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Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Review

Replay Value:
Online Gameplay:
Overall Rating:
Square Enix
Crystal Dynamics
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
December 8, 2014

Before the Tomb Raider reboot, the series was sort of in limbo. The big-budget blockbusters that defined the ‘90s were starting to fade in terms of quality and popularity. To shake things up, developer Crystal Dynamics delivers Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light , a top-down dungeon-crawler with a hefty emphasis on combat and puzzle-solving. This refreshing adventure gave Lara fans a new perspective on the standard Tomb Raider structure and style and you know, it worked exceedingly well.

Now, one could argue that the follow-up effort, The Temple of Osiris , is a little late. Guardian first launched in 2010 and here we are at the end of 2014. Unfortunately, the sequel kinda feels late. The visuals are definitely outdated, for instance, as the level of detail and overall graphical display isn’t much advanced beyond the first game. This is a little disappointing, especially when playing on a new piece of hardware. Still, there are plenty of great set pieces (even more than in the last adventure), and the fantastical atmosphere won’t let you down. You just have to accept that this looks like a PS3 game.

The sound is basically in the same boat, but I still enjoy the fitting, often haunting soundtrack that accompanies your perilous journey. The effects are sweet, too, as combat and even certain puzzles offer crisp, spot-on audio that enhances the experience. These are the standard basics of any sound presentation and for the most part, they’re solid. Again, though, one feels age in the bones of the game; there’s no good reason to slap on a great headset, for instance. Of course, this is all about the gameplay but even so, an exceptional set of technical elements always increases our enjoyment and immersion. It’s just a little dated here, that’s all.

If you’ve always enjoyed the isometric Diablo -esque view and you’ve got a penchant for history and creep underground tombs, you’ll love the environment in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris . If you can’t get into the highly creative and imaginative backdrop, you probably won’t have much fun. This is about as atmospheric as an isometric adventure can be, in my estimation, but this also means that your appreciation is an absolute requirement. You’ll spend a lot of time exploring and solving puzzles, so it’s not like you’re constantly slaying hundreds of oncoming enemies, ala last year’s Diablo III . This is more about the adventure itself, and not so much the action.

I’m good with that. However, what disappoints me is the narrative that goes along with this great environment. It’s a big letdown because it’s obviously an afterthought and not really designed to question and intrigue. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem (it’s why I couldn’t possibly care less about the plot in Diablo III , and it didn’t matter in the slightest). But Crystal Dynamics presented the player with such an interesting and remarkable otherworldly ambiance that it’s just begging for a decent tale. I don’t need an epic novel but at the very least, I could use some interesting characters and a dose of drama and suspense.