The Emperor's Tomb follows Indiana Jones across the globe as he attempts to uncover the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of China. Locations include Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka), Instanbul, Prague and Hong Kong.
The game takes place in 1935, chronologically just before Temple of Doom. After a prologue in Ceylon, Indy is tasked with recovering the "Heart of the Dragon," a black pearl contained within the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi. To access the tomb, Indy must first collect pieces of the "Mirror of Dreams," which will help unlock Huangdi's tomb. After accidentally acquiring a piece of the mirror in Ceylon, he travels to Prague and Istanbul to recover the remaining pieces. He is pursued in his quest by Nazi antagonist Albrecht Von Beck and his ally Kai Ti Chan, who also seek the mythical treasure contained within the tomb.
Ultimately, Indiana destroys the heart of the dragon after he witnesses its incredible power, and the game closes in Hong Kong, where Wu Han (familiar to anyone who has seen Temple of Doom) reminds Indy that they have to acquire the remains of Nurhachi; leading directly into the beginning of Temple.
The Emperor's Tomb is a third-person action-adventure game, and as such, combines shooter elements with puzzles. Although IGN derided the puzzles as being "somewhat simplistic," the reviewer still conceded that Emperor's Tomb was "a solid adventure game."
Players control Indiana Jones and a variety of weapons, including the iconic bullwhip. Additionally, players can scavenge a range of pistols and sub-machine guns and eventually uncover the Pa Cheng, a mythical Chinese weapon.