The iconic hero Indiana Jones makes a return to video games as he tries to track down religious artefact the Staff Of Kings in LucasArts and Activision Blizzard’s upcoming adventure title…
Dr Henry Jones Jr. has had a surprisingly erratic history with video games. Despite arguably being a key source of inspiration for the likes of Tomb Raider and Uncharted, Indiana has yet to see releases as regular as more contemporary heroes, such as James Bond and Harry Potter.
However, the archaeologist’s return to the silver screen in last year’s Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull has renewed the public’s interest in his adventures, prompting the release of Lego: Indiana Jones, a family-orientated romp through the first three films. The game was so successful it managed to knock GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Wii Fit from the top spot in the UK charts – proving that demand for Indiana’s whip-cracking antics is high.
THE LATEST CRUSADE
Responding to such demand, Activision Blizzard is readying an all-new adventure for everyone’s favourite Fedora-wearing professor, in the form of Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings. Set a year after The Last Crusade, this title brings classic Indy escapades to console and handheld owners everywhere.
“Indiana Jones has a loyal fanbase and we’re excited to bring a whole new story to these fans,” says Activision’s senior brand manager Aruna Sinha. “The Nintendo Wii and Indiana Jones’ whip is a natural fit, so we expect players to instantly jump in and feel like Indy for the first time.
“Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings is also a great game for parents to play along with their kids, opening up the franchise to a whole new audience and introducing Indy to the younger generation.”
Set in 1939, Staff Of Kings pits Indiana Jones against his latest nemesis Magnus Völler – not to mention the Nazis – as he races around the world to secure a biblical relic before it falls into the wrong hands: the Staff of Moses.
Indy’s journey for the Red Sea-splitter will take him to a variety of exotic locales, from San Fransisco’s Chinatown and the jungles of Panama to the Himalayan mountains and the Egyptian desert. There, players will explore crumbling temples, military encampments and gangster bars in search of the next clue to the Staff’s location.
The emphasis has been placed on the Wii version, which showcases a range of gesture-based controls designed to make the player truly feel like Indiana Jones. Whether throwing punches with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in a bar room brawl, or whipping the Remote forward to swing over a chasm, gamers will be able to do everything Indy can.
“Players will face signature run-for-your-life moments, like a daring escape from a collapsing temple, flying a biplane in a canyon trench, taking the reigns of a wild elephant and navigating a raft down a raging river, all by matching fast-paced onscreen gesture prompts,” says Sinha
The handheld versions have also been optimised for their respective formats. The DS version will see players using the stylus as their whip to swing over pits, while the PSP edition offers its own exclusive take on the new adventure.
FORTUNE AND GLORY
Since Lego: Indiana Jones thrived on being family orientated, LucasArts has made Staff Of Kings more than just a solitary experience. A full co-operative mode is present, allowing friends or children with parents to work their way through an entirely new quest, with the second player filling the shoes of a familiar character yet to be playable in an Indy game.
Progressing through the single-player adventure also unlocks a four-player versus mode, in which friends can battle it out in biplanes and tanks, bringing good old-fashioned deathmatches to the Indiana Jones franchise for the first time.
Perhaps the most enticing unlockable extra is Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. Widely considered to be the best Indiana Jones game of all time, this classic title not only adds yet more value for money to Staff Of Kings, it will also boost the game’s appeal to older Indy fans.
Given the pedigree of the licence and the wealth of enticing content, Activision is confident that Staff Of Kings will be successful at retail.
Not only are the loyal Indy fans longing for a brand new adventure, LucasArts’ focus on opening the game to family audiences means that this title could follow the success of Lego: Indiana Jones.
“Our trade partners are providing some good feedback on this title and as a result we’re building some exciting plans to support the launch,” says Sinha.
“We believe this will be a successful launch for both us and our partners.”
WHIPPING UP A STORM
Activision has prepared a three-pronged marketing campaign to promote the game’s arrival and reignite the public love for Indy that saw a boost with last year’s cinematic release.
- A six-month PR campaign has been targeted to cover the main Nintendo and multi-format publications. Ads will also appear in key lifestyle magazines.
- For online marketing, the publisher has targeted big brand environments, with homepage takeovers arranged for leading men’s lifestyles, film sites and broader gaming and entertainment sites.
- A strong three-week TV launch campaign will be run on satellite and terrestrial channels, targeted at a core gaming audience and children.
|Release Date||May 12th 2009|
|Format||Wii, DS, PS2, PSP|
|Contact||020 3060 1000|