Lara Croft’s imminent arrival on Xbox Live Arcade has been marred by the peculiar news that one of its features will be missing. The full single player campaign and local co-op of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light comes as standard on August 18th but online multiplayer is to be held back for the PS3 and PC release on September 28th when its added as a free update. This has to be one of the weirdest exclusivity deals if Crystal Dynamics are able to reserve a third of the features. But I wonder if it will make a big difference to the Xbox 360 sales. Tomb Raider games have always been single player and although this is a departure for the franchise, as long as the AI partner is competent or you can rope in a mate to sit next to you and play, the lack of online shouldn’t be a big deal. It is still quite odd though.
The downloadable additions doesn’t end at online play either. Between October and December, five more DLC packs will be released with the first three extending the gameplay with new puzzles and areas and remaining two adding new characters, presumably to partner up with.
What seems like a small loss for Xbox 360 could be viewed as a tiny win for PS3 and PC, depending on how excited you were to play Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light online. I’m not that bothered, just hope that withholding features doesn’t become a common practice for other games.