Crystal Dynamics' Karl Stewart and Daniel Neuburger gave an exclusive demo of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for IGN's live broadcast from the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week. (Watch the video below.) Along with more on both the co-operative and single-player mechanics, the guys highlighted the game's vertical level design. We see Lara and Totec working their way down to the lower levels of the Spider Tomb, climbing, grappling, and dispatching enemies in barrages of sweet pyrotechnics.
The development team is striving for the perfect balance between exploration, puzzle solving and combat—crucial for any Lara Croft game. The area we see in the video is a bit combat heavy, but Karl promised more exploration in other levels. He also mentioned the inclusion of "critical and non-critical tombs," meaning that for the casual player there are faster routes through each area. Hardcore raiders can choose to take on more difficult puzzles in order to unlock side areas containing special rewards and power-ups. Daniel mentioned how they've included a variety of tools that will allow players to solve each puzzle in various ways. The game also includes leaderboards and achievements to sweeten the pot.
Daniel also revealed some new info on the single-player game. Instead of playing as Lara with an A.I. companion, he explained, the solo mode involves Lara alone, with different puzzles and extra abilities that enable her to navigate each level independently.
No release date has been announced yet, but the news out of E3 is that Guardian of Light will be part of Xbox Live's third annual Summer of Arcade promotion, meaning we should be seeing the game very soon.
The word of the day: "co-op-etition!" Wait a minute, guys, is that even a word? ;)
P.S. I've also added four new screenshots to the collection in the LCGOL intro post.