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  Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
From the Company
You’re Indiana Jones. Legendary adventurer. Daring rogue. And the most butt-kicking archaeologist the world has ever seen. It’s 1935 and this time you must prevent a powerful Chinese artifact from falling into evil hands. This globe-spanning adventure pits you against evil Nazis and the Asian underworld with a mysterious and alluring partner, Mei Ying. It’ll take more than just a trusty whip and pistol to avoid deadly traps and navigate through all the dangerous environments. Do you have what it takes to make it back alive?

The Skinny
That’s right Indy fans, grab your whip and fedora cuz we’re off adventuring again, and this time… there will be no disappointments. For Dr. Jones’ next adventure, (which takes place somewhere between the Raiders of the Lost Arc and the Temple of Doom) you will get to explore Ceylon, Prague, Istanbul, Hong Kong, even other worlds, in an attempt to find the ancient artifact called the Heart of the Dragon – a magical black pearl that can control the minds of men. Of course, you are not the only one that is looking for this item and thus our adventure begins.

One thing that really stands out in this game (aside from Indy’s whip – which I will get into later) is the fairly intuitive item-selection system. This is controlled with the D-Pad. Along with this, you will also see little icons appear every now and again on the top-right corner of the screen. This will let you know what particular item is needed to deal with obstacle is in front of you. With the click of a button, this item is automatically drawn. Now I am not one who likes to be spoon-fed commands, and being led on what to do, but that is what impressed me so much with this system. I never once felt like I was being told what to do.

Just like you would expect from an action-adventure game, there is a healthy balance of action and puzzles solving… oh ya, and lots of combat too. Finally, we get to play an Indy to be proud of… a tough-as-nails, brawling archeology professor with a wicked one-two punch and a mean streak. That’s right, you can shoot a guy from afar before he even sees you, clear a whole courtyard with a machine gun, or (my favorite) slam a bad-guy over a table and then pick up a chair to finish him off. This bar-style brawling is what I believe captures the true spirit of the action in the Indy movies, and what makes otherwise repetitive combat quite fun. You can grab plenty of items throughout the environment to use in combat – everything from shovels to broken bottles, chairs to broken table legs… pretty much whatever you can find. And lets not forget your trusty whip. This is a fantastic all-purpose weapon. You can use your whip to swing from ledge to ledge, knock your enemies weapon from their hands, or even (if you hold the X button) grab and enemy and pull him towards you and combo him with a vicious uppercut. Great stuff!

Being a LucasArts game, the sound is great, and Indy sounds just like Harrison Ford. The soundtrack is just as you would expect it to be in the movies and is awesome at setting the mood. When danger is afoot, the “Indy-ass-kicking” music revs up and really gets you going. Furthermore, little things like the changing in footfalls depending on the surface, environmental effects of things like water, birds and the wind, and even the huffing and puffing of Indy as he is running and fighting, really make the whole gaming experience come together.

The Bottom Line
Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is a well put together action-adventure game. While the puzzles throughout the levels are pretty easy, the brawling combat makes up for this and makes this an adventure worthy of our favorite snake-hating archeologist, Dr. Jones. Sure, the chesty vixen Lara Croft might win on the eye-candy side of things, but I would rather game as Indy any day. And don’t forget to pick up your hat.

Review ID Number: 478
  Product Details
LucasArts
Review Date: 2003-10-13
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 8 out of 10
 
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