During our many stops at San Diego Comic-Con this week, we managed to hit up the Square Enix/Deep Silver Arcade, which is located the Whiskey Girl bar in the downtown area. This is a great place to kick back and grab a drink, and enjoy a number of offerings from both companies, including Escape Dead Island and Nosgoth.
The premiere title of the showcase, however, is easily Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Crystal Dynamics’ follow-up to the hit Xbox 360/PS3 game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. The same isometric angle is used for this game, so you get a nice “lay of the land” as you explore levels for rubies, while taking down enemies and solving the occasional puzzle, such as pushing around spheres into awaiting slots.
In the game, Lara teams up with an old bounty hunting ally, Carter, as they seek the Staff of Osiris, a legendary relic. However, upon discovering it, Carter makes the mistake of touching it, thus setting off a trap and cursing the both of them. If they don’t do something about resolving the matter, they’re doomed. So, with the help of the son and wife of Osiris, they set out to stop the uprising and “reverse the curse.”
Temple of Osiris is built very much like Guardian of Light, as you work your way through walkways and tunnels, collecting a number of gems while taking on enemies that get in your way. The twin-stick shooter control set-up once again applies, with the left stick controlling movement and the right handling direction of fire, while shooting using the trigger button. You can also roll to avoid trouble, and, depending on the character, unleash special abilities.
With Lara and Carter, for example, you can fire grappling hooks, which not only serve to grab rings and help them climb up, but also latch on to other characters that are without them. They can also serve as temporary tightropes, allowing said characters to cross over dangerous areas. You’ll really need to warm up your team dynamic to make this work, because, otherwise, you’re as good as impaled on the spikes below.
As for Osiris’ wife and son, they can generate shields, which are not only helpful for guarding against enemy attacks, but also enable characters to jump on them and reach higher-up ledges. It’s great to see how these two types of abilities interact with one another, and how they assist the group overall.
Each character has special weapons, including rifles, machine guns, and, in the case of the Osiris clan, special beams that can fry an enemy to a crisp. You’ll also have access to remote bombs that can detonate certain obstacles and clear larger fiends with ease.
There are some great secondary segments as well, such as solving a puzzle with the help of a group, and an outstanding chase sequence where a gigantic alligator sends a pathway crumbling down, forcing you and the others to scramble and avoid spike beams to survive the encounter. The game does move a little fast in this section, but that just helps you get better with each move you make, so no biggie.
Temple of Osiris supports up to four players locally or online, or you can go solo if you prefer. No matter which way you go, the game has been built for everyone to enjoy, so you’ll have just as much a ball battling alongside Lara as you will bringing a party crew to collect treasure.
We’ll have a more in-depth look at Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris in the weeks ahead. For now, you can definitely anticipate this one, as it’s set to arrive on December 9th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It’s a treasure to behold and it’ll certainly pass the time while Rise of the Tomb Raider gets developed.