The Mummy Returns
by Universal Interactive Studios
Usually games that are based on films end up being disappointing. Over the years there have been several films that have made terrible games and indeed several games that have made terrible films. The Mummy Returns is, thankfully, not part of this tradition and although it is quite true to the film, remains a good third person action/adventure game.
The Mummy Returns story revolves not only around Rick O'Connell and Evy but also Imhotep. Playing as Rick O'Connell your initial task is to rescue your son Alex after he falls into a locked room. The locked room can only be opened by placing three rubies into the holders on the giant door. So off Rick must go on his first task and attempt to locate the three rubies. If you decide to play as Imhotep you will learn that he has been raised from the dead in order to defeat the Scorpion King (the main objective of Rick O'Connell too).
Imhotep is accompanied by a woman, in the same way that Rick has Evy to follow him around, and his initial task is to find three canopic jars. The similarities between the two characters end there though, as Rick has to rely on weapons to protect himself whilst Imhotep has the aid of magic. Speaking of weapons the ones that Rick has seem very weak. Holding two pistols it can take him 5-6 shots to finish off a simple swordsman. In some circumstances he's better relying on his fists and kicks to finish off such a villain in a more efficient manner.
The gameplay is quite refreshing. Rather than bog you down with cumbersome puzzles the game provides simple puzzles that won't hinder your progress. As a result of this you always feel like you are constantly progressing and frustration is kept to a bare minimum. This is true for Rick and Imhotep.
Graphically the game is pleasant if not altogether brilliant. The levels have been well designed but an awkward map system can occasionally make it awkward to see where you are going. The animation of the characters can occasionally seem a little wooden. The lips don't move to simulate speech but this really is a superficial niggle as on the whole the characters are recognisable and the control of the characters is smooth and instantly familiar to anyone who has played this type of game before.
The subtitling in the game is first class. Everything is subtitled and even the controls are mapped out on the screen so you can put the disc in the PS2 and play without the need for the manual. When playing as Imhotep all the spells that you learn have their controls shown on the screen which is absolutely marvellous.
The Mummy Returns is not the finest third person action/adventure game that there has ever been, but it certainly is one of the most refreshing. The simplicity of the puzzles never allow the action to come to a halt like it does so often in games like Tomb Raider. The decision to allow you to play as Imhotep is a very welcome one and gives the game an extra edge as well as increased value. If you liked the film or this genre in general then you will find this game well deserving of your attention.
Overall Game Rating: 7.5/10 The Mummy Returns is a must if you liked the film. Fans of third person action/adventure games should also give the game a look. The inclusion of being able to play as Imhotep was a masterstroke by the game's designers and gives added value to the title.
Deaf Gamers comment: Subtitled from head to toe The Mummy Returns is a delight for the deaf gamer. Every effort has been made to make sure no information is missed, which is great.