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Product: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
Company: Lucasarts
Website: http://www.xbox.com
Estimated Street Price: $49.99/£39.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

It has been a long time since we have had a good Indiana Jones title to write about, and so far it seems like the old Lucasart's adventures released years ago are still far and away the best thing Indy has released on any computer or console. For the first time, Lucasarts have let a third party design this latest Indy action-adventure title. That company is "The Collective" who have also created the excellent Buffy The Vampire Slayer game on the Xbox last year...which has since turned out to be my most played title on the Xbox.

Indy’s latest adventure plays out in dramatic fashion thanks to new gameplay features such as brawling combat. This time, in addition to using his trademark whip and pistol, Indy can engage in fierce hand-to-hand combat against foes, many of whom are well-versed in martial arts. Improvised weapons such as shovels, chairs and table legs also can be used to fend off adversaries. The result is a more immersive and more Indy-like gameplay experience, set amidst spine-tingling movie-like action sequences, such as a rickshaw chase in Hong Kong and a spectacular battle atop moving gondolas in the South China Sea area. Fierce fighting action with moves ranging from street brawling to sophisticated martial arts.

  • New original storyline features diabolical villains, lethal enemies and a sexy new partner.
  • Whip, leap, swim and climb your way through amazing environments in this original action-packed adventure.
  • The adventure takes you from the jungles of Ceylon, to medieval castles in Prague, to the ancient wonders of China.
  • Weapons range from shotguns and submachine guns to improvised weapons picked up along the way – and of course, Indy’s trusty whip and pistol.

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"So now onto the sound, I can sum up the games sound in one word, excellent, but there doesn’t mean there it doesn’t have some problems. First the good parts, the music is taken directly from John Williams’s soundtrack"

If you have already played “Buffy” on the Xbox then you will already know the kind of style that Indiana Jones & The Emperors Tomb has. The game is played very much in the style of Tomb Raider; just like the last Indiana Jones game was actually. The main difference here is that the puzzles are a lot better and you can use just about anything as a weapon in the game.

If you are an Indiana Jones fan then you are highly likely to enjoy the game. The setting and the style of the game fit perfectly and all of the artefact collecting and witty banter is something that most of us will enjoy hearing and doing. Now onto the Whip, Indy makes some great use of this throughout the game, you can use it to get to far away places by swinging on it, you can whip weapons out of enemies hands and you can also use it to generally attack people, although as a weapon it is pretty rubbish.

There is a lot of fist fighting in Indiana Jones & The Emperors Tomb, the strange thing here though is that the fighting controls are not as detailed or deep as those in “Buffy” as there are no multiple combo moves like there were in that previous “Collective” game. The actual puzzles range from pulling a leaver to open a nearby door to figuring out riddles and putting more leavers in a particular order to gain access to newer sections of the game. This Indy title is, however, aimed more at action fans than those who enjoy puzzle solving.

There are some problems in the game such as some bad camera angles at certain points, but they don’t crop up enough to cause the game much harm and the good points certainly outweigh the bad ones. There are a few other small annoyances such as missing lots of jumps by an inch and the lack of in-game saves (it saves at the end of each level).

Graphics & Sound

Review Quotes
"It has been a long time since we have had a good Indiana Jones title to write about, and so far it seems like the old Lucasart's adventures released years ago are still far and away the best thing Indy has released on any computer or console."

The “Buffy” engine has been put to some good use here, although for some reason Indiana Jones & The Emperors Tomb doesn’t quite manage to look as good as “Buffy” did. The textures don’t look like they have been designed with the Xbox in mind, which is a shame considering that games can look quite a bit better on the Xbox than the other consoles, I guess this will be because the game has also been designed with the Playstation 2 in mind.

In saying that the game does have some great large-scale views, it also flows quite well frame rate wise, although there are some occasions when the game can slow to a crawl with a large number of enemies attacking you, this also causes the sound to skip a lot too.

So now onto the sound, I can sum up the games sound in one word, excellent, but there doesn’t mean there it doesn’t have some problems. First the good parts, the music is taken directly from John Williams’s soundtrack, so it fits in the game perfectly. The speech is also quite good, although it can sound a little too hammy for my liking in places. Now the bad part, this could just be my review copy mind you, but the sound can skip, well the music certainly can anyway and it can be quite annoying in places.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 82%
Gameplay: 80%
Presentation: 70%
Graphics: 76%
Multiplayer: N/A
Sound: 85%
Manual: 80%
Interface: 80%
Price/Value: 83%
Overall: 82%

This is defiantly the first Indiana Jones title released in a while that has kept me hooked until the end of the game, but in saying that I still wasn't as impressed as I hoped I would have been. The graphics are nothing fantastic, but they do their job as well as they can, but it is a shame some more of the combo moves from Buffy were not added to the game as it is the same old fighting moves over and over again. All in all a good Indiana Jones game, but still can't live up to the depth of the point and click adventures released nearly 10 years ago.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 82%
Version Reviewed Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Great soundtrack
Fun
Quite hard
The Bad Points Ok graphics
Slow at points
Xbox Live! Enabled? No
Widescreen Support No
PAL 60 Support (Europe) No


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