Microsoft’s Xbox Developer Direct event on January 18th brought several major announcements for upcoming games, but none garnered more attention than the official reveal of the new Indiana Jones video game titled Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks, this game looks to deliver a blockbuster interactive Indiana Jones adventure when it releases later this year.
First Details on Setting and Story for The Great Circle
While story details remain mostly under wraps, the information revealed positions this as a globe-trotting adventure that picks up after the events of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Multiple urls indicate Indiana Jones will be searching for a mysterious ancient artifact that grants mystical powers.
Early rumors suggested the game’s macguffin would relate to the mythical “hollow earth” theory, though these remain unconfirmed. The reveal trailer shows Indiana Jones in a variety of exotic locales battling Nazis and supernatural forces, strongly suggesting this will tap into the pulpy adventure tone that defined the early films.
Major Gameplay Details Revealed
The Great Circle is confirmed to be a first-person action/adventure game with a strong emphasis on moment-to-moment gameplay. The ambition is to capture the thrilling set-pieces and death-defying escapes that the Indiana Jones films are known for.
Gameplay shown includes shootouts, hand-to-hand combat, puzzle solving, traversal challenges requiring whip and rope use, and chase sequences involving vehicles and animals. Stealth is also confirmed to be an option for the player in some scenarios.
While Indiana Jones will be the playable character, developer MachineGames has stated this is not a linear, story-driven experience. Players will have agency to approach situations as they choose within expansive, open level-sandbox environments. Think Wolfenstein meets Uncharted.
Troy Baker Replacing Harrison Ford as Voice of Indiana Jones
In a surprising casting choice, acclaimed voice actor Troy Baker will be stepping in for Harrison Ford to voice the iconic adventurer. Ford’s advancing age made taking on a major video game commitment unrealistic.
Longtime fans may be disappointed Ford’s voice won’t feature, but Baker has shown his ability to effectively channel other pop culture icons, like his portrayal of Batman in the Arkham series. The reveal trailer certainly suggests he can pull off Indiana Jones’s mix of courageous heroism and roguish charm.
Release Window and Platforms
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is slated to launch at some point in 2024 as a console exclusive for Xbox Series X/S, PC, and day one Game Pass.
The Xbox ecosystem exclusive has already drawn criticism from PlayStation owners eager to play. Industry analyst speculate this may be early evidence of Microsoft leveraging major IP to drive adoption of Game Pass subscriptions.
What This Means for the Indiana Jones Franchise
While fifth Indiana Jones film remains in development hell, this video game suggests the franchise still has life left in it. The Great Circle has a chance to redefine Indiana Jones for a new generation. If successful, this could spawn a series of video game sequels continuing the adventures.
There’s also the chance story elements or characters introduced here could make the jump to films. The reveal of horror icon Tony Todd (Candyman) having a role in the game has already sparked speculation that he may play the film’s villain as well.
Ultimately, the legacy of Indiana Jones will depend heavily on whether MachineGames can stick the landing with this ambitious interactive take. But for now, the reveal seems to have captured the imagination and optimism of fans.
|Xbox Series X/SPCGame Pass
|Troy Baker as voice of Indiana Jones
The table above summarizes key details around platforms, release, and casting for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle as covered in this article.
What to Expect Next
Further story and gameplay details for The Great Circle will likely come throughout 2023 via extended trailers and hands-on impressions. As a console exclusive and flagship Game Pass title, Microsoft will pull out all the stops promoting this release.
Until then, speculation will run rampant around what adventures this game has in store for gaming’s newest incarnation of the iconic Indiana Jones.