Gamespot Preview-PC ( February 27, 2003)
LucasArts graciously invited us to see a nearly complete
version of Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb for the
PC in motion. In the game, you play as the famed archaeologist
Indiana Jones on a mission for the Chinese government to
recover a powerful artifact before your enemies can do the
same. The game will be a third-person action game reminiscent
of Tomb Raider and the previous PC game, Indiana Jones and
the Infernal Machine, but the new game is clearly intended
to put much more emphasis on hand-to-hand fighting. The
Emperor's Tomb is actually powered by an enhanced version
of the same game engine that developer The Collective used
in the 2002 Xbox game Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which allows
for the additional combat elements.
Though the first level of the game acts as a training mission
that will help new players get accustomed to running, jumping,
and cracking Indy's trademark bullwhip, the final game will
have a total of 10 levels that will take place in various
locations around the globe, including Prague and Hong Kong,
among others. But in addition to running and jumping, Indy
will find himself in a lot of different fights against determined
opponents, like Gestapo soldiers and Triad gangsters.
Fortunately, the PC version of the game will use an intuitive
first-person shooter control scheme in which you will move
using the W, A, S, and D keys and attack using the left
and right mouse buttons. You will be able to block incoming
attacks by pressing the shift key, which will also automatically
lock onto a specific enemy and let Indy focus his attacks.
As you might expect from his many motion-picture adventures,
Indy fights like a brawler, though pressing both mouse buttons
also lets him grab his enemies, then shove them back against
walls or even toss them off of ledges. Indy also carries
a revolver, which he can fire at his enemies using an optional
first-person view, though he can pick up larger firearms,
such as shotguns and submachine guns, as well as all sorts
of improvisational weapons like table legs, chairs, and
bottles. He can even flog his enemies with his whip, though
this can be a dangerous tactic, since some enemies can rush
Indy at close range before he recovers from swinging. Indy's
enemies won't back down from a fight, either, and they won't
hesitate to pick up the nearest chair or bottle themselves.
The game itself will take place in very different-looking
environments and will even feature levels that take place
at night. The developer is attempting to make sure each
of the game's areas looks different, and to help add character
to each area, Indy will find that various characters and
enemies will speak the local language; Gestapo soldiers
in Prague will shout threats at you in German, for instance.
When left alone, enemies will also talk among themselves
and may even make humorous remarks as you listen in, much
like the characters in Half-Life or No One Lives Forever.
As it turns out, the events in The Emperor's Tomb will take
place just before the events of the motion picture Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom, so within the game, Indy will
meet the waiter Wu Han (a minor character in the film) for
the very first time.
Though the levels in The Emperor's Tomb will feature a
combination of puzzles, platformer elements (such as jumping
across pits and climbing up over ledges), and brawling,
some of the game's levels will have "minigame" goals in
them. For instance, in one level, Indy must travel across
a chasm atop a gondola, but he's attacked by German planes
and must fight them off using a stationary machine gun.
Indiana Jones and The Emperor's Tomb is scheduled for release
on the PC at the end of March. For more information on the
game, consult our previous coverage.
- by Andrew Park