Indiana Jones and the Great Circle Gameplay Trailer Sold Me for One Reason and Worried Me for Another

Selling the fantasy of becoming Indy.

Indian Jones silhouette, The Great Circle trailer

Dr. Henry Jones Jr. is ready to embark on an all-new adventure in Bethesda’s Indiana Jones and The Great Circle. The highly anticipated game finally pulled back the curtain during the Xbox DeveloperDirect on January 18, giving gamers a first look at gameplay. The trailer look was lengthy, giving us a treasure trove of information to dig through. But two features immediately stood out. The first has to do with a bold gameplay choice developer MachineGames is taking while the second is a more questionable casting choice for the iconic pulp hero.

What the ten-minute slice of footage shown during the Developer Direct did make clear is that the vibes of The Great Circle are immaculate. It’s got Indiana Jones being a professor, Indiana Jones grabbing things with his whip, globetrotting, and — most importantly — a lot of Nazi punching. And the Nazi punching looks good! Indy is a real brawler in The Great Circle and Machine Games is really evolving the pulpy action of the Wolfenstein series.

A somewhat unexpected choice for The Great Circle is that it will be a first-person game, putting you in the shoes of Indy. While Machine Games has previously made first-person games with the Wolfenstein series, it still seems surprising to take this approach when working within such an iconic franchise. I think much of the imagined appeal of an Indiana Jones game is the idea of looking at Indy during the game. While The Great Circle will pull back the camera to a third-person perspective on rare occasions like when scaling a wall, the game’s primary perspective is first-person. And while this is a bold choice, I think it’s a good one!

We all love looking at Indy doing cool things, but that's already what the movies are for. The unique appeal of the game is that it will put players in the shoes of Indy in a new way. Letting us be him. It also helps The Great Circle avoid one-to-one comparisons to the closest thing we already have to big AAA Indiana Jones games. Those are the Tomb Raider and Uncharted series. both of which are third-person action platformers. Going first-person lets The Great Circle live outside of the shadow of those two iconic series.

The Great Circle is Indiana Jones like you’ve never experienced.


Of course, the other shadow that is hard to escape when talking about Indiana Jones is Harrison Ford. The actor is synonymous with the role thanks to the off-the-charts levels of charm he exudes in every movie. So how does The Great Circle deal with the Harrison Ford of it all? Well, in-game Indy still looks like how you expect. Ford’s likeness is still intact in the game, which is set between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade so it's like peak Ford hotness. But the voice of Indy ... is another thing altogether.

The Great Circle has cast Troy Baker as Indiana Jones. Baker is known for roles like Joel in The Last of Us, Booker in Bioshock Infinite, and a million other roles you’d probably recognize. As for how good Baker’s Ford impression is, I’ll just say that most people guessed it was him before the trailer was over. He is attempting Ford, but it is very clearly Baker. While it’s likely nobody could perfectly emulate Ford’s signature voice, choosing an actor who is incredibly popular and recognizable in his own right doesn’t do favors to the game’s portrayal of Indy.

We’ll just have to wait and see how it all works out when Indiana Jones and The Great Circle releases, which according to the Developer Direct will be sometime later this year.

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