Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb

Review

posted 5/13/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
It hasn’t been that long since that familiar whip and fedora hat appeared last on the PC. While you’re waiting for the fourth installment of the movie to be made, you can satisfy your Jones craving with the latest from LucasArts, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb.

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is an third person action adventure game not unlike Tomb Raider. But we all know who was the first to hunt those archeological artifacts. Anyways, Emperor’s Tomb is a port of the Xbox game to the PC. And because of that, there are still some console aspects that could’ve been eliminated and improved upon on the PC. Right off the bat, you are treated to the traditional menu system that’s only adjusted via the up and down arrow keys. You would expect a mouse interface to get you through this but you are forced to maneuver through each selection just like the console. At least you can remap the keys and adjust the resolution as you see fit.

The story is basically Indiana trying to prevent a black pearl called the Heart of the Dragon from falling into the wrong hands. Some places you’ll be visiting are Ceylon, Hong Kong, and Istanbul to name a few. As with the movies, you start out hunting an artifact that has some bearing on the main storyline. You’ll even see those famous traveling sequences that the Indy movies and old serials are known for. Indiana is voiced by an actor that has a very nice resemblance to Harrison Ford’s voice. What’s with Harrison Ford and not taking the time to lend his voice to Indy? You don’t see Mark Hamill turning down LucasArts. Show LucasArts some love, Harrison.

Let’s get to the game itself. You’re given a good variety of movements and skills to use as you traverse the game. I especially enjoyed grasping on the edge of ledges whether jumping towards an edge or just lowering yourself down. The grapple reminded me of Prince of Persia and a lot of places actually take advantage of this skill as some jumps are just out of your reach to land on your feet but not from making a nice hair raising save from falling with your hands. As with most platform type games you can run, jump, and other general movements.

Fighting in Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is actually a lot of fun. The control scheme is the left mouse button is used for a left-handed punch while the right mouse button is for a right-handed punch. Combos are generated by different patterns of button presses. To grab someone, just press the two together. After a grab you can do various other combos by pushing the buttons or even slamming someone against a wall if you are close. I’ve even toss people off of cliffs to my delight. There are a lot of objects that you can pick up to use such as chairs, bottles, and shovels. Even your enemies can use them too and you’ll see a few run over and pick up a weapon from time to time. Indy also has his trusty whip that can also be used to swing on objects or whip weapons out of enemy hands. Guns are also in the game and they can dispatch enemies quickly.
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