ESRB Rating: T for Violence, Blood
For: PC, N64
Version Reviewed: N64
Learning Curve: 20 minutes
1947. The Nazis have been crushed, the Cold War has begun and Soviet agents are sniffing around the ruins of the fabled Tower of Babel. What are they up to? The CIA wants renowned archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry \'Indiana\' Jones\', Jr. to find out. Grab your whip and fedora and join Indy in globe-spanning race to unearth the mysterious \'Infernal Machine.\' * We join our beloved archaeologist at a Southwestern dig site, on the trail of Native American treasures. This is a game play element throughout the entire game, and is needed if you are going to buy supplies. A warning: this is a cliff level. I hate cliff levels. If you hate cliff levels, don\'t play this game. If you hate them, but can deal with them, buy it. If you don\'t hate them, fine.
The graphics in this game are beautiful, absolutely pushing the N64 to it\'s limits. The detail on Indy\'s face, wrinkles in his clothes, and evil ice monsters are all masterfully created by LucasArts\' friends, Factor 5, the people who brought us Battle for Naboo, and the Rogue Squadron games. The environments take a lot of style from the Zelda games, yet Tomb Raider holds a lot of the credit for the level design. Basically, the game is a big puzzle. The graphics play very well into this, and are, at times, better and more complex than Tomb Raider\'s ever could be.
Everyone knows the Indiana Jones theme. If you don\'t buy the game, and get the movies. For the rest of us, this game, and the new one coming out in the next year or so, will tide us over until the movie comes out. The theme song plays when you activate a series of events, such as walking unsuspectingly on a rooftop, and the roof falls in, stunning you momentarily. Each level also has it\'s own theme score, such as the Tian Shan River\'s decidedly Communist sounding-theme. Then, to sum it up, you have the guards\' cries of surprise, in their native tongue, and the sounds of guns being shot. At times, I started thinking: If only I had Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound?.if only. The experience is that good.
This is a Hal Barwood game. For those that don\'t know who he is, Hal Barwood is the story genius at LucasArts. He wrote Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and all their old graphic adventure games. This means that Barwood writes about the occult. Indy Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is very much about the occult. It talks about turning people into gods--one of the story paths even includes a s?ance! In the Infernal Machine, the story talks about the Tower of Babel being, in fact, an old machine that steered the four winds. The priests who built the tower had a god named Marduk. Marduk was infuriated when the tower wasn\'t completed, so, he destroyed the machine, casting it\'s parts and priests in the for cardinal directions: North, South, East, and West. At times, you can enter Marduk\'s plane, though it does hurt your health. Unfortunately, if you want to experience this game, you need to either look for a used copy at a Blockbuster store, go to Blockbuster.com (might find it there), or, look at old game sites. Otherwise, you need a PC, and a good system. Or you\'re out of luck.