Indiana Jones and the Great Circle was announced during the Xbox Developer Direct yesterday and unsurprisingly, some gamers are mad. The flavor of the week is not being happy that the camera perspective is primarily first-person. I say primarily since we know from the trailer and developer that it’s a hybrid with some third-person gameplay.
While some gamers were surprised that it’s in first-person and not third-person, others are downright angry. One common argument is that it doesn’t take advantage of the Indiana Jones IP since you won’t see him as much. I just think of every third-person game I’ve played where I’m staring at my character’s back.
It’s more comical to me that not being able to look at Indy’s back for 8 hours would be detrimental. As New Blood Interactive developer, Dillon Rogers, points out on Twitter, RoboCop: Rogue City released with a first-person perspective and currently sits at 92% positive on Steam. Despite being based on a major IP, it didn’t fail miserably.
This doesn’t mean every game needs to be in first-person and that all third-person games are now banned. It just means the developers have a certain vision for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, and that’s what they chose. Game Director at MachineGames, Jerk Gustafsson, recently gave some insight on this in a blog post.
Gustafsson explains a common point made in favor of this game being first-person, “First-person gameplay is part of MachineGames’ DNA, and we wanted to see how we could use this to create a really immersive experience around stepping into the shoes of the world’s most famous archaeologist.”
For those who may not be familiar, MachineGames is known for recent Wolfenstein games like, Wolfenstein: The New Order. This makes sense when you look at it from the perspective of sticking with what you’re successful at. As goes with almost anything in game development, nothing is simple. So to expect MachineGames to switch to third-person may only hurt the game.
One reasonable complaint about a first-person camera angle revolves around motion sickness. Depending on the accessibility settings available in Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, this problem could go either way. For example, settings like disabling motion blur, customizing field of view, frame rate control, and toggling actions that remove control of the camera.
These settings can help reduce motion sickness triggers as explained more thoroughly by Stacey Jenkins, a game accessibility specialist. While not every game will be playable by every gamer, developers should always strive to make it possible for everyone. This isn’t a case for why Indiana Jones and the Great Circle needs to be third-person but rather a case for more settings.
I don’t suffer from motion sickness while playing games so I can’t speak from that viewpoint. However, I wonder how much having certain third-person actions will help alleviate those problems. As shown in the Xbox trailer, you’re in third-person when using a zipline and when swinging through the air.
With that said, seconds later we see a favorite moment when Indy punches enemies in the face. This first-person action has a lot of screen shake and that may be a problem. Or especially the bit when you’re jumping between planes in mid-air.
Motion sickness aside, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will have plenty of Indy visible for those who want to appreciate him. Between the third-person transitions and cinematics where he’s on full display. Instead of looking at his back, you’ll just have to experience more through his eyes.
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.