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Crystal Dynamics

Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Xbox mullers Tomb Raider fans in London for publicity

It's okay, they were willing volunteers
Nov 13
// Vikki Blake
Microsoft celebrated the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider by challenging eight Lara Croft fans to survive 24 hours on a billboard while being mullered by brutal weather conditions.  Of the thousands of applicants, just...

Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Nov 09 // Steven Hansen
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One [reviewed], Xbox 360, PC, PS4)Developer: Crystal Dynamics (Xbox One), Nixxes Software (Xbox 360)Publisher: Microsoft (Xbox One, 360); Square Enix (PC, PS4)MSRP: $59.99Released: November 10, 2015 (Xbox One, Xbox 360); Q1 2016 (PC); Q4 2016 (PS4) Having previously glimpsed the supernatural, Rise of the Tomb Raider's Lara is open to the wild theories of ancient immortality that consumed her father. A brief trip into Syria introduces the new enemy, a highly-funded, obviously evil group called Trinity led by Konstantin, a religious zealot and less comic book version of Uncharted 2's Lazarević. Lara then tries to beat the stonejaw-led shadowy entity to the Siberian wilderness, where most of the game takes place. The first thing I noticed in Syria was its rich orange sands, a strong contrast to the last Tomb Raider's much more muted palette. Then it was Lara's powerful blue glow stick as she began navigating tombs, providing the same orange/cyan look you find in most Hollywood movie color grading. Naturally, when Lara goes to off to Russia and the blue-white snow and ice, she's suddenly packing orange glow sticks. It's not a bad thing, though. Rise of the Tomb Raider is not shy about using unrealistic lighting to set a mood and it works, like when the blizzarding night sky is illuminated with an eerie deep red light thanks to Trinity flares. It's one of the best-looking games this year, but it also goes beyond stylish at times and helps set the mood. Coupled with a camera that occasionally, but never annoyingly, takes control from you to frame the next impressive mountain establishment or some such thing you have to climb. [embed]319740:61038:0[/embed] The combination of framing, use of color, and lighting are welcomed Hollywood cribbing. Most of the additions since the last entry are welcomed, too. The stealth options make more sense in a supposedly serious game hellbent on showing the brutality Lara deals with (gruesome death close-ups are still plentiful), rather than the more discordant Lara-as-Terminator that doesn't jive with the story being told. That said, you can still mostly do that. Even when the game hinted I could stealth through an environment, unless I saw an obvious path, it was easy to loose bows from afar into enemies' heads. Rise also touted the tombs pre-release, which are peppered throughout the world. They're probably the highlight. I think Tomb Raider is a better platformer than shooter and working out these beautiful, often complex environmental puzzles had me yearning for a more ICO-like distribution of puzzle/platforming versus murder. The stealth, too, kind of hints at a game that could've made death and killing meaningful in line with the narrative, but instead we're left with a refinement of the Uncharted series sans one-liners.  Except for the bloat, which kind of flies in the face of the snappy movie cues and Uncharted's beats. Rise borrows slightly from the Legend of Zelda formula in that there are distinct areas ("hubs") organically woven together, but requiring back-tracking with new gear and items. It's a very game-y conceit. In the cinematics I asked why Lara hadn't a camera (or even a cell phone) to prove (evidence!) the things her father died over, but she didn't even slip an iPhone out of her pocket. At the same, coming across a rope and being told I can't cut it until I find a knife, well, why the hell does Lara not have a knife? People who like busywork will probably appreciate the hub areas replete with open-world style challenges (burn all 10 communist propaganda posters, cut down all the snared rabbits, etc.), but it kind of grated on me. I didn't open the map until a few hours in and I immediately wanted to slam it shut after seeing the Assassin's Creed-style unreadable mess of icons. And while these tasks often yield rewards, including XP, it just feels to unnecessary. Which is kind of true, given that I got