Ever since I first heard Tomb Raider: Legend’s fantastic theme as it played over the game’s menu all the way back in 2006, I’ve been an ardent fan of the music of the Tomb Raider series. I worked my way through each successive soundtrack, using the time between each new release to go back and listen to bits and pieces of those that came before.
I remember being supremely disappointed when I discovered that the soundtrack for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was largely made up of various sections of the scores of the previous games, and didn’t, therefore, bring anything noteworthy to the table itself. As for Temple, however…
It wasn’t long after the game’s announcement that I began to wonder what its soundtrack would be like. Given the time that had elapsed since the previous games, it seemed doubtful that it would use similar music to that of Guardian of Light, and reusing that of 2013’s Tomb Raider really wouldn’t have sat well with the style of the game.
As it turns out, however, Temple got its own original score, composed by Wilbert Roget II, and — with the album now available in full — it’s safe to say that it’s everything I could have wanted it to be. And more.
Temple of Osiris’s soundtrack opens with the brilliant Lara Croft Overture —
— which serves as the main theme of the game, and does a fantastic job of setting the tone of what’s to come. It’s catchy, fun, and as soon as you hear it, you know you’re heading back to Egypt. I can’t count how many times I replayed it when it was first made available.
Having now listened to the soundtrack in its entirety, I'm happy to report that it continues the level of quality found in Lara Croft Overture throughout. Some tracks may not be as catchy as others, and some — as is the case with most video game scores — are simply there to serve as a background to the action, but that doesn't change the fact that the album is more than worth a listen.
It's when it comes to its final few tracks, however, that Temple's soundtrack truly achieves greatness.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced latter part of The Grinding Gears —
— but Track #30 delivers a wrecking-ball of nostalgia. Throne of the Mad God —
— took me completely by surprise by featuring a riff on the classic Tomb Raider theme, twisted beyond recognisability in Jason Graves's musical accompaniment to the 2013 main series reboot.
With its slightly sombre tome, and the haunting, reflecting-inducing backing track playing beneath it, Throne of the Mad God feels like a lament for the Tomb Raider adventures of old.
But there's hope there, too, with the brief glimpses of Lara Croft Overture shining through like rays of light, stating proudly that the Lara Croft of yesteryear isn't finished yet.
After a slightly bland track titled A Clash of Gods, the album returns to form with the rousingly epic One Last Chance —
— and then draws to a close with the again slightly bland The Fall of Set, and the lovely bookend to the score, Finale —
— and an entertaining, if not particularly engaging, remix of Isis' Lament.
In a move both brilliant and generous, Crystal Dynamics have made the entire soundtrack of Temple of Osiris available for free on SoundCloud, so be sure to head over there and check out the tracks I haven't included in this post. You won't be disappointed.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to head back to Egypt. There's a troublesome God there who needs dealing with.