Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris: Raiding together

December 18, 2014


Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a real surprise when it came out. That’s partly because it happened just as the series was being rebooted and used the old Lara and not the new one, but partly because it was a well-designed cooperative puzzle game that seemingly came out of nowhere. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a direct sequel to Guardian, expanding the potential player count to four from the original’s two.

Osiris has Lara and her rival Carter Bell raiding tombs and, as usual in the Tomb Raider franchise, they of course awaken a few ancient and rather angry gods. Isis and Osiris stand on your side (conveniently, this brings the side of good up to four characters for co-op purposes), and the cause of evil is led by the god Set who, of course, plots world domination. It’s cliche-heavy, but the plot of the game works well enough to explain why you’re traversing all of these trap-filled tombs.

Without getting too much into the mechanics, your two human characters use a typical assortment of guns and a few tools like grappling hooks and explosives. The two gods have more magical abilities, like laser staves and the ability to slow down time or manipulate the environment to assist in traversing through areas.


There’s always one confusing aspect of Tomb Raider plots: Lara’s motives for all of the tomb-raiding she does have always been a bit dubious. She seems to stand firmly on the side of good, but the original Lara lives in a mansion full of antiquities that, to quote the character that served as her inspiration, probably belong in a museum. Osiris does little to address this, but its puzzle-heavy nature means the story’s less emphasized.

As with Guardian, Osiris focuses on puzzles over shooting. While I do like the shooting in both games, it doesn’t feel that different from any other twin-stick shooter. One thing to like: the weapons are different, but not more or less powerful. I think I’d miss the shooting if it weren’t there, though it’s clear that element is simply to fill the time between puzzle sections. The old Tomb Raider games were actually quite puzzle-heavy, though for many that was a cause for frustration and, more often, a constant struggle with a ’90s-era third-person camera.

One of the greatest things about puzzle design in Osiris is how it handles cooperative play. The game changes slightly depending on how many players are in the game. Some of the most interesting puzzles make use of all four characters, though you’re going to want some form of voice communication to really figure them out. This means it can avoid the problem of using co-op puzzles only for extras and gating that content off from solo players, as well as making the main game remain interesting for more than one player since a group won’t have to simply follow Lara through a puzzle designed only for her. That said, the solo puzzles are a lot of fun as well; this also means co-op adds some replay value as the puzzles aren’t the same with more players.


When you get to the end of Osiris, you’ll likely be left wanting more. I don’t think it’s too short, because this sort of game can easily overstay its welcome or stretch its storyline a bit too far. Even just more temples full of puzzles to traverse would be nice, but we’ll see if supplemental content is on the way. If you’re playing this on PC, you’ll really need a gamepad to enjoy this game, and unless your PC monitor is huge, you’re probably going to want it on your TV. Given that, the console versions may be preferable for many. Still, where your co-op partners are playing is likely the biggest factor in this decision.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is another great little side adventure in the Tomb Raider world, and it’s good that it doesn’t try to tie into the reboot games at all.  Hopefully we’ll see more like this in the future, because it’s definitely worth picking up for some co-op over the holidays.

Pros: Great co-op, good balance of puzzles and action
Cons: Could use more post-game content, PC controls are awkward

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.