A Bit Clunky, But Still a Classic
Downloading this piece of my childhood from Steam was a bit of mixed bag, I'm a little sorry to admit. I went in with rose-tinted lenses remembering exciting fistfights and amazing voice-overs sandwiching some light puzzle solving. What I wound up with was a pretty equal helping of all three.
The game is most definately an Indiana Jones game, opening with Indie trying to find a statue amidst a cluttered schoolhouse and moving on to, of course, have you take on the Nazis in their attempt at world domination, finding the lost city of Atlantis. Indie doesn't go it alone, though, he has Sophia Hapgood, a supposed-psychic, help him along the way. Indiana and Sophia are wonderful, both voiced so well I would've sworn that Miss Hapgood was a character from one of the movies and Jones doing a passable sound-alike to Harrison Ford, but that's where the compliments to the voicework end.
It seems that there ever were two kinds of voiceovers: hired actors and the developers trying out different accents and, sadly, Fate of Atlantis falls victim to more than it's fair share of the latter. It's not that the voicework is bad, Jones and Hapgood are actually very good, it's just that nobody seems to be putting any work into their characters apart from those two. But onto bigger and better things: the gameplay.
Fate of Atlantis is faithfully emulated from the original game, which is a polite way of saying they haven't changed a damn thing from the original. It's still very much a point-and-click adventure with all the insane clunkiness that entails. For instance: you see an item that you know you'll have to pick up, but can you pick it up with one click? Absolutely not! The left mouse button is relegated solely to walking and the right mouse button is a bit more context sensitive, but really it's just used to "look at" different items. In order to truly interact with the world you must select the option from the ever-displayed menu, usually "pick up" or "use," then select the item, and then often select what you want to use the item on. If this sounds a little tedious, that's because it is. That combined with the fact that dialogue is unskippable and puzzles are sometimes guessing games can lead to a very, very drawn out process.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, "What saves this game from being complete garbage then?" And I'll tell you: the plot and the writing. They are impeccably Indiana Jones and you'll be finding yourself wondering why you never watched the movie that went with the game, only to sadly realize there is no movie. The dialogue between the characters, though sometimes poorly acted, is always genuinely something you could have heard from a movie and the fight system is actually surprisingly intuitive and easy to pick up, though it may not come into play depending on which of the three branches of the plot you choose.
Ultimately this game has not aged well. It's extremely slow and clunky and can be frustrating to play through if you get yourself into a corner and wind up having to reload a save, but the game completely redeems itself by being a more faithful adaptation of an Indiana Jones movie than anything else to come out since. If you're a fan of Dr. Jones, I can't recommend this highly enough, but if you're not, I'd watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade before I invested in this. Though at $5, there are much worse ways to spend your money.