Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris preview: Sequel to Guardian of Light fills Tomb Raider gap year
One of the stand out surprises during Microsoft's Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2014 was the debut of the teaser trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider. The return of Lara Croft is something that many gamers are salivating over. However, that won't be available until 2015 and most likely the latter half so Square Enix and Crystal Dynamix have something else up their sleeves to fill the gap.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the direct sequel to Guardian of Light and, thanks to being on next-generation consoles, ups the ante considerably.
It retains the isometric view and more puzzle-style gameplay of the original - which is also available on iOS and Android - but adds more co-op support and a visual flair only available on PS4, Xbox One and gaming PCs.
While it is possible to play through the entire game as a solo player or co-operatively with one other, as before, you can now play with three or four players.
No matter how many are playing, much of the game is dynamic in that the puzzles will alter to suit the number taking part. And what's more, other players can opt in and out as they choose, so it changes on the fly.
This time the action shifts to Egypt and is, perhaps, more based on classic Lara Croft than the reboot version from the latest Tomb Raider. That means that mythology and the supernatural make up a large part of the storyline, with the Egyptian gods being utilised as end of level bosses and the like.
The brief playthrough we got behind closed doors on the Square Enix stand at E3 had us play with a developer in two-player co-op initially, with others joining halfway through to show how player opt-ins are managed.
With four players on screen at once, the gameplay became much more strategic than before, with different characters having different abilities and needing to help each other get through the game.
In some ways, with four on screen at once, it felt like old school Gauntlet - especially when we were set upon by floods of scarab beetles. And that is, by no means, a bad thing.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC only, most likely as a downloadable game on the respective online stores. It will be available "soon". At present, there is no word on availability for current generation platforms.