Tomb Raider is one of those franchises that can sometimes get away with just about anything. Over the many years of protagonist Lara Croft, we have seen adventures that range from gritty survival stories to over the top battles against ancient deities. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC definitely falls in the latter grouping. It is the follow up to the well received Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, trying to bring back that simple yet engaging gameplay while also adding something new to the mix. The question is, does it succeed?
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is an isometric action adventure game with a heavy emphasis on environmental puzzles, much like its predecessor. This time around, you play as Lara Croft as she finds herself cursed after her and a competing archeologist, Carter Bell, remove the ancient Staff of Osiris from its resting place. You are now set against the evil Egyptian god of darkness, Set, as he begins his plans to bring ruin to the earth. Now it is up to you to explore the Temple of Osiris and revive the dead god of the sun in order to restore balance and banish the darkness.
Going up against a god is a difficult task, even if you are a world renowned badass who explores tombs for a living. Luckily enough, your curse also awakens Isis and Horus, the wife and child of Osiris. They join you in your quest to restore the lost god Osiris to power and free you from your curse. Now that the odds are no longer stacked completely against Lara, you can set out on your adventure.
As you can probably already tell by that quick intro into Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris‘s story, it isn’t an overly serious game. It plays like an old school arcade game. You move around on the screen, use the right stick to aim as you shoot, and move around with the left stick as you navigate your environments. Live threats come in the form of alligator warriors, scarabs, and reanimated corpses that use arrows and magic.
You get to play as a more classic Lara Croft, complete with her dual pistols. The grappling hook from Guardian of Light returns, as do the bombs. New to the game is the Staff of Osiris, which serves as a weapon and a means for interacting with the environment. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris does a very good job of utilizing these items in interesting ways.
For instance, the bomb is very useful as a weapon, as most explosives are, but it also plays a large part in solving some of the many environmental puzzles. You can use them to hit switches and move heavy objects to higher platforms. The Staff of Osiris is required to activate certain objectives, and the beam can bounce off of reflective surfaces. The fact that items are provided a use outside of combat ensures that nothing just feels tacked on.
The puzzles in the Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris make great use of the different environments and mechanics; navigating spike traps, platforming between magical enemies, and figuring out how to hit numerous switches at one time will all come into play. As you progress, the puzzles get more difficult and require your management of multiple skills at one time.