Gamebox 2.0: Temple of Osiris Edition

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Going along with all things Tomb Raider this week on Everything Action, I got to finally play through Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, along with a bunch of other games since the last edition of Gamebox 2.0.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris: Chris and I actually got to play this way back at NYCC 2014 but since it was one of the October PS Plus games, I finally had the chance to play through the whole game.  While the reboot series features much more gunfights and Lara eviscerating guys with a climbing axe, this series, first with Guardian of Light and now Temple of Osiris, is more old school and puzzle based.  Taking a 3/4 POV a la Diablo or Van Helsing, which we’ll get to in a bit, you control Lara (if you are playing single player) or one of three other character, so you can have 4 player co-op.  I feel like the more players you have, the harder the game because playing as just Lara, you have access to all the abilities that get separated into the individual characters, like grappling hooks and the Staff of Osiris.  Storywise, Lara and her rival Carter are trying to get the aforementioned Staff but are cursed and unleash Set, who wants to take over the world.  Lara and Carter team up with the gods Isis and Horus to rebuild the statue of Osiris so Osiris’ power can be restored and send Set back to the underworld.  Overall, it’s a fun game with lots of great puzzles, some great action sequences and interesting boss battles.

Morningstar: Descent to DeadrockYou can try to get your inner Mark Watney as you try to survive on a desolate planet in Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock, which is an old school point and click adventure for iOS and Android.  You are part of the crew of a ship that crash lands on the planet Deadrock and you have to salvage and repair the systems of your ship in order to try and escape.  If you’ve played any sort of point and click adventure game before, you know what to expect here, gather items, possibly combine them and solve puzzles.  Morningstar does some great things to make it slightly less frustrating than some of the classics of the genre like highlighting things you’ve already clicked on and you can radio your captain at any time if you are not sure what to do.  The puzzles all make logical sense as well and I haven’t run into anything where you have to try to psychoanalyze the developers for the weird puzzle solution.

Game of Thrones Ep 6 “The Ice Dragon”Telltale’s Game of Thrones series wrapped up this week and it was bleak, even by Game of Thrones standards.  *mild spoilers* If you were hoping the Forrester family was going to get something of a win, you will be gravely disappointed in this final episode, as most of them either wind up dead or in extremely dire straits.  The only person who makes it out slightly unscathed is their faithful squire Gared, but even he has to doing something horrific before the episode ends.  I’m not sure if they were hampered by being between seasons that already happened so the Forresters were never going to change anything with the major characters but having that translate to them being basically wiped out is not really satisfying after building a connection to these characters for the last five episodes.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2Capcom recently made the first episode of the episodic Resident Evil: Revelations 2 free for all platforms, so I jumped in and it’s a solid throwback to the older Resident Evil games.  Taking place between RE 5 and 6, the first episode of Revelations 2 “Penal Colony” follows Claire Redfield and Barry Burton’s daughter, Moira, as they are abducted at gunpoint after an attack on Terra Save, the new company Claire works for that is like the Red Cross for biological weapon attacks.  The duo are dumped into a strange and disgusting underground prison and are seemingly part of a sadistic experiment to measure human fear.  It’s a throwback to the older RE games because ammo is in much lower supply and there’s more of an emphasis on puzzles and exploration than the games starting with 4, which became much more action focused.  I just started but it seems like if you are an RE fan and you haven’t played this yet, it’s the perfect time to jump in and check out the first episode.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final CutThere have been three games in the Van Helsing action/RPG series from Neocore and now they have released Final Cut, which is a sort of remix of all three games with a bunch of new loot and quests.  You play as the child of Van Helsing, who has become a famous monster hunter themself.  You pick from one of six classes with different skills and abilities and explore the land and fight monsters with your ghost companion, Lady Katarina.  If you’re a fan of games like Diablo and Torchlight, you are going to feel right at home here, as it’s completely that style of fight hordes of monsters, get loot and complete quests.  The ghost companion adds some uniqueness and the skill system is also a lot different as well.  Instead of just individual skills you level up, you pick a main skill, which you do level up, but then you can add up to three modifiers off of that skill so that the main skill is triggered with a mouse click but you can hit A, S or D to add the modifier to the next use of that attack.  It’s a little more complicated but it seems like you could set up some interesting combos and get a very specific play style.  I’ve been playing as the bounty hunter, which is the ranged class that uses pistols and rifles, and it’s a great entry in that genre but that genre is one I get kind of burned out on after a while.  If you like that genre though, definitely check this one out because this seems like a great jumping on point if you missed the initial trilogy.

Snail Bob 2: Probably not the most challenging game of this edition of Gamebox 2.0, Snail Bob 2 is still pretty fun and charming and it hits that quick hit fun of games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds.  You indirectly control Snail Bob, who moves his way through the various levels and you have to maneuver walls, levers and platforms and switch Bob’s direction to get him through the level safely.  It reminded me a bit of the old SNES Rocko’s Modern Life game where you had to do kind of the same thing to keep Spunky safe.  Things start out pretty easy but the game keeps introducing new actions in each level that force you to get more and more involved in manipulating things.  There are also hidden stars and puzzle pieces to find.  Each level has a fun little joke or sequence going on and you can unlock various nerdy costumes for Bob as you progress.

IroncastAt first glance, Ironcast seems like just a steampunk ripoff of Puzzle Quest but it’s actually much more interesting and strategic than that.  Set in an alternate 1886, England and France are engaged in a war that features steam powered mechs called Ironcasts.  You play as one of the Ironcast commanders and battle rival mechs and tanks to keep England safe.  To battle, you match the same colored gems to build up your different meters: repair, energy, cooling and weapons.  You get to make three matches each turn and then you use the acquired power to either fire your weapons or raise shields.  It actually feels a lot like the FTL ship battles, as you can target specific systems on the enemy Ironcast and you have to really keep a close eye on all your systems.  It adds a great level of strategy and depth to the puzzle elements and it’s definitely worth checking out on Steam.

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