I’m starting to regret my incredible ability to make endlessly poor decisions for myself. Mummy Wednesdays (why not Mummy Mondays? Did I curse it?) have not gone as smoothly as advertised.
The Mummy Returns finally unveils itself as a shade of the worst type of movie game: one that has the slightest bit of charm before throw you off the cliff of boredom. The chief examples I always use of this are:
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- Ghost Rider (PS2)
- King Kong
Games that, while they may be immediately interesting, rapidly devolve unveil themselves to be one-trick ponies. This is demonstrated more than ever by my efforts to save the night and, instead of pitting us against another two hours of swinging swords at a swollen Dwayne Johnson, I opted to jump into the Imhotep campaign. Holy Christmas, we’ll finally get to see the world through The Friggin’ Mummy’s eyes! I can’t wait to be a dastardly devil, use crazy magic sand powers and bugs to kill people, and wreak all kind of wacky havoc. The cover art practically reaches out to my soul, loudly proclaiming “BUY THIS GAME! BE THE FUCKING MUMMY! OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEAM!!!!!!”
Instead, I suck everybody off and wander around backwards mazes from Rick’s campaign. Was it really that hard? You can’t just give me a few even remotely interesting scenes? What I’ve traipsed through on the way to the final boss encounter (the only surprising thing about this is that I’m not sure if he’ll win) amounts to recycled material coupled with a few unique lines of dialog…and somehow even more confusing objectives. I’m trying to keep things together, playing games on Twitch that are interesting from SOME perspective, but the only thing I could really scrounge up was Imhotep kicking a cat to death. Morally, and creatively bankrupt.
There’s a certain argument to be made that in the transition from film to interactive software, you might want to avoid sticking too closely to the source material. You run the risk of being a pale imitation, filling in the cracks of an entertaining and well-written story with content that sticks out as obviously inferior. On the similar note, straying TOO far from the established structure and making a brand new story with similar beats from the main title (like what we’re seeing here) flips the ratio, taking good ideas and sandwiching them between nonsense. In either case, the uneven (and sometimes even lazy) attempts to prop up a…teehee…corpse has the unintended effect of boring the “gives a fuck” out of someone who enjoys the property instead of playing upon their preexisting enjoyment of the characters or setting. A proper movie game should be able to solidly represent what a fan would expect, and believably enhance in directions that are plausible from the existing source material. Instead, I do donuts in the game’s parking lot looking for things to do.
At least the cats respawn.