Gaming

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle Will Improve on the Movies in One Epic Way

Developers called working on The Great Circle "an absolute dream come true."

Indiana
Lucasfilm

Since it was first revealed in January, Indiana Jones And The Great Circle has looked like a faithful recreation of everything that makes the films special. A recent interview with the developers of the upcoming Xbox exclusive explains how the folks behind the recent Wolfenstein games managed to create such an authentic love letter to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ original vision.

In an Official Xbox Podcast interview with MachineGames’ Jerk Gustafsson, the game’s director, and John Jennings, the game’s production director, the two leads spoke about the unprecedented access they’ve had to Lucasfilm that has allowed them to properly live up to the legacy of the franchise both tonally and visually.

“We spent countless hours just rewatching the films — especially the two movies that are closest to the game, which are Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Last Crusade,” Gustafsson explained.

But the team’s research also goes beyond the classic movies, according to Jennings.

“We managed to get access into some of the Lucasfilm archives as well, which for Indy fans has been an absolute dream come true, to get access to some of these things that perhaps not so many people have seen,” Jennings said.

Knowing The Great Circle pulls from the original Indiana Jones movies and concepts that Spielberg and Lucas never got to realize on the big screen is such a reassuring development. There have been decent Indiana Jones games in the past. But this kind of proximity to the creators and gatekeepers of the franchise bodes well for Machine Games’ take on the beloved character.

Video games have always been the perfect medium for Indiana Jones. While the more recent movies, like 2008’s Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull and 2023’s Dial Of Destiny had to work around the real-life constraints of Harrison Ford’s age and the exorbitant cost of filming elaborate action sequences in remote locations, video games have allowed fans to live out the best parts of the character without any limitations.

Indiana Jones And The Great Circle will see the fedora-wearing archeologist adventuring across brand new locations never before seen in the films.

Machine Games

It remains to be seen if Troy Baker’s version of the fedora-wearing archeologist can live up to Ford’s iconic role. But his performance will be an acceptable approximation regardless if it means seeing young Indy visit more locations than ever. Trailers for The Great Circle have already shown Indy in gorgeous locales like Egypt, Thailand, the Himalayas, and even the Vatican in a single adventure. From the looks of it, The Great Circle is leaning into the series globe-trotting aspects better than Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Temple Of Doom ever could thanks to the endless possibilities of the medium.

All of the action setpieces Machine Games has shown the public feel grounded in a way that the original films do. It’s a nice way of making The Great Circle feel like a proper, official chapter of the Indiana Jones mythos. It would have been easy to place Indiana Jones in Uncharted-style action sequences. But keeping the action high stakes without making it as over-the-top as other action video games it inspired (or even later films in the franchise) shows artful restraint from Machine Games.

Coming off the ultraviolent alternative history games in 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order and 2017’s Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Gustafsson said the measured, more grounded nature of creating their own Indiana Jones tale is a welcome departure.

Indiana Jones And The Great Circle will be a first-person action-adventure game, not a proper first-person shooter like Machine Games’ past work.

Machine Games

“We are very used to having heavy weapons, gunblazing shooters — and this is a little bit different,” Gustafsson said. “We are making a proper adventure game here.”

Everything shown of Indiana Jones and the Great Circle before its release has been an excellent showcase for why Machine Games was picked to bring this swashbuckling universe to life on modern gaming hardware. While Indiana Jones’ adventures may be over on the silver screen, it's pretty clear that everything that makes the character so enduring could easily live on in video games through talented developers who care about the property. And Lucasfilm’s willingness to let game creators access such hallowed material suggests they too understand Indiana Jones’ awesome potential in the interactive medium.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle does not have an exact release date yet, but you can add it to your wishlist on Steam.

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