Indiana Jones and the Great Circle: Everything we know

Hero art for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, echoing the pulpy aesthetic of the Indiana Jones movie posters.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle has finally been unearthed, with Bethesda giving us a proper title for our favorite whip-wielding archaeologist's all-new adventure. New mysteries, new villains, and brave new frontiers in digi-Harrison technology that aren't at all unsettling to look at.

After a brief look with a teaser trailer in 2021, we're finally starting to see what MachineGames and executive producer Todd Howard have been cooking for Indy's next outing, and good news: It's got all the Nazi clobbering you'd hope for. Her'es everything we know about Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.

What's the release date for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle?

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will release in 2024, as revealed at Microsoft's January 2024 Developer Direct.

MachineGames, the same studio that brought us the rebooted Wolfenstein games, will be collaborating with Lucasfilm Games on Indy's next adventure. Todd Howard has also been named as the executive producer.

The release window and gameplay reveal is out first proper look at the Indiana Jones game since Bethesda's 2021 surprise announcement on us on Twitter.

Here's the latest Indiana Jones gameplay reveal trailer

Unveiled at Microsoft's January 2024 Developer Direct, this gameplay reveal video gives us a proper title for the Bethesda Indy game. And true to form, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle looks like it'll feature all the Nazi socking, headbutting, whipping, punching, and occasional shooting that you could hope for. Also, you can hit them in the groin with a shovel, if you're careful.

A longer version of the gameplay reveal includes 11 more minutes of information and insights from developers at MachineGames. It also ends with Todd Howard being a scamp. Worth a watch.

Here's the Indiana Jones teaser trailer from 2021

For a few years, we only had the one teaser trailer from Bethesda's surprise announcement to rewatch on repeat, but it featured several interesting objects that gave us clues as to where Dr. Jones is heading next, which fans on Twitter have investigated in detail.

What's the setting for the new Indiana Jones game?

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Best guess: there'll be a few. In the Great Circle, it seems like Indy will be piecing together the mystery of—you're never going to believe this—the Great Circle: a globe-spanning ring of sites ancient and mythological. In its Developer Direct 2024 reveal, MachineGames mentioned the temples of Sukhotai, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Himalayas as places Jones will be traveling to in the Great Circle.

From the first teaser trailer in 2021, we can tease out a few additional destinations we might see. The teaser features an orange plane ticket destined for Rome, dated October 1937. This is resting on a map of Vatican City, in which we can just about make out the Sistine Chapel. There are a few pencil marks on the map, which indicate that we'll probably travel to those places of interest at some point. Using a real map of the area for reference, we can see that St. Damaso Courtyard and Belvedere Courtyard are on Indy's radar.

What will gameplay be like in Indiana Jones and the Great Circle?

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will, primarily, play in first person for most of its Nazi-fighting and ruins-exploring—unsurprising, considering the pedigree of MachineGames. However, the game will transition into third person for cutscenes and environmental traversal sequences, to provide a greater cinematic sense where appropriate.

And yes, that means we'll be getting a healthy dose of First Person Whipping. Aside from its most obvious application of hurting bad guys, Jones's whip can be used for traversal, disarming enemies, and even as a distraction while sneaking. Personally, if I was involved in anything that had a chance of Indiana Jones showing up and wrecking shop, I would simply lie on the floor if I heard a conspicuous whip crack. But that's just me.

Beyond that, it wouldn't be Indiana Jones without plenty of ancient, environmental puzzles to solve. And, probably, traps to trigger.

When will the Great Circle take place on the Indiana Jones timeline? How will it connect to the greater Indiverse?

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will feature an entirely original story taking place in 1937, placing the game between Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Last Crusade. In other words, we'll be playing as an Indiana Jones who's seen a Gestapo agent's face melt off, but who hasn't watched some guys get beheaded by a big, biblical sawblade—a complicated phase in anyone's life.

Seeing as a drawing of the Golden Idol is visible in the teaser trailer, it looks as though MachineGames are keen to attach it to the movies. Hard to know if they'll include any nods to earlier Indiana Jones games, though. Some of Indy's early gaming adventures are a few decades old at this point, and probably belong in a museum themselves. Andy has kindly put together a brief history of Indiana Jones games to remind us of all the sticky situations Dr. Jones has found himself in over the years. With regards to setting, the first Indy game to arrive on PC, Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients, was set in 1936, just before the new one. Considering this was first released on the NES, Atari 2600, and Commodore 64, I doubt it'll get a nod when MachineGames takes the reins, but you never know. Maybe Fate of Atlantis will get a shout, at least.

Who's been cast in Indiana Jones and the Great Circle?

(Image credit: MachineGames)

While we'll be seeing the familiar digi-Ford face of Indiana Jones, he'll be voiced in the Great Circle by Troy Baker, who you might recognize as Joel from The Last of Us and, y'know, half of everything. We'll also have a second story protagonist in the Great Circle: Gina Lombardi, an investigative reporter who apparently has "a personal stake in getting to the bottom of the core mystery," voiced by actress Alessandra Mastronardi.

Of course, we'll also need a villain. In the Great Circle, the primary antagonist will be one Emmerich Voss, "an intensely psychological man" who is "obsessed with the human mind and manipulating it." Voss will be played by voice actor Marios Gavrilis, who played Bruce Wayne in the German-language version of Gotham Knights.

In the gameplay reveal, we also briefly saw a CGI Marcus Brody, originally played by the late Denholm Elliott in Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Last Crusade.

Todd Howard has been trying to get an Indiana Jones movie made for a decade

"I think I originally pitched Lucas in 2009 and I’ve been trying to find a way to make that since," Todd Howard said in an interview. "I think the work Machine Games have done, they’re just phenomenal developers and storytellers. And when I started talking to them about it, it was a good fit. And we got to the opportunity to talk to Lucas and Disney about it and they were super excited.

"I really like Indiana Jones but never thought I’d have the opportunity to make a game. And you’ll hear about more of that in the future. But the team at Machine Games are the best team in the world to pull this game off and they’re doing a phenomenal job."

Will the new Indiana Jones game be an exclusive? 

Following Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, there's uncertainty surrounding which games will be exclusive to Xbox and PC. During the Bethesda joins Xbox roundtable in March 2021, Phil Spencer mentioned that "this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists". Thankfully, this means that we don't have to worry about missing out as Game Pass extends to PC as well as Xbox consoles. The same cannot be said for PS5 and Nintendo Switch players, though. 

Before jumping to conclusions, it's important to remember that we don't know which games will be exclusives. Contractual obligations could mean that the new Indiana Jones game releases on PS5 without delay, but we'll be keeping a close eye out for further details as more information is announced.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.

With contributions from