The following preview is based on hands-on time with Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris at a closed Square Enix event during the Eurogamer Expo 2014.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the sequel to the highly successful downloadable title, Guardian of Light, Crystal Dynamics’ bite-sized Tomb Raider spin-off.
The Temple of Osiris is a top-down, four-player, co-op based game with some elements of competitive play as players fight to grab collectables and weapons before other players. In the game you play as Lara and Carter Bell, alongside two Egyptian Gods called Isis and Horus. The game can be played with one or more players, though it’s obviously meant to be played cooperatively due to the various abilities of each character.
The human characters have the ability to use a grappling hook allowing them to traverse areas that would be otherwise accessible. They can also use this hook to help up the other characters, or even lay it out to be used as a tightrope for players to cross. It was quite funny in the game to see other players seemingly wanted to help me but then let go off the rope at the last minute and watch me fall to my death. Lara and Carter can also use a torch to light up dark areas or braziers that can be lit to collect gems, while Isis and Horus can use the Staff of Osiris to shoot the glowing orbs to stop enemies respawning.
The two Egyptian Gods can also act as platforms for Lara and Carter to gain access to certain areas that the grapple hook might not reach, which really encourages team play. The game will also feature online play which was missing from Tomb Raider Guardian of Light, which is a nice option for those who can’t have three friends around to play the game. The puzzles will also scale based on how many people are playing the game. At one point in the demo there was a simple puzzle in which each player had to shoot an eye in the middle of the map; the amount of times you have to shoot will rise with the more players in the game.
Alongside platforming, killing enemies and puzzle solving, The Temple of Osiris also employs a gem system to keep score on who has the most points in the game. Players gain gems from killing enemies but also from completing puzzles and breaking objects they see along the way. It’s a lot of fun, and occasionally very funny, having a mechanic that encourages you all to both work together and compete. One minute you’ll be helping a friend defeat a wave of enemies, and next you’ll be stealing his kills and rushing to beat him to the next collectible.
I had a lot of fun with Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. Out of all the games I played at EGX this year, the demo was one of the best at the show. It was also great to hear about The Collector’s Edition which was also announced. Costing £29.99, it will include the season pass, a map and a bobble head Lara. Right now, that’s looking like a bargain.