Written by  :  Mumm-Ra (410)
Written on  :  May 31, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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The best Indiana Jones adventure since -- well, since the trilogy.

The Good

Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis is one of Lucas Arts best adventure games ever. It remains a classic and most players would remember this game instead of the new Indy adventures (Infernal Machine and Emperor's Tomb) if they were asked. Well, this one became really great.

The plot is just amazing. Fate Of Atlantis has a great storyline. It is involving. It is even realistic -- well, don't expect too much of truth, this is Indiana Jones we're talking about. This adventure game could have turned into another Indy movie. In fact, many people really thought Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis would be released in theaters. Well, Spielberg should have done this one.

This Indy adventure had everything it could have. There are lots of action. There are different scenarios (Indy travels a lot, of course). There are fighting scenes. There is a girl. Indy does amazing things with his whip. It is a typical Indiana Jones story, and it is only on computers. If you want to know it, then you'll have to play. Well, the game couldn't have been more fantastic, as George Lucas himself keeps quality control of his games and he would never let the image of the star of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' be spoiled.

The great involving story is the best part of the game. Well, the puzzles. The puzzles are part of the story. They follow the storyline (as true adventure games do) and provides lots of challenges and tons of fun. There are also some action parts. The rest is pure irrelevant detail. And this is what great adventure games are made of: first of all, a story and challenge.

Another plus: there is part where you choose your way among three options. You can opt to continue your adventure with Sonia (your mate, the girl I was talking about). She can give you hints and help you through the rest of the adventure. You may also choose to go on alone, following your own brains. Then, you'll have lots of puzzles to solve, some really difficult, and less action sequences. Finally, Indy may opt to go on by himself, following his instincts and filling the game with action. In this choice, puzzles are less frequent and there are more action scenes (such as fighting and racing). Each way has its own end. This choice brings the game an extraordinary replay value, as it can be played three times, without solving all the puzzles.

Gameplay is basically the same as Monkey Island: very good. The player controls almost every movement of the character (this means interaction, which some later games must have forgotten) and the buttons are simple and intuitive. The bar below the screen may take some precious space, but is very useful and was the best thing they had in 1992.

Graphics were very good for the time. They didn't follow the traditional Lucas Arts style of cheerful, colored backgrounds. Indiana Jones had sober graphics, in an effort to make them realistic. Well, one could notice they were as realistic as they could for the time. But they were also grainy, as VGA 320x200 resolution doesn't help in making them very sharp. It also has to be noted here that Lucas Arts always preferred to make accessible games. It is better to have a real good game with modest graphics which runs in every computer then to have an incredible realism which runs very slowly on your computer. This doesn't force the players to upgrade their machines to run the games. So, users should be thankful to Lucas Arts for releasing 320x200 games until 1996. Apart from that, Indy had very well elaborated graphics that look good even if compared to much newer games. Some backgrounds look like real paintings.

The music? Who would you choose to compose the game soundtrack? Is John Williams OK? Well, the music is exactly the same as the movies and it can be easily recognized even when played in PC speaker. Nothing to complain about it. Much on the contrary. Indiana Jones soundtrack is one of the best ever elaborated for movies and stands as one of John Williams favourites, as well as Star Wars and E.T. ones. Besides the main theme, all the other were also very good and provided a great atmosphere. In a few words: music couldn't be better. The CD-ROM version also featured digitised voices.

The Bad

Although the game is filled with the same magic as Monkey Island, it is sometimes too serious. The puzzles may be too logical at times, and may be a little obvious for some players. And some may look too realistic.

And it gets even more serious when you realize Indy can die in this game. Yes. But just in some occasions. Well, Lucas Arts always told the players they couldn't die in its games. In this one, they can, but just in a few situations, which is somewhat contradictory: adopting this possibility, why the danger of Indy dying is not present all the time? Maybe Lucas Arts was reluctant in doing that.

This game is also a little short. It could have been longer. This is probably because of the three versions it contains. But it would be really nice if it contained three long games instead of shorter ones.

Sound effects could have been better. They were just OK and didn't keep up with the great music. Besides it, Harrison Ford didn't play Indiana Jones voice in the CD-ROM version (it would have been just great, but the voice is nice anyway).

There are also some few glitches that could have been fixed. But they are most part of the story, which is great, and I'm not gonna spoil the fun by telling it.

The Bottom Line

TRUE CLASSIC. The best Indiana Jones game yet and maybe the only Lucas Arts adventure game that can keep up with Monkey Island.