When Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light was released back in 2010, the game delivered a completely new experience in the series. Not only did it introduce a new isometric perspective for the franchise, it also introduced a cooperative mode. Now in 2014, Lara Croft and The Temple of Osiris promises to deliver an expanded version of that same enjoyable experience and on the whole, it delivers.
The Temple of Osiris' story starts with Lara Croft and her rival treasure hunter Carter Bell stumbling across the lost Staff of Osiris. However, when they touch they staff they are cursed by Set and also inadvertently end up releasing the last of the old gods not bound to Set, Isis and Horus. In order to defeat Set and lift the curse, the four of them must resurrect the Osiris.
Just like the previous game, players can choose to play the campaign by themselves or with some friends. This means that each of the game's puzzle and the number of enemies changes depending on which mode the players chose. This time around, however, the game supports cooperative gameplay up to four players, which heightens the experience.
If you choose to go down the single player route, you will end up playing as Lara. And anyone who played Guardian of Light will notice that several of the ideas, weapons, mechanics and tools make a return in this game. However, the most notable feature is perhaps the Scepter of Osiris, which is crucial to solve puzzle and can also be used as a weapon. Some of the Scepter of Osiris' abilities include the ability to raise certain platforms, destroy marks of Set and delay the explosion of certain spheres.
The way the Scepter of Orisis and the other tools are used to solve puzzles is well implemented and although the puzzles are quite simple at the beginning, as you progress through the story, these become more challenging, especially in the Challenge Tombs.
What's unique about the game is that if you play through the whole campaign in single player and then play through in coop, you will realize that a large majority of the puzzles must be solved in a completely different way. This doesn't expand much depending on the number of co-operative players, but it's still an interesting concept.
Even with this unique element, there is still also plenty of other offerings when it comes to replay value. There is a wide variety when it comes to collectibles and there are also some challenges for players. These can range from obtaining a certain amount of points in a certain level, killing a set number of enemies in a specific way or simply just defeating a boss in a certain amount of time. Additionally, the game also offers a few combat challenges in cooperative mode.
Unfortunately, the game does have a couple of issues when it comes to the coop side of things. For example, we experience a weird feature where when someone left/joined the game, it would automatically restart from the last checkpoint. This might not seem too bad, but it ruins the flow of the experience, especially if people keep joining/leaving. It makes sense if someone leaves the game, as when someone leaves their character's abilities might be required, but when joining at least they could have people wait until the players currently playing reach a checkpoint.
Another annoying issue we experienced was the fact that when you're playing with 3-4 players, sometimes combat can get so chaotic that in the middle of all the gunfire, explosions and enemy attacks it's hard to understand what's going on. This plays a bit of havoc with the game's camera and occasionally causes frame-rate drops. Fortunately, it's rare that these moments detract from the overall gameplay experience.
Overall, Lara Croft and The Temple of Osiris proves itself to be a worthy successor to The Guardian of Light. Whether you are playing it alone or with friends, fighting against enemies and solving the game's clever puzzles is always a fun experience, so much that you will probably be wishing for more once it's over. There are some minor problems, with the co-op implementation, but it doesn't hold the overall experience back.
|Fast-paced combats and clever puzzles|
|Decent replay value|
|Great cooperative experience|
|Campaign falls a bit short|