Game: Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb
Publisher: Lucas Arts
Platform: PC / XBOX / PS2
Available Here: GOG.com
I love Indiana Jones games. Love them. I have such fond memories of playing Fate of Atlantis with my old man way past my bed time on Saturday nights. I played The Infernal Machine every time I went to stay with my grandmother. So, imagine how fast I hammered the download button on GOG when I saw that Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb popped up on sale.
There have been 3 previous Indy games. The Last Crusade and Fate of Atlantis are point and click and Infernal Machine is a Tomb Raider-esque 3rd person adventure game. As I started it up and heard that familiar refrain, I felt a sense of joy… like I was visiting an old friend. That feeling lasted approximately 15 minutes.
The graphics are great, but that’s about it. The voice acting has a Harrison Ford impersonator grumbling “hmmm” or “I should use my whip on that”. I can’t speak to the story because I never made it out of the first level. Game play has a pretty routine pattern: Jump on a few things, throw a switch, kill anonymous bad guys, repeat. By far, the worst thing is the controls. Oh god the controls. I don’t know if it’s bad design or if the game is better serviced by a gamepad, but the controls are quite literally the worst I have ever encountered. Also, there are NO SAVES. If you die, you’ve got to start the entire section over.
I made it as far as the final boss area of the first level after playing the same section 7 times. In the center of a moat is some… thing you need to steal (the game never says why) and circling the moat is a large crocodile that will insta-kill you. The controls are imprecise and mushy, and will see you more often than not missing jumps and falling to your death. If you somehow manage to trap the croc, and make it to the ring of whatever, the floor collapses and you end up back in the drink. I was done with the game when the Croc somehow manages to escape and killed me while I swam into a wall… and had to start over. Again.
I want to play through this again some day, but the thought of that Sisyphean task makes me want to strike the evil from my hard drive forever.