The Mummy Returns may have come and gone in theaters, but Universal Interactive is gearing up for the release of the DVD with a video game interpretation of the movie for the Sony PlayStation 2. At its Gamers' Day event held yesterday in Burbank, California, Universal Interactive gave the press another chance to play The Mummy Returns, and it has been markedly improved since it was last shown. The Mummy Returns is a typical action game: You explore areas, looking for switches and clues while destroying enemies. You attack with the X button, kick with the circle button, block with the square button, and bring up your character's inventory screen with the triangle button.
The Mummy Returns for the PlayStation 2 follows the plot of the movie with precision, with just a few liberties taken by the game's developer, Blitz Games. You may play as either Rick or Imhotep, and each character has its own offensive characteristics. Rick uses traditional weaponry such as shotguns, pistols, and machine guns, while Imhotep can use a variety of spells, including one called the soul suck, which will replenish his health and transform him from a mummy back into his human form. Other spells include resurrect, anubis roar, and strength of apis. The game's 12 levels, strewn across seven different environments, are the same for each character, except Rick will start at one end of the level and Imhotep will start from the other end. Each character has one specific level to complete.
The graphics have received an adequate upgrade since we last saw the game at E3. The texture clarity has been vastly improved, as well as the frame rate. And thanks to dynamic textures, Imhotep's skin will gradually transform from a rotted corpse's skin to a nubile young man's. Four levels were shown at Universal's gamers' day, including the jungle, karnak, British museum, and netherworld sections. While the game's engine pushes a great deal of polygons, Blitz Games is still working on adding the small details, such as real-time shadows and lighting, which help to make games convincing from a visual perspective. The game's story is told via real-time cinemas with streaming dialogue synched to facial animations. Enemies come in a variety of forms, from minotaurlike beings with spears to a creature that's half the people's champion (The Rock) and half scorpion. The actual actors from the movie have not supplied their voices for the game, but the soundalikes used are surprisingly accurate. Blitz Games stated that the final version of The Mummy Returns will load new sections of the levels on the fly, but we were unable to see this feature in action.
While nothing out of the ordinary, The Mummy Returns is beginning to show signs of being an adequate movie-to-video-game translation. The graphics likely won't impress most, but those who enjoyed the movie will find it to be an accurate representation. The Mummy Returns is currently scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 in October. We'll have more information as it becomes available.