through the game fine without doing anything but the most convenient extras, and didn't find a +2 damage Polished Barrel to affect my capacity to kill folks all that much. So why's any of it there at all? Rise has a very pressing, dire narrative, and is a joy when you're moving around and exploring the gorgeous environments. Constant IU flashes (10XP!!!) only serve as an intrusion and gum up the works. Having to pause the game and look at a static menu screen to hear picked-up audio logs (already a bit of a lazy, all too convenient way to shove more story into your game) kills momentum, tension, excitement. You just have to stare at a render of a tape recorder if you want to know why the big bad bleeds from his hands. The story handles the necessary, telegraphed third act turn to the supernatural well, but generally suffers from a glossing over. The Burberry-clade arm of Trinity trying to beat Lara to the punch are well-acted, but pretty one-dimensional (even with everything wrapped up in explanatory audio logs). An entire society isolated in the Siberian wilderness speaks perfect English. It's perfunctory Hollywood boilerplate, down to the set up for the sequel, but competently done. Worth noting: I ran into an odd problem late in the game where enemies would disappear. First right before me when I was swinging an ice axe at them as if Lara did so with enough force to banish them from this plane of existence, but then sometimes they'd vanish completely on their own. Once this locked me in a room because whatever needed to trigger to open the door couldn't and I had to restart (not losing much progress), while it also happened during the game's final boss fight, which was anticlimactic. The loss of XP from these tactical Houdinis might impact games on harder difficulty settings where the leveling and crafting system could prove more necessary, though on normal I got to a point where I didn't even care to spend my skill points. That excess is a problem shared with the last Tomb Raider, which bills itself (and thematically tries to be) a survivalist game, but simply isn't. It's a bit goofy ruining the beautiful colors of the world by constantly jamming down the "survival instincts" button to light up objects of interest and clambering around to strip trees of their boughs. Eventually I stopped going out of my way to pick up trash, yet I still always had ammo and arrows. Crafting, skill trees, open-world-style quests: it just feels like bloat. Busy work. And it isn't consistent with the story. Moving around, on the other hand, is sublime. It is odd, though. There's an animation for when Lara is pushed up against a short, maybe knee-high lip; pressing the jump button has her labor up it a bit. Yet if you push the jump button otherwise, she will leap clean four feet into the air like a cat. That amusing inconsistency aside, Lara's movement animations are all so fluid and impressive. If she barely makes a jump, she can slip and fall if you don't press a button. But rather than her needing to get a grip be a recurring quick-time event, it organically happens every time you barely snag a ledge. This means you can tell if that prompt is about to come up and can preemptively push it, and Lara will secure her grip and you can continue about fluidly climbing around. It's a good bit of adding interaction to the platforming without having to pre-plan bits of structure that will start to crumble when you grab them. Rise of the Tomb Raider is better than its predecessor, but only because of its additions; it doesn't fix any of the things that were wrong with Tomb Raider (2013). The story is smoothed down, much of it hidden away in dull audio logs. It's not about "survival" as billed, given the ease of mowing down dozens of folks and plenty of resources. But finding tombs wherein to clamber about ancient Rube Goldberg machines, coupled with the gorgeous visual flair and diverse environments, make Rise's wilderness one worth exploring and elevate Tomb Raider's otherwise perfunctory take on the third-person action platformer. I still get a strong sinking feeling in my stomach when I've misjudged a jump and watch Lara careening towards a splat. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Tomb Raider review photo
Get to know 'er
I sometimes forget that Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981. Its breezy pulp adventure quality carries only obvious signifiers of its era (like, Nazis), and the repetition of these tropes act as enough hand waving to the...

