Last year’s Lara Croft reboot was one of my favorites of the year, and had me looking forward to new adventures with the queen of the tombs. In Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Crystal Dynamics changed the gameplay and style of the adventures we loved and the results are fascinating to say the least.
I really like the direction Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have taken with the Lara Croft franchise. Not only have they managed to reboot the beloved heroine, but I think they see the possibilities of annually releasing a game with her in it. Unlike Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, Lara is not simply reskinned nor are the controls redefined. Temple of Osiris is an entirely different genre. This game could have been anything other than a Tomb Raider adventure and still be great because of its solid gameplay and puzzle design. By using Lara Croft’s name, they make use of name recognition to appease fans until a formal sequel is released.
The game itself is short but the price is spot on for what you get. Anyone with a weekend to themselves or have friends over for co-op will be entertained by Lara and her crew. Each person has their own weapon and abilities; be it wielding a rifle to shoot baddies or a staff that projects rays of light to help with puzzles. Puzzles are satisfying when played alone but with others, it becomes a fun game of figuring out what everyone needs to do. I really enjoy how you can share this experience with a group of friends because the game plays out like and Indiana Jones action flick. The story is really well paced and clear cut. You need to collect nine objects and each one is in a tomb. Additional goals are presented at the beginning of the chapter that can completed for extra points. The point system makes the game highly addicting because of leader boards.
Apart from the huge Egyptian dog set on destroying the world, the characters are fairly bland. Lara and her friends offer the occasional sly remarks, but as I said before this game is all about the fun of playing in the environment and completing the puzzles. Besides the boss fights, enemy battles are a breeze which is a good thing because they are neither too difficult but are challenging enough to offer an adrenaline rush. The music in this game is superb, picking up during brawls and slowing down afterwards makes the game much more atmospheric.
A huge plus about this game is its variety. The battles go down like a twin stick shooter, but the puzzles and environment have much more of a platform-style to them. Then there are chase scenes that are sprinkled in like a mix between Temple Run and the Donkey Kong ‘cart levels’. Overall, the game offers a satisfying level of polish and craft. I am glad Crystal Dynamics used Lara to sell this game and get it into more gamer's hands. This is one that deserves attention and is best for those free moments in between those triple-A titles.