There are a few different fighting moves in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, but we’d be lying if we said we had any clue what they were. All we know is that one button means punch. Punch punch punch. Samurai warriors in your way? Punch. A bigger version of the samurai warrior, except this time with a hammer? Punch him. Worried that this nimble lady ninja who’s just shown up might be far too agile to be defeated by your patented button-tapping fighting style? Don’t worry. Punch her. She hates punches. They all hate being on the receiving end of punches, and you’ve got a huge pile of smacks to hand out.
Finally you can jump into the shoes of O’Donnell, the bloke from the latest film (and the other guy too), and punch your way through more tombs, crypts and snowy caves than you could ever hope to punch through. This is shockingly poor movie tie-in rubbish – a tiring and repetitive one-dimensional slog through areas barely associated with the movie. A minute-long clip from TOTDE sets the shitty cogs in motion, and from there it’s a downhill ride to oblivion. Wipe your arse on a page from Prince of Persia’s design brief and you’ll come close to TOTDE’s acrobatic sections.
Near invisible ledges, bemusing controls, pointless spinning blades and frustrating deaths pepper the badly animated scenes. But even these scenes are precious moments of respite from the tedious fighting sections, which imprison you in rooms to grapple with a trickling stream of cloned enemies. There are three guns – but you only need to use them against the few foes your punches can’t reach. O’Donnell’s quips repeat endlessly, making him seem like a forgetful Lara Croft and the right analogue stick doesn’t move the camera, making things impossible when enemies attack from behind. Elsewhere, gesture sections left over from the Wii version appear hugely out of place. TOTDE is a master class in bad design – a rushed tie-in project carried out on a shoestring budget. You couldn’t punch this into shape.
Oct 1, 2008