Have you ever wondered what would happen if Lara Croft did the horizontal mambo with Diablo?  Of course you have, who hasn’t?  It’s probably one of the most commonly searched phrases entered in Google when looking for adult entertainment.  I am surprised there is no hentai in existence about the Lord of Terror raiding Lara’s tomb, but I digress (The declaration of the nonexistence of this particular hentai is based on Chris not being able to find any after looking for 5 seconds on Google–Editor)Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris is a multiplayer isometric dungeon exploration adventure and could accurately be described as the unholy love child between the Diablo and Tomb Raider franchises, just in case the first few sentences were not clear about that.  Technically, this would be their second child since their firstborn was Lara Craft and the Guardian of Light.

Grind Gears
Cut scenes that cannot be skipped that require a repeated full viewing every time you die during some isometric platforming gone wrong. Those grind my gears, and this game has them.

The basic plot sounds like a possible concept album that could have come about from a collaboration of Deicide and Cannibal Corpse.  Lara Craft is joined by the deities Isis, Horus, and some dude named Carter in a quest to find the various dismembered pieces of Osiris which have been scattered in various tombs in order to resurrect him.  After completing that, the next objective is to defeat Set, all while trying to avoid judgment from Anubis.  I would not have expected trying to reassemble Osiris would be such a divisive act among the Egyptian pantheon, but I suppose the gods are just like any other group of people with their cliques.  Despite the fact you’re playing in a party led by Lara Croft on some expedition in Egypt, the game play and overall appearance make this game feel more like a Diablo clone than a Tomb Raider game.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, while this format is a departure from the standard Tomb Raider formula, it actually lends itself well to a Lara Croft adventure, and there are enough puzzles and optional challenge tombs to explore to keep Tomb Raider fans feeling like they are still in familiar territory.

Isis Rope
Seriously Isis? You are a goddess, and you need a mortal paleontologist to throw you some rope to scale this wall? Maybe this is why the number of people who worship you has had such a sharp decline over the past millennia.

Teamwork plays a major role as well, another twist on a series that I seem to remember being a solo adventure.  The human and god characters have different abilities and need to assist each other with some puzzles in order to progress.  For example, Lara has a grappling hook that she can use to get to high areas and then use it to assist everyone else getting up there.  Isis can use her staff to raise other platforms that have been marked with sigils to allow access to areas necessary to advance the game, or slow down the fuse on a certain type of explosive that apparently was standard practice to stockpile in tombs.  She can also summon an energy shield, which allows others characters to jump on and use her as a stepping stone to reach higher areas that the grappling hook is unable to reach.  If you choose to attempt this game solo, the game allows you to equip other character abilities so you can actually finish the game, and it does seem like it makes slight modifications based on how many people are playing.  That being said, this game is really meant to be a cooperative experience and I would strongly recommend playing it with other people, especially since couch co op and online co op are both supported.

Crocodile Run
This is one of the easier sequences where you are being chased by a giant maned crocodile across a collapsing bridge.

Assault rifles, grenade launchers, and flamethrowers are in abundant supply in these ancient live in coffins, which is very convenient.  I guess that is part of why the inhabitants of these tombs held high status in ancient Egypt, since they had good enough foresight to ensure that anyone who entered their tombs in the future.  I suppose since all their worldly possessions were buried with them they would want any visitors to be well equipped to battle the minions of Set, which include but are not limited skeletons, giant scarab beetles, anthropomorphic crocodiles, and very large boss monsters, one of which is supposed to be a crocodile monster but it reminds me of those rodents of unusual size from that 80’s movie with Andre the Giant.  As one would likely expect from the title, this dungeon crawler is more of Tomb Raider spin off than an actual Tomb Raider game, but the puzzle solving elements do distinguish this game from being just another generic Diablo clone.  Some puzzles involve navigating time bombs up and down various levels of underground cliffs or using the grappling hook to guide a character around deadly gas vents. The solutions to these puzzles becomes less obvious as you progress through the game, but none of them stumped us for more than a couple minutes.

There is actually more chaos going on in this screenshot that it appears.

The main game can be completed in roughly 6-8 hours, which a friend and I did over the course of a weekend.  That is actually the perfect length for this game, it was an enjoyable experience that did not overstay its welcome.  There are some challenges that open up post game, though continuing on to tackle them did not hold our interest for very long.  The controls are smooth and responsive most of the time, the only issues we ran into repeatedly involved some grappling hook repelling difficulties and falling to our deaths during some fast paced platforming sequences.  You could make the argument that we just suck at isometric platforming, but I maintain my stance that isometric platforming is universally a bad thing.  If you are looking for an action game to play with your friends that is not completely mindless, this is a solid offering.   Follow me on Twitter



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