Games: Indiana Jones returns with first-person adventure The Great Circle

A screenshot showing Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and The Great Circle
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle Indy is back in a new console adventure coming later this year

PREVIEW: Indiana Jones and The Great Circle (Xbox, Bethesda)

FOR Indiana Jones fans, last year’s Dial of Destiny movie was at least better than Crystal Skull, insofar as a slap in the face is better than a kick to the groin.

It may not have had fridges, CGI monkeys or Shia LaBeouf, but its lead’s descent into decrepitude still made for an uncomfortable watch.

Ford’s face suggested he at least had a peek when the Ark was opened, and arsing around as a de-aged 40-year-old with a geriatric’s voice was just plain creepy.

But, if Indy’s heyday is but a cinematic memory, Dr Jones can remain eternally in his prime on the videogame front: later this year Microsoft will release the first ‘proper’ Indiana Jones game in 15 years.

Of course, this isn’t the first game featuring everyone’s favourite Nazi-punching academic. From Raiders of The Lost Ark in 1982 (which unfortunately released on the Atari 2600 weeks after the disastrous E.T. game almost buried the industry) to 1992′s brilliant Fate of Atlantis, Jones has had his fair share of joystick action whilst inspiring some of gaming’s biggest franchises. Lara Croft is essentially a gender-flipped Indiana Jones, while Sony’s Uncharted titles are the closest gamers have come to replicating his derring do.

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Set in 1937, between Raiders of The Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, The Great Circle sees our hero in his pomp. Kicking off with a 38-year-old Indiana investigating the theft of a seemingly insignificant artefact at Marshall College, players are soon whisked on a globe-trotting yarn that takes Indy from the Vatican and the deserts of Egypt to the peaks of the Himalayas, as they uncover clues, hunt artefacts and solve an ancient mystery.

Aided by Gina, “an investigative reporter who has a lot riding on this adventure”, the pair face Nazi goons and big bad, Emmerich Voss – “an intensely psychological man obsessed with the human mind and manipulating it”.

A fight scene from Indiana Jones and The Great Circle
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle Indy can always rely on his fists when things get sticky

Developers MachineGames have their work cut out, with Lara Croft and Nathan Drake having already perfected Indy’s style of action. Creators of the Wolfenstein series, they’re at least well-acquainted with his goose-stepping foe, though this is no Uncharted or Tomb Raider clone.

For a start, it plays out in first-person, which while unique for solo adventures, risks losing some of that Indy cinematic flare. Expect lashings of whip and wise-cracking as our hero dispatches enemies with fists, shovels, hammers and his trusty revolver, though the fall-back is his iconic whip.

While Harrison Ford’s likeness is used, Indy will be voiced by Troy Baker, who knows a thing or two about grizzled heroics, having played Joel in The Last of Us, while horror icon and Candyman himself, Tony Todd, is your main baddie.

A scene from Indiana Jones and The Great Circle
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle Indy's trusty bullwhip will come in handy when other weapons are scarce

Although scored by Gordy Haab, who provided the soundtracks to recent Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones games, we can expect John Williams’ iconic Raiders March to tickle the eardrums at some point.

Microsoft will be hoping golden age Indy provides an alternative to Sony’s army of highly-rated solo adventures when Indiana Jones and the Great Circle whips its way onto Game Pass and PC later this year. Finally – an Xbox exclusive to be excited about.

A scene from Indiana Jones and The Great Circle
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle Indy's back

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