LARA CROFT And The Temple Of Osiris: Sexy nineties gaming Star finally earns “four play” pun

Isn't it just a little bit weird that these days games with “tomb raider” in their title rarely feature any actual tombs of any note being raided while those with “lara Croft” in their title actually do? Hey, we’re just happy that she still gets to solve puzzles and burgle epic ancient sites of historical interest in her budget adventures, but do feel free to pose that exact question the next time you’re in a job interview or courtroom and are suffering a long period of awkward silence.

So now that we’ve had some hands on time with it, how does the follow up to the deeply pleasing top down co-op adventure that was Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light actually play? much like Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, as it turns out, in this game that inspired no regrets in doing what it does and no surprises in how it goes about doing it. the controls are the same, the viewpoint is the same, the way lara can use her grappling line to scale walls and help others do so is much, if not exactly, the same.

there’s the same twin-stick combat and the same pressure pad switches. We even found ourselves pushing remarkably familiar giant golden balls about just as we did back in 2010 when we were considering how the main adventures in the series were best when they stuck to the classic tomb raider business of raiding tombs, slaughtering beasties and pushing geometric shapes around. Back then, of course, we weren’t playing on a playStation 4 as we were this time around. the biggest
difference now that we’re all four years older and wiser? Dynamic lighting, sharper details, some more cinematic touches and extra players and equipment.

indeed the overall daftness is the same, too, which means more battles against big giant bugs and skeletal warriors and none that feature any ice axes being ripped through the throats of mentally confused men. according to lara Croft and tomb raider lore the world’s religions aren’t a load of mumbo-jumbo evolved over millennia to sooth the very human fear of death; all their gods are somehow real and have just been enjoying a wee nap.

Temple of Osiris, then, expects you to be that concerned about the egyptian god Set and his plan to enslave all mankind by being big and scary and having a head that looks like it could belong to an aardvark-donkey thing. Who knows? maybe players will be so entranced by the story and the setting and the characters that they’ll look into the mythology and find out that Osiris and Isis were actually brother and sister who engaged in incest to create their son Horus. That’ll certainly give players playing as these two mother and son characters something to think about as they work together to win the day alongside a pair of grave robbers.

Oddly, only PS4, Xbox One and PC versions have been announced so far, which is curious considering just how many eager 360 and PS3 owners are out there and hungry for a bit more isometric Croft and co action. Less questionable and more impressive is the addition of four player drop-in/drop-out gameplay, which presumably would be utterly impossible on last-gen systems as long as we all decide to forget that Diablo III exists.

While we only were able to play with a single other journalist our time with the early code certainly proved enjoyable, mainly because playing two player co-op was damned enjoyable in the last game too. We were Lara, they were Isis (armed with a laser staff thing, not an AK-47 as she would be if she were in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and together we slew many improbable enemies, solved a few basic puzzles, and raced to be the first to smash every vase we could find because we were being individually scored on how much loot we could pilfer. Isis could also form an energy field around her that Lara could climb on, while Lara could help Isis by not dropping her onto spikes when she climbed up Lara’s grapple line. They had fun together.

What we can’t yet know is how the game acts when the inbred Horus and Lara’s rival raider Carter Bell join the action for hot four-player action. Will they just add to the confusion or amplify the enjoyment? We certainly hope for the latter and look forward to playing properly, with everyone screwing each other over to steal all the treasure ideally on the same screen. It could be immense.

Four-player tomb raiding
Enjoyable co-op puzzles
Sharper visuals, more cinematic

It’s overly supernatural
Should be on the PS3 and 360
More balls, more pressure pads

The first time that we wore short shorts and ventured into Egyptian temples was way back in 1996, so it wasn’t as if we weren’t accustomed to sandy textures and people with animal heads. Thankfully it felt good to be in vaguely familiar locations that suited the more playful aspects of her now murderous character and since we greatly enjoyed The Guardian of Light we were pleased rather than disappointed that her new game didn’t veer sharply from its formula.

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