Game Review: Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris

This is not only a game. It’s a tutorial in anatomy. All I can say is “Thank you, Set!” for assassinating and murdering Osiris and then hacking up the body into pieces. Osiris’ fans and some Egyptologists’ may be unhappy, but game designers and gamers love it! Generations later, here comes that sexy-ass archeologist/adventuress Lara Croft setting forth on yet another adventure. As we begin with our friend Osiris in pieces, winning at each level means you reconstruct the corpse one part a time.

Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris is a new, more sensitive and sexy-ass Lara Croft, too! Crystal Dynamics have put a large budget into this new series of Tomb Raider games. She weeps for dead animals, especially the ecologically threatened wolves she kills with a bow and arrow. She’s still tough, mind, but is never threatened by her own femininity and is much more inclined to bruise and bleed easy, like an Irish boxer. Yet she’s still beating the blithering bejesus out of bullies, machos and Neanderthals who impede her path. As such, each adventure is short, sweet, violent and definitely unique: one diligently accessed body part at a time!

If you’re a recent graduate of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, this is a perfect successor. Egypt has civil war brewing between Isis (So-so!), Horus (good) and Set (completely evil). Each isometric level you come upon is loaded with mind-twisters and challenges. You have twin-stick controls to run and shoot with and a clever wiggly-waggly dodge roll to exit troubled situations as you move at breakneck speed, caper to caper. Combat, a quiz, boulder dodging, zigzag racing while ducking bullets: it’s all in a day’s work for the Tomb Raider.

Game Review: Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris

Osiris’ ‘Loot’ game is definitely a step up from Guardian of Light. There’s even a Diablo-type character. Meanwhile an inventory screen pops up, does the arithmetic and classifies the differences between each perk Lara wins or loses. This also enhances the unisex collection of rings and amulets needed for later. Every tomb you raid now puts you into one episodic bit of danger after another. Indeed, one treasure room filled with shiny booty leads you to another. Secrets everywhere! The old concepts of Challenge Tombs and Overworld are back! Additionally, Totec’s Spear from Guardian of Light is replaced by a laser-beam shooter staff.

Lara Croft & the Tomb of Osiris’ arsenal gets mostly divided between Lara, her bad self, and Carter, her dull partner/rival, as they compete with Isis and Horus who ruthlessly own the magical staff, and the magical powers to summon up an energy. There’s room for up to four players to work together rather than two. The game is even capable of rearranging itself depending upon how many competitors are having at it.

Glitch-wise, although my PS4 performed immaculately, be warned of troubles with the Xbox One code, which bloggers inform me suffer a number of minor glitchy bugs, from stuttering animation to sudden freezes. For those of you who got burned already I would advise you to get in touch with Microsoft forthwith. Patches should be forthcoming soon!

All in all, although there’s a fair amount of variation and the re-use of amulets is an inspired form of fun, the game could do with a few more sophisticated enemies for Lara and company. It is, however, taken altogether, a welcome throwback-type old-school game that will eat up the good five to six hours it took me to wend my way through the whole thing. Step aside Osiris. The spirit of Lara Croft lives on!

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