Indiana Jones and the Great Circle relying on Nazis is a "creative lapse," says director of 32-year-old adventure game

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle artwork
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle sees Indy going up against Nazis, his favorite punching bags, but one veteran director and writer thinks that's a mistake.

Speaking to Time Extension, Hal Barwood, who wrote and directed the beloved point-and-click game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis back in 1992, sounded off on reviving Nazis as Indy's enemies. Barwood began by reflecting on an Indiana Jones game which would have seen Nazis attempting to resurrect Hitler, until the development team realized its games sold well in Germany, and ditched the idea.

"I think as the Jones' universe became formulaic to the people who were involved with it in film especially, but also in games, they just thought that Nazis were an inherent part of that world," Barwood reflected. "I didn't think so at all. I just think it was a tremendous mistake to have Nazis in Dial of Destiny, and I just thought that resurrecting and rehashing that material was not a good idea."

Barwood is referencing 2023's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the latest (and final) Indy movie to feature Nazis as antagonists, such as Mads Mikkelsen's Jurgen Vollar. Similarly, the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will have Indy fighting Nazis once again, and Barwood believes this points to creative teams running out of ideas.

"They just couldn't think of something that didn't involve the Nazis, and the franchise was lying heavy on their shoulders," Barwood said of the latest projects in the Indiana Jones franchise. "And so, they just thought they should go and do what had already been done. That's a creative lapse, which I’m sorry to have been aware of. I wish it hadn't happened."

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is still slated to launch this year for PC and Xbox Series X consoles. Despite recent speculation, it seems Indy's new game won't be coming to PlayStation platforms - Xbox has other exclusives lined up to head over to other platforms instead. 

Check out our complete upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a look ahead at all the other exclusives coming to the new-gen console soon. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.