Vehicle handling is another spleen-venter, the bile heightened by the fact that at first you aren't aware that there's a points-based RPG skill menu lurking in the back of the game. When The Mummy turns up, he clearly has never so much as played with a Tonka truck. Even when you're well into the game though, you'll be spinning off roads for no apparent reason until crashing into trees simply becomes one of those things that jungle-bound mercenaries have to deal with. Plane and chopper larks also start off exciting, but have controls so lifeless and unconvincing that monotony soon forces itself back into the reckoning.
The game is just riddled with gameplay holes. When a chair falls behind a door that's my only exit, why will it not open and why do i have to reload my game? When instructed to hunt down a jaguar that's preying on the indian big-um-chief's cattle, why does it speed towards me at 100 metres a second and attack me a couple of feet away from his tent? Add to the mix a bug that had my cars disappearing left, right and centre, reams of missing dialogue and some random government helicopters that provide insta-death, and you've got a package that may not be unplayable, but is certainly ill-planned and unfinished.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Don't get me wrong though, there are some neat little moments in here and, through often gritted teeth, it can become an entirely immersive experience. stuff like persuading a man perched on a bridge not to top himself was a nice touch, as was the first (and only) time the government ambush you by toppling trees onto the road and leaping out of the wilderness.
What it comes down to is whether or not the bugs and the constant fear that the your game path's trajectory will irrevocably break down halfway through the game outweighs the genuinely atmospheric and addictive feeling of progressing through The Mummy's world. My own take on it is that you end up playing a game less on the computer in front of you and more in the wistful departments of your own brain. Yes, I enjoyed Boiling Point, but at the same time I know that I'm in love with a concept that we don't see enough of rather than the game itself - a game whose roots are stunted and tangled due to the Marlovian over-reaching of its developers and the conveyor-belt mentality of their whip-cracking publishers.
Done properly, with the Far Cry engine and double the amount of developers, this could have been amazing. Right now it is compelling, but riddled with so many problems that if you part ways with your cash for it, you're entering into a pact that will give you as much frustration as entertainment. With San Andreas, Oblivion and STALKER peeking over the horizon, I can assure you that freeform action-adventure can and will come in better forms than this.
Could've been a contender
- Could have been magnificent
- Engrossing world, lots of gameplay
- Woeful AI, huge system demands
- Bugged to hell
- An unfinished game