If you’ve ever been asked to name a video game heroine before, then Lara Croft should be at the top of that list in more cases than none. After all she’s been around for the past 14 years in the Tomb Raider series of games alone, as well as a few feature movies, some animated short films, and other various printed adaptations too. The sexy bombshell explorer has dropped the name Tomb Raider for the very first time now and has some help in the form of a co-op player for the very first time in franchise history, and the game is also in an all new isometric view point for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

Now I’m far from a fanboy of the Tomb Raider seires of games, having never really played them in the past, aside from a couple demos that I’ve checked out. My experience with the movies is where it pretty much ends for me and Lara Croft in general here. I think it might be the fact I’ve just never thought much aboout playing a game from a girl characters perspective really. But when I heard that this game was going to have co-op built into it, I was very much interested and from what I saw back in the E3 reveal and hearing how much they had focused on the co-op from the start, I knew then and there I would have a date set with this heroine once the game had launched on the Xbox 360.

Now here is what we liked:

Co-op at its finest
By far the best way to play this game is with a friend to help you work your way through the various game levels and puzzles. The game was made to be played as a co-op adventure from the start and each of the players will need to use their characters skill sets to help progress the game along. Its really nice to see that the main focus to this title centered around team work and that they didn’t just decide to add a 2nd main character into the mix here. The game does have a single player mode and they’ve simply changed up things to allow Lara Croft to complete the missions on her very own. To really enjoy the game though, grab a friend to play this.

Great Puzzle Levels
Some of the best puzzles I’ve ever experienced in a game by far, hands down here. What I really enjoyed is the almost endless variety of puzzles as well. Its one thing to make your way through some of the game levels here, but in addition to the normal game level is the Challenge Rooms that hold even more puzzle levels to explore. I find myself entering the various chambers and anticipating just what might be in store next. In most cases if the room is too hard to beat, you can simply back out of the room and move the game along.

Lots of DLC is coming
Before the game had even launched on the Xbox 360, word came down that at least five DLC packs were in store for this title and all before the end of this year too. In fact the first DLC pack will be available for Xbox 360 owners for the first 30 days for free upon release. Three of the DLC packs are expected to be more game levels and puzzles to challenge you. Yes even more puzzles to play through for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. The remaining two DLC packs are some surprise characters for you to use and play through the game with later on.

Now here is what we didn’t like:

Typical Story Line
The game opens with a stop motion style comic intro and begins to paint a picture of a Lara Croft who is facing an evil mystic being of course and somone that is about to go deep into the depths of a massive network of caves and traps. With the single goal of wrecking havoc on the world as we know all to well. The only hope here is for Lara Croft to give chase and follow him deeper into this underground world as each level moves along. The dialog sounds alright, but its those typical lines you would expect from Lara Croft or for that matter the evil Xolotl or if you are playing in co-op the Myan warrior Totec, who has agreed to help Lara stop the world from coming to an end here.

No Live Access from the start
For what ever the reason they might have had here, upon first launching on the Xbox 360, access to Xbox Live co-op, online leader boards, and Live voice chatting features has been left out for now. After the later release on the PS3 and the PC next month, we will then see a free title update on the Xbox 360 that includes all of these functions and I feel this will most certainly make the game really awesome to play. Its just a simple fact, most people on the Xbox 360 love to play online with their friends and have grown to expect this from their games on Xbox Live from the start.

In the end, what is clear in this series of many firsts for Crystal Dynamics and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has delivered a top notch digital title here and this could be something huge for this spin off for Lara Croft and any future games along this series line.

Score: Buy It