Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
, now referred to by the far catchier LCATGOL, is the final piece of Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion. Ms. Croft's first downloadable title will be available on Wednesday, August 18th for 1200 Microsoft points. This isometric dungeon crawler includes a partner throughout the whole adventure to assist Ms. Croft with the various traps, enemies and possibly jumping puzzles that await her.
For the first month and a half of the game's release, this partner will be either the AI or the guy/girl sitting next to you on the couch. LCATGOL will not
be shipping with the online co-op mode.
The most hyped new feature of this game and perhaps the largest selling point that it had, will not be available until September 28th, when Crystal Dynamics plans to release a patch that will enable online co-op.
Speaking exclusively to Joystiq, the Crystal Dynamics global brand director Karl Stewart says:
"We made a decision recently because we were focusing on how we can deliver the best possible experience to the players. If we had launched with online co-op, we wouldn't feel comfortable that it was the best possible experience for the player."
September 28th also happens to be the same day that LCATGOL is available for the PS3, marking the end of Microsoft's timed exclusivity agreement. The September 28th patch is not the last of the downloadable content for LCATGOL however, as Darrell Gallagher the General Manager of Crystal Dynamics adds:
"DLC for us means Downloadable Lara Croft. It all begins in August with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light releasing on XBLA and runs through to the end of the year with the additional packs we will be offering. Oh and be prepared for a few surprises."
The DLC packs include three regular packs with more puzzles and traps, followed by two character packs that let you play the entire game as other characters from the Crystal Dynamics stable. No price has been given for the DLC but all five are expected to hit by the end of the year.
So no out of the box online co-op, the most hyped feature of the game for a month and a half as it is not "the best possible experience" but there are plans for 3 months worth of DLC after release?
You stay classy Crystal Dynamics.