As I previously found out, Emperor’s Tomb was a pretty decent Indiana Jones experience, but a terrible game all around. It’s a little weird how Lucasarts, who should have gotten action games better than anyone, could never make a proper Indiana Jones action game. After all, that’s what his character is all about. Staff of Kings doesn’t quite fit the bill, but it’s a better effort than most.
Well, the PSP version is, at least. From what I gather, the PS2/Wii version is entirely different. This is probably not a bad thing though, since this new gameplay style employed is very good for portable play. Levels are very short, you usually have to fight a few enemies while collecting treasure and trying to understand how to finish the level (which is often very obvious). As an extra incentive, there are achievements you can gain which let you upgrade Indy’s stats or buy concept art or even cheats. It’s a decent package overall.
The combat is somewhat button-mashy, but there are a few niggles added here and there which help spice it up. You can throw enemies into enviroment obstacles, which is an instant kill (think Sleeping Dogs, but before that game came out). Combos allow you to stun them momentarily, and breakable objects deal extra damage. In some cases, objects dropped by enemies are necessary to solve some puzzles, in which case they won’t break.
The story is somewhat weak, as Indy travels around the world for seemingly no coherent reason. Gotta find some mirror shards? Not sure why. It gets more focused later on, but it’s always a bit weak. Indiana Jones also comes off as a bit of a dick here. Jokes are everywhere, even when they don’t make sense. Can’t have everything, I guess.
Well, the combat does get repetitive, and I didn’t die a whole lot, but it’s a decent game as a whole. Certainly better than Emperor’s Tomb, but I realize that’s not saying much. Perhaps, with Disney now at the helm, there will come a day when we’ll get another Indiana Jones game. Since Infernal Machine was a Tomb Raider clone, this time I could see it being an Uncharted clone. Which in itself was sort of a Tomb Raider spinoff, which then was copies by the new Tomb Raider. And so the circle is closed.