hard to beat, and will always hold a special place in my memories. It is the elements throughout the game that are taken from the original games like sound effects for one thing: those familiar chimes for secrets as well as atmospheric sounds etc. They used sound effects from TR1, 2 and 3! It was like stepping through time to the good old days when Lara was new on the scene and we put her through her obstacle courses. ::deep breath::
Rotating Hub items feature:
Remember that screen from TR2 with the passport icon was there to start the game, and then to access more features such as health, weapons, compass etc. Remember how the hub rotated? Well, my memory was happily refreshed when I saw they added this old-school feature to Lara Croft Go! It just keeps getting better.
The second game in the GO series, Lara Croft Go brings a simplified approach to gaming, and the experience feels more like a board-game. Lara moves from point to point on a square divided pathway across the board-like environment. This style of gaming allows Lara to move a space while her enemies advance one as well, so she can lead them into a trap. It is the pure strategy that allows an enigmatic escape into the next level. I enjoyed this style a lot!
A fairly simplistic plot set in a legendary world Lara must explore to uncover the myth of the Queen of Venom (Apparently a giant snake). In this turn-based puzzle adventure, Lara tackles this unforgotten world and uncovers treasures in the form of ancient artifacts, gemstones, etc.
- Play through rich environments
- Experience a haunting and adventurous soundtrack
- Encounter deadly foes, formidable barriers, and traps
- Explore and collect ancient artifacts
- Discover new unlockable outfits that become available depending on your relic inventory!
Speaking of Outfits!
The game gives you an option for outfits. You can buy them or you can complete each artifact by finding its remnants hidden in gold vases throughout each level. The artifacts for each outfit are as follows:
- Completing the Gilded Scull will unlock an outfit
- Completing the Twin Snakes
- Completing the Frozen Spider
- Completing the Blood Salamander
- Completing the Necklace of Dreams
- Completing the Gem sets
After playing the game in its entirety, I have one thing to say: It is not long enough for my taste. There are five chapters by order and by name: The Entrance (5 levels)(Click for completed map), The Maze of Snakes (11 levels)(Click for completed map), The maze of Stones(13 levels) (Click for completed map), The Maze of Spirits(9 levels)(click for completed map) and last but certainly not least, The Escape (3 levels) (Click for completed map).
Each chapter has sub-chapters and the first chapter dubbed; “The Entrance” starts rather gentle with five sub-chapters. Each time you delve into a chapter, you are, of course, are taken that much deeper into the forgotten world of the Queen of Venom. Her world is action packed with many enemies ready to ambush Lara around any corner or corridor of her choosing.
Well, if you’re like me, you wanted more puzzles and tombs to explore and solve. Lara Croft Go addresses these areas well. The entire game is an immense puzzle. Every level is unpassable unless you solve a basic puzzle. With each chapter the puzzle complexity progresses. They thought of everything as far as these tantalizing game elements are concerned. Now, unleash the bad-guys. In Tomb Raider 3 Lara battles, Cobras, and this game shows no shortage of the beasts. They spring forward biting you and ensnaring you in their deadly coils if you do not approach them from the proper direction. For shooting I found it works best to approach them from behind or the side. BUT! You get a torch (as seen in the photo above or HERE) farther on,(cue more nostalgia), so if you have a torch, a head on approach is fine, too. This makes the Cobras for one type of enemy spring away from the flame, and a lot of times onto a pressure pad that elevates a blockade either upward or downward ( or section of a pathway) on the trail allowing you to pass successfully! Let’s look at a few gameplay screens.
Oh, and there are spiders in this marvelous trip down nostalgia lane. Giant, run of the mill Tomb Raider variety spiders. Tomb RaiderII comes to mind. As we all know giant, hairy, ugly spiders have played an integral part in games involving Lara Croft since the classic days. There is no shortage here. Synchronization is a key factor in puzzle play, and with the spiders it becomes even more apparent.
Of course, let us not forget our co-star of the show. None other than “The Queen of Venom!” She intimidates Lara all through this game. You can see her slide by and voicing her opinion of Lara traipsing through her world all through Lara’s trek. Oh, look Miss Venom even has her own sub-chapter where she makes a strong appearance vying for superstar status as seen in the following screenshots I took.
There are many nostalgic areas throughout, but these saw blades spinning about their tracks reminds me of a certain Egyptian level in a certain Tomb Raider game. Any clues?! I know you know! This type of puzzle play is exciting and puts your mind to work in a fun way. Some of these puzzles are deep, so you need to think ahead and not charge into a new section with guns a blasting. It is beneficial if you use strategy in picking your enemies off, because, it is not always what it seems. A careful attention to details, like position, traps, etc. is in order the further you proceed.
I would unquestionably recommend Lara Croft GO. It handles well for the devices it is meant for. All you do is swipe across Lara, and she does her thing. Also, depending on the swipe, Lara performs one of her trademark handstands on the edge of any ledge of any structure as she climbs upward. I actually cheered when she did this. Lara where have you been? Nice to see you again in a journey this fan totally enjoyed. I only wish it was longer. Hopefully, there will be a sequel. Here are a few more shots of my game screen on my phone. My next steps are to collect everything throughout the game. I do this with all of my games. I can see I am in for some great gameplay fun once again.
Also, a couple of videos about Lara Croft GO
Go here to the Google Play store to pick up a copy for your device!