Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris isn’t your standard Tomb Raider in a tank top game. Rather than the intimate, third-person dramatics of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, Temple of Osiris is instead a more arcadey experience. So there’s no Lara breathing heavily. If that’s what you play the games for – you perverts – then you’ll be disappointed.
But, if you’re looking for a refreshing adventure with actual tombs, then Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a solid game to play on Stadia.
Temple of Osiris is light on story. The premise is that Lara has teamed up with her rival tomb raider, Carter Bell, as well as a couple of gods – Isis and Horus – who have been imprisoned by the evil deity, Set. This guy is a no-gooder and he’s the one pulling the strings. To stop him, you need to hunt down the fragments of Osiris – literally his body organs, limbs, and all the rest – to stop Set from taking over the world.
It’s a decent enough story and it provides a good reason for Lara to be running around Egyptian tombs. It’s not on the same level as the “proper” games, but it’s enough to keep you going. The focus isn’t on the story, mind you, but instead on the gameplay, and that’s where Temple of Osiris shines.
The game pulls the camera out from behind Lara and plonks it way up above, presenting the game in an isometric manner. It might feel a little less personal, but that’s OK because this isn’t a story about Lara’s redemption or daddy issues – the focus is the gameplay.
Gameplay consists of going through different levels, which you enter by exploring the hub level. There are more than enough levels to play through, and you’ll definitely need to go through them multiple times if you want to collect everything.
The levels are generally themed, for example, one has physics puzzles, and another has puzzles about light. The puzzles themselves aren’t particularly difficult, and the game is quite generous in the way that it will automatically push you forward if you fail a few times. I’m split on whether this is a good thing or not, but ultimately, it kept me playing when I probably would have put the controller down and stopped, so no matter what I think about it, it worked on me.
Combat is twin-stick style, and very satisfying. There are a bunch of weapons to collect and upgrade, though don’t go expecting a full-on RPG style skill tree. Instead, you find tokens that upgrade your health, ammo allowance, and weapons. I liked it because it just kept me playing, and that’s a common theme with Temple of Osiris – the game just wants to keep you playing and keep you having fun instead of getting annoyed or bogged down with complicated upgrade menus. There is an inventory screen where you can alter your loadout, and you can find rings and amulets that give your weapons buffs and perks, but that’s about as deep as it gets.
A nice touch for fans of Lara’s adventures is the inclusion of alternate outfits. Sure, you can’t really seem them all that well or in detail during play, but it’s cool to see the OG Lara in all of her blocky sexiness during cut-scenes. That was weird. Do I have a crush on Lara Croft? More importantly, do I have a crush on Lara Croft with a pointy face? I’ll seek help after I’ve finished this review.
The action comes often, and you’ll be blasting skeletons, bi-pedal crocodiles and more throughout the adventure. It’s good silly fun and definitely a little more fantastical than Lara’s more grown-up adventures, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Combat is fun and really responsive, too, with some tactics being required for some enemies and some brainpower for others. It’s not especially deep, but it doesn’t need to be – it’s an arcadey game.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris might be an old game at this point – it originally released way back in 2014 – but it’s a new game for Stadia. And, it’s a great fit for the platform, no matter where you play. I spent most of my time playing Temple of Osiris on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 6, and on that tablet’s screen, the colours literally jump out of the screen. Everything is highly polished and looks great in motion, and the game is a great fit for mobile gamers. On the other hand, it still looks and plays really well on the Chrome browser, as well as on Chromecast Ultra on a 4K TV. For me, Temple of Osiris is a mobile game that I’ll play in bursts on the tablet or on my phone.
Performance-wise, it ran beautifully, and it was really responsive. I was using the official Stadia controller at all times, and that no doubt helps with input latency. But, for the majority of my time playing, I was playing on my home WiFi, and it still worked really well. I rarely play any Stadia games directly plugged into the router, unless I’m at my desktop.
Temple of Osiris might be an older game that you’ve played elsewhere, but it’s still worth a look on Stadia, especially as it’s a freebie for Stadia Pro subscribers. I’ve had good times with it, and it was my first time playing. It felt like a new release, albeit a budget new release, but it didn’t feel its age is what I’m trying to say. Now, I’m off for some therapy. Or to play Tomb Raider on the PS1 on my own in the dark…
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Stadia Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.5/10
Lara Croft and Temple of Osiris is obviously a lower-key, budget-friendly release, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Consider it a spin-off from the reboot trilogy, and a fun, arcadey B-movie one at that.
Despite the game offering robust multiplayer, the single-player experience doesn’t suffer, and it’s perfectly fine to play from beginning to end by yourself.
- Really good graphics and very clean presentation
- Arcadey, twin-stick shooter gameplay works well for Lara and I’ve love to see more
- Never a dull moment as there’s always something going on, whether it’s fighting enemies, solving puzzles, or running through a doomed tomb
- The game does get a little repetitive and the enemies become a bit of a bore with a lack of variety
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Stadia controller, Google Chrome Browser, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and Chrome Cast Ultra.