I've seen plenty of sequels that want to rely so heavily on building up to the third installment that the story goes missing (I'm looking at you, Dragon Age II!), but I've rarely seen a second game that uses the first as it's crutch. Mainly because that's such a stupid idea, and yet that's pretty much what Ankh 2 seems to be doing a lot of. I've never played the first, but with how many things are mentioned for happening in the first game and how little is explained at whatever the hell is going on when I jump in the game, leaving me with this subliminal message to get Ankh 1 (Which I won't, because of how pestered I was). In the end, I was left with my imagination to fill in what happened in the Ankh 1... and that's not a good thing to do. If you make a sequel, it should have elements of it's predecessor, but still be able to stand on it's own. Come on Ankh 2! Look over at Mass Effect 2, Arkham City, and Assassin's Creed II. They're doing it just fine! Even Final Fantasy can make a game that stands on it's own... about 15 completely different ways, though. But that isn't the only thing that made me dislike Ankh 2. The game's graphics, while cartoony and colorful, have poor texturing and the game likes to do the occaisional zoom in on some of the objects, which made me sneer at my laptop screen.
On top of that, the story is urine poor (I'm allowed to say "urine", right?). There are a few jokes that hit me with the "nostril snort and slight smirk" reaction, but these are very few. Most of them are incredibly cheesey- just like the voice actors. And they're all pretty much rubbish. Except for Moses. He was decent. But everyone else was very obviously acting. The story also wants to hit these serious moments and build up this particular love triangle when I had no absolute belief in either because of how odd the former stood out like sore thumbs and how forced the latter felt. Along with that, the story's biggest flaw is caused mainly by the gameplay which is about as slow as a donkey with two broken legs and no carrot in front of it's face. Characters- even when running- are hardly going that fast and always maintain the same animation- which is alright for a casual scene. But in suspense, action, and intense scenes- these really bring all that feeling down to a screeching halt. Along with the occasional game flops, like screen glitches and crashes. There was one point that I had played four hours worth of the game and was close to beating it, and I accidentally saved just as the game broke on me, and I ended up having to go all the way back and rush to where I left off.
Another huge problem is the logic of this game. Sure, it's like many point-and-click puzzle games (where the most specific, strange things can solve puzzles, even when other objects in your inventory could suit the job just as easily), but honestly. How was I supposed to know that a doll with it's head popped off should hold a candle? Or that I should use the Eleventh Commandment Tablet as a wrecking ball? OR that I can split a coconut with a cuckoo-clock's bird and use said coconut to revive a parrot?
And my final complaint, is more of something I just noticed when I was getting towards the end of the game. How to Thara and Assil have the magic ability to telepathically communicate to each other during puzzles so that one on the opposite side of the stadium knows that they need to direct a sunbeam produced by another and reflect it right back at them?
I'm going to play Ankh 3 not because I want to, but because foolishly bought both and now it's just sitting there, staring at me in my inventory- and the slight charm of this game which existed as much as a fly's fart in the midst of a tornado. To those looking to play this game, play at your own risk. If you like puzzles... play at your own risk. If you like parodies of Egyptian society... I suppose you'll like this. If you like weird B-movie stories... I guess you'll like this too. But only buy it on discount. I'd never pay the full price for this.