Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Amps Up Series’ Co-op Play
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is all about cooperatively fighting baddies and solving puzzles, but you might have more fun killing your friends.
Much like Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Temple of Osiris teams players together to raid tombs and defeat ancient evils, only rather than two players it supports as many as four. Gameplay has a lot of similarities with its predecessor, though — players will help each other kill swarms of enemies in isometric, action-adventure game style.
You’ll also work together to scale walls and cross chasms, unless you decide to drop your pals to their deaths when they’re at their most vulnerable.
Temple of Osiris is something of a sequel to 2012′s Guardian of Light, at least in terms of style and mechanics. Similar puzzles and cooperative play are on offer, and for fans of the first title, the game will feel familiar. It’s not technically a direct sequel in terms of story, however, Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer Scott Amos said at San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Instead, Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris are more like separate adventures in the life of Lara Croft, but the two stories don’t actually link together.
The GameFront team got a chance to play Temple of Osiris’ demo in four-player couch co-op, where we got a load of how players will need to support each other through the course of the game. In addition to Lara, the game sports three additional playable characters — fellow archaeologist Carter and imprisoned, cursed Egyptian gods Isis and Horace.
The archaeologists and gods have different abilities, and have to use them to work through Temple of Osiris’s various tombs. Archaeologists carry grappling hooks that can be used to scale certain walls or create tightrope bridges other characters can cross, while the gods can generate shields around themselves for protection, or to create steps that other characters can use to climb up to new areas.
Teamwork is essential between characters no matter how many people you have ready to play with you, and Temple of Osiris supports drop-in, drop-out co-op both locally and online, Amos said. Like Guardian of Light, Temple of Osiris pays attention to how many people you have with you and adjusts its difficulty accordingly, both in puzzles and in battle. The entire game can be played alone or with any combination of players, and Amos said when a player hops in or out of the game, Temple of Osiris adjusts to accommodate them. It does that by either reloading the room you’re in or holding back the joining player until the other players reach a good spot to bring them in — but you’ll never get stuck on a four-person puzzle you can’t solve because somebody left your game at an inconvenient time.
Most of Temple of Osiris handles like Guardian of Light when it comes to combat. The game operates a bit like a twin-stick shooter, with players aiming using the right analog stick and moving with the left. Crystal Dynamics has added quite a bit to combat and the game’s RPG elements with new gear players can acquire as they trek through Egyptian ruins, either by finding them along the way, gathering gems that open chests, or completing challenges.
Score challenges abound in Temple of Osiris, just as in Guardian of Light, and Amos said their rewards will include upgrades, weapons, and other equippable items that you can also find through the course of the game. In our playthrough, we uncovered various rings that change player stats, like boosting weapon damage while lowering defense. You can wear two rings at a time and one amulet, which can be charged up and activated to give your whole party special boosts, like adding elemental effects to weapons fire. You also can equip one special ammo-based weapon apart from your pistols, which have unlimited ammunition.
Amos said players will find themselves needing upgrades and items from later in the game to get all the highest scores, so expect to revisit levels and try them again with better equipment to boost your performance. Teams will also want to think about what gear they bring to battles, challenges and boss fights, and can use their loadouts cooperatively to different effects. Loot goes to the player who nabs it, though, so you’ll need to be quick on your feet.
After battling enemies that included skeletons and scarabs that ranged in abilities and difficulty, all tuned to our team’s size, the demo concluded with a race to flee a giant ancient Egyptian demon — Ammit, a combination of crocodile, hippopotamus and lion. The final section was all dodging spiky traps and collapsing bridges as the creature chased us, but players felled along the way could be revived by teammates or respawned after a few seconds. Overall, the four-player co-op required us to coordinate and help each other, and seems to successfully expand on Guardian of Light’s good ideas with additional ones.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris aims to add a lot more to cooperative and RPG elements to Guardian of Light’s original formula, and players who enjoyed Lara Croft’s earlier isometric foray will see some improvements in its follow-up. Look for Temple of Osiris on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC on Dec. 9.
Check out all of GameFront’s San Diego Comic-Con 2014 coverage right here.