This holiday week Lara Croft GO got a nice new update with 26 new puzzles to solve in a quest for the titular The Shard of Life the expansion is named after. The free update also gave players new in game collectibles to find and extra suits for Lara to unlock. A wonderful small treat just in time for Thanksgiving.
The levels in The Shard of Life aren't just more of the same. They've added a couple new mechanics to adapt to and make things a bit more interesting- including new enemies that only temporarily die. After about 4 turns they return to life to stop you from reaching the shard. That means that even if you figure out the solution, you may need to restart a puzzle because the only way to finish it has been passed. But that just adds to the allure of trying to figure out which traps to prime and possibly lure enemies into them, or thwart their regenerative abilities by leaving a pillar on top of them. These little additions definitely give the extra levels a special boost to gameplay.
In fact, I found that quite a few of these puzzles we much more difficult than those in the core game. That isn't a bad thing either, I do appreciate that none of them were hair-pullingly tough, as Square-Enix Montreal has maintained their nice balance between difficulty and fun factor.
Without being able to play the newest core game in the franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider, this is a great treat during the time-strapped holiday season, and its high quality entertainment only leaves us wanting more.
I've said it before, but I continually hope that Square-Enix Montreal keeps up this treatment of the large franchises condensed down to their basic elements and distilled to perfection- and I truly hope to see how they'd handle Square-Enix properties such as Deus Ex, Thief, or even a new take on Murdered: Soul Suspect with the GO franchise's formula.