Legacy of Kain photo
Legacy of Kain

There's a '50% chance' we will see a proper new Legacy of Kain game

So you're saying there's a chance
Nov 05
// Chris Carter
Legacy of Kain fans have had a small taste of the universe recently with the free-to-play shooter Nosgoth, but others (myself included) are chomping at the bit for a real, proper action game. Finder AU managed to sp...
Tomb Raider video photo
Tomb Raider video

Rise of the Tomb Raider actually has tombs

Just like what's in her name!
Nov 04
// Steven Hansen
The final "Woman vs. Wild" Rise of the Tomb Raider video has been released and it focuses on the thing many thought the reboot lacked: tombs what to raid. Lara actually does way more archaeology this time around, it seems.

Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider launch trailer features an original song by Karen O

'I Shall Rise'
Oct 30
// Darren Nakamura
Rise of the Tomb Raider is just a couple weeks from launch (for the Xbox One at least), so naturally we can expect a launch trailer to keep the hype train rolling. This one comes with an extra tidbit of news, past the new bit...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Find out more about Lara Croft in this new video series

Insert "Wild 'n' Wet" jokes here
Oct 22
// Vikki Blake
As we countdown to the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Microsoft has released a new video series called "Woman vs. Wild." The new series will offer "a deep dive into the gameplay mechanics" in Croft's journey. 
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Here is what's in Rise of the Tomb Raider's season pass

Well, kind of
Oct 07
// Brett Makedonski
It was just last week that we learned Rise of the Tomb Raider would have a season pass. We likely weren't meant to know quite yet, as it was a "oops, it suddenly showed up on a retailer's website"-type of thing. At the t...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Set aside almost 40 hours to completely beat the new Tomb Raider

20 or so to half-ass it
Sep 30
// Brett Makedonski
A fair contingent of game-players equate the amount of #content in a game to whether or not it's a "good deal." It's a mindset that has always struck me as odd. I'll take a streamlined shorter game over an unfocused sprawl an...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer shows off hot grappling hook action

Also: tomb exploding
Sep 21
// Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft probably has some sort of death wish. Mountain climbing can be good exercise and recreation, but I don't think anybody in her right mind would swing from a grappling hook, launch 30 feet, then catch on a vertical r...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

Tomb Raider and Crysis 3 are in Games with Gold

I need to rewatch The Descent
Sep 16
// Jordan Devore
We're in the second half of September and that means fresh Games with Gold. With an Xbox Live Gold membership, you can nab Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (Xbox One) and Crysis 3 (Xbox 360) at no extra cost. I doubt I ever wo...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox 360 looks surprisingly not bad

Xbox One on top, 360 on bottom
Sep 07
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft's really leaning into this whole "Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive for a little while" thing, so the game's coming out on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. But, last-gen is kind of an afterthought, and it...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara doesn't need to murder everyone in Rise of the Tomb Raider

Just some people
Aug 21
// Brett Makedonski
The Rise of the Tomb Raider section of Microsoft's gamescom press conference was filled with knives to the back and arrows to the head. Given the large stage, it's obvious why Crystal Dynamics showed a violent slice of ...
gamescom trailer photo
gamescom trailer

Watch the Rise of the Tomb Raider gamescom demo

Rise from your tomb!
Aug 10
// Steven Hansen
Brett caught up with (and previewed) Rise of the Tomb Raider at gamescom 2015 and what we saw didn't sound all that different from what I saw at E3 2015. Not too surprising this close to launch of a sequel that already has i...

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a little easier on Lara (but still kicks the shit out of her)

Aug 06 // Brett Makedonski
The most obvious example lies within the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider places less emphasis on campfires. They're still necessary for fast travelling and general checkpointing, but they're no longer required to upgrade skills. That can be done on the fly, meaning that Lara can become a more formidable foe in the thick of the fighting. She also has the opportunity to use materials in the wild to her advantage. Rise of the Tomb Raider features a new crafting system (again, no campfire needed) that acts as further upgrades. The likes of berries and pelts can be collected and turned into items far more useful than berries and pelts. Hardly the first game to do it, but it'll place more emphasis on exploration and scavenging when that should be a pillar of Tomb Raider. Crystal Dynamics knows that was a drawback of 2013's game, and it's making right this time. Speaking with members of the development team at gamescom, they assured that there will in fact be more tomb raiding in Rise of the Tomb Raider. The early section we played was a critical path tomb, but there will be more optional ones -- they'll be more expansive and intricate, to boot. One of the more intriguing aspects of this is that Lara will have to become proficient in various languages to access certain areas. We saw her discover a religious-looking artifact that raised her Greek skill a level. It seems as if finding these along the way will be the only method of unlocking certain side paths. It can probably be assumed that these languages correlate to the many countries Lara will find herself visiting. The demo we played took place in Syria, and those events led to her winding up in Siberia (which was shown at E3). When asked where else she'll go, we were given the well-rehearsed PR-trained line of "We're not ready to get into that quite yet; right now, we're focused on talking about Syria." Though brief, the demo showed nicely showed what Rise of the Tomb Raider has in store. It's just as cinematic, dramatic, and action-filled as we'd expect. Lara's going to do plenty of rough falling, labored climbing, and "wow, you just barely made that" jumping. Even though it's an origin story, she should know by now that tomb raidin' ain't easy.
Tomb Raider preview photo
At least she might learn something
Lara Croft has never been the best archaeologist. Carefully digging for hours so as to not damage an artifact wouldn't make for a very good video game. Still, there's a disconnect when she knocks over human skulls that are pe...

