Frivolous Waste of Time

Sci-fi, fantasy and video games

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for PS4, Xbox One and PC

I never played the original Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, so the sequel to the spin-off didn’t particularly appeal to me. I only played this game because it popped up on PS+ but I’m glad that I did; it’s a fun little game and one that has a lot more depth than it originally seems.

Lara Croft and rival archeologist Carter Bell are in an Egyptian tomb when Bell removes the mythical Staff of Osiris from a pedestal and in the process frees Set, an evil deity who seeks to dominate the world. At the same time, Horus and Isis are awoken to help them reassemble the scattered body parts of Osiris so that he may counter Set. This isn’t a game you’re going to be playing for the plot, because there isn’t much of one.

Despite not including it in the title, Temple of Osiris contains much more actual tomb raiding than most Tomb Raider games. Temple of Osiris is an isometric action game with RPG elements, as Lara and up to three other co-op buddies make their way through a series of tombs, solving puzzles and fighting strange monsters as they go. The combat is simple twin stick stuff, with some cool boss fights, but the focus is far more on puzzling, which is nice for those of us who are worried that the mainline Tomb Raider franchise is heading in a worryingly combat focused direction. The puzzles aren’t necessarily complicated, but they’re fun to solve. This is all helped by the fact that Lara just feels good to control, offering a responsiveness that reminded me of A Link Between Worlds. There are some issues, such as the isometric angle making some platforming sections a bit tricky, but overall it works well.

Outside of the core tombs required for the story is a hell of a lot of other stuff to do. There’s an overworld with plenty of side tombs and optional challenges and one of the cool things about it is the ability to change the weather and time of day to open up and close off other areas of the map. There’s a lot of loot to get in this game too, such as amulets which give Lara particular buffs or rings which affect her weapons. One of the coolest features is the way the dungeons change depending on how many people you have with you, ensuring that you’re always going to have a decent experience no matter your player number.

Temple of Osiris isn’t the prettiest game but it gets the job done. It can be a little difficult to tell what is going to instantly kill you, so perhaps a little more clarity could have been good. This is the kind of game that really would have suited being stylised in some way, perhaps cel-shading; as it stands, it all just looks a little bland. The voice acting is fine and the music forgettable, but there’s a good layer of polish over everything which counts for a lot.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris isn’t a mindblowing experience, but it’s a decent one nonetheless. If it’s sitting around in your PS+ library, it’s worth a go.

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