Lara Croft and the Tem­ple of Osiris

Lara brings some friends in this four-player co- op puz­zler.

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - BenGrif­fin

Meet Lara Croft, Tem­ple Raider. In a bid to dis­tin­guish the tor­tured and torn-vested hero­ine of last-year’s third­per­son ac­tioner from this in­car­na­tion—an aqua-blue tank-topped treasure-hunter here by her own vo­li­tion and not just be­cause her boat sank—tombs are out and tem­ples are in.

When Croft and her pro­fes­sional ri­val Carter Bell en­ter a par­tic­u­larly mas­sive mor­tu­ary in Egypt and pinch the Staff of Osiris, they un­wit­tingly un­leash Set, the God of Chaos, who marks them for death. For­tu­nately they also re­lease (again, un­wit­tingly) two slightly friend­lier gods from thou­sand-year in­car­cer­a­tions, Horus and Isis. The four team up with the ul­ti­mate aim of res­ur­rect­ing Osiris, the only one with the power to de­feat Set and re­move the curse.

Ow­ing to drop-in four-player co-op both on and off­line, these tem­ples are much more elab­o­rate than any­thing in 2010’s Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. As ex­plor­ers, Croft and Bell can use whips as tightropes, as well as swing from perches and rap­pel down walls.

They also have in­fi­nite bombs: press Y to drop one, then Y again to det­o­nate. As gods, Horus and Isis are more mag­i­cally in­clined. They can con­jure bub­ble shields that pro­tect them from at­tacks and boost part­ners to high ledges.

When Croft and her ri­val pinch the Staff of Osiris, they un­leash Set, the God of Chaos

It’s an iso­met­ric world de­signed for four but ver­sa­tile enough for one. “We’ll out­fit Lara so she can solve puzzles on her own,” says Scot Amos, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. “But as more play­ers join, the lay­out of an area or even the type of puz­zle... will change.”

Although it is on a big­ger scale than its pre­de­ces­sor, it’s equally well-paced. Af­ter a se­date bout of puz­zling, in which a part­ner and I roll balls onto switches, comes a backs-to-the-wall bat­tle against hordes of scarabs. Once they are dis­patched, the boss ar­rives, a croc-headed hippo with a feath­ery mane. He pur­sues us over a crum­bling bridge where split-sec­ond tim­ing is re­quired to jump chasms and roll un­der spiked traps.

“A loot sys­tem now with rar­ity lev­els, cus­tomiz­ing player abil­i­ties with gear, an all-new Staff of Osiris as a de­vice that lets you af­fect puz­zle el­e­ments and laser en­e­mies, and el­e­men­tal spe­cial ef­fects for weapons and re­sis­tances—these are the pri­mary game changes,” says Amos.

With dou­ble the amount of playable char­ac­ters, it’s some­times hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate your cartwheel­ing car­tog­ra­phers amid the fire­bolts and skele­tons. As long as Crys­tal Dy­nam­ics gives each person a spe­cific role— one ex­am­ple I saw be­ing player one solv­ing a mir­ror puz­zle while player two pro­tects them—then I look for­ward to another per­fectly-pitched co-op ad­ven­ture. Just re­mem­ber not to call her Tomb Raider.

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