I love Metroidvania styled games. I love running from room to room, being lost in the exploration. They’re easily some of my favorite games, especially for wasting time. And there hasn’t been many titles in this sub-genre that I’m not a fan of. That is until I’ve had a few hours of The Mummy Demastered. Something that looked like it had potential, that ended up being the complete opposite.
Platform(s): PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Publisher(s): WayForward Technologies
Developer(s): WayForward Technologies
Release Date: Oct. 24th, 2017
The Mummy Demastered is based on the 2017 Mummy reboot. Yes, that movie that failed to live up to expectations, but at least it featured Tom Cruise. Outside of that, the movie was a train wreck. So how does a game, that’s loosely based on the movie, fare? In my eyes, not very well.
The game puts you in the shoes of an unnamed agent. No, you aren’t playing as Sergeant Nick Morton – I wish we did. Instead, you’re just a grunt who’s tasked with several objectives that you must follow. That’s basically the entire game. Go find the missing agents, go find these relics, go find these power-ups so you’ll stand a chance, go fight this boss. You see what I’m getting at? There’s not much freedom outside of navigating the winding passageways. And once you’ve done what you needed, you’re whisked right into another task. Seriously, Dr. Henry Jekyll is a very demanding boss with a one track mind it seems.
However, unlike other Metroidvania titles, the game comes complete with a guiding hand. While games in the genre pretty much give you full control, there’s not true here. If you attempt to go to a level or location that you shouldn’t be, the game stops you. In forcibly turns you around and tells you to come back later. Which defeats the purpose of being a Metroidvania title. If I’m somewhere I shouldn’t be, let me find that out for myself. If I’m underpowered or there’s a risk of me dying, let it happen. Then I’ll learn that I shouldn’t be there as of yet.
While you’re sent across the globe carrying out orders, you’ll find other items to aid you in your quests. Finding better weapons helps you out. They’re scattered across the game, ready for you to find them – however, there’s a catch. You’re only able to carry a limited number of items. Basically your main gun (with unlimited ammo), a secondary and flavor of grenades. I would have loved to dig my main weapon, in exchange for two optional weapons. Sadly, that isn’t an option. In addition to the weapons, you’ll find health upgrades, ammo upgrade, and relics.
The controls are responsive and I didn’t have any issues with them. Besides being able to move in any direction, you also have access to a roll. Now, the rolling ability is quite confusing. While it lets you get under otherwise unpassive sections of the game, you’d think it would serve other purposes. Such as rolling past enemies, but it doesn’t. Trying to do so will only get you damaged. This is something that I feel is a missed opportunity.
The gameplay revolves around you, running and gunning through the entire game. You’ll see the enemy, you’ll fire at the enemy and hope that you hit them before they hit you. Despite you having access to an eight-way aiming, somehow enemies can still get the drop on you. The enemies have weird patterns and sometimes they react faster than you think they should. And just like games of old, if you happen to kill an enemy and scroll out of the screen area, they pop right back up. This introduces problems as you can basically pin yourself between multiple enemies. Enemies that will damage you over and over, no matter how hard you try to get away.
Now, while I wasn’t a fan of the title, I did appreciate how the game handles deaths. When you die, instead of being revived, you become part of princess Ahmanet’s army. Yep, you’re a undead creature. So how do you continue playing? Well, another agent somehow ends up at your last save point. But there’s another problem. Since you’re a creature of Ahmanet now, all the gear you found is still with your body. So your new agent has to find your body and kill it again to get your stuff back. A little bit of roguelike being tossed into the game is a nice idea. I just wasn’t a fan on how it was handled.
Graphically, this made to look like a throwback title. Pixelated, like a 16-bit game title and it looks it. It gets the job done and nothing more. The characters are boring, the levels are dark and boring and well, it really wasn’t anything to write home about. The audio actually does a decent job. The sounds such as firing a weapon or taking damage, are done well. The chiptunes, while aren’t anything you’ll remember after you’ve finished the game are ok. Just don’t expect them to vary, as they repeat often.
As for extra features, there aren’t any. You can even remap your buttons. I guess they really were going for that 16-bit feeling. And if that’s the case, they succeeded. The game is also pretty short, ranging around 5-6 hours.
To be completely honest, It was a chore for me to finish this game. The simply isn’t any fun and ended up being a slough. As with any reviewing, I have to be both subjective and unbiased (as much as possible), but this game really hurts. When I think about WayForward, I think of all the fantastic titles they’re put out over the years. So it’s very confusing as to what happened with The Mummy Demastered. There are countless titles that do what this game and they do it better. Fans of the genre might enjoy this, but everyone else will likely want to pass on this.
Review Disclosure Statement: The Mummy Demastered was provided to us by WayForward Technologies for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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When I get a WayForward Technologies game in my hands, I usually know I’m in for a treat. Except this time around I was really disappointed with what they had to offer. A generic Metroidvania-styled game, based on the failed Mummy reboot and completely devoid of any enjoyment. The gameplay is boring, the story is uninspiring and for the first time ever, I had to force myself to complete a WayForward title.
Sadly, this game is just about as enjoyable as the movie was. And the movie wasn’t very enjoyable for me at all.