Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
While digging through Egypt’s national treasures with a rival archaeologist named Carter Bell, professional adventurer Lara Croft accidentally unlocks an ancient prison belonging to the god Set. After being imprisoned by his own brother for several millennia, Set is eager to take his pent up frustrations out on the human race. Thankfully, demigod Isis and her son Horus arrive on the scene, eager to help Lara and Carter send Set packing. The script isn’t highly original, but neither is the rest of the game. While Temple of Osiris kicks the number of co-op players up to four, the game is largely a retread of 2010’s Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. And I’m okay with that.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light took Lara’s pre-reboot persona and threw her into a co-op adventure where she performed her usual puzzle solving and monster slaying only this time it was from a top-down perspective. Temple of Osiris continues this practice, cleverly scaling the challenges to match up to four players. And the game is a slightly more interesting when you play with friends, as both Lara and Carter have different skillsets than Isis and Horus. The modern day explorers have a grappling hook that allows them to reach new heights or create impromptu tightropes across ravines, while the demigods have magic staffs that surrounded them in energy shields and activate special switches. I appreciated how these different capabilities worked together, and felt like a valuable member of every team as my group used our various tools to overcome myriad obstacles.
Unfortunately, if you played Guardian of Light, you’ll recognize many of these obstacles. During my romp to bring down Set, I adjusted a light beam across a maze of mirrors, rolled several boulders over pressure switches, and ran across a series of floor plates that sent spikes shooting through my soles. To be fair, Guardian of Light’s puzzles might not feel original, but none of the mechanics felt overused, and I had fun solving all of these puzzles.
The only real new element to Temple of Osiris is a loot system that rewards Lara and friends with rings and amulets that confer stat boosts, but this whole system feels like a bit of an afterthought. While gaining poison resistance or a boost to your ammo efficacy is nice, none of my equipment ever felt like it made much of a difference; friends who joined in on my campaign halfway through the game performed nearly as well as I did.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris’ action feels like a standard twin-stick shooter should, and most of the puzzles manage to remain compelling even with four players in the mix. But aside from allowing a full couch to jump into the game at any time, there isn’t anything profoundly original here. I’d like to see Lara continue her top down adventures, but I hope that in the future she finds a new tomb to explore.