Despite having a lose tie, the Mummy Demastered has little to do with Tom Cruise or the fairly predictable movie. Built upon inspiration from Castlevania and Metroid, this game drags you down some deep holes in pursuit of the Mummy herself. But, is it any better than the movie?
Starting out, this game follows the movie only in two ways. For one, the main antagonist is the Mummy. She’s out to cause all forms of maniacal mischief and it’s your job, the unnamed lonely soldier, to stop her. Secondly, this game crosses over with the movie in several scenes, but either before or after the events of the movie takes place, so you never see any of the cast from the movie, aside from lady death herself a couple really short nods from one other character. It does a good job of separating the game from the movie, and gives it plenty of room to breath, adding it’s own plot and gameplay mechanics along the way.
You’ll traverse the wide sprawling map, find upgrades and abilities which allow you to traverse to new areas of the map, kill a handful of bosses, and that’s really about it. You have the ability to chuck grenades, switch weapons mostly on the fly, roll (although it’s useless) and a few other nifty tricks that you’ll find later, but it’s all pretty basic stuff. Now, where the game differs from the classics is the fact that it’s more of a run and gun game, sort of like a Contra, but with gameplay mechanics taken from the previously mentioned titles. Most of your upgrades are actually just new, more powerful weapons. You have a basic light machine gun, and everything else you find in the game packs more punch, and enables you to unlock (blow all the hell) doors previously locked down. There are a couple traversal abilities you’ll find, and some relics that grant you small perks too, but it’s mostly just finding new weapons.
The curve ball here is that if you die, you drop all of your gear and upgrades and become a zombie yourself. Since you’re dead, you’ll then move over to control a fresh new identical to you unnamed soldier in an attempt to kill your old self, reclaim your gear, and finish the game. It’s an interesting concept that somewhat harkens to the Dark Souls series, but it really doesn’t add much to the game. It does add an additional incentive to not die, proving meaning to your deaths, but it also can become a little frustrating if you die far away from a save point (spawn point) and have to traverse difficult areas to fight your old powered up self.
The game can be quite fun. Many of the enemies, although not terribly inspired, do offer a good fight and provide a solid amount of challenge. This isn’t like a metroid game, however, where you’re likely to make your way through several areas without encountering one. You will see enemies, often in large numbers, in basically ever room. This keeps the action tight and also keeps the game under tension. Enemies drop life, but they also take it. Enemies also take a lot of damage at times, requiring precious ammo to be depleted from more powerful weapons to defeat them quickly. Hence lies the juggle between pumping out limited high powered rounds (your base gun in weak but infinitely charged), risking losing health, and conserving ammunition. Ammo can be found and enemies drop it pretty frequently, but until late in the game it’s a real struggle and is cause for constant strategic choices between weapons.
Visually, the game looks pretty nice with the occasional beautiful room, ripped straight form the movie. At other times, it can look pretty bland and basic. The characters are generally modeled quite well, but for some reason the main protagonist just doesn’t really seem to fit the look or the color of the rest of the game, perhaps in an attempt to stand out.
Performance wise, I did hit some severe performance issues on the Switch, particularly near the end of the game. large outdoor scenes with lots of enemies began to drop int to the 20’s frame per seconds, dragging the game speed down along with it. In the final battle, the framerate chugged almost constantly, and I even encountered a huge, finale ruining bug where the final most just stopped moving altogether, allowing me to finish the last 40 seconds of the fight just pumping rounds into her face. It was hugely disappointing and really needs to be ironed out. This was in docked mode also, BTW.
The music is nice, with some energetic tracks pumping out rhythmic tunes that added a lot to the presentation of the game, but overall none of the tracks really stuck with me afterwards.
Overall, for the asking price of 20 bucks, it’s not bad. There was certainly some fun to be had in the 4-5 hour campaign I played, but there was little reason to return when I was finished. I’d suggest waiting for a performance patch if you’re playing the Switch version, but otherwise it’s definitely worth a look if you’re into these styles of games.