Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
The Indiana Jones series started off as Graphic Animated Adventures and they were well loved by all. The first person shooter started sometime about the same era with the Atari version of Dungeon Master. This was a real time dungeon crawl not too different from Quake and Doom except that it was single player like Tomb Raider. The graphics were remarkable for the mid 1980's and infact won several awards from the magazines of the day.
Released in 1992 for the IBM PC, Indianna Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was the second Indiana Jones adventure from LucasArts. RAM of 640 KB and a hard drive were required for the 256-color EGA, VGA, and MCGA 2D epic. The game featured over 200 hand rendered background locations. The Muse soundtrack was exceptional, as are all LucasArts sound tracks. Shay Addams said that the game had a "cinematic feel that for most games exists only in their press releases."
In 1989, Lucas Arts produced two games based upon the movie Indiana Jones« and the Last Crusadeď . This is the first time LucasArts interprets a Lucasfilm movie for interactive entertainment. An action version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is developed as a companion product to the graphic adventure. It would have been nice if LucasArts would have developed both this time around and almost ten years later.
Those of you who have played and are fans of the previous LucasArts graphic adventure games are bound to be disapointed. Like the Activision Star Trek: Hidden Evil released this Christmass (1999), the game shows Tomb Raider action not graphic adventure like others. If you really want a graphic adventure, you will have to play Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred--Blood of the Damned or even Outcast by Infogrammes.
Unfortunately the MBAs seem to have taken over at LucasArts and wimped out on giving us a true graphic adventure from times of old -- updated to the present day. Those of us who remember the LucasArts classics such as the last Grim Fandango feel like a child who woke up on Christmas day only to find coal in his stocking or a small pidgeon for Christmas Dinner. We now feel even more afinity for Tiny Tim and have our own Mr. Scrooge to insure our disappointment instead of delight.
The game is a good first person shooter, or as many refer to them an action adventure. It has the requisite jumping, climbing, running and jumping, and saving that go with all good action adventure games. The genre is a bit overdone and many of the old fans of the graphic adventure will be put off, but if you are a young game fan and enjoy all these acrobatics, Infernal Machine may be for you.
The Team for Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine was a good team with extensive experience in Animated Graphic Adventures but virtually no experience in first person shooters.
Bill Tiller was the Lead Artist and Conceptual Illustrator. Bill started at LucasArts in 1992. Bill has worked on the following LucasArts Games: Rebel Assault, The Dig, Return of the Jedi (Super NES), Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures (Super NES), Curse of Monkey Island.
Hal Barwood was the Project Leader, Designer, and Writer. Hal started at LucasArts in 1990. Hal has worked on the following LucasArts Games: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Big Sky Trooper, Rebel Assault II (directed live action video), Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures, Yoda Stories. Hal is designated as one of the top 25 game designers in the country by PC Gamer magazine (August 1999). Hal Barwood came to computer-game development late in life after 20 years working in Hollywood as a writer (Sugarland Express), producer (Dragonslayer) and director (Warning Sign). Growing up, it never occurred to Hal to make a career out of either of his two loves: movies (his dad ran The Nugget movie theater in Hanover, NH) and inventing games (he made elaborate paper and mechanical games to entertain himself and his friends). Hal did odd jobs around the movie theater, along the way soaking in every Hollywood and art film that played in the small college town. Without realizing it, Hal was absorbing the whole history and language of film that would serve him in his future career. Later he attended Brown University as an art major, where a sympathetic professor pointed him west toward USC's prestigious film school.
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