|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: A2M||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Using weapons is also maddening. If the enemies are all coming at you single-file, then it's not a problem, but if they are coming at you from different angles, it can be quite a pain. In order to change the direction of the guns, which include a rifle and dual pistols, you have to use the stylus on the touch screen to select the weapon and then aim it. This technique requires that you to take a finger off of the firing or combat button. This momentarily leaves you vulnerable to attack. Not only that, but it makes the entire control system feel awkward. As in real life, shooting, kicking, and punching should be a pleasurable pastime.
There is a serious shortage of moves. You will be required to climb on things, or grasp certain objects. Although the weapons and the saves are selected for you automatically, there are no context-sensitive moves. That means if you go and stand directly in front of a ladder, you will have to push the climb button (x) to initiate the climbing move. Instead of acquiring more moves as the game progresses, it becomes evident that the developers were running out of time to release the game to coincide with the release of the movie. The last half of the gameplay relies more and more on combat to pick up the slack. The linear path serves as a corridor from which to give you the "bum's rush" to the end of the game. It shouldn't take more than an afternoon to get through this game, and there's absolutely no reason to play through it again.
The cutscenes are impressive. They are well rendered with great voice acting. The sound effects and the in-game soundtrack are also of high quality, although the in-game voices are little more than some grunts, groans, and some endlessly repeated phrases. As I mentioned, the characters appear small onscreen, although I can see why the developers would choose to include so much of the environment onscreen. It's breathtaking. The detail and depth is fantastic. The levels are rich and varied. I wish they could be more interactive. I would like to explore them instead of being forced down the fixed path. As nice as they are, they are little more than paintings.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a text-book example of a rushed movie tie-in that does nothing for either the movie or the gaming industry. Leave this Mummy in its wrapper.
CCC Senior Writer