Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine

Originally published on on 2 December 1999. I did not enjoy this demo one bit. You’ll see why soon enough.

I dreamt I was a Jedi–Oops! Wrong film! Stupid Jedi Mind Tricks!

Infernal \In*fer”nal\, a.
Of or pertaining to, resembling, or inhabiting, hell; suitable for hell, or to the character of the inhabitants of hell; hellish; diabolical; as, infernal spirits, or conduct.

Ten Things I’d Do Rather Than Play Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine:

1. Play Tomb Raider
2. Sit through an episode of Barney… or two
3. Play Tomb Raider Gold
4. Believe Bill Clinton.
5. Play Tomb Raider II
6. Sit through college lectures on economics and home financing
7. Play Tomb Raider II Gold
8. Hump sheep
9. Play Tomb Raider III
10. And yes, even play Tomb Raider IV.

‘Infernal’ is the perfect description of this melting pot of all things awful about games. It seems as if since releasing ‘Mysteries of the Sith’ LucasArts has fallen into a dirty mucus filled pit where only games like ‘Sin’ and ‘Xtreme Paintball’ are developed. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse than the abyss of mediocrity that the Tomb Raider series has fallen into, right?

Wrong. Thrice within twenty-four hours I attempted to play this infernal thing LucasArts dares to call a demo, and both times I felt like bashing my head into my monitor until I bled. Because of my contempt for this infernal piece of crap, I’m going to attempt to write this demo review in record time so I can get back to my own life and spare myself the misery of playing this incredibly unfun demo.

The only enjoyable factor of the entire demo is the graphical quality, which deserves mention as being the most heavily tweaked engine I’ve ever seen. Originally this was the Jedi Knight engine, before the coding chimps got their paws on it. Of course, it’s nowhere near as pretty as Unreal, but it still has colored lighting and faces that move when people talk, which is always a nice plus to the stale unmoving faces of games such as Tomb Raider and Heretic II.

Outside of the graphics, the rest of the demo makes me want to puke. It’s very easy to understand. A lack of working mouse control, mixed with bad voice acting, piss poor keyboard mapping and an interface from hell make for a bad game. It’s that simple. Half-Life set a bar folks, let’s follow its example and try to go above that bar. Hmm? Can we do that?

I hate to have to say this folks, but there are no redeeming values about this demo. I wish I could be the publisher who has to attach all those wonderful quotes on the back of boxes when this game comes out. I wonder what it’ll say under, “It still has colored lighting!” Add a big shiny yellow star and you’ve got a winner folks. Right. If only life were that simple.

I hate to tell you, but this isn’t a Coca-Cola commercial, I’m a bitter 18 year old who has to finish high school, go to college and in the meantime rate a demo that really sucks! It’s like having boobies but not being able to play with them, y’know? How do you screw up Indiana Jones? Jeez, all you had to do was cut and paste Lara with Indy and spruce up the graphics a bit! Heck, I don’t even know. LucasArts, if you’re out there listening, please try and create a game that is actually fun for people to play. You remember how to do it right, like you used to?

Where to begin with the problems in this POS, where to begin… How about with the millions of collision bugs? The laws of physics have stated that arms and legs cannot pass through walls at their whim. So just what the hell does Indy think he’s doing? Next on the list: Control Configuration. I cannot assign space to anything! I need my space! I cannot jump without space! Wait a sec, that’s illogical nonsense. Then again, this is 3DGN.

The control problem doesn’t end here. Oh no, it just goes downhill from here. Turning left and right and backwards is obnoxiously slow. Oh yes, the mouse look is broken. When I move the mouse left and right I do not expect to move. When I move it up and down I expect my vision to change, but not left and right. Are we clear on this matter? The first person camera also decided that it likes to look out from Indy’s chest. If I was a babe, I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but unfortunately, I’m a guy. If this was Lara Crotch, err Croft, I’d have no problem whatsoever.

It’s pathetic that Tomb Raider has smarter controls that Indiana Jones. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away LucasArts released fun games. A not so long time ago in a galaxy not quite so far away, LucasArts started making games that sucked.

It shouldn’t have been titled ‘Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine,’ but rather, ‘Indiana Jones and the Stooges who Got Paid to Program Filth.’ Hell, Indiana Jones and the Holy Feta Cheese would have been a title. In a way, it is a fitting title, as infernal perfectly describes this shoddy attempt at a game. If I ran the world, every time a programmer developed a game that absolutely sucked, he and all his partners would be lined up and executed one at a time in a violent and grizzly fashion. Is Indiana Jones great? Only at being extraordinarily bad.

The Goods

Size: 38.84 MB
Pros: Semi decent graphics. The music is kinda cool, I guess. Um… um… sorry folks. This one’s dead on impact.
Cons: Control system from hell, piss poor interface, awkward camera movement, the whip doesn’t do offensive attacks!
Bottom Line: Stay away if you value your sanity. This demo will drain it from you faster than a trip to your local public high school.

Worth It?

Download Factor: 1/5
Overall Fun: 1/5
Overall: 1/5