Reviews: Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis

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Forever the real Indiana Jones 4.
Yep, the real deal existed for over a decade and a half before that... thing... was visited upon the human race, forever tainting the franchise's good name. But even if Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis earns this honor by default for not being a half-assed piece of drek like the aforementioned, it's also a worthy companion piece to the films in its own right, video game or no.

This time, Henry Jones Jr. has to stop Those Wacky Nazis from finding the long-lost city of Atlantis and use the wonders of this ancient civilization to win World War 2 for ol' Adolf. As you'd expect, it's an exciting, globetrotting adventure filled to the brim with witty dialogue, colorful atmosphere, and devious take-no-prisoners golden age adventure game puzzles of varying opacity. Leave it to LucasArts to get the dynamics of what makes Indiana Jones work right on the money, from start to finish. The feverish, action-packed pacing of the films themselves is mostly dialed down to fit the more slow-burn approach of the medium, not to mention the genre. But this tends to work to the game's advantage, as it really allows one to drink in the wonderful atmosphere of the sights and sounds of this high-end adventure game classic.

One thing that really sells the whole Indiana Jones feel (and provides a point of uniqueness in its own right) is that at one point in the game, you're allowed to choose one of three "paths" to complete your quest. You can either go on with hardcore-puzzle solving like you've done thus far, team up with Jones' charming and likeable female partner, or bravely advance guns (or, in this case, fists) blazing, the latter dispensing with too much puzzle-solving. All of the paths fit the Indiana Jones template like a charm, and add a whole lot of replay value. It's also fun to see some of the same situations play out differently according to one's path.

Gotta give big ups to Mssrs. Land, McConnell, and Bajakian for providing one of the most atmospheric scores in any game, perfectly underscoring the adventure at every turn. Yes, this game truly embodies the spirit of adventure. Not even the inclusion of Shia Labeouf could much mar this fine piece of work. And that says more than the 353 preceding words ever could.
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