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Review: The Mummy Demastered

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Another solid adaptation from WayForward

I haven't seen this year's reboot of The Mummy and barring a long international flight or a drunken impulse rental on Amazon, I never will. The original Brendan Fraser-led Mummy movies? Sure! You know I'm down. But I'm not at all invested in this new resurgence or Universal's plans for a Dark Universe.

Thankfully, with respect to The Mummy Demastered, none of that matters. WayForward took the property and adapted it into a game that stands on its own. Dig Castlevania? You should dig this.

The Mummy Demastered (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Developer: WayForward
Publisher: WayForward
Released: October 24, 2017
MSRP: $19.99

To be perfectly frank, this review doesn't really need to cover much more ground than that because, for better or worse, what you see in this game is pretty much what you get.

The Mummy Demastered is a metroidvania, one that feels more heavily inspired by the Castlevania GBA titles than, say, Super Metroid, despite the fact that your attacks are projectile-based. You play as a surprisingly replaceable soldier of Prodigium, Dr. Jekyll's monster-stopping organization, and it falls on you (and your successors) to track down and eliminate the new mummy herself, Princess Ahmanet.

Along the way you'll go up against bats, dogs, overgrown insects, flaming skulls, bouncing brains, and other assorted creatures, including enemies that more directly draw from Egyptian mythology. That might seem like a random group of foes totally lacking cohesion. It kind of is. But in the moment, while you're playing, it doesn't quite feel that way. Demastered nails that 'vania throwback look and sound WayForward was striving for and the developer's artistry helps bind everything together.

As you progress (hopefully making sure to investigate any suspicious spots that might hold secrets) you'll unlock half a dozen weapons, including my favorites the harpoon and the screen-spanning plasma beam, as well as some typical ability upgrades to open up more of the map. The running and gunning feels great, but with few exceptions, the core power-ups fell flat for me. Higher jumps, underwater traversal, no knockback when you take damage -- helpful stuff, sure, but not terribly exciting.

I'm also not crazy about Demastered's approach to death. Whenever you die, you'll come back as a new Prodigium agent and have to go kill your now-undead-ified former self to regain your gear. It's a novel idea that fits with the game's theme. Problem is, it sure feels like WayForward skimps on health-replenishing item drops to ensure players will die with some regularity. This becomes less of an annoyance as you continue to extend your health and ammo counts with optional upgrades, but early on, especially if you're struggling against bullet-sponge bosses, it'll feel grindy. You'll need to stock back up before facing them again if you want to stand a chance, and that can take a good long while.

Those complaints aside, I enjoyed my time with The Mummy Demastered from near beginning to end. (My initial playthrough took four hours but I still have half of the 50 optional "relics" to suss out.) This game doesn't do anything meaningfully new or original for metroidvania fans, but everything here is solid and WayForward got the fundamentals right... in a licensed Mummy adaptation, of all things.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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The Mummy Demastered reviewed by Jordan Devore

7.5

GOOD

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
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Jordan Devore
Jordan DevoreCo-EIC   gamer profile

Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more + disclosures


 



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