The Mummy Demastered
A powerful ancient evil has arisen, and the war to save humanity has begun. The Mummy Demastered throws you into a 16-bit-inspired battle against the undead in a 2D, nonlinear, action-packed adventure. [WayForward]
Single-Player, 2D nonlinear action gameplay
October 24, 2017
PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Genre: Action, Platformer
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Rating: E10+ for Everyone
If you compare this to the recent movie title: The Mummy (2017), The Mummy Demastered should be no good. It’s pretty much a movie tie-in video game to a failed Tom Cruise film and I’m personally not holding out any hope for this new resurgence of Universal’s plans for a Dark Universe series of movies. Fortunately for us, developer WayForward has given The Mummy Demastered the kind of soul that was missing from the feature film, and have successfully crafted a title harkening back to some of the greatest side-scrolling adventures of all time.
Spiritual content: The Mummy Demastered borrows heavily from ancient Egyptian mythology being that you are facing off against Princess Ahmanet, an Egyptian goddess, and various other mythical creatures.
Violence: You will be using various shooting weapons to dispatch enemies with trace elements of pixelated blood appearing, but nothing too graphic in nature.
Language: Dr. Jekyll says d*** twice in the text.
In The Mummy Demastered you’re part of a top-secret paranormal agency called Prodigum, tasked with taking down Princess Ahmanet before her powers grow too strong. Since this is a prequel to the movie, it should already be known that your task force fails as the The Mummy Demastered goes all the way back to the events right before the start of the film. Dr. Jekyl, head of Prodigum, maintains communication with the player during the game and offers some guidance to the next objective. Finding a helicopter serves as a quick travel function where the player can use this to travel to the different helipads marked on the map. The story is adequate in presentation, but it’s not the driving force behind what makes this title appealing.
You play as a no-name Prodigum soldier and you’re not the only one in charge of taking down the princess. At its core, The Mummy Demastered is a metroidvania with Dark Souls influences and this is where the multiple soldiers come into play. If you die, that body will be resurrected as a zombie drone controlled by Ahmanet’s power. In order to get all your gear back, you will have to make your way back to where your previous soldier was killed and kill the undead solider in its place. This can become tricky due to that soldier being able to use all the gear you have accumulated when you were playing as him. This means if you have all the best gear and multiple health upgrades, the fight can be rather difficult.
As you venture through the sewers, caves, forests and all other manner of generic video game settings, you will also encounter all manner of generic video game enemies, such as undead bugs, birds, beasts, and zombies. Needless to say, the presentation of The Mummy Demastered is certainly lacking. Fortunately, when you get further into the title, you will encounter enemies taken straight from Egyptian mythology.
Presentation issues aside, this is still a solid metroidvania title, mainly due to how similar The Mummy Demastered is to Metroid. You explore a big interconnected map and unlock items and abilities that will help you progress further. Grenades will help blow up previously unbreakable walls and climbing on ceilings will allow you to travel across large chasms. There are plenty of health and weapon upgrades as well. You begin with a rifle that has unlimited ammo and soon afterwards gain stronger weapons with limited ammunition, but drops are frequent enough that this doesn’t become a problem.
I do like how many of the weapons aren’t designed to open up doors or unearth hidden areas. They can just look cool and be destructive. There was never a point when defeating enemies with a plasma beam was boring. Special weapons like the assault rifle, shotgun, cluster rocket launcher and mercury harpoon aren’t supernatural like the enemies you’ll face, but for an ordinary soldier, they make for a believable and powerful arsenal. Enemies are everywhere and will get in your way, sometimes to a level that makes getting anywhere a pain, similar to the older Castlevania titles. However, as your nameless character accrues more special weapons, the hordes of enemies are easily dispatched.
The 16-bit visuals and chip tune soundtrack are nostalgia fuel for childhood memories of classic SNES titles, and the challenge is a welcome change from the hand-holding nature of most newer games. The controls are responsive and simple in their layout, but cooperative enough that when you have to repeat a platforming challenge because a giant locust knocked you several screens down, getting back to the falling point is easy.
Overall, The Mummy Demastered, like many WayForward titles, is enjoyable and will probably be remembered as a cult classic metroidvania-like game. For a movie tie-in game to a terrible movie it shouldn’t be good, but it captures what made gaming during the 16-bit generation so appealing with addictive combat and fun gameplay. While The Mummy movie was like the coming of the worst plagues, The Mummy Demastered is a worthy adventure to take part in.
+ Gorgeous 16-bit art style
+ Great chip tunes soundtrack
+ Gameplay is fun and engaging
+ Uses the best concepts for Metroidvania progression
- Boring story
- The difficulty balance can seem unfair sometimes
- Repetition sets in with a good amount of backtracking