Review

The Mummy Demastered Review

  • First Released Oct 24, 2017
    released
  • PS4
Jason D'Aprile on Google+

Way better than the movie.

Developer WayForward has channeled its knack for crafting eye-catching retro games to make The Mummy Demastered, a licensed game based on the recent (and disappointing) Tom Cruise movie. It's an unusual fit, but don't let that dissuade you. Unlike most games based on movies, The Mummy almost completely abandons its source material to try something different, and mostly succeeds.

The Mummy is, at heart, a mixture of Ghosts n' Goblins and Metroid. It looks and plays as if it would be perfectly at home on the Super Nintendo, and everything about it will feel instantly familiar to anyone who's played their fair share of 16-bit side-scrolling action games. There's one giant map where new sections are opened by either finding new abilities and items or defeating bosses. Monsters immediately respawn as soon as you enter a new room or area and secret treasures encourage exploration.

Supply boxes are scattered throughout the world containing everything from an assortment of new weapons to health upgrades. Weapons include machine guns, a flame thrower, shotgun, rocket launcher, and more, including several types of grenades, ranging from standard explosive to fiery napalm. The Mummy also features destructible statues containing secret scrolls to grant you extra speed, higher jumps, and other necessary skills to reach new areas. It's a tried-and-true method of progression that keeps you searching every passage, and there's enough variety in the locations and room designs to keep the familiar gameplay from feeling stale.

The most notable aspect--for better or worse--is the way The Mummy treats death, which takes inspiration from WayForward's DS action game, Aliens: Infestation. When you die in The Mummy, your character turns into a zombie and you take control of a new agent. In order to retrieve all the goodies you've collected, you have to successfully kill the ghost of your former self. This is a great idea that fits in at first but becomes incredibly tedious during tough boss battles. Since you respawn in a save room prior to a boss battle, dying leads to an annoying series of events requiring you to kill the last agent, then go and kill a bunch of lesser monsters to regain health, before trying again to take down the boss. There's no option to simply revert to your last save file.

It's also a very tough game in general, ghost agents notwithstanding. Enemies constantly come at you from multiple angles, there are environmental hazards like toxic waste, and difficult bosses relentlessly test your shooting and dodging skills. All of these moments feel great in action, but the limited eight-way directional aiming is an occasional annoyance. Since you frequently have to shoot things at angles above and below you, the lack of finesse here requires constant position adjustments. It would have helped the combat flow to take advantage of modern analog controls and allow for a full range of motion when aiming.

Quibbles aside, The Mummy delivers a creative and action-packed adventure. Full of running, jumping, and gunning through tombs, forests, sewers, subway tunnels, and beyond, the game brims with challenging old-school charm. It's sure to bring back a flood of nostalgia, while still managing to be a solid game on its own. Still, a few more modern touches to make it slightly more playable wouldn't have hurt. As it is though, this is a fun and tough monster-filled trek that surpasses the license it's attached to.

Jason D'Aprile on Google+
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The Good

  • Solid old-school action game that rewards perseverance and exploration
  • A large selection of weapons keeps combat interesting throughout
  • Great 16-bit-inspired presentation

The Bad

  • 8-way directional aiming limits your ability to effectively handle multiple levels of enemies
  • Occasionally frustrating death mechanic makes losing boss fights tedious

About the Author

Jason D'Aprile spent about seven hours taking down the forces of evil in glorious retro splendor. GameSpot was provided a complimentary copy of the game for this review.
25 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Pyrosa

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I am all over this!

--Love G&G

--Love Metroid

--I buy a ton of retro games

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McGuirex3

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What the hell does (De)mastered mean?

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Pyrosa

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@McGuirex3: It's a "play on words."

The last several years have seen a lot of "HD updates", and "Remasters," thus taking a modern movie (itself a remake) and turning it into a low-resolution retro game is thus a "De-Master."

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McGuirex3

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@Pyrosa:

Wow I never knew thanks friend big-time and happy gaming to you!

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karavanasam

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This game is attractive?Lol I almost fall from chair.All I see are terrible spiders and ugly graphics from screenshots.I should think about trusting reviews of gamespot from now on I guess.

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Pyrosa

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@karavanasam: I'm guessing you're under 30... (Not that it's a bad thing, necessarily...)

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PETERAKO

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Edited By PETERAKO

ok, so let me get this straight, the movie tie in game is better than the movie?! Where has the world come to?!

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Pyrosa

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@PETERAKO: Right?!?

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Litchie

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First saw this in the Switch e-shop a few days ago. Thought it looked really cool, but it's apparently a very short game. With Metroid: Samus Returns, Axiom Verge and Hollow Knight I also don't really need another Metroidvania, so I'll pass.

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itchyflop

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looks good, a surprise when i clicked on here.

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Alucard_Prime

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Great game, I agree the aiming restrictions are annoying.

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Ryozo

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Edited By Ryozo

@Alucard_Prime: Annoying, unneeded, and particularly hard to justify when you have other games like Shadow Complex which have no problem embracing 360-degree aiming (themselves inspired by a DOS-era game called Abuse, as I recall). The rest of the game, from what I've seen, is pretty interesting.

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Alucard_Prime

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@Ryozo: Yeah its overall a decent entry in the genre, but some of the gameplay design lacks the finesse I would have expected from a more experienced and competent dev.

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jinzo9988

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Pretty looking game. Shame about the license... I don't really get why it was needed. It's oddly kind of a strike against it for me. If the price is right someday I think I'll grab it.

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Gelugon_baat

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Regarding the matter of the compass-direction shooting, is there anyone here who remembers Abuse? Or the more recent BUTCHER? Those are games that make sensible use of their platform's controls.

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deactivated-5a26032528a9b

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I have a stack of Wayforward stuff I wishlisted on either Steam or GOG. This one. Duck Tales. The Mighty Switch Force games look cool. Mystik Belle.

I think ultimately I'll just keep to Shantae.

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Gelugon_baat

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@pmcollectorboy: Yeah, it's unfortunate. The games that are made through WayForward's contract work, such as the Capcom-owned IPs, tend not to appear on GOG at all.

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Aladan53

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This is better than the movie!

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hochstreck

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Edited By hochstreck

This game sports a pretty cool soundtrack, but the game itself could haven been longer and/or more elaborate in its basic premisses and better optimised(on the Switch), for a 20€ price-tag.

Also, I never had much of a problem with dead agents, as they can be taken out pretty easily when being shot form a distance(just don't charge at them like an idiot).

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GirlUSoCrazy

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This looks great, and it's from WayForward? I'm in

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G4m1ngOn

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If you can't tell stories - and you can't make art - you don't have any experience with 3d modeling or 3d engines - and you don't want to spend even 2-3 months on development? - go do a 8 or 16 bit game.

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lightning_kf

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@g4m1ngon: I'm sorry, what? You make no God damn sense with that statement. A lot of the best games, stories and art have been done IN 8 TO 16 BIT STYLES.

But hey. Look at the pretty 3D, PS4/Xbox One graphics, right?

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Seymour47

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Edited By Seymour47

@g4m1ngon: And lo and behold, a lot of the best games available these days are 8 or 16 bit games. It's almost as if the devs of those games concentrate more on game play instead of making pretty 3D models. Weird right?

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The Mummy Demastered

First Released Oct 24, 2017
released
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

7
Good

Average Rating

13 Rating(s)

6.6
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Everyone 10+
Fantasy Violence