The Mummy Demastered Review
The Mummy Demastered is a 16-bit-inspired, nonlinear, action-packed metroidvania loosely related to the 2017 film remake of “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise. Whilst The Mummy Demastered does not follow the film adaption by the books, the order of events and the story are roughly the same. The game’s main goal has you, an Elite Agent of the Prodigium organization, track down and eliminate Princess Ahmanet. The Elite Agent will be required to travel around London to locate and use a variety of weapons, upgrades, and mysterious artifacts to fend off the plethora of supernatural hordes of Princess Ahmanet.
Reward For Exploration: Metroidvania games have a very big emphasis on exploration; many areas are normally locked and are non-traversable until certain power-ups are obtained. The Mummy Demastered is the exact same. The main difference is that when the player obtains a new skill, for example the C4 which allows you to break down metal plates, you will be able to access the boss fight of the area. But if you decided to backtrack a few rooms to the previous zone, you will find a metal door you can blow up to obtain a health kit, which gives you 100 extra health points. Whilst this seems trivial and common for metroidvanias to incorporate back tracking, The Mummy Demastered does this excellently. From the many times that you obtain a new skill to use, there will be many areas near you which you can then utilize the new skill learnt to obtain even more upgrades. Additionally, The Mummy Demastered takes a “Slow and Steady” approach, so instead of learning a new ability and then using that ability to reach the next boss fight, there will be many upgrades close to your location to give you an edge if you opt to backtrack and explore. Thus, exploration is rewarded and the game positively reinforces this style of gameplay.
Controls: Metroidvanias are unique considering they tend to mesh together platforming and shooting/fighting genre elements into a combined gaming experience. Due to this the game needs to have very solid and tight controls so the player can navigate through hard platforming sections whilst also being able to shoot or attack enemies at the same time. The Mummy Demastered admirably exhibits on how a game should have theirs controls set out. The Elite Agent is easily manipulated using the left analog stick and jump height can be controlled depending on how long you hold the jump button. The Elite Agent has the ability to shoot vertically, horizontally and diagonally which allows precise control on where you want to shoot. Furthermore, the player has the ability to lock their movement in place to free-aim at enemies, this allows precise shooting without any movement interference. Ultimately, the controls are precise, consistent and easy to grasp.
Abundance of Weapons/Utilization of Weapons: There are many weapons in The Mummy Demastered that the Elite Agent can find and use throughout the game. The Elite Agent has the ability to carry 3 weapons at a time and one form of explosive. The first weapon the Elite Agent carries is the Machine Gun, this is the jack-of-all trades weapon which has infinite ammo. The other 2 guns the Elite Agent chooses to take with him will have limited ammo.
The Mummy Demastered has many weapons which serve a niche purpose and thus experimentation of these weapons will be required to see which weapon is best for each scenario in the game. A good example is after you get the Shotgun, it allows you to kill the big spiders relatively quickly, whereas using the Assault Rifle will take a longer time and often result in you being hit by the enemy’s projectiles. Other enemies, for example the knights, have shields and normally the weapon you use, such as the Assault Rifle, Shotgun or Flamethrower will not work on the enemy due to them blocking your attack. But if you decide to utilize the Plasma Beam, you can by-pass their shield and still hit them. Another example is when you are underwater you are unable to use the Flamethrower, but you can utilize the Harpoon to kill all the enemy piranha. This presents a strategy element in The Mummy Demastered, in which the player can think ahead and pick the loadout required for the path ahead. The game gives certain enemies weaknesses and the player is encouraged to locate these weaknesses and exploit them to easily traverse through what would normally be a difficult area.
Frame Rate Issues: A major problem which was identified as you progressed through the game is the amount of frame rate drops experienced. This is very noticeable in the latter areas of the game where screens are permeated with numerous enemies and projectiles. This effect can also be replicated if you use a weapon with a lot of graphical effects, such as the Flamethrower or Plasma Beam. Whenever you use these weapons on enemies which have relatively high health points, the frame rate will be significantly reduced to the point of being unplayable until you stop shooting the enemies. This effect can also be illustrated on the bosses in the game, namely the final boss, wherein using the Flamethrower combined with the Plasma Beam will cause the final boss to stand still indefinitely until they are killed. The frame rate drops are obnoxious and quite frankly a detriment to the overall gaming experience.
Lack of Story: The Mummy Demastered unfortunately has a very weak story. As the game starts up, you will be directed to locate Ahmanet at her last known position. Upon reaching that location, you are then notified that Ahmanet has moved further underground below London. This sequence of events of chasing Ahmanet deeper and deeper into the Earth is the only story element the game provides. There are brief interactions between the Elite Agent, and Ahmanet but very little information is obtained from these conversations. The Elite Agent you control is simply a blank canvas and upon death you will take control of “Elite Agent 2” and carry on with the mission. The main character you control has no personality, story, or objectives to overcome apart from eliminating Ahmanet. Many metroidvanias, such as Axiom Verge, Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night can balance story and gameplay. Axiom Verge has many collectible notes scattered throughout the game to give backstory as well as unravel very important plot revelations, whilst Castlevania: SOTN has cutscenes and various non-playable characters to interact with to flesh out the story. It is also a notable mention, that all three of those games listed, have named main characters and thus are more relatable instead of just being a “disposable blank agent” which The Mummy Demastered has.
Short Game/Lack of Bosses: Completing The Mummy Demastered with all collectibles only took 3 hours 30 minutes of game time. The main game consists of 7 main areas, where the final area is the location of the final boss battle. With that, there are only 6 main areas in which you can freely explore. Like with all metroidvanias, more paths will open up as you obtain new weapons and power-ups. As a result, most of the time spent playing will be running back and forth between previous locations to locate new power-ups to give you an edge in the boss battles. If the player does not wish to back track to explore and just progress with the story of the game, The Mummy Demastered could easily take around 2 hours to complete for the average gamer. It is also worth mentioning that there are only 6 bosses throughout the game, and 2 of those bosses are in the final, 7th area of the game.
Overall, The Mummy Demastered is a solid metroidvania as It understands the underlying features of what makes a good metroidvania game. There is a lot of exploration and back tracking, a myriad of unique weapons and customization options and many power-ups strewn about. The controls are perfect, responsive and easy to grasp. Unfortunately, this experience is sullied by the lack of story, short game time and the constant frame rate issues the game has in the later sections of the game. The Mummy Demastered could easily rectify these problems by being a lot bigger in scope, with more areas to explore and more bosses to fight.
The Mummy Demastered was developed and published by WayForward Technologies. It was released for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One (Reviewed) on October 24th, 2017. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.