Lara Croft Q&A
Lara Croft bares all.
Crystal Dynamics developer, Forest Large was asked questions by Xbox 360 Digest of the upcoming summer arcade game; Guardian Of Light.
X360D: For those unfamiliar with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, could you briefly explain the title?
Forest Large; Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the first-ever co-op digital downloadable game featuring Lara Croft. Lara teams up with the ancient Aztec warrior, Totec, in the mountains of Central America to find the Artifact known as the Mirror of Smoke. In their adventure, they move through increasingly treacherous jungles and tombs, solving puzzles, exploring, and fighting bad guys to ultimately battle their primary enemy, Xolotl. Players can expect about 6-8+ hours of gameplay in single player mode and 6-8+ hours in co-op mode, and our puzzles are scripted uniquely for co-op and for single player modes.
X360D: How much time did you spend, from concept to finished product, on developing the title? How large was the team behind the development?
Forest Large: We spent a bit over a year on development. As for team size, I cannot disclose that, but we are a smallish team that is very close and collaborative.
X360D: What was the motivation to bring Lara Croft back in the form of a downloadable top down shooter, as opposed to a full retail release?
Forest Large: As a team, we wanted to takes some risks by developing a co-op, isometric title and it made sense to take these risks in the digital space. The way we see Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is as a digital offering that is something different for the fans between pillar releases.
X360D: How important of a role does the character Totec play in the game?
Forest Large: Totec is Lara’s co-op partner. Lara is a character with many strengths, so we tried hard to create a unique second player character with a skill set that is complimentary to Lara’s. Totec features prominently in the story, and in co-op mode, players must work together in order to progress through levels and solve puzzles. In single player mode, players can only play as Lara and we modify the story so that Totec is only in cutscenes.
X360D: Do the game dynamics change significantly if you’re playing without a partner?
Forest Large: Yes, definitely. Exploration in the spaces feel different, platforming challenges feel different, and combat feels different. As I mentioned before, the puzzles are entirely different in single player mode. While Lara and Totec must work together in co-op mode Lara is entirely self-reliant in single player mode.
X360D: Does the game have any relation to the previous Lara Croft titles?
Forest Large: No, this game is a standalone title, and is one of Lara’s many adventures that could take place at any time in Lara’s life.
X360D: What sort of other weapon pickups and/or upgrades can we expect?
Forest Large: The weapons and picks ups are really fun. There are about thirty different weapons, including a grenade launcher, a chaingun (my favorite), and various spears. The numerous pickups and upgrades allow you to modify your player and weapons. Without giving away too much detail, there are a lot of artifacts players can earn in each level and use in different combinations.
X360D: Will Totec’s spears cause more damage per hit?
Forest Large: You will have to play and find out for yourself!
X360D: What type of achievements does the game present? Which one was the most fun to implement?
Forest Large: We have all kinds of achievements. The one that feels the best to achieve is called Tomb Raider. In terms of which was the most fun to implement, everyone on the team probably has their own personal favorite, but my personal favorite besides Tomb Raider is Return to Sender, which players can get only by playing as Totec. When you play as Totec, there is something really gratifying about killing enemies with their own projectiles.
X360D: Is there anything else you feel our readers should know about the game? Any gameplay hints?
Forest Large: Be creative, there are oftentimes lots of ways to solve any given puzzle. And try both co-op and single player-they are both really fun. This game especially shines when you play with your friends.
Source: Xbox 360 Digest