Extended Rise of the Tomb Raider video is way better than the E3 trailer

Jun 22 // Steven Hansen
This goes along with bigger tombs, either secret ones or ones on the narrative path. At one point Lara came up on an abandoned Cold War installation, which was apparently one of the game's "hubs" that contain quest givers, crypts, secrets, and story missions. There are also "systems that celebrate Lara's intelligence and archaeological background." Reading documents and murals throughout the ancient world gives Lara more experience and improves her proficiency, allowing her to uncover greater secrets. Like the secret of immortality hidden in a lost city beneath a lake, which Lara is fighting evil organization Trinity to get to. One other major gripe I keep having with the snow-ridden portions shown off is that Lara refuses to zip up her jacket and instead keeps showing off that cute infinity scarf. On top of that, no hat or gloves despite that fact that you lose heat fastest through those extremities. Bad guys, too, are not appropriately bundled for Siberian winter. [embed]294565:59186:0[/embed]
E3 preview photo
E3 preview
I was beefing a bit with Rise of the Tomb Raider for its heavily scripted sequences in which you hold forward on the analog stick as the game just sort of nonthreateningly happens around you (except for when a brutal cutscen...

Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider gets a November release date

Mind that falling ice Lara
Jun 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Hey everyone, Rise of The Tomb Raider is coming to Xbox One on November 10.  There's also a chunk of gameplay footage which we will have up shortly. The game appears to be both faster and more action packed than the last Tomb Raider, which is pretty cool to see.
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

New Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer shows off highly unsafe climbing practices

Full reveal at Microsoft's E3 briefing
Jun 01
// Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft reaches the top of the ice wall after a probably-should-be-dead experience. She has several carabiners attached to her belt. Why didn't she use them on her way up? Granted, it wouldn't have helped if all of her an...
Lara Croft: Relic Run photo
Lara Croft: Relic Run

Lara Croft's in a new mobile runner »\_(ツ)_/»

The Lara you used to know and love
Apr 13
// Brett Makedonski
Crystal Dynamics has announced a new mobile runner titled Lara Croft: Relic Run. The name's fittingly nebulous. Is Lara running after relics? Or, is the old-school Lara the running relic, a classic character hearkening back t...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2013) has become the best-selling game in the series

Clearing 8.5M copies
Apr 06
// Brett Makedonski
The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was always expected to move a lot of units. That much was clear when Square Enix initially deemed it a "failure" after first-month figures yielded a very respectable (yet not good enough) 3...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics: Tomb Raider partnership with Microsoft began in 2008

2013 Tomb Raider moved 7.5 million copies
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
At gamescom 2014, Rise of the Tomb Raider caused waves when it was revealed to be an Xbox exclusive. Well, sort of an exclusive. More like a timed exclusive. But, regardless of the confusion surrounding the announce...
Cancelled game photo
Cancelled game

One tit out: Leaked footage of a canceled Soul Reaver sequel, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun

I can't get over the tit....
Feb 23
// Steven Hansen
Ok. A lot happens in this video, and there's a cool story behind its unearthing thanks to "years of research by NeoGAF member Mama Robotnik" -- there's a full, detailed thread on it here -- but, also, I'm struggling to get p...

Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Dec 15 // Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixReleased: December 9, 2014MSRP: $19.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Gameplay in the Lara Croft series is different from that in the main Tomb Raider games. Though both feature shooting, light puzzling, and treasure hunting, the former uses an isometric camera position as opposed to the latter's standard third-person shooter viewpoint. As a result, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris's brand of shooting feels more like Geometry Wars' than Gears of War's. The bird's eye view also allows for more easily discernible puzzle elements. The problems presented and the tools available are clear, placing the focus on logic and eliminating most of the worry that a necessary lever or switch is hidden somewhere. There are a few clever puzzles to solve, but most are easily figured out and only require some finesse in execution. The basic tools available to Lara are guns, bombs, torches, and a grappling hook. Taking the place of Totec's spear from Guardian of Light is a magic staff that works as a sort of catch-all trigger for any environmental item with a particular rune marking. This can raise and lower platforms, slow down ticking time bombs, alter the rotational speed of gears, fire a damaging beam of light, and more. Alone, Lara can wield this in conjunction with most of her other gear, creating interesting combinations to use in Temple of Osiris's tombs. [embed]284944:56652:0[/embed] Though Temple of Osiris can be completed solo, the real interesting stuff happens with at least one other player. In the cooperative mode, Lara and fellow archaeologist Carter have only torches and grappling hooks, while playable gods Isis and Horus have the staff and a shield bubble ability. Teams need to consist of at least one archaeologist and at least one god, but additional members can be of either type. This alone would be enough to change up some basic gameplay, where trivial things like climbing up a wall need to be tackled differently, since Isis and Horus lack a grappling hook. Timing jumps along with staff usage to retract deadly spikes requires a bit of teamwork and communication. However, the strongest point of the cooperative play is that the puzzles are updated in order to require each player to be doing something. Sometimes it is a simple change like requiring two pressure plates to be activated simultaneously instead of in sequence. Other times the solution to a particular puzzle room is entirely different with more people around. Through all of the tombs, there are various challenges to hit, and they have tangible benefits. Many of the available weapons are locked behind achieving a high score, and several trinkets that confer stat bonuses are rewarded for completing tasks unique to a given tomb. As with Guardian of Light, there are still more red skulls to find, but this time they have Egyptian headdresses on so it still totally makes sense probably. Certain pendants will grant bonuses to the entire team, but this buff will only be activated if the player holding the corresponding item maintains a high combo meter; collecting gems and killing enemies boosts the meter but taking any damage resets it back to zero. This combo meter also factors into going for a high score, as it can be the difference between a gem's base value and four times that amount. In order to get the high score for a tomb, players will need to take as little damage as possible. In multiplayer games, this can breed a competitive cooperation like that seen in recent Super Mario titles, where each player is working toward the goal of having the team reach the end of a tomb, but also wants to be the one on the team to have performed the best. With the right kind of player, this can lead to "accidentally" setting off bombs or dropping teammates onto spikes when there are precious gems nearby. So far, it sounds like Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a great successor to Guardian of Light. There are more players, more weapons, and better graphics. But Temple of Osiris's fatal flaw lies in its control issues. The most noticeable problem is an easily detectable input lag. At times, it felt like somewhere between 300 and 500 milliseconds between controller input and the corresponding on-screen action. It is less obvious when running in a single direction or shooting, but going from stationary to moving takes far too long. Given the tight quarters and constant direction changes necessary for some boss fights, the lack of responsiveness can be quite frustrating. Other times, Lara and her cohorts do not behave consistently. Usually, walking to the end of a platform will result in the player dropping to a hanging position on the edge. Every so often, the characters will instead just drop to their deaths. There was another section where Lara even mentions needing to be careful about a particular wallrun. Dropping into spikes enough times caused me to think I must have been missing a switch somewhere. After a bit of searching and returning, I was able to succeed at the wallrun over the spikes, having no idea what I had done differently. For those who only want to play through the levels and get to the end to advance the appropriately silly story, the penalties for taking damage or dying are not severe. Checkpoints are frequent and players get back into the action quickly. However, given the focus on perfect runs and high scores, it is especially irritating to be locked out of a challenge (and its corresponding item unlock) not at the fault of the player, but as a result of loose and unresponsive control. Sadly, that colors the whole experience. Playing through Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, I was consistently impressed with the environments, weapons, and puzzle design, but I was still frowning and scowling. The action sections (and especially the boss fights) are unsatisfying, tainted by control that functions at a base level but requires the player to fight against it. There are still great things to be found in the Temple of Osiris, and those who care less about scoring points or who have some good partners to team up with can still find some fun in it. For me, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a lot like Horus's staff: it is a treasure that can do great things, but it is cursed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Lara Croft review photo
Cursed treasure
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a surprise hit for me. I had never been a huge Tomb Raider fan, but its focus on puzzles, asymmetric cooperative multiplayer, and replayability drew me in. It's hard to believe that wa...

