To quickly recap for the uninitiated, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings was an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game that LucasArts was developing in the arena of 2005-2008. In the end, this long-awaited follow-up to Emperor’s Tomb was cancelled, but the separate incarnations that were being developed by third parties for the Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PSP ended up making it to shelves in 2009.
Lead Designer Steven Chen told us that the internal Staff of Kings had reached a “vertical slice” level of development when we had a chance to speak to him, which may explain the reasonably polished look the game in the surfaced gameplay clip below, sourced from Christopher James (Level Designer)’s online portfolio.
As many had already speculated, the game comes off as very much trying to follow in the footsteps of Uncharted, not unlike the debt the early 3D Indy games owed to Tomb Raider. The use of John Williams cues lifted straight from the movie scores throughout the level is right out of the published game, both in its coolness and its not-necessarily-motivated-ness. With another fifteen years having passed without a AAA Indy game, it’s up to MachineGames to hopefully redeem the situation, but it’s nice to steal a look at what might have been, had its team not been subsumed by Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.