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Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Review


Lara Croft has proven over and over again that whenever at her lowest, she can always fight back, be it in her many globetrotting exploits or in the quality of the actual games released, with the main Tomb Raider games struggling to not only reach a new audience but also keep fans of the series happy; the recent “reboot” managing to rectify some problems but at the same time create some new ones, like a distinct lack of tombs to raid. Separate from the main canon, Crystal Dynamics managed to create a spin off, releasing an arcade title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and this year our gun toting relic hunter is yet again in full tomb raiding mode in her newest adventure, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.

I am not sure if this game is canon to the recent Tomb Raider game or if it is just a flight of fancy but in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris you can forget about her more emo styling as Lara is more like her classic self, dual pistols, green top and her handy grappling hook, shooting anything that moves and destroying ancient architecture in the process. This new outing does not take any liberties with story, thrusting the player straight into the thick of it, by now we all know what Lara can do so there is no point delaying the game, with only a brief motion comic introducing us to her most recent adventure, with Lara raiding with a new rival treasure hunter Carter Bell in Egypt searching for the Staff of Osiris; but as expected locating the staff was the easy part, as by removing the staff they awaken the evil Egyptian god Set, ready to once again try to take over the world. Lara and Carters actions also awaken two other gods, Horus and Isis, who then as a foursome begin to rebuild the only god powerful enough to defeat Set, Osiris, who had been previously pulled apart and hidden in various tombs around Egypt. 



Presented in an isometric view, the camera angle makes the game feel more like a classic arcade twin stick shooter but it still has many of the Tomb Raider traits we all come to expect with Lara running through many caves and tombs, grabbing gems, unlocking treasure chests, solving puzzles and of course shooting loads of bugs and skeletons. Just like the Guardian of Light game the viewpoint allows for some interesting puzzles, most of which work well however the high fixed camera angle can at times be a hindrance, especially when judging jumps. This is made worse by the bafflingly sloppy controls, Lara and pals moving around like they are on roller-skates which in turn makes it hard for precise movements and takes away the sharpness required when it falls on its twin stick shooter mechanics.

Crystal Dynamics have created a world full of traps, pitfalls and timed puzzles, each with a simple purpose, to kill you and each one is very rewarding in solving them, using Lara’s grapple rope or remote bombs to progress. Alongside her now classic repertoire Lara also had a few new tools to use including the Staff of Osiris itself, able to raise platforms and destroy magical globes amongst other things. Lara is also able to pick up weapons left by previous failed treasure hunters like shotguns, rifles and machine guns and also wear artefacts that add extra boosts to her stats like quicker movement and fire resistance whilst others act as a super move like adding a flame shot or spread shot when fully charged. The loot system is something quite new in Tomb Rader games and for the majority of times it works, gather in gems to then unlock the many treasure chests located around the game world however to get the better loot items requires a lot of gems, something that the game does not offer too many of. 



Though Lara’s exploits are usually solitary (her friends do have a knack for either dying, turning evil or dying and then turning evil), this time around the game enables multiplayer co-op for four players, with the game being its strongest playing with a group of friends, be it local or online as it really opens up the experience, the game adjusting the puzzles to suit the amount of player.

The overall length may be of issue to a few players, as one playthrough will not take too long, however for the skilled treasure hunters and purists out there, there is plenty to do in the way of speed runs and lots of hidden treasure to locate, some more trickier to figure out than the games campaign puzzles.

With a while before the next big console release this is a great little slice of Lara Croft action, offering quite an original gameplay mechanic on the newest generation of consoles.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

Pros

+ A Tomb Raider game with tombs
+ Four player co-op

Cons

- Controls are a little unresponsive
- Best played in a group

Edited On 15 Dec, 2014

Comments
( 2 )
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
Pros - The bobble headed Lara is sooooo cute!
Ian1969's avatar
Ian1969 2 years ago
Big tomb raider fan disappointed they resorted to old school arcade style gameplay not knocking the work that' they have put into it but for me I'll give this one a miss

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