Greg's Review on Emperor's Tomb

By Greg Kulevich

Well, what can I say? No doubt you have probably read a few on-line reviews. But I am only here to say that, without a doubt, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is my most favorite game of all time! Previously Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine was my favorite game. Emperor’s Tomb runs circles around Infernal Machine! And I am not saying that just because of the hype. Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is an outstanding game and extremely well done.

I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing this game. It truly is beautiful. Maybe I am a little bias, because I am an Indiana Jones fan. But this game is enjoyable for any one, even if you are not necessarily an Indiana Jones fan! I had people come up to me and ask when will be the next time I play Indiana Jones. While I played the game, people would pull up chairs just to watch me play the game; just to watch the action! The developers at the Collective and the producers over at LucasArts put a lot of effort in making this game similar to the Indiana Jones motion pictures. I can tell you that they succeeded. This game got laughs, shrieks and awestruck edge-of-your-seat stares from my audience. They loved it, and I truly love this game.

Infernal Machine was more puzzle oriented. Emperor’s Tomb is more fighting oriented. This works great in the game. The game is fast paced and exciting. Puzzle lovers do not despair, there are some puzzles found within this game. These puzzles are very cleaver in my opinion. They are not necessarily hard, just clever. I was impressed.

Another thing. Yes this game has long jumps to make. You will have to jump and climb onto various platforms, just like Infernal Machine. But the jumps are not necessarily hard, just fun. A few will require some practice, but you will get the hang of it. So relieve yourself of frustrating games (*cough* Tomb Raider *cough*), and have fun with it!

For players using consoles, your game will be saved at the end of each stage. At first I thought this was going to be a problem. Who wants to start out from the beginning of the stage every time you load? It turns out to be okay. The stages are not that large. It is broken up quite well.

Let’s get to the real fun, the fighting! Who said that the fighting in this game was brainless? I think I read that in the IGN review. That is false. You have to fight smart. Especially when fighting multiple enemies at one time. Know where your opponent is at all times! For example, you may think an enemy is done for if he falls of a ledge. Be careful, he might climb back up. Look around. Learn to use “run” and “look” together effectively. You will have a myriad of weapons to choose from in this game. Choose wisely, choose your fists! :D I compare using your fists in Emperor’s Tomb to using the lightsaber in Jedi Outcast! It is so much fun!

Graphics: 5 out of 5

Easily. The graphics are stunning. A few other reviewers had problems with the textures and clipping. Believe me, this is no problem at all! You will be so enveloped in the game that you won’t even notice.

Sound: 5 out of 5

The music and sound in the game goes above and beyond my expectations. Clint Bajakian created some timeless pieces for this game. He really put his heart into it. What is does for the game is amazing. Again I compare it to Jedi Outcast. During action sequences the music becomes more intense. The sound is just off the hook (that means great). The voice acting is superb.

Controls: 5 out of 5

As much as I hate to say it, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is an Xbox game. The controls matched the Xbox controller perfectly! The controller is very sensitive. For example if you press lightly on the “move” stick, you would walk. Also almost all of the weapons have two functions. Even Indy’s fists have two attacks, “left” and “right.” This makes it possible to perform many spectacular combos. It is great. Don’t worry, the opening tutorial will tell you how to do everything. I am anxious to see how the controls will carry over to PC and PS2.

Fun: 5 out of 5

Ha! I trust that was a joke. Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is the best game that I have ever played. It gets a perfect score.

Synopsis (WARNING: Contains Spoilers):

The year is 1935. Indiana Jones gets a hot tip about an artifact to be found in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Ironically, it is Belloq that warns him about another rival out to get the same artifact. A German by the name of Albrecht Von Beck has launched an excavation in Ceylon for the artifact. Indy races to find the artifact first. He discovers that the artifact is hidden in the middle of a sacred lake inside one of Ceylon’s temples. He also finds out that it is guarded by an enormous crocodile! He manages to trap the crocodile behind a gate, and proceeds to recover the artifact. But the gate does not hold the crocodile for long! It breaks lose and Indy swims frantically for the wall to get out of the water. As he does, he is greeted my Von Beck. He holds Indy at gunpoint and forces him to give the artifact to him. Indy agrees, but quickly takes Von Beck by surprise, taking the artifact back and throwing him in the water with the crocodile. Indy escapes Ceylon with his life and the artifact.

Back at Marshal College, Indy is examining the artifact, when he gets two visitors from China: Marshal Kai, from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and his assistant Mei Ying. Kai tells Indy that the tomb of the first Emperor of China has been located. But not opened yet. Within the tomb is an artifact called the Heart of the Dragon; a flawless black pearl with the power to control the will of men. The Nazis are also after this artifact. They are looking for the three pieces of the Mirror of Dreams, the key to unlocking the tomb. Mei Ying breaks the Ceylon artifact. Within is the first part of the Mirror of Dreams. Indy finally agrees to help Kai. He can’t pass up a chance to make history as the first person to go inside the tomb after it has been sealed.

Kai sends Indy to Prague, where another piece of the Mirror of Dreams is to be found within an old alchemist's castle. The castle is full of traps and puzzles, reflective of its alchemist owner. Indy discovers that the Nazis are also here, looking for the piece. Indy finds the piece of the Mirror of Dreams inside the alchemist’s laboratory, after fighting one of the alchemist’s creations. As Indy leaves he is ambushed with a gas grenade. It is none other than a marred Von Beck. They take him to Istanbul, where that last piece is to be found, inside the fabled palace of Belasarius.

Indy awakes to find himself imprisoned within and Istanbul Mosque. Mei Ying returns, sneaking in Indy’s cell through the window. She is not happy with Indy, but she does give him the key to his shackles before she disappears out the window just as some thugs enter Indy’s cell. Indy beats up the tugs and escapes the mosque. As he leaves he finds the Nazi excavation, He can’t believe it! The Nazis have found the Palace of Belasarius. Unfortunately, part of it is sunken. Indy explores the Palace, looking for the third piece to the Mirror of Dreams. He finds the piece, and Mei Ying finds Indy. She is pleased that he found the piece and lets him know some secrets. Marshal Kai is actually the leader of the Black Dragon Triad, a group of Chinese gangsters. They formed an alliance with Von Beck and the Nazis to recover the Mirror of Dreams and the Heart of the Dragon. In the end Marshal Kai is planning to betray Von Beck and the Nazis and take the Heart of the Dragon for himself. Mei Ying is not who she seems either. She does not really work for Marshal Kai; she is just acting like it so she can keep track of Kai’s movements with the triad. Now she needs Indiana Jones to help stop him. She takes the piece as they leave.

The two travel to Hong Kong to meet Wu Han, Mei Ying’s friend that will take them Kai’s secret fortress. They need to recover the other two pieces to the Mirror of Dreams as well as a special weapon called the Pa Chang. Mei Ying insisted that they need it once they enter the Emperor’s Tomb. They schedule to meet Wu Han at the Golden Lotus opera house, but they are ambushed by Kai and the Black Dragon Triad! Mei Ying is kidnapped! Wu Han shows up in the nick of time and a fast and furious chase commences in the streets of Hong Kong. They miss Mei Ying’s kidnappers. But Wu Han knows where they went: to Kai’s fortress in the Peng Lai Mountains, in the South China Sea.

This also happens to be the home of a secret Nazi Submarine Base. It turns out to be to Indy’s advantage. He stealthily moves about the base and finds some papers as well as a Nazi uniform. He uses the uniform and papers to infiltrate the Nazi base and take one of it’s gondolas to the top to Marshal Kai’s fortress. Inside the fortress, he finds Mei Ying. It ends up being a trap and Indy falls to the depths of the fortress.

The lower level of the fortress is actually a temple and catacombs. It is here that Indy finds the Pa Cheng, and its use. It hunts and destroys supernatural beings. In another area of the temple Marshal Kai, dressed in ceremonial garb, conducts a ceremony to sacrifice Mei Ying and join the three pieces of the Mirror of Dreams. He succeeds in joining the three pieces of the Mirror of Dreams, but Indy saves Mei Ying.

The two head to the Emperor’s Tomb and open it. Inside the find many cunning devises and traps. It is not long before the Black Dragon Triad finds them. Von Beck also has a score to settle with Indiana Jones. Von Beck chases Indy trough the tomb it a drill tank, that turns out to be his demise, when he rolls down a ramp into a pit. Afterward Indy finds a portal the Netherworld, where the Emperor’s Crypt lies. Indy finds the crypt in the Netherworld and takes the Heart of the Dragon. The Emperor must think it is funny because he starts laughing before he turns to dust. Indy can’t handle the Heart of the Dragon. It is too powerful. But Kai can and he finds Indy and takes the pearl from him. Kai grows all powerful! Indy tries to stop him but it us no use. It is not until he finds out that he can charge the Pa Cheng with elemental essences that Indy has a change against Kai. Indy uses this to defeat Kai. The Heart of the Dragon rolls into a bottomless dream pit.

Indy and Mei Ying return to Hong Kong to see Wu Han. Indy has saved the world and the people of China thank him. Now Wu Han tells Indy that a man named Lao Che wants him to find the remains of Nurhachi, fist Emperor of the Manchu dynasty...