Deals with Gold photo
Deals with Gold

This week's Xbox Live deals are a treasure trove of tombs to raid

Enslaved is the true hidden gem here
Nov 18
// Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft's gearing up for another grandiose adventure -- this time in the Temple of Osiris -- and before that happens, Microsoft's giving you the opportunity to brush up on your tomb raiding and loot thieving. This wee...
Gex photo

Hah, remember Gex? It's back on

Wonder if any of the jokes have aged well
Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
Couple of things about Gex. First and foremost, the PC version of the original is now available on It's priced at $5.99 and should be quite the nostalgia trip for some of you. That's the main reason I'm writing this ...
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

This happens when you play Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris with a jerk

Oct 08
// Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is shaping up to be a good time as a four-player venture. I played it at gamescom 2014, and it was a lot of fun. However, maybe that's because I didn't have a jerkface in my group tha...
Rise of The Tomb Raider photo
Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider FAQ explains that developer 'didn't intend any confusion'

Haha, yeah right
Aug 23
// Chris Carter
A Rise of the Tomb Raider FAQ has popped up on the official Tomb Raider tumblr account, and it answers some of the questions you've had since the fateful "holiday 2015 Xbox exclusive" announcement. It clarifies that...

Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris

Aug 16 // Brett Makedonski
Perhaps the biggest alteration that Temple of Osiris employs is simply the number of people that are in on the action. Whereas the first game in the series featured two-player co-op, Temple of Osiris drops up to four into the fray. The characters pair off into two groups with unique capabilities. Lara and fellow treasure hunter Carter Bell can grapple to distant locations, while Egyptian gods Horus and Isis are equipped with light staffs. Each proves essential for clearing certain sections, but no characters feel more powerful than others. In the event that there's only a single player, Lara is given a staff to assist with certain sections. On the surface, Temple of Osiris is all about teamwork. Traversing across several tombs in an Egyptian setting in an effort to stop the god Osiris' evil brother Set is technically the reason for this dangerous endeavor. Your partners will feel invaluable as you fight monsters, solve puzzles, and wander off into intriguing nooks. Don't be naive -- they have an ulterior motive just like you. Underscoring the entirety of Temple of Osiris is a sense of competition. The game ranks players after each level, elevating the top performer on a pedestal where they're showered with gems. These gems act as the game's currency, so it's easy to get caught up in wanting more than your compadres. Before long, you're scrambling to pick up the point bonuses, get the final blow on enemies, and find that secret area first. It gives you that one-up that isn't necessary, but you just want so badly. [embed]279606:55317:0[/embed] The pursuit of gems is how the game accentuates its light RPG system. A treasure room that's available in between levels features a wealth of chests that all have random gear to equip. Chests vary in cost to open -- the higher the cost, the better the chance that it'll hold rare items. Crystal Dynamics isn't too willing to talk about the economy of Temple of Osiris yet, so it's unknown whether you'll be able to just buy specific items. Regardless, it's a certainty that gems are something you'll want lots of. Temple of Osiris offers the ability to go back to previous sections and grind out gems if you so wish. After each level, an elevator option is available, which takes the team back to an overworld hub where everything's replayable. It'll end up being a great help when seeking to clear side challenges or set high scores, especially considering that doing so is how some of the game's best gear is unlocked. These challenges won't be a cakewalk. In our demo, gameplay wasn't overly difficult, but it also gave the impression that it'd be tough to do consistently well. Dying resets a point multiplier along with a deduction in points, meaning that consistency is absolutely key. Compounding matters are the typical flaws associated with this style of game. Depth of field and precision platforming aren't Osiris' strengths, but it's likely that familiarity will eventually mitigate most frustrations that arise as a result. It may not be perfect but it works, and it'll probably work really well. It brings with it a sense of exploration and adventure that'll be welcome by those who grew up with Lara. Crystal Dynamics may have taken divergent paths with her character, but Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris proves that it hasn't forgotten the series' roots.
Lara Croft preview photo
She likes shootin' and lootin'
Which Lara Croft do you prefer? Crystal Dynamics has two versions of her, splitting the iconic character into distinctly different properties. The recent Tomb Raider reboot and the scheduled follow-up Rise of t...

Except for that Tomb Raider thing
Microsoft's press conferences often leave me with cranial damage from head-to-desk impact, but their gamescom 2014 presser felt pretty okay to me. I'm excited to see Microsoft making an attempt to partner with more indies. A...


Rise of the Tomb Raider coming exclusively to Xbox platform

Aug 12
// Dale North
Yep. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the latest from Crystal Dynamics, is coming to Xbox only. This was announced today at Microsoft's gamescom press conference. Note that "Xbox" was said, and not a specific console. Maybe it'll come to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Whatchu think 'bout that?
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

Unwrap Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris in December

Bring some friends
Jul 23
// Brett Makedonski
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will arrive just in time to unite friends and family for festivities at the end of the year. Crystal Dynamics' Lara Croft and the Temple o...

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