Your whip comes into play during combat, as well. Normally, you just whip people, but if you get the distance between you and your target down right, you can whip weapons out of enemies' hands or even wrap the whip around a foe's neck and drag him over to you, Scorpion-style, for a quick left to the face. You can also find and use a variety of firearms and makeshift weapons like chairs, and the game even has a grappling system, which lets you get in a few punches or shove people up against walls...or over the edges of cliffs, where you'll hear them go screaming down to their doom.
Indy can use his whip, various guns, and his bare knuckles to do in the bad guys.
With its satisfying combat system and straightforward, easy-to-pick-up tomb raiding, Indiana Jones definitely has the mechanics to be an outstanding game. It's this potential that makes the game's crippling technical problems that much more disappointing. The lack of polish on the game makes it seem rushed and unfinished and stretches from minor graphical problems--like a few missing textures here and there that let you see through some solid objects--to plainly obvious clipping and collision problems. Among other things, it's possible to set yourself up in such a way that you're actually standing in midair. You'll also see guns clip right through Indy when he runs around with a weapon slung across his back. On top of all this, the game's frame rate occasionally gets really wild, dropping down to unplayably slow states for no good reason. The audio also has its own problems--certain types of music in certain situations begin skipping for, again, no apparent reason. As if all this weren't bad enough, the game occasionally seizes up and halts completely for several seconds at a time before kicking back into gear--very odd issues for a console game, but we confirmed them using multiple retail copies of the game and multiple Xboxes. Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb starts out without many of these problems, but as you progress, it almost feels as if the game begins unraveling right before your very eyes, and the bugs just become more and more prevalent.
You unfortunately won't have to look hard to find bugs and other blemishes in this game.
Aside from the aforementioned graphical problems, Indiana Jones looks OK. The animation for the fighting is done nicely and helps make the combat seem convincing. Unfortunately, the game's textures really aren't very good. They're quite repetitive and lack definition, giving a lot of the game a blurry sort of look in some sections. The game's sound has its fair share of problems, but when it isn't stuttering along, it does a good job of conveying Indiana Jones-like music. The soundalike used for Indiana Jones himself does a convincing enough job of sounding like Harrison Ford's take on the character, but you probably won't ever mistake the stand-in for the real deal. Some of the other voices don't fare so well. The standard enemy voices get repetitive, and some of the accents--Mei Ying's Chinese accent, for example--sound pretty bad.
The good parts of Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb are really good. You can definitely see a great game hidden in the finished product, but calling the Emperor's Tomb "finished" doesn't seem right. The problems in this game are the sort that almost certainly could have been ironed out with a few more months of work, but in the end, the unpolished portions of the game outweigh the game's strong points. There's definitely some fun to be had here, and Indiana Jones fans will likely appreciate the way their favorite archeologist is represented in the game. But the game can't be wholeheartedly recommended such as it is, and it's probably best suited as a weekend rental, much like the movies that inspired it.