3 years ago I saw a rather good looking Indiana Jones game which had some dynamic fighting using their new Euphoria engine. So far, that game hasn’t surfaced and what we get instead is this latest adventure on the Wii, Staff of Kings. This time Indy is looking for the Staff of Moses and once again has to fight thugs, Nazis and mystical forces along the way.
Being on the Wii, LucasArts have decided to eek out every last bit of motion control. You use the remote and nunchuck to punch with your left and right fist, and by holding down the B button and swinging the remote, you can unleash your whip to disarm enemies, pull them closer for a handy headbutt or swing around the environment. You even get to use it as a joystick as you fly a plane and as a light gun during shooting sections.
Although it’s quite novel using the controls in this way to fight at first, it soon gets a bit frustrating. You can’t always pull off the moves you mean to do, not that that matters because your enemies mostly wait around for you to hit them or dodge their attacks. The fighting is fun though as you pick up objects and smash them into tables, fish tanks etc and does feel quite meaty as Indy’s punch-ups often look in the movies.
Unfortunately the game’s also very glitchy and feels rushed and unfinished. Tutorial sections and cut-scenes can’t be skipped so if you happen to die during them ,you have to sit through long sequences before you can try again. Although the Indy sound-alike is very good, audio skips and jumps as the game loads new areas, and even animations jump and skip as you fight and move around.
There’s also a co-op multiplayer mode in there if you fancy it as Indy and his Sean Connery Dad run about together but to be honest, this is pretty throw away too.
It’s a shame I enjoyed the old graphic adventure Fate of Atlantis and the PS2 game Emperor’s Tomb more than this one. It may be better on the PSP and PS2 thanks to a less convoluted control system but if you want a tomb-raiding action adventure, get the recent Tomb Raider instead. Staff of Kings gets an average 5 out of 10.
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