Lara Croft is back with another adventure in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the sequel to 2010’s top-down arcade shooter/puzzler Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
The absence of “Tomb Raider” in the title is what separates Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris from the recently rebooted Tomb Raider franchise. Indeed, having Lara dressed in her old trademark blue top and shorts, as well as being voiced by Keeley Hawks - who also voiced Lara in Tomb Raider Legend, Underworld and Anniversary - would suggest that this is your dad’s older, more experienced Lara Croft.
Whilst the general gameplay is very similar to the previous Lara Croft game, playing it on the PS4 you can definitely see that the developers have put the extra horsepower to good use. The protagonist may be small when viewed on the screen, but the action is epic. With huge creatures and set pieces the game really injects some excitement into a genre that, going all the way back to Gauntlet in the arcades, can amount a bit of a button-mashing exercise.
Also, don’t let the top-down view fool you into thinking that this is a visually half-baked affair, either. The game looks really good, with a nice depth of field focus effect and some fantastic lighting. The whole presentation is pretty slick.
Temple of Osiris is intended to be played as a co-operative multiplayer game. This is nicely worked into the story with Lara joining forces with her rival treasure hunter, Carter Bell, as well as the Egyptian gods Horus and Isis. Together they must battle against the evil god Set’s in a bid to restore the broken body of Osiris.
If you prefer, however, you can also play the game solo. In multiplayer, the game requires a level of co-operation between the players. Solo players are granted extra abilities in order to complete the quest on their own as Lara Croft.
This quest, of course, involves fighting off hordes of demonic creatures from the underworld, avoiding traps and solving puzzles.
The game is laid out using a hub system with new areas unlocking as the game progresses. Whilst there is a map, it’s easy to get a bit lost. Thankfully there are a series of statues which point to you next destination.
As good as the rebooted Tomb Raider was, it’s ironic that Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris actually features more in the way of tomb raiding that its namesake. Each tomb is a standalone level with a set of challenges to try and beat.
It’s a fairly easy game to get to grips with, having the left thumbstick control movement whilst the right stick points your weapon. It’s a pretty simple, yet effective, run and gun shooting mechanic. Playing as Horus or Isis (or as Lara when solo) you get a special Staff of Osiris which can be used to raise platforms and solve certain puzzles. There’s also triggered bombs, which can be used to kill enemies or fling objects into the air.
Enemies come in many shapes and sizes, with the almost clichéd sword wielding skeletons joined by swarms of scarab beetles and fire throwing crocodiles. There’s a few bosses thrown in as well- but nothing too stressful.
As well as the combat, the levels are full of traps and puzzles, with spikes, time bombs, gas vents that all need to be overcome in order to proceed. There’s also plenty of collectables and power-ups.
The optional challenge levels provide some useful weapon upgrades. The ability to choose your weapons as well as ability enhancing rings and amulets give the game a light role-playing feel.
I found the levels nicely laid out and fun to play, with some entertaining puzzles and fun combat, but nothing too taxing. This was especially evident whilst playing solo. The game only really offers a challenge with the more complex puzzles in the multiplayer game. I wouldn’t say that the game was easy, but it is definitely mild compared to the actual Tomb Raider games; and some players may take issue with this.
Despite its top-down view, the game retains the feel of the Tomb Raider games. The music and audio cues will feel very familiar to series veterans, offering up some nice nostalgia. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a thoroughly enjoyable tomb raiding romp and one that I’d highly recommend.