Why are players disappointed with the

If you hung out on the internet last night, you probably saw that the highlight of the Xbox conference was the reveal of the gameplay of the game Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, translated into French as “Le Cercle des Anciens”. We had been waiting for this moment for a long time, as I remind you that the announcement of the game dates back three years, to January 12, 2021 to be exact. At the time, we had a first teaser, but also, it must be remembered that at the time, Bethesda had not yet been acquired by Microsoft. Nevertheless, this gameplay was highly anticipated, and if you hang out a little on social networks, we also saw a lot of people being disappointed with the result. Both in terms of the choice in game design, because it is a FPS and not a third-person game, but also because visually, for some, the game does not live up to the standards of a game that will be released in 2024. Do people have the right to be disappointed, or are they just bitter and perpetually dissatisfied?

So why did this Indiana Jones and the Great Circle not create a frenzy last night after we saw the first gameplay images? Why were many people put off by the game? The first reason is simple and lies in the choice of its game design, namely to go for a FPS, a first-person action game, where many would have hoped for a TPS, a Third Person Shooter. And it is true that the logic when deciding to make an Indiana Jones game is to opt for a third-person view game. Why? Because we have reflexes in terms of references. When we think of Indy, it’s hard not to draw parallels with Tomb Raider and Uncharted, whose respective heroes, Lara Croft and Nathan Drake, were shaped in the image of this adventurer that is Indiana Jones. Without Indy, there is neither Lara Croft nor Nathan Drake. So in some way, I understand and even share this frustration that people have about not seeing a third-person game. Because there is also another factor to take into account: the character of Indiana Jones. Bethesda and MachineGames went all the way in paying tribute by choosing to model the face of Harrison Ford, who also appears in the game at the beginning of his forties. Quite logical when you consider that the story of the game will be set between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade.

So, having Harrison Ford in the game and knowing that we will hardly ever see him, except in cinematics, it’s quite difficult not to be frustrated. But that, MachineGames and Bethesda knew perfectly well when they started the production of the game. This is a question that must have arisen from the first brainstorming sessions and it is also the reason why the developers tried to reassure us yesterday during their speech at the Xbox conference. It was indeed specified that we will be able to see the iconic silhouette of Indiana Jones during the cinematics of course, but also in more transversal passages, for example when he will climb along a pipe, go down a zip line with the help of his whip, or swing from one platform to another, always with the help of his whip. But for the rest, it will happen in a subjective view, whether it is hand-to-hand combat, attacks with the whip, or even the use of firearms, even if I must remind you that Indiana Jones rarely uses pistols, assault rifles, etc. in the movies. No, Indy is an adventurer who likes a good fight, hand-to-hand combat, but also tries to use his environment to get by. Moreover, the developers have put a lot of emphasis on the puzzles, which will be a fairly important part of the game, and this is where the choice of the FPS view makes perfect sense. When we see the few images of the puzzles to be solved, we realize that the developers needed a point of view closer to the action for us to understand clearly what we have in front of us. Undoubtedly, with a distant camera, behind the character, it did not fit so well with their intentions.

Anyway, the FPS view was already decided when we found out that it was the Swedes of MachineGames who were developing it. For those who do not know the studio, know that they are the origin of the reboot of the Wolfenstein saga, with a first episode released in 2014, and that for 10 years, they were a bit stuck in this infernal loop of this series, with still 4 episodes and a VR version in 10 years! Needless to say, they don’t mess around there. And when we know that MachineGames was founded by former Starbreeze employees, big fans of FPS as well, we can say that first-person view games are a bit in their DNA. And then, let’s not lie, choosing the FPS view was also a considerable time saver in terms of production for MachineGames. If the studio had gone for a TPS, they would have had to start over from scratch, with a lot of things to do with the character, the interactions with the environments, the staging, etc. And with what has been done since 10 years with Wolfenstein, the studio already had all the tools and even assets, since World War II is their thing, and Indiana Jones and the Nazis are also inseparable. So yes, for the sake of production ease, game design desires, but also for the proposed universe, MachineGames was the perfect studio for Bethesda.

Now, where it will be a little more complicated for MachineGames is in the narration, the storytelling. Not that there was no story in the Wolfenstein games, we even remember some striking passages, but in truth, it has always been secondary. For Indiana Jones, the story must be at the same level as all the others, especially since they chose Troy Baker to voice the character, a guarantee of quality. In France, the excellent Richard Darbois was chosen. It’s quite normal since he is the official French voice of Harrison Ford, but I find that for this character of a forty-year-old Indiana Jones that we see in the game, his voice doesn’t really fit anymore. Richard Darbois is 72 years old today, and it shows. His voice is no longer the same as it was 30 years ago when he dubbed the first Indiana Jones movies, and personally, I find that we end up with a character who is quite young, but with a voice that is too old. This is my feeling, I don’t know what you think, feel free to tell me in the comments.

Another point that also sparked controversy on social networks is the visual rendering of the game, the graphics, which many consider to not be up to par for a game that will be released in 2024 and is also an exclusive. It’s true that we have seen better, even games from the previous generation. It’s true that the character modeling is not perfect. I saw quite a few comparisons with Uncharted 4, a game released in 2016 on PS4 and which is already more beautiful than this Indiana Jones. And objectively, when you put the two side by side, Naugty Dog is far ahead of MachineGames. Anyway, the Swedish studio is not known for delivering games that are technological showcases, even if the Wolfenstein games have always been pleasant to look at. No, where MachineGames stands out is in the atmosphere, in this madness of mixing things up, of also bringing out the comic side of certain situations, and I’m sure that can work with Indiana Jones. Once again, I repeat myself, but we will also wait for the developers on the story, the narration, so they will have to be a little more ambitious than what they are used to on this specific element…

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