Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris first impressions

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris pic

As well as the gritty reboot of Tomb Raider that was released on consoles last year, there was another recent title starring Lara Croft, called Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. It was a co-op game, starring two characters that had to work together to make their way safely through various dungeons, navigating through puzzles, enemies and bosses using their own unique powers to help each other. Here comes the sequel, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, and this one is a four player co-op game. We were given the opportunity to have a hands-on preview with the game that will be coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, though we are still missing a release date.

This time Lara and a rival archaeologist have gotten themselves trapped in, you guessed it, the Temple of Osiris where an ancient Egyptian God plans to return to Earth, which would generally cause bad things to happen. The emphasis here, however, is not on the story and you wouldn’t be blamed for not bothering with it at all. The gameplay will be familiar to those who played the first game as many of the core mechanics remain the same. Those mechanics are not at all similar to Tomb Raider games; here as mentioned before the action is much quicker and more accessible, almost like the games you’d play in the arcade. Enemies are plentiful, so cooperation is necessary to dispatch them as well. The isometric viewpoint creates a vantage point that allows all four players to be in the frame at once, each one doing their own thing to help the team. The death of one player has no effect on the other players in the game, as your character can quickly use one of the other players as a spawn point. If all the characters die at once, then you are brought back to the nearest checkpoint, but these are frequent so this does little to spoil the action.

The co-op aspects are most notable in the various puzzles that you are faced with as you progress. There are two types of characters: Lara and the rival archaeologist, Carter, use guns as their main weapons and can make use of grappling hooks to traverse the stage. The other two available characters are two ancient Egyptian Gods, Horus and Isis. These characters use magic as their primary weapon (though there is no functional difference between this magic and the archaeologists’ guns) and they can also create force-fields around themselves which can be used as platforms by other characters. So a typical sequence may involve a platform that’s too high to jump to. One of the Gods would create a force-field for one of the archaeologists to use as a platform and from the top, the archaeologist can then use their grappling hook on the God and pull them up to the platform. The grappling hooks can even be used as tightropes to cross long gaps. This type of cooperation is necessary to progress.

The other ways in which this type of play can manifest itself is in the granting of power-ups. For example, there are rings that you can collect throughout the game. One we saw increased your characters damage while also increasing the damage that they suffered from enemy attacks. However, these power-ups can only be picked up by one character and then they’re gone, so you have the option to either plan ahead and decide which player needs which power-up, or you can just rush ahead and collect everything, leaving nothing for your teammates. If a character is using your grappling hook as a tightrope, don’t forget that you can just release the hook and let your partner fall to whatever waits below them. So while the main focus is on cooperation, there is also scope for competitive play.

Probably the most disappointing thing that we saw was that the movement controls were quite loose and unresponsive, so if you were to let go of the movement stick, your character may still take a few steps forward, though this was an anomaly in a generally tight and well considered control scheme. One of the aspects that we didn’t see but sounds quite promising is that stages and puzzles can change based on the number of players currently in the game so that all the players are necessary. This also opens the possibility for solo play but it remains to be seen how that would work on a practical level.

All in all, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris seems like a great romp to be had with friends. The action is fast paced and frenetic and the co-op aspects are well implemented on the whole. The graphics were generally good and the variety in the actual gameplay was good. The game doesn’t currently have a release date but it should be worth keeping your eye out as it looks to be a great little title to have around when you have visitors!

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