Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings First Look

We go back to 1939 to accompany Indy on his next archeological adventure.

The adventurous professor of archeology is back with his trusty whip and iconic fedora in the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2. We had an opportunity to visit LucasArts here in San Francisco to get a first look at the Wii version of the game to see how it was coming along. We were able to see several different areas of the game as well as gameplay sequences, which seemed to faithfully incorporate Indy's dry sense of humor and his penchant for getting into trouble.

Staff of Kings is an original story set in 1939, a year after the events in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, right before World War II. Indy's journey starts off in Sudan, where he is looking for the idol of Amun, a golden ram head. Our demo took us through a section of the ancient temple, and in typical Indy fashion, as soon as he snagged the artifact the place proceeded to fall apart. This first level acts as an introduction to the basics of combat, and it also gives you a chance to meet your new nemesis, Magnus Voller. The story is heavily inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, with references throughout the game so fans can look forward to the return of a classic Indiana Jones tale. We didn't get a chance to see this, but we were told that the story unfolds like a graphic novel, so we're curious to seeing how that will fit into the game and what the artwork is like.

In our demo, the archeologist stumbled upon a German encampment and then went on to punch Nazis in the face. You can jab and do uppercuts by swinging and punching with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. To use your whip, you hold down the B button and flick the remote. The fights are at a relatively slow pace, so you can periodically dodge incoming punches to the face by holding the A and B buttons to duck. Indy has always been a resourceful fighter, so your environment comes into play quite often when you're in a brawl. Certain items that can be used as a weapon can be picked up, like a shovel or billiard balls, but you can always throw people into things or, in this particular case, use the whip to pull a fully loaded shelf onto an unsuspecting Nazi. In a later bar fight, we watched as Indy and the enemy AI grabbed chairs and other objects to use in their fight. It was funny to see a guy get tossed into a large aquarium and then watch Indy pick up a fish from the tank and chuck it at someone else. A conveniently placed gong in the corner also makes things easier; if you can get enemies close enough to bash their heads on it, it'll take out their entire health bar.

Other action-heavy parts of the game included a flight sequence in which you pilot a biplane through a narrow canyon and fire at enemies with the B button. You control the plane by holding the Wii Remote vertically, like a flight stick, so you can pull up, steer, and do a full loop if you want to. It wouldn't be an Indiana Jones game without some crazy and frantic chase sequences, so we watched as our demo took us to San Francisco's Chinatown. Since the professor doesn't like to use guns very often, his pistol comes out only during specific sections in the game. There is a cable-car chase scene that functions very much like an on-rails shooter in which Indy can shoot and hide in the cable car as several gunmen chase him down San Francisco's steep streets in their classic '30s-style cars. A targeting reticle appears in these scenes, so all you really have to do is point with the remote and then hit B. There's an unlimited amount of ammo, so you can easily reload with a quick flick of the remote.

Bottle to the face!

We didn't get a chance to see any more cool action scenes, but we do know that there will be river rafting, motorcycles, and elephants involved at some point. When you're not busy running away from boulders and other booby traps, you'll be exploring and doing a bit of platforming in beautiful exotic locales. The ancient ruins and jungles we explored looked great, with a lot of detail and stone structures to check out. There will be puzzles to solve in order to move through the level, and we watched as Indy tried to navigate through a room that contained several stone heads that were dangling from cords and swinging around like pendulums. Giant stone blocks also slammed into the ground periodically, which didn't help matters. In this particular situation, it was impossible to pass through without getting knocked down, so the goal was to find a way to disable the mechanism. Icons will appear on objects to indicate whether you can interact with them, which will provide some hints as to what you can do. One good reason to explore is that as you collect artifacts hidden across the stages, you'll be able to unlock a ton of bonus content.

One of the most exciting additions is that the 1992 PC game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis can be unlocked early on. The version here is exactly the same as the original except that it has been modified to support the Wii Remote. Staff of Kings also includes co-op and multiplayer modes; you can play through an entire unique storyline with a friend--who plays as Henry Sr.--or you can fight in a four-player combat mode using airplanes and tanks. Combat arenas, original Indiana Jones movie trailers, and skins can be unlocked as well by going through the game and collecting glory achievements and artifacts. A journal from the main menu keeps track of your progress and documents all the artifacts you've found and the achievements you've accomplished.

Staff of Kings appears to be heading in the right direction in terms of keeping the classic Indiana Jones feel. The script got the seal of approval from George Lucas as well as Steven Spielberg, and parts of John Williams' movie score is included as well for you to hum along to. We didn't get a chance to mess around with the controls, but we were told that heavy action sequences are spaced out enough so that you shouldn't get tired from excessive motion control. The only waggling we noticed appears when you're running away, stuck in a choke hold, or shimmying along a narrow ledge and slip--you have to shake the remote and nunchuk to get out of trouble.

Solve puzzles with your whip, aka Wii Remote.

We're hoping to get some hands-on time with Staff of Kings in the near future as well as take a look at the other versions of the game. In the meantime, check out our last Q&A for more details about the game. Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is set to be released on June 9, so be sure to check back soon for additional updates as we head into the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

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Discussion

104 comments
agehaelhaym
agehaelhaym

Does it ship with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!??

Redbonk95
Redbonk95

Finally, another good adventure for the Wii. I am definitely going to buy this. I just hope that it's not too short.

Vogo
Vogo

I was looking at the screen shots and the video and thought Indy doesn't look quite right, like he was missing something. I realized he is missing the sash thingy. I don't kow what it called exactly but I meen the little bag he has around his shoulder.

CapedCod
CapedCod

Looks quite impressive, let's just hope that when you flick the Wiimote he doesn't whip something entirely different from what you were aiming for.

Terrencec06
Terrencec06

I have to admit this looks interesting

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

it looks nice like a mix of tomb raider and gta, it's a pity it seems to rely so much in motion sensing

nubystubs
nubystubs

Looks good. Makes me want to play Emperor's Tomb again.

dzimm
dzimm

This looks surprisingly cool.

GORDONA3RIP
GORDONA3RIP

this looks awesome but why dsnt he wear his jacket

agehaelhaym
agehaelhaym

I thought Last Crusade will ship with the Wii version as well!?

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

This looks really good! And it seems to keep the humor that made the movies so good. I loved the shovel part lol

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

But Isamu, the PS2 is SLOW. I have a whole bunch of games for it, even though it's not really mine (in the family). But... the graphics are so-so most of the time... the framerate is average and choppy, depending on which game. For as far as I care, the thing has already died years ago just because of mediocre performance. They didn't release a newer version for nothing. SO, it's strange that they didn't choose for the PS3 (which I do not and will not ever own). Well, maybe this game runs OK on it, I don't know. I just meant the PS2 and games in general. But it's still the choice of the developers. I still think it's some type of budget-thing. I don't know who is on this game, but it seems a bit "cheap". You know, seeing which platforms they're dealing with...

Isamu_36
Isamu_36

Im' glad that I bought a Wii, I own a 360 too but I keep coming back to the Wii / Game Cube, both have great games [I've just finished Disaster Day of Crisis, which gamespot low-ranked, and it's fantastic; this game seems to have a very similar gameplay.] I'm also glad the PS2 is still supported by developers, it's a great system and it shouldn't die yet.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Mee too! I got Fate of Atlantis in it's package still, lol! Was my fave adventure game as a kid! Nice that they add it for bonus content here.

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

GAAARGH! MAN when i first read the title i read it "1993" - the golden age of adventure games o_O... i still own an original copy of fate of atlantis (the DOS cd), one of my favorite games of all time...

SentientGames
SentientGames

Wii only? Weak. Probably be as good as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Garbage.

fishnpeas1
fishnpeas1

I was thinking I'd pick it up to play on the ps3, then notice the fate of atlantis on the wii, that is worth the price of admission alone - now we just need last crusade on there

The_Wolf22
The_Wolf22

Ok, the Wii is a great system in all, but what about the other versions of the game? They need to release some gameplay vids and pics from the PSP, PS2, and DS versions. Especially the PS ones. Why does Nintendo get all the love?

chappy_man
chappy_man

ohh man, So for wii, ps2, psp, and ds...... I love Indy. So now the issue is with owning all 4 game machines which one its the best. Or do i go for the cheapest. Reviews for this cant come out soon enough. Also are they pulling a Force unleashed with different content for each cause then i might loose a pretty penny assuming the extras on each are that good.

Dinkyfish
Dinkyfish

If this comes with Fate of Atlantis as unlockable content then it's worth getting it just for that :D

cristhiansj_1
cristhiansj_1

Thanks Wii, PS2 users have more games by your low power. :D

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

@Mr_Tweedy who says this is a port?? maybe the PS2 version is a port of the wii version anyways it doesnt look too bad i like the lack of swatzikas on the nazis thats amusing

senton94
senton94

But I want NEW games to the newer generation consoles, and good graphics. Cuz' I've got enough of the old visual standard, they should try to follow the better games, not just...this...?

Binarynova
Binarynova

Wait a second! No 360 or PS3 version? Wow, guess I'm not playing it after all. I love my PS2 and all but I just don't see myself buying more games for it at this point. Too bad. I love Indy and I was really looking forward to this.

havocmerc
havocmerc

I am going to get this for my lady's Wii.

BlackCrow2
BlackCrow2

Woohoo, there are a few fun looking games coming out this summer for the PS2 after all.

MFazio23
MFazio23

It's too bad that the main selling point is having Fate of Atlantis as an add-on. It does look pretty entertaining to me, actually.

starduke
starduke

While I would love to see a version of this on the PC, I can't see why everyone is so upset about this being on the Wii. The Wii, while not necessarily better then the other consoles, does have an innovative control scheme. If utilized correctly, it can provide a very unique gaming experience. This game is also coming out for the DS, PSP, and the PS2. I would probably buy the DS version, because that's what I have. I just hope it's not another bad side scroller. I hate when the DS version is disgustingly lame compared to the console versions. The graphics don't have to be bad. There are plenty of games for the DS with good graphics.

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

Looks okay..... I do wish the Wii would quit getting ports of PS2 games.

gudni
gudni

The Wii version gets two games in one(Ive heard its only the Wii version)! I have to be honest and admit that Staff of Kings by itself only looks to be somewhere around a 6 in the review score range. But for a real Indy fan you can up that score at least one point and by adding another classic Indy game as a bonus makes this a must buy Wii game. And who knows, maybe Staff of kings on its own will surprise everyone with a good story and decent gameplay making it worthy even for non Indy fans.

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

Ehm, looks like an old "Tomb Raider"-game... I'm not going to complain like "WHY A Wii-EXCLUSIVE?!". Because first of all it's not only on the Wii. But what's up with this... like... low-budget release, only on platforms with crappy graphics? This is typically a game that SHOULD be on the better consoles (which I don't even have) and the PC. Heck, they even should have used the same engine for 'Tomb Raider: Underworld' or something, because this just looks silly. I feel like I went back in time a half to a whole decade or something. This is not going to sell well... Hm, just thinking... at least it's not a Lego-version. Now THOSE games are ridiculous, they make no sense at all. They're probably just selling the Lego-brand.

The_unKnwn
The_unKnwn

wow that looks boring as heck, the girl even speaks with a plane voice..... sad

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Its funny to see people actually complaining that the Wii is getting an "exclusive" title. Like they're never going to make an Indy game for 360 or PS3. Are you the same people that say that the Wii sucks because it doesn't have any games? I'm just asking....

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

Why can't they make this game for the current consoles? I said the current consoles aka PS3 and XBOX360 not Wii. :(

WolfShadow115
WolfShadow115

Wii + Indiana Jones = Meh PC/PS3/X360 + Indiana Jones = Awesome... well, it would be

jazzyrider
jazzyrider

I'll stick with the Lego IJ game instead of this new one.

Mc_Trickz
Mc_Trickz

It looks cool,but it can be a bad game too :S

NeostarrX5
NeostarrX5

this game has fail written all over it.

person455
person455

Next gen has been waiting far too long for this game and to give it to the older and hand held consoles is insulting

w0rmy
w0rmy

I can see playing this one on the PSP but I'm not sold on the Wii version.

W3En
W3En

Also I completely agree with Razoroo, the graphics are way behind the rest of the counsels out currently and even farther behind PC's and it's rather pitiful

jumpy46
jumpy46

I will wait until I see some reviews until I get this. But I do hope it is good. Wish that they would still release the PS3 and 360 versions.

W3En
W3En

It looks like a good game, unfortunatley it's on the wii which motion sensing capablilites are not really up to par so I'm sure that fighting ect... whill be very difficult.