Game Review

Mania Grade: C

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  • Platform: Xbox
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Players: 1
  • Online: No
  • Developer: The Collective
  • Publisher: LucasArts
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: C
  • Sound: B
  • Gameplay: C
  • Replay: D
  • Fun Factor: C
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: C+


Not that inspired

By James Stevenson     April 22, 2003

There have been a few INDIANA JONES games throughout the years, but none of them was better than INDIANA JONES on the Super Nintendo, which did for the INDIANA JONES franchise what SUPER STAR WARS did for STAR WARS videogames. There's been a slump lately, one LucasArts is hoping to fix with INDIANA JONES AND THE EMPEROR'S TOMB.

The story doesn't offer much new to fans of the series. You'll again go after an artifact that the Nazi's are after as well. It's a very typical storyline for the franchise. It's fun, but you're not really here for the franchise, it's time to kick ass and take names with your trusty whip and revolver.

That's the best part of the game. Indy has all of his weapons available to him. You can swing across pits, whip guns from the hands of your enemies, and even lose your own hat. The fighting is intense, you have to inflict some serious damage on your enemies to knock them out, and the typical button-mashing approach will not work at all. I enjoyed the action a lot, but it tends to get repetitive very quickly.

But what would a good INDIANA JONES game be without ingenious puzzles though, right? Wrong. The puzzles in THE EMPEROR'S TOMB are really basic, really easy, and insulting to the intelligence of the gamer that this is targeted for. I wish there were some more difficult puzzles that would really make me think, but there are none.

The game on the whole is good, but it just lacks polish on gameplay elements. The fighting is strong, but it gets old. The puzzles could have used much more thought. I had games where almost every puzzle involves hitting a lever to open a door. It gets, really, really old. While there are some cool elements of jumping across bottomless pits and exploring the levels, the massive amount of swimming takes away from it all.

I tried to like this game, really I did. I loved the fighting at first, and I was ready to ignore the puzzle elements. But the game did something well, and then didn't do anything different. It makes for a bland experience.

There is an insane amount of clipping in the game. I mean, this is ridiculous, if most developers can at least eliminate some of it, why not these guys? The levels also look fairly dull and could have used some more polish. The only part that is decent is the actual character models, which look sharp and do justice to the source material.

The sound is much better the voice acting is excellent, and the musical score is fantastic. The sound effects are the weakest part of the sound suite, but even they aren't too shabby at all. The game sounds enough like the movies to keep the experience feeling just like INDIANA JONES.

If you want to play a game as INDIANA JONES, this isn't a bad way to do it. But as far as a game goes, THE EMPEROR'S TOMB falls short by being vastly repetitive and not offering much new to gamers. A rental at best.


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