Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb - Xbox

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Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: The Collective Soft. Co.: LucasArts
Publishers: LucasArts (US)
Activision (GB)
Released: 21 Feb 2003 (US)
28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


Making his first appearance for Microsoft’s larger-than-large console, Indiana Jones is swinging right back onto the videogame scene with the help of Activision and LucasArts in The Emperor’s Tomb.

Indy's whirlwind adventure, set in the Far East in 1935, plunges him into an international crisis of terrifying magnitude. As the game begins, a powerful underground Asian society, the Black Dragon Triad, and a German mercenary, Albrecht Von Beck, have formed an unholy alliance in the hope of acquiring the Heart of the Dragon, a black pearl that gives its possessor the power to mould minds. Rumoured to be buried in the crypt of China's first emperor, this mysterious pearl has been safely hidden for more than 2000 years. Now, with this unwelcome coalition in desperate pursuit of one of the most powerful artefacts known to man, it's up to Indy to prevent the Heart of the Dragon from falling into the wrong hands.

Bearing a startling resemblance to Harrison Ford, albeit with several layers of anti-wrinkle cream, our virtual hero looks the part, and the varied gaming locales do just as good a job of recreating those ancient temples and caverns instantly recognisable from the films. But is it better than its PC counterpart? That’s arguable, especially if you’re the proud owner of a top-spec GeForce 4. Nevertheless, the Xbox hardware does a more than adequate job and has the added bonus of a superior game controller.

Perhaps inevitably, Indiana Jones: The Emperor's Tomb plays similarly to Core Design's Tomb Raider series. There are puzzles, most of them clearly inspired by the films, booby traps, legendary bosses, and a serious need for Indy's accompanying whip. Whoo-pah!

The game itself is large and some sections are quite enduring, but the third-person perspective helps to give players a better sense of direction and their surroundings. But to vary things a little, LucasArts have also incorporated a first-person element, which is especially useful when you finally discover your first projectile weapon.

There’s not a lot here to suggest you won't have a great time in The Emperor’s Tomb... just watch out for snakes!