Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the 2014 sequel to Guardian of the Light back in 2010. As you can tell it doesn’t contain the ‘Tomb Raider’ label as it’s supposed to be a spin-off and doesn’t follow the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. I didn’t play Guardian of the Light so but I did hear that it was pretty well received so personally I can’t compare the two, so my thoughts on Temple of Osiris are solely based on my experience solely playing this game.
Temple of Osiris takes place in ancient Egypt where you can choose from four characters including the badass that is Lara Croft, Carter Bell (rival treasure hunter), Horus and Isis. Wait, Horus and Isis?! That’s right, you can play as two ancient Egyptian deities. But it doesn’t seem so ridiculous when the main villain, is Set himself.
Lara and Carter get their hands on the Staff of Osiris and in doing so, accidentally freed Horus and Isis from a prison where they have been kept for thousands of years. As a result, they’ve been marked for death by Set. So Horus and Isis decide to help them by asking Lara and Carter to help them in return by reviving Osiris, so he can defeat Set. Don’t worry it’s not all that confusing!
If I’m completely honest, the story didn’t really interest me and it felt like I was put in this world and I’ve been presented with this random story. It’s probably the first time I didn’t care about any character in a Tomb Raider game and I think this is what really let me down about the game. Of course I didn’t expect there to be a blockbuster storyline like with the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, but I at least expected there to be something meaningful.
There are a roughly 11 levels to traverse through, with numerous puzzles, strategic fights and wonderful aesthetics. Each level becomes increasingly more difficult with added mechanics, optional and mandatory puzzles and with more enemies being spawned, you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed and at the last checkpoint before you know it! Although with the correct use of bombs, weapons and rolling, you can counter this pretty easily.
The puzzles in the game are actually pretty tough, of course the first few ones are pretty simple just to get you used to the game. Most puzzles require you to utilise all of your characters abilities, from Lara Crofts grappling hook to reach heights, to Horus/Isis’ Staff of Osiris to lift platforms and destroy orbs.
As you claw your way through the game, you can find yourself getting frustrated when your presented with a seemingly impossible puzzle. Most puzzles are pretty enjoyable, but they can become annoying if you’re not able to get past a particular puzzle, which is all part of the fun right?
What’s interesting is that because of the heavy emphasis on co-op, the puzzles change and actually become more challenging with more players! I mean I’ve never played a game that handles puzzles the way this game does! The great thing about it is that if you’ve played it solo, you can play through the game with a friend or two, or three and you’ll find that the level design has slightly changed to accommodate the increased number of players. And I think this is really cool as it adds some sort of replay value apart from the optional tombs and collectibles you can find.
Elaborating on the whole co-op mode aspect, there are upsides and downsides. The good thing about co-op, apart from the obvious additional help, is that you can earn more powerful rewards and artifacts. So if this is something that appeals to you, I’d recommend you stick to multiplayer! Now the bad thing about co-op is that individual scores are likely to be a lot lower than if you were playing it on single player. At the end of each level, there’s a list of optional objectives, or requirements that you can reach by accumulating a higher score. For example one of the objectives could ask you to gain a score of 75000, which will reward you with a special gun or item. So you either sacrifice your score for more players/potentially great rewards or you play to gain as high a score as possible to reap hard earned rewards.
I like that there is some sort of progression or customisation for your characters. You can choose between a number of weapons i.e. machine guns, dual pistols, grenade launchers and other iconic Tomb Raider guns to suit each encounter. There are also these rings (x2) and amulets (x1) that you can equip that provide additional effects. For example a ring might increase the blast radius of your bomb but decrease your resistance to physical damage. So there are benefits and downsides, although there are some rings that will provide complete benefits but won’t be all that powerful. Amulets on the other hand, enhance your weapons by giving them effects such as, frost bullets, scattering bullets, rapid fire etc and honestly, I did like this part of the game.
My favourite part of the game was actually the environments and models and it looked like they spent a great deal of time on them, which is great! I did feel immersed in the world I was in, which is important in a game. Just look at the image below and you’ll see what I mean!
Despite the fun and interesting mechanics of the game, I found myself getting bored quite quickly because of the story and personally, if a game that is known for having a good storyline, but doesn’t deliver on that front, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much as I could. I’m just glad we have the Tomb Raider reboot!
Another thing that is kind of a good thing, but is also a bad thing is that it’s a VERY short game. If you’re a completionist, you’ll find yourself investing roughly 13 hours into the game and that’s if you’re not rushing anything! Or if you just want to finish the main story, you’ll be looking at roughly 5-7 hours. I mean personally loathe very short games like these, but with this game, I’m glad that it’s not a long game as I probably wouldn’t be able to stand the storyline any longer.
Overall, it was challenging and great fun when playing co-op and even single player in terms of attaining high scores for rewards, but the story lacked and really brought the game down for me. It’s not the worst story in the world but personally it just feels uninteresting and quite frankly, a bit random. If you’re curious about the game I’d probably advise that you wait until it’s on sale or perhaps rent it out since it doesn’t require too much of a time investment compared to 40+ hour titans these days. If you love Tomb Raider games, I do recommend it but again, I wouldn’t expect anything amazing.
So you know what I think of the game, let me know what you think of it in the comment section :).