- Xbox Direct provided an insight into Xbox’s 2024 titles, especially Indiana Jones and The Great Circle.
- While the game looks like a genuinely creative project, the first-person usage is a major turnoff.
- Franchises with a character as iconic and renowned as Indiana should steer clear of first-person.
The desire to go out exploring uncharted regions and seek out the thrill of adventure is something a lot of us hold within. And I say with a heavy heart that many people, including me, can’t fulfill this wish in real life. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it, and if nothing else I know video games have got me covered. I can fulfill my fantasy of visiting untrodden areas and scouring for treasures and secrets as much as I like.
So, where did this arcane wish come from? Well, I think everyone has a different origin story for it, but for me, it was the Indiana Jones franchise that birthed the adventurer in me. Movies are the source of a lot many fantasies, and seeing Indy visit the most bizarre locations on Earth and encounter secrets not meant to be seen wanted me to do the same. And now, I can finally live Indy’s life with the new Indiana Jones game. But first-person? That’s pretty awkward.
Xbox’s New Year Features Hellblade 2 And Indiana Jones
We’ve known for a long time regarding the new Indiana Jones game, but Xbox had radio silence about it, until the latest Xbox direct. Before the event, it was announced that the event would feature details about this new project, as well as Hellblade 2, and I’ve been excited ever since. Indiana Jones for sure, but getting to see more of the Hellblade sequel was brilliant news. Especially since Xbox held back on showing its gameplay for a long time.
When I heard about the possibility of a new event and the possible inclusion of the Indiana Jones game in it, I thought to myself, Xbox should not repeat the Hellblade 2 situation here, showing only a cinematic glimpse of the game. Hellblade 2 was a highly awaited game for me, but Xbox presented only cinematic sequences in the showcase, and honestly, that left an inquisitive thought about the gameplay in my mind every time.
However, when I learned that Machine Games indeed plans on showcasing Indiana Jones gameplay, I was genuinely relieved. And then came the event, which not only gave appreciable info about the new Indiana Jones and The Great Circle (Yeah, that’s the name) but also went into the details of Hellblade 2 and even gave it a release date. In my opinion, it was a good event that served as a solid foundation for Xbox’s new gaming year.
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle Is Here With A Detailed Look
Although the Xbox Direct featured several games, the highlight of the show was Indiana Jones and The Great Circle. It was the first look at what’s the game about and what sort of features we could expect. Above all, it was a new entry to a legendary franchise everyone was eagerly looking forward to, the hype was great. So, what did you think about the trailer? Was it everything you expected? Well, here are my thoughts about it.
First things first, props to the developers for a very accurate recreation of Indy’s face. It makes the game a lot more impactful knowing Indiana himself is there. Although it’s a shame Harrison Ford himself couldn’t voice, I don’t think Troy Baker did a bad job, either. Similarly, the overall feel of the story and characters looks very authentic to me. It’s the same Indiana Jones adventure I’ve grown to love, and that’s a major accomplishment.
You see ingenious environments, a glimpse into the puzzle-fueled environments you could expect, and some hints regarding what the story would be. However, the character models felt a little odd to me like they were slightly unnatural. But overall, Machine Games did a great job of capturing what an Indiana Jones adventure is truly about. Couple that with humorous and quippy dialogue characteristic of Indy, and we’re in for a brilliant adventure.
The First-Person Perspective Was A Major Turnoff Though
As much as I think the new Indiana Jones game is going to be an authentic representation of the series’ soul, there’s one very glaring problem: the first-person perspective. I sort of saw this coming after all the leaks, but still, it looks pretty out of place in a game like this. If this was a third-person game, I would have gone ahead and said buy it without thinking, but now we’re in a complicated situation because of this perspective.
Just look at the trailer and you’ll understand. It all goes extremely well until the moment you see the gameplay segment, and when it goes first-person, I was pretty letdown by that. And I’m not alone in thinking this. People seem to agree the game should’ve steered clear of this perspective choice. The same thing can be said about the combat. The whip usage in the first person felt very weird to me, to be honest. It felt pretty unnatural swinging the whip from a first-person POV.
You might say that the game switches to third-person in cutscenes and when accessing certain features like climbing, and I appreciate that, I truly do. But that can be pretty disorienting in the context of storytelling and immersion. Switching to a single choice limits this, but continuously changing perspectives can make consecutive scenes feel disjointed, and also make the story sections and gameplay feel like two different things patched together.
First-Person Perspective Is Unsuitable For Character-Focused Series Like Indiana Jones
Back when the first-person perspective thing was first leaked, I was pretty weirded out by this concept. I thought, what exactly is Bethesda planning to do? I mean, can you blame me? An Indiana Jones game in first person, that’s weird no matter how you think. Solving puzzles, exploring ruins, and taking on enemies is best executed if you can see Indy doing all that. Indy’s iconic silhouette is a must for a stronger narrative as well as gameplay experience.
Besides, who even uses the first-person perspective in franchises with an iconic face? All games with a definite protagonist and a great deal of focus on the main character are best executed in the third person. Would Tomb Raider and Uncharted be the same if you put Lara and Nathan in first-person? I also don’t agree that a third-person mode will make Indiana Jones a mere Uncharted clone, it can be a lot more than that.
Take a look at any other such game. Would a God of War game with first-person Kratos be acceptable? Would you take a first-person Wolverine game? No, I don’t think so. Thus, I rest my case. The First-person angle feels very out of place in an Indiana Jones game. Not being able to see Indy on screen for the majority of your gaming session would start to feel weird pretty quickly. It’s a shame, especially since overall the game looks very solid.
I’m Counting On Machine Games To Make The Best Of It
So, was I able to convince you that the first-person perspective was a strange choice for a franchise like Indiana Jones? There was a pretty solid template for an Indiana Jones game, which was Uncharted. I also believe Uncharted is the Indiana Jones game series we never got, and if we ever got one, this is how I’d like it to be. And first-person is something that’s completely immersion-breaking in a game like this.
I really hope this game is good, we literally have the perfect template for an Indiana Jones game, just copy Uncharted 4’s gameplay, and write a really good Indiana Jones story.
Well, what’s done is done, there’s nothing complaints can do at this point, so let’s look at the bright side instead. Even with all said and done, I’m still hyped for Indiana Jones and The Great Circle. I mean, it’s a big-budget Indy game after generations of waiting, why shouldn’t I be excited? And besides, the one at the helm is Machine Games, I don’t think it’ll mess a game up, especially a first-person game.
Machine Games’ work on the new Wolfenstein games is enough to put my trust in it. The kind of creative goodness it brought to the Wolfenstein series, I wish to see repeated here as well. If Indiana Jones is a first-person game, so be it. At least let it be a good one. Because so far, I found the gameplay to be pretty standard FPS combat, but with whips this time. I’m looking forward to what novel Machine Games can bring to the concept.
Indiana Jones and The Great Circle releases sometime in 2024 for the Xbox Series X|S and PC.
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