Without having played Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, I was going into the new Lara Croft game blind. As it turns out, I loved it and wish I had gotten into the first game sooner. As a clear departure from the original Tomb Raider series, Temple of Osiris takes on a simpler top-down perspective for something that feels very clean and approachable. I was delighted to find that Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris was much more fun than I had anticipated.
While Guardian of Light only had up to two players able to play cooperatively, Temple of Osiris ramps it up a bit to support four players on the screen at once. It gave off a vibe akin to Super Mario 3D World in that the game has four players cooperating but also competing at the same time as everyone scrambles for the best scores. For demonstrative purposes, every player was given every pickup that was obtained, but, in the final game, it’ll be a free-for-all when it comes to who gets the best items scattered throughout levels. Everyone is left almost begrudgingly helping each other, and it’s hilarious.
Solo players can find solace in knowing Lara will have everything at her disposal, although it’s more intriguing to see abilities distributed among the different characters, encouraging everyone to communicate and work together. For example, Isis is one of the new characters that can wield a mystical staff that can reveal certain secrets and solve certain puzzles. She was also the character I was playing as because she looked like a badass. While characters like Lara can use grappling hooks to reach higher areas, Isis can also create a shield to give others a quick boost and then wait to be assisted up to the top by an explorer with a grappling hook. It’s just really awesome to see how each character must work in synchronicity so well.
One of the best things about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, though, is how classic it feels. Even in its cutscenes, there’s a sort of old-school adventure sense of pacing pervading it all, which feels wonderfully refreshing. These cutscenes exemplify an expert way of not making you wait too long to get into the action while still providing a nice, simple context.
With a nice blend of different gameplay elements, the demo I played featured a variety of segments ranging from your standard dungeon crawling to a moment where the four of us had to hurriedly escape Ammit, a demon in the form of a giant alligator. It was awesome. It’s not entirely groundbreaking, but it also doesn’t need to be. Instead, Temple of Osiris is just another example of excellence in the dungeon crawling genre.
I’ve played a handful of games so far here at PAX Prime, but this was another demo that I wish I had more time to spend playing. Fortunately, we’ll be able to get in on the action once Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is released on December 9th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.