Lara Croft GO review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, iOS, Android
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix Montr?al
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

To a pretty large extent, everything I said about Hitman GO back in March goes for Lara Croft GO as well. It still highlights the “What could’ve been” aspect of the Vita, a place for established franchises to branch out in unexpected directions, where buttons and touch controls work comfortably side by side. Admittedly, mobile has taken the place of handhelds as far as the former goes, but nothing can touch the Vita as far as the latter goes.

Moreover, just as Hitman GO showed that that franchise lent itself well to a board game setting, so too does Lara Croft GO show that Tomb Raider-style action and exploration and puzzle/board games aren’t as far apart as you might expect. Here you’re still given ample opportunity to hunt for treasure and dodge all kinds of dangerous creatures, all while having to solve some pretty clever puzzles. It’s a fun mix, and it’s the sort of thing that (as countless mobile gamers already knew) lends itself well to gaming on the go.

That said, Lara Croft GO isn’t quite as perfect as Hitman GO. For starters, the load times here range from interminable to ridiculous; there were definitely moments where I spent more time waiting for levels to begin than I did playing the levels themselves. On top of that, the controls don’t seem to be as tight as they could be. Maybe I’m just misremembering how well Hitman GO did it, but there were numerous points in Lara Croft GO where the need for very precise movements was counterbalanced by a bit of unfortunate ambiguity in terms of the direction in which you had to send Ms. Croft.

At worst, though, those complaints amount to just that: complaints, and minor ones at that. I still sank hours upon hours into Lara Croft GO, seeking out hidden treasures and trying to solve its very clever puzzles, and I have no hesitation in saying that if you have a Vita, you should pick it up, too.

Grade: A