XBLA Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Launching Without Online Co-Op

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To Crystal Dynamics, DLC means “Downloadable Lara Croft.” To gamers looking forward to the early Summer of Arcade XBLA launch of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light on August 18th, however, DLC now means “Downloading Less Content.”

The downloadable content plans have been announced for the new Tomb Raider spin-off title — in addition to confirmation of the game’s planned PC and PSN launch date of September 28th — and along with that information comes the disappointing news that the XBLA version will NOT launch with support for online co-op, leaderboards or voice chat. Instead, the game will start off with offline co-op only (plus solo play of course), with a free patch to install the missing online features to come on September 28th when the other versions are released.

For a game designed with co-op as a key feature, this is unforgivable. And the fact that the XBLA version is being pushed as the big close-out game of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion only pours salt on the wounds even more. If it’s not going to be available in complete form, what’s the point of it releasing ahead of the other platforms? Do you really want to spend 1200 MS Points to buy the game right away and then have to wait over a month to get the full package?

Anywho… the XBLA situation is a shame, but there is some good news to look forward to out of this. Between October and December, Crystal Dynamics plans to expand all three versions of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light with five DLC add-ons, the first three of which will be expansion packs including new areas, puzzles, exploration and combat scenarios, with the final two packs to include new playable characters hinted to be “other well-known videogame characters.” Could that mean famous Crystal Dynamics mascots like Gex, Kain and/or Raziel? Or maybe even some Final Fantasy characters seeing as Square Enix is now the publisher? The possibilities are exciting to think about!

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!