Codemasters Clive Barker's Jericho
- Stylised gameplay, slick graphics and amazing atmosphere
- Long load times, AI problems, audio dubbing is sometimes off
Despite a few mistakes, Jericho still shines brightly. Its slick style, amazing graphics, and dark atmosphere really make it stand out. Here's hoping that MercurySteam has another romp into the dark depths of Clive Barker's mind lined up soon.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Clive Barker's Jericho is an interesting game that's dripping with atmosphere and style. You lead a covert-op squad of "occult warfare" pros through the ruined, evil city of Al-Khali as part of a storyline devised by horror icon Clive Barker. While Jericho has its faults, it's quite satisfying on a visceral level.
There's no "AI" in "Team"
Jericho's gameplay revolves around a team system that allows you to switch between the assorted characters. Each member of your covert-ops team has a magic-based power that you must use in order to succeed. One team member can stop enemies dead in their tracks by slicing her hand and using blood magic to heal or hinder. The first-person action is intense and gets particularly hairy when evil monsters are trying to claw your eyes out from every direction.
Each character has a distinctive weapon loadout and special ability. Conveniently, you can hop around to control team members at will, but this innovation has a downside: the computer does a poor job of taking over when you switch characters -- a potentially fatal flaw. This makes otherwise enjoyable action segments more frustrating than fun.
Drippy, gooey, delicious
Thankfully, the graphics in Jericho are some of the best we've seen on the Xbox 360 so far. Every liquid texture seems to