Mummy, The Download (2000 Arcade action Game)

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The Mummy is a straightforward reenactment of a two-fisted adventure, straight from the movie starring Brendan Frasier -- at least the fighting parts. It could be argued that the game is mostly a Doom remake with skins that happen to be Egyptian in appearance. Since the movie focused mainly on Rick O'Connell blasting away at things with lots of guns, though, the game lends itself well to the first-person shooter genre.

In terms of graphics, Rick O'Connell's face is mapped onto the figure, although he's a bit blocky, and he sports incredibly muscle-bound proportions that aren't evident in the movie. When he lights or douses a torch, the lightning in each area adjusts appropriately. The camera floats just over and above Rick's shoulder and has a built in "quick swivel" that moves so he's always facing away from any wall or object he's against. This nice feature allows him to look down at a pit when his back is against the wall, without requiring you to have to continually adjust the perspective.

Unfortunately, the game isn't always a first-person blaster in that it uses other elements, too, such as a game-within-a-game motif that includes a surfing exercise requiring the hero to jump or duck obstacles while riding a log down an underground river. Unlike other parts of the game where Rick can take cumulative damage before dying, one misstep on the log causes instantaneous death, depositing Rick back at the beginning of the level in third-person perspective before he reaches the surfing portion again.

There are other problems as well. For a bizarre reason known only to the designers, the spacebar is both the means of attacking with a weapon (be it Rick's trademark dual pistols, a torch, an "amulet grenade" or so forth) and the method used as he interacts with his environment. This leads to the character blasting away, perhaps with the same frustration the player feels at times, when attempting to push a button to open a door. There are also traps that cause instant death, an element that is never fun.

An inordinate number of doors slows the pace down as the hero must usually search for switches to open them, often having to kill monsters to get there, and all too often, the monster doesn't show up until Rick reaches the door. Combined with the other problems, the game's excitement level is diminished considerably by these elements. But, at the same time, the shoot-em-up scenes in the game are lots of fun. Watching the mummies twitch and writhe as they get hit from Rick's two pistols accurately captures the feel of the pulp era but, once the game deviates from that basic formula, it quickly loses momentum.

Graphics: Generally, this is a Doom-like game with beautifully rendered Egyptian tiles and detailed enemies like warrior and priest mummies and tomb robbers. The hero leaves footprints in the sand when he runs, holsters his weapons to push doors and climb walls and is fully animated.

Sound: The music switches from eerily atmospheric to heroic action-like as Rick engages a foe. Taken directly from the movie, it works well and helps keep the pace of the game going. The voice acting, though, is laughably bad. While most of the actors sound passably similar to their movie counterparts, Rick O'Connell sounds more like He-Man than Brendan Frasier. The creepy sounds, grating stone echoes and shouts of the tomb robbers are fairly standard fare.

Enjoyment: The arbitrary deathtraps, the pointless "find the button" exercises and the lack of a real plot impact negatively on the overall gameplay experience. The Mummy is only entertaining when Rick is doing what he did in the movie -- blasting mummies back to the afterlife.

Replay Value: The hero gains extra lives by lighting torches and activating certain mystical hieroglyphics throughout the game, a critical element to gameplay since there is no player-controlled save function. Fortunately, the game is divided into subsections where saves do occur.


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