Previews

Indiana Jones 2007

The whip-cracking archaeologist returns for a punch-packing next-gen adventure

The last Indy movie was 17 years ago, way back in the heady days of the '80s. Yet we're still excited, more so now that the fourth film has been confirmed. If you're too young to remember Indy, he's a university archaeology professor with a secret double life as an... archaeologist. But a much more exciting one, right? One who PUNCHES people, WHIPS things and generally behaves like a 1940s private eye.

There have been Indy games before, notably the wonderful Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on PC, but not one has ever featured George Lucas' personal input (he's got the time now...) or so much new technology.

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Indy fights Chinese people. Indy doesn't always fight Chinese people, some of his best friends are Chinese (Short Round, for example), he just mostly fights Chinese people. Especially when he's in San Francisco's Chinatown (as here) or riding on top of one of their famous cable cars up the hilly streets. Anyway, they're probably attacking him or possibly offering him some delightful steamed cuisine.

This one's going to make use of LucasArts' new Euphoria behavioural simulation engine, to ensure you never see the same event twice. Indy and his enemies will be imbued with a survival instinct and environmental awareness. If they fall off an edge, they'll try and grab onto passing ledges and brace themselves for landing. Essentially, they'll adapt their behaviour to take advantage of changes in their surroundings, with each action being different. Or so we're assured.

This new Indy game is set one year after the events of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in 1939, as the Nazis are setting out to conquer Europe. Indy must travel the globe, including the streets of San Francisco, unravelling the clues found in ancient artefacts and staying one step ahead (or normally behind) his over-educated enemies - including one enemy from his past (hopefully Mola Ram). Then he must use those clues to piece together a biblical mystery and move to the "world's most sacred ground". Which we assume must be Wembley Stadium or the location of the very first Nando's.

Whether any characters from the earlier games or the movies return is still up in the air (Sean Connery will be sorely missed if not). Whether the plot can trump the magnificent, crazy plots of the films is also in question. What's not is that Indy's back and we're all waiting to see what he does next.

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