The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor review

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GamesRadar+ Verdict

Pros

  • +

    Punching solves all

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    "Challenging" gameplay

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    Inspired by good games

Cons

  • -

    Brain-scouringly dull

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    Cruel and frustrating

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    Ugly and stupid

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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

More info

GenreAdventure
DescriptionAn incredibly empty exercise in punching people to get to the end of this movie based game.
Platform"Wii","PS2","DS"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"12+","12+","12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
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Imagine FX and Creative Bloq editor Ian Dean is an expert on all things digital arts. Formerly the editor of Official PlayStation Magazine, PLAY Magazine, 3D World, XMB, X360, and PlayStation World, he’s no stranger to gaming, either. He’ll happily debate you for hours over the virtues of Days Gone, then settle the argument on the pitch over a game of PES (pausing frequently while he cooks a roast dinner in the background). Just don’t call it eFootball, or it might bring tears to his eyes for the ISS glory days on PS1.