More temples to explore for the bite size Lara Croft and friends.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Crystal Dynamics’ co-op action adventure featuring the iconic Tomb Raider, proved to be quite the arcade success when it launched in 2010, giving players a healthy dose of platforming, puzzle solving and collecting both by themselves and with a friend in the highly entertaining co-op play. This success gave rise to a sequel, and now that Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris has landed for the new gen consoles and PC, along with improvements and new features, can it prove itself to be another hidden treasure?
Those who have played the original Lara Croft game will know what to expect in Temple of Osiris, as there are not that many changes. The isometric view-point remains as the player again makes their way through various, differently themed tombs in the search of both treasure and the main story objective. Along the way there will be a variety of different puzzles involving pushing things, pressing things or simple standing on things, plenty of jumping and climbing, and more than a few enemies to beat back with an entertaining array of weapons. Like Guardian of Light, Temple of Osiris is a solid collection of enjoyable gameplay.
Temple of Osiris offers a new story to the player, this time revolving around Egyptian mythology rather than Aztec flavour. Basically, Set wants to destroy the world, as is his right, and it is down to our tomb raiding hero to gather the scattered pieces of the god Osiris to stop Set and his nefarious schemes. As stories go, there is not that much going on here, but this tale of Egyptian gods does give rise to the biggest addition to the new game.
Accompanying Lara on her new adventure to save the world and raid some tombs, are the new adventurer Carter Bell, and two other Egyptian gods, Isis and Horus. This gives rise to up to four player multiplayer action. Lara Croft is essential to any play session, but the other players get to choose which of the other three characters they take, and the game will change depending on how many are playing. Not only does this mean an increase in enemies, but also some changing up of the puzzles to take advantage of the brilliant co-op gameplay.
The two gods, Isis and Horus, also bring with them a new tool in this sequel, in the shape of a staff. Whilst perhaps not as exciting to use as the spear from Guardian of Light, the staff is a decent weapon against enemies and is made use of in solving many of the puzzles in the game.
Pushing the player forward in the game, aside from saving the world of course, is the desire to collect loot, and Temple of Osiris has a huge amount of loot to collect. Not all of the loot in the game are pointless shiny baubles either, with gems being used to open chests and actually improve skills and stats, making the collecting even more important and compelling.
Visually, with the game making its appearance on the new generation of consoles and PC, you would not be surprised to hear that the game looks lovely. There is nothing here to test the power of the new consoles, but there is a beautiful layer of polish over the game that marks a vast improvement over the previous title, and everything is much smoother than before. The nature of the fixed, zoomed out camera and the isometric viewpoint do mean that Lara does appear on screen as a very little Lara, which itself can make precision jumps and gameplay more tricky than would be nice, but frequent save checkpoints mean that a badly judged jump will not lead to excessive frustrations.
Perhaps the highlight of the game comes in the form of the boss fights. These oversized enemies that face Lara and friends prove to be both challenging and entertaining, with enough variety in both the combat and associated puzzles to drive the player forward to the next encounter. However, the relative shortness of the game does mean that there is simply not enough of these encounters. There is plenty of replayability in the form of hidden areas, more stuff to collect and the changes brought about by playing co-op, but the magic when first facing the bosses only happens once.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a very solid and very enjoyable game, especially when played locally with friends. However, even with the brilliant boss battles and four player co-op, the game seems to have lost some of the magic that was abundant in the previous game. That being said, it is an entertaining single player romp and, as decent local co-op games are few and far between, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is certainly worth a look if you want some local co-op action.