Some of my fondest memories of Lara Croft comes when I think of this iconic video game character's debut on the PlayStation almost twenty years ago. Nothing seemed better than exploring tombs with Lara's trademark semi-automatic pistols. Over the years something strange happened to Lara. She seemed to have lost her step. Her recent games didn't receive the praise that her earlier titles enjoyed. Then something amazing happened. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was released, followed by a reboot of the series simple dubbed Tomb Raider. Both of these games put Lara back in the spotlight and now developer Crystal Dynamics has capitalized on Lara's comeback once again with the release of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
Temple of Osiris kicks off with Lara and rival treasure hunter Carter Bell sprinting into the temple with hopes of obtaining the Staff of Osiris. Once Carter gets his hand on it, however, both he and Lara awaken the gods, Horus and Isis. These ancient gods inform Lara that they are trapped inside this temple by the Egyptian god of evil, Set. Not only are they prisoners but they are also afflicted with a curse of death. In order for Lara and Carter to escape and break this dreadful curse they must seek the help of the god Osiris. In order to summon this deity, Lara must retrieve the pieces of Osiris statue which are hidden deep inside the depths of the game's treacherous tombs.
Temple of Osiris is a twin-stick shooter which controls are identical to its predecessor Guardian of Light. Unlike Guardian of Light however, this entry allows four player cooperative play. Lara, Carter, gods Horus and Isis are all playable characters. For the most part the four characters are identical gameplay-wise with a few exceptions. The gods are equipped with the Staff of Osiris which allows them to interactive with the world in a few different ways than their human counterparts. Lara and Carter have torches which can light up dark areas as well as grapple hooks which allows them to reach certain areas.
While Temple of Osiris requires teamwork to make progress, competitive play is still an option. You are awarded points for every enemy you kill as well as treasures you pick up. These points you rack up can be compared to your friends and the worldwide leaderboards. The competitiveness of the game encouraged me to partake in some pretty ill-willed but hilarious actions. Extending my grappling hook so my girlfriend could cross over some deadly spikes just to drop the hook and watch her fall to her death and lose points, made her angry but gave me some great laughs.
I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the many tombs in the game. Each tomb has its own theme and requires some serious brainwork sometimes to solve the perplexing puzzles. The puzzles are ingeniously created and sometimes I found myself stumped for a considerable amount of time (I'm looking at you Tomb of the Lamplighter). While some of the puzzles are simple, the deeper you go into the tombs the harder they become.
These puzzles are completely different depending on how many players are in the game. Crystal Dynamics makes each puzzle impossible to complete by yourself if you have a teammate, but on the other hand if raiding solo the same puzzle is tweaked so it can be solved by one person. This was impressive in its own right.
Gamer euphoria would typically be enough for me after completion of each tomb but you are also awarded with another piece of Osiris and a plethora of treasures that can be equipped. There are a ton of different weapons scattered around the world to find. You can equip amulets and rings as well. The rarity of the jewelry will give you better buffs against enemies. A rare ring could potentially increase your weapon damage and make you resistance to fire or ice elemental damage.
In addition to the required tombs you must raid to complete the game, there are challenge tombs that you can raid which give you rare rewards upon completion.
Combat is also enjoyable. The game doesn't throw hundreds of enemies at you Diablo style, but instead you are faced with about a dozen enemies at any given time. Each enemy has its own set of moves that encourage you to experiment with different weapons to find out which one is more effective. The pacing is perfect and the arcade style of the game doesn't try to punish the player with difficult enemies. The bosses in the game look daunting but just about all of them are more bark than bite.
Graphically, Temple of Osiris looks great. The overworld and tombs are elaborately detailed and I was impressed with how gorgeous to world looked overall. The game runs smooth and with the exception of one hiccup where Lara got stuck laying on the ground I didn't run into any issues. Explosions also looks great and the score immersed me into the game.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a great adventure. With the complex puzzles, enjoyable gameplay, and exquisite world to explore, Crystal Dynamics once again gives Tomb Raider fans an exemplary addition to the acclaimed series.
Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09