Will Indiana Jones Battle the Nazis Again in Upcoming Computer Game?
He famously raided the Lost Ark, explored the Temple of Doom and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and he even undertook a Last Crusade. Now, the legacy of Indiana Jones, our favorite silver screen archaeologist, will return in the virtual dimension of computer gaming.
The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones was a hit Marvel Comics series that ran from 1983 to 1986, set in the time period following Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1936, with the final four issues moving into 1937. This week, gaming giant Bethesda tweeted that a new Indiana Jones game “with an original story” is in development from their studio, Machine Games, who made Skyrim and Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.
Collaborating with Lucasfilm Games the new standalone Indiana Jones game is executive produced by Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard. But while little is being said about the new storyline or playing style, a StarWars.com post said the play will be set “at the height of the career of the famed adventurer.” Furthermore, the post said the new Indiana Jones Bethesda Game Official Teaser “may hold some clues.” Here at Ancient Origins, we love nothing more than hidden clues.
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Interpreting the Hidden Trailer Clues
The 30 second trailer shows a low-lit table strewn with 1930s cameras, compasses, maps, flight plans and travel documents. At the very beginning, the cover of a big brown leather book displays an eight pointed geometric design. Panning across the table the explorers recognizable theme tune threatens to rumble in, but it fades away, as the famous fictional explorer’s iconic hat and bull whip are revealed. Then, as quickly as it began, the clue-loaded teaser ends.
Jordan Oloman, a game reviewer at IGN, pointed out that the plane ticket on the desk in the trailer is for Rome. He also noted that the map on the table includes the Sistine Chapel spread out on the desk. Furthermore, the ticket is dated for October 1937. These three observations indicate that not only will the computer game include the Vatican City, but the date, 1937, suggest the antagonists are certain to be Nazis.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) January 12, 2021
Walking the Line Between Fact and Fiction
If you are into historical fiction, where heroes follow ancient clues leading to modern conspiracy theories and lost treasures, then you will already have noticed that the themes mentioned above have all been lifted from Dan Brown novels. The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel are playgrounds of sacred architectural codes and religious iconography, but not only are these concepts leaders of fictional narratives: they are also present in the real world.
In 2010 the Daily Mail printed the headline “Forget the Da Vinci code! Experts find Michelangelo code hidden in the Sistine Chapel.” You can also read “The 6 most fascinating things in the Vatican Secret Archives” presenting stolen relics “from the whole history of Western civilization.” The game is liable to walk the historical line between fact and fiction.
The first time Indian Jones appeared in a computer game was 1992, when his global search for the legendary sunken city of Atlantis was assisted by psychic, Sophia Hapgood. The intrepid pair were chased by Nazis who aimed to use the secret power of Atlantis for warfare. Fate of Atlantis was an immediate million-unit seller and it was critically acclaimed at the time, receiving several awards for best adventure game of the year. Even though Fate of Atlantiswas built back when graphics were 2D moving blocks of squares, before 3D mapping and virtual reality environments, it is still widely regarded as a classic of its genre today. So much so that IGN give it the title: the greatest ever Indiana Jones game.
One More Time Indi, You Can Do It!
On December 10th Lucasfilm boss, Kathleen Kennedy, made a speech at Disney’s annual investor day conference and confirmed the new movie, Indiana Jones 5, is on track for a July 2022 release, with director James Mangold at the helm. American actor Harrison Ford, who turns 80 next year, will play Indy for the last time as the new movie will bring the character's story to a close.
No release date, genre, or platforms have been publicized for the new game as of yet, but we will be sure to let you all know as soon as the game is released. We’ll also be asking the gamers among you to send us your reviews. Watch this space.
By Ashley Cowie