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11-17-2017

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy

2003's action-adventure title Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is about to pop up on PC, Mac, and Linux by way of THQ Nordic. There's quite a lot going on with these new versions -- more than you might expect from years-later ports of a game most people aren't likely to remember all that well.

Here's what to look for in the enhanced release on November 10:

  • Support for arbitrary resolutions and widescreen (HD, 4K and beyond), native multi-sampling anti-aliasing (MSAA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) for crisp details at 60 frames per second.
  • Rewritten 3D graphics engine in portable and modern OpenGL 3+, based on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions, supporting volumetric soft particles.
  • Rewritten audio subsystem for cross-platform reverb and realistic distance scaling, together with stereo, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 and HRTF sound output thanks to the new OpenAL Soft back-end.
  • Optional support for Xbox-style controllers with force feedback.
  • Plug-and-play; the player can switch between mouse/keyboard and controller during gameplay at any given time.
  • Full keyboard and mouse support. Added support to the interface so that buttons can be clicked and lists can be scrolled. The camera can be controlled with the mouse.
  • The game is based on the PAL version of the original game, fixing the notorious savegame bug of the NTSC version.
  • Fixed several graphical and collision-related issues that weren't previously visible at lower screen resolutions.
  • Restored HD textures, carefully repainted several GUI elements to remove pillar-boxing and cover the widescreen areas while respecting and following the original artwork.
  • No GUI or HUD stretching.

While I lack an affinity for Sphinx having picked it up from bargain bins but ultimately always placed it back down, I will commend THQ Nordic for not just sitting on IPs like this and de Blob.

And, yeah, there's probably an Assassin's Creed Origins joke in here somewhere.

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