A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a top-down adventure game with the action taking place from a high perspective. Some blood can be seen, but the violence is against aggressive animals and evil, fantastical creatures, making it fairly easy to stomach. Since Lara appears much smaller on the screen, the developers haven’t accentuated her womanly assets. Consequently, she is a strong female hero with virtually no focus on her sexuality.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
LARA CROFT AND THE GUARDIAN OF LIGHT, a downloadable game, is a significant departure for a game starring the heroine of the popular Tomb Raider franchise. It sees Lara questing for a lost artifact in hopes of locking away an evil entity. The action is viewed from a top-down perspective rather than the series’ traditional third-person perspective. Players control a much smaller character by using one thumbstick to move her and a second to control the direction in which her equipped weapon(s) points. The resulting action is less cinematic than in previous games, but also much more accessible. What’s more, it’s the first game in the franchise to feature a campaign that can be experienced not just by a single player but also with another in cooperative mode.
Is it any good?
Though relatively short (it takes only eight hours or so to work through the campaign), Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is easily the freshest and most entertaining game to star the iconic, teal tank top-clad explorer in years. The fights are simpler and more satisfying than they’ve ever been, and there are even more environmental puzzles and reward-driven challenges than in any of the Tomb Raider games.
Most importantly, it’s just plain playable; the sort of game players of all skill levels can pick up and become comfortable with in a matter of minutes. The fact that our heroine is -- for once -- hardly sexualized, only broadens the game’s appeal. Teens and adults alike will find plenty to enjoy in this affordable and compelling action/adventure/puzzle game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about women depicted in games. Why do many developers focus on “boob physics” and outfit their heroines in skimpy clothing? What needs to happen for this to change?
Families can also discuss the differences between combat seen up close and fights viewed from afar. Are the latter less disturbing in any way? Why might that be?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.