OK, Look, This Video Game Based on 'The Mummy' is Actually Good

It might also have the best soundtrack of the year.

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Oct 27 2017, 3:00pm

Image courtesy of Universal Studios

Everyone has an enormous backlog for 2017 already, and with Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Assassin's Creed: Origins all dropping in the next 24 hours, there's no shortage of new games to play. That alone would give most people good reason to ignore The Mummy Demastered. But what if I told you WayForward, masters of the throwback game, developed The Mummy Demastered? What if I told that despite being a licensed game for an incredibly mediocre movie, a movie that single-handedly seemed to kill the aspirations of Universal's ill-conceived Dark Universe, it has some really cool ideas?

There's no reason to punish yourself by watching The Mummy. Even yours truly, a horror buff who's seen every Puppet Master, skipped The Mummy. You'll be fine. In Demastered, players are an anonymous foot soldier of Prodigium, a secret organization designed for supernatural threats—things like world-destroying mummies. It takes the "anonymous" part seriously, too; every time you die, that soldier is gone forever. Players quickly re-spawn as someone new at a checkpoint, but without any of the precious upgrades you accumulated with the other soldier. In order to re-gain access to your best gear, you'll need to take down the newly zombie-fied version of your old self. Even worse, they can still use all that gear!

If you're wondering why Demastered looks an awful lot like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, there's good reason. WayForward basically dropped Symphony of the Night into a game with guns. You slowly explore a map, find sections that can't be explored without new gear, get new gear, go back to those areas and find more upgrades—rinse, repeat. The game could do a better job at making it easier to backtrack—for whatever reason, you can only swap between helicopter points, instead of of save locations—but the map isn't especially large.

Be forewarned, though: it's hard. Demastered does not mess around when it comes to ticking away at your health, of which you don't have very much, and the only way to get more is by farming enemies for health drops. Touching an enemy also produces a small bounceback, which means you're constantly getting knocked off ledges. It's a little much.

I mean, it's even got super cool, screen-filling bosses:

There's also a Russell Crowe lookalike, who clearly can't look too close to the character Russell Crowe played in The Mummy, but they got within a creepy spitting distance:

And out of nowhere, Demastered has one of the most banging soundtracks of 2017:

It's an incredible slate of music that is, unfortunately, not available for streaming, but if you want to support the composer, it's available to purchase on iTunes.

I can't imagine I'll find the time for Demastered, even though it only seems a few hours long, until later this year, but my time with it was enough to convince me it's worth going back to. Demastered isn't revelatory, it's just a good version of a very specific type of game.

Also, that soundtrack.

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