With the ‘main’ Tomb Raider games having gotten a more realistic treatment since the recent reboot, fans of Lara Classic have been catered to with top-down, isometric adventures. Rather than a mere bone thrown to old-school fans, 2010’s Guardian Of Light was a genuinely great game, if a little different than was expected from the famous archaeologist. No, not that one.
In Temple Of Osiris, Lara is teamed with the Egyptian deities Isis and Horus, plus fellow adventurer Carter Bell, to reassemble the body of Osiris and stop the dark god Set from causing havoc. It’s a flimsy but serviceable plot, especially when the main draw is the puzzle-solving and real-time combat.
Gameplay wise, TOO returns to the formula of its predecessor, or rather reuses it wholesale. Each character has a specific skill that will you help navigate through the many trap-filled dungeons, with only the potential for four-player (as opposed to two-player) raiding of tombs really differentiating this from its forebear. While the experience is undoubtedly greater in co-op, the difficulty scales so that you can progress and solve most of the environmental enigmas solo.
However, if you repeat something great, is it still great or just a copy? While TOO looks better, making use of the new gen consoles (and more advanced PC hardware) to produce striking locations and surprisingly detailed character models, it’s intrinsically more of the same.
It’s also phenomenally buggy, particularly in multiplayer. Frequently, one or more players on this reviewer’s team would be randomly dropped through the scenery, leaving only a colourful silhouette falling into an endless abyss and forcing a restart. Progress, ostensibly saved between single and group play and able to be switched between, corrupted twice when returning to a solo play session, frustratingly throwing us back to a much earlier point.
Temple Of Osiris has huge potential, and with friends – when it works – it’s incredible fun. A lack of notable innovation and crippling bugs really hurt the experience though. If future patches and the forthcoming DLC packs can iron out those wrinkles, this will be amazing. Until then, it’s a pale shadow cast by the Guardian Of Light.