REVIEW – It seemed that after two decades Lara Croft will end it’s career and hang up her legendary pistols. Her acrchological work is starting to fade away. But let us not bury the franchise so quickly, as after The Guardian of Light, and long four years later, Ms Lara decided to do one more trip and return to the land of the living.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris returns with a rather huge scope. The developers were aware of the concept of open and large worlds this time around, and decided to make everything bigger. The environmental puzzles now span entire tombs, and are more complex. Co-op mode is now four players, which adds three new playable characters to the palette.
Carter Bell, and two egyptian gods Horus and Isis. The player count actually matters this time around, as there many more enemies on the levels. This can create a bit of a chaos when four players plus countless enemies are fighting each other. However four players are especially needed to complete the environmental puzzles.
We need a subtitle here
Temple of Osiris is a twin-stick shooter that has a simple platforming part. This does not mean that the developers rushed the game, Crystal Dynamics is smarter than that, if we’re able to reach certain platforms the game will reward us.
The twin-stick shooter part is reminiscent of Dead Nation, but here we have more weapons at our disposal. We have the usual pistols, but there’s also a shotgun, a grenade launcher, remote controlled bombs, that enhance the gameplay.
My god, so many traps!
Stepping on pressure plates in a tomb (full of traps), allow us to raise a platform for our partner, or we can turn a cogwheel until it aligns a light picture correctly. These puzzles highten the complexity, plus also make the co-op part more fun. However if we try these parts alone there is still the option to go forth with Isis and leap across traps, or raise platform with her staff to then kill a bunch of enemies.
It’s fun both end of the gamer specturm, where some want to kill or just platform a bit. Great for parties, as the levels change, and if someone messes up, throws back the entire party to the start.
Are we tomb raiders or what ?
Yes the tomb raiders are back ! THis could be a pulp horror book’s title, but in this case, means a lot of puzzles and enemies. These can be giants that explode if we go near them, archers that can fire homing arrows. The amount of enemies depend on the number of active players in multiplayer, or on the difficulty that was selected if in singleplayer mode. We should never take the enemies’ numbers lightly as they can easily over take us during the puzzle sections, which can cause some trouble.
Let’s also talk about the loot system, as this is an integral part for games that take place in catacombs since Diablo 1. We can collect special gems, that allow us to spend them on boxes full of amulets and rings. Amulets provide buffs for us, while rings create certain effects on our characters. These can be negative or positive so it provides a layer of strategy when encountering enemies.
Open world in Tomb Raider ?
The creators of the game thought it was important to create a well designed open world. As all of the levels are full of traps, challenges, and extra collectible items. The previous entry screamed for such additions, and so Crystal Dynamics tried to adhere to everyone’s demands. The irony of this is that such attention to everyone’s need, resulted in a scattershot effect.
Everything is labelled with their own color code so that the players can identify parts of the level. However all the fighting, bombing sooner or later will make the entire scenery a mess. Not to mention that fights in smaller crypts can result in frustrating encounters due to the many enemies. If there is more than one player the levels do not adjust to them, rather it will adjust to the number of enemies. Besides the puzzles there are memorable boss fights at the end of each level.
These fights are as fun as the game’s other parts, and thank god these boss encounters are well designed without a hint of them being rushed.
We haven’t seen the lady in such clothing before
As mentioned before, Temple of Osiris’ cooperative mode is unique in videogame history. Oh look your friend just blew up the bridge under you with a bomb. How awkward. This feeling can also be enhanced, by both of you trying to get up on platforms full of traps, a few trolling moments can slip in. The infinite amount of lives , and respawn does make the transition quick after a few awkward misteps.
The game reaches it’s high point with four players. A player does not know how to have fun until teacher his friend to fly with a few explosives. The leaderboard is not determined by the highscore, but by the jewel amounts we collect.
This was actually a good game
Temple of Osiris does not push the boundries, but it is able to improve on the formula. Larger tombs, more complex puzzles, Diablo style loots, and a few memorable boss fights are within this sequel. All this is spiced up with some great mini-challenges , four player coop, which provides a fun experience for the weekends.
+ Fun chaotic 2-4 coop mode
+ Interactive environmental puzzles
+ Memorable boss fights
– Big fights in too small levels
– Some levels are way too small
– Long loading time
Editor: Square Enix
Developper: Crystal Dynamics
Genres: action, top-down, platformer
Publictation: December 2014