Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris
A gem of a game
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Format reviewed: PS4 Also available on: Xbox One, PC Publisher: Square Enix
Lara Croft’s frownybrowed emotional slog on Coming- of- age Island – this is what Tomb Raider is about: dual pistols, delicious plunder and disturbing the resting places of the dead. The sequel to 2010’ s Guardian Of Light expands on all the good stuff, and even lets you bring two more friends along to help. And by “help”, we mean mercilessly betray for gems. Lovely, sparkling gems.
The story is a shortcut to adventure: cursed temples, magic staffs and angry deities. Lara ( again voiced by a wonderfully plummy Keeley Hawes) and her rival relic- thief Carter team up with Horus and Isis to take on Egyptian god Set. It’s bobbins, and it absolutely doesn’t matter. Anyone who loves this mythology will enjoy the fluff – so basically everyone, then – but the whole thing is just a rip- roaring excuse for fun. Rip- roaring just means “good”, right?
This has more in common with Super Mario 3D World than it does with the troubled- millionaire histrionics of Tomb Raider. Everything feels satisfying: there’s a tactile chunkiness to all that you do. Secondly, it’s a cracking multiplayer experience. There’s ample opportunity for fun backstabbing: zip- lines can be retracted underneath your tightrope- walking buddies, sending them plummeting onto spikes, and pillars can be magically raised, trapping them in crocodileinfested waters.
More than anything, it’s the puzzles which stand out. Finding new brain- teasers is exhilarating, because you feel a real sense of satisfaction when you solve them. Better yet, puzzles are folded into every part of the game: all the tombs are reached via a central hub, and even this is given an extra twist; day- night cycles and shifting seasons mean it’s different every time you visit it.
As well as the puzzling, there are genuine instances of thigh- slapping adventure which perfectly capture the Indiana Jones feeling of frantically fleeing from antiquated deathtraps. It’s rare for a game to so totally nail a feeling of peril without peppering you with repeated deaths, but this manages it.
When all these things combine, like the scattered body parts of Osiris himself, it forms a positive celestial whole. Matt Elliott
“Um… fancy a pint?”