It’s Easy To Keep Indiana Jones From Turning Into Uncharted: Take His Gun Away


There are a lot of things about the Indiana Jones movies that make for good video game fodder: a hero who occasionally cracks wise, fascinating historical settings, Nazis and other evildoers to fight, and big action set pieces in which the heroic Indy takes on a tank or escapes ancient traps. Indiana Jones translates so well into video game form that a few other franchises, most notably Uncharted and Tomb Raider, have already more or less lifted key elements from the iconic movies.

That leaves the upcoming Indiana Jones title from current Wolfenstein developer MachineGames facing an uphill battle. One of its bigger challenges is distinguishing itself from the games that have already riffed on some of the essential elements of the Indiana Jones formula. Nathan Drake and Lara Croft are archaeological killing machines and treasure hunters, gunning down whole armies of mercenaries as they fight to keep lost cities and powerful relics out of the hands of bad guys. Some online reactions have already suggested any Indiana Jones game might wind up being an “Uncharted clone” on account of the ideas being so similar.

So how do you make an Indiana Jones game that doesn’t feel like it’s borrowing from the games that have borrowed from Indiana Jones? It might actually not be as difficult as it sounds, at least conceptually. The key is creating a game that is more like the movies than slotting the franchise into the Indiana Jones-shaped framework set out by the video games it inspired.

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