Game Pile: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

I played Lara Croft and the Guardian Of Light, once, and understood it to be a reasonably interesting looking isometric platformer with a cooperative mode, but something made me stop playing it. At the time I assumed it was ambivalence or boredom, but my recent attempt to play it again explained to me just what it was: A mediocre game can often be damned, and hard by a bad port to PC.

Controls on the PC are necessarily going to be a bit on the odd side because there’s all these confusing buttons and developers are, it seems, morons, but LCatGoL (which sounds like a fark meme), is positively embarassing. It almost feels in a half hour of playing I came across damn near every problem you can find in a PC port that I know wouldn’t exist on a controller:

  • Left-click shoots in the direction of the cursor, but right click rolls straight ahead as determined by your WASD movement.
  • The levels are designed around moving diagonally along paths (SD, WA style movement) but if you’re holding down two movement keys, the jump button doesn’t respond.
  • You have a grappling hook, which can be shot only in the direction Lara’s facing, and that also doesn’t want to work if you’re holding a direction key at the time. It’s fired with shift. You can fire it on angles if you move in the direction in question, stop, wait a beat, then press the button.
  • When climbing on something, you can climb upwards with space, and down with alt. This is the only reason alt gets pressed.
  • Scrolling the mousewheel will change weapon, but it will not accept this input if any other key is being pressed.
  • Whenever you disconnect from or connect to the internet, the whole game arrests for 3-4 seconds to tell you that it’s lost connection to Steam. If it happens three times in a single play session? The game crashes.

This game may get great. I wouldn’t know – I’m not going to be able to enjoy anything where my initial control contact remind me of developers spitting in my direction. If you are going to give it a try, don’t get it on Steam.

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