The Mummy Demastered – Worth the Price of Admission

OVERVIEW

The Mummy Demastered is a tie-in to the recent Tom Cruise hit movie, The Mummy, which launched a multi-movie sustained universe featuring all the great movie monsters of classic cinema.  The player takes the role of an agent of Prodigium, a clandestine organization that combats supernatural threats. This setting lends itself to a spooky ambiance that perfectly fits the characters and enemies you encounter.

GAMEPLAY

As a game, this is Metroid, from top to bottom.  That’s absolutely a great thing in this case.  TMD has its own vibe, and WayForward, who developed the title, is known for their amazing metroidvania titles, (like the recent Shantae releases) and totally nailed the feel of this.  So many major licensed games, especially movie tie-ins, are just phoned-in affairs, and this is a refreshing change of pace.  Yes, it’s been done before, but those original games were so innovative and engaging that they spawned an entire genre.  

Let me upgrade ya.

The Mummy doesn’t rest on its pedigree, however, and while many of the typical Metroid features are present, like missile doors (grenade barricades), tight controls, single screen save rooms off the main drag, and enemies that crawl on every surface, it does innovate.

Um, hey, dead me, can I have my stuff back? By the way, that green really brings out your visor.

The biggest addition is gear dropping on death.  A major theme of the film was resurrection, and when the player character dies, the soldier is immediately reanimated into a zombie minion.  This felt just like a fun death animation initially, until I noticed the map marked the places of death, and my avatar was missing gear.  It’s necessary to seek out your previous corpse, defeat it, and reclaim your gear and weapons.  This can get a bit hairy, as your zombie-self isn’t just *holding* all of your upgrades, it can use them against you, and boy, do they.  There are also fast travel points, which is a welcome modern addition to the game style.

Get to the choppa!!!

GRAPHICS

WayForward is well-known for its retro-inspired aesthetics, and the “demastered” in the title gives a strong hint for what to expect here.  The graphics are crisp and distinct, containing a nice retro feel while not limiting itself to the constraints of that era.  The layered backgrounds that are used especially stand out as a nice addition to the visual depth, and welcome splashes of bright color break up what could easily have become a very brown-toned game.

Had to be zombies, didn’t it.

The animations are fluid, the sprite designs detailed, and the environments varied.  A small complaint is in certain areas the destructible ammo/item crates can read as ammo refills, but that’s a very minor hurdle.  Overall, this game succeeds with a very cohesive and immersing visual presentation.

MUSIC

The score for The Mummy Demastered sounds like it was lifted straight out of a classic Hollywood monster movie.  It’s sweeping, dynamic, and sets the mood perfectly.  Orchestral stings complement events and actions in the game.  This isn’t a game that begs a soundtrack release, but that, again, isn’t a detractor.  The music supports and accentuates the gameplay in exactly the right ways, adding to the experience while not ever distracting the player.

CONCLUSION

The Mummy Demastered is a gem among licensed titles, which should be no surprise coming from WayForward.  It was a welcome surprise after a lifetime of shoddy tie-in games.  Its Metroid parentage is very clear, but its theme and unique twists to the genre allow it to stand on its own as a fine example of a metroidvania title.  If you’ve blown through Samus Returns and are eager for more, or if you’re just looking for a great indie title to add to your Switch collection, The Mummy Demastered will not disappoint.

Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – WayForward
Price – $19.99
Genre – Action, Platformer, Metroidvania

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