Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics gave longtime Tomb Raider fans a fun sidequest to enjoy with friends back in 2010, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light . Introducing Lara Croft to the world of top-down, twin-stick gunplay and co-op puzzle solving, this winning formula breathed some life into the stagnant Tomb Raider series that was one so highly regarded by gamers. In 2014, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have once again decided to adopt this formula for Ms. Croft and her accompanying adventurers. 4 players now have the ability to battle an evil Egyptian God in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
The Lara Croft that ’90s followers have become accustomed to returns here, and this time she has three other allies in tow. All four heroes must deal with the wrath of an angry Egyptian God named Set, which means they are tasked with retrieving the idols of a kinder God and putting an end to Set’s plans. The increased player count makes this missions a lot more fun to engage in and introduces new powers for each player to utilize. Lara and her friendly rival Carter get around using a grappling hook that gets them to higher ledges and allows other players to climb up to them. The two magic-powered characters, Isis and Horus, can lift up specially marked platforms and create shields through the use of their magic staffs. Watching how all four characters and their associated powers work together is one of the better elements of this fun adventure.
The bulk of this sequel features the same great gameplay seen in its predecessor – action-packed shooting sequences, intricate puzzle solving sequences and plenty of opportunities to collect gems and score more points than your allies. One of the newer wrinkles for this release is the addition of stat-boosting rings and amulets. While the introduction of these items is a nice change of pace, they don’t do too much to drastically alter the gameplay. While these equipped items offer nice bonuses such as increased weapon damage, your chosen character won’t be impacted as much by them. Later sections of the gameplay don’t get too difficult or include moments where your items are dire, so these rings and amulets won’t make much of a difference.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is fun, no doubt. The online co-op, and ‘short but sweet’ campaign provide a nice bit of fun. Solving intricate puzzles and besting the huge bosses you encounter with your buddies is always entertaining. Fans of the past game will certainly enjoy their time here, while others looking for something newer and a lot more improved will be disappointed here. The visuals, audio and gameplay elements of The Guardian of Light are clearly evident here, yet the only real change is the addition of two extra characters. This newest installment in the Tomb Raider series may be enjoyable for some, but its repeated gameplay elements bring this game’s replay value down just a tad.
Images: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics