After the success of the movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, there were some rumors floating around the Internet that a game based on it was planned – and surely enough, the developers behind it announced their project shortly afterward.
And while NatM: BotS suffers from some of the classic mistakes of movie-based games, it still offers a good enough gameplay experience to justify its price and keep you entertained for a few hours.
The game is largely an action title, and you take the role of Larry Daley. It’s interesting to note that the actor who played the character in the movie, Ben Stiller, is also the voice actor used for the game’s protagonist – and you’ll also find some other familiar voices as you go through the game’s levels. You can use a rope to move around the levels, and your flashlight can activate some devices and is a major point of the gameplay.
It’s interesting how the developers have approached the combat system – you never fight enemies directly, instead of having to find clever uses of your surroundings, mostly the various paintings and statues around the museum. You’re able to bring all of them to life, which will become your main weapon in battling your enemies – for example, you can use a painting depicting the ocean to unleash a shark on your enemies (though of course, you’ll have to make sure you’re standing a good distance away unless you want to get involved in the action yourself).
Graphics and System Requirements
One of the areas in which the game is lacking is its graphics – sure, it stands up to most other titles on the market rather nicely. But the thing is, it just doesn’t… stand out. While every other game out there has its own unique art style and feeling, and you’re able to recognize most franchises by just glancing at a screenshot from them, NatM:BotS just takes on the movie, which in turn is, well, a movie – so the game basically tries to replicate real-life characters. While that works, for the most part, we still felt it could use a bit more uniqueness in its style.
On the bright side, the game’s developers haven’t gone overboard with the eye candy, so you won’t need a beast of a machine to run the game smoothly. You’ll need a DX9-capable graphics card, a Dual Core processor running at 1.8 GHz or higher, as well as 1 GB of RAM.
One thing fans of the movie may notice is that the game goes slightly against its canon at a few points, which is more or less inevitable when it comes to games based on movies. Still, the developers have done their best to stay as close to the movie’s storyline as possible, so don’t expect any serious deviations.
Even though it’s rather short, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian still delivers a great experience for the few hours you’ll be playing it – and you may even be tempted to come back and go through it one more time at some point. And even if you don’t, you’ll surely remember your first playthrough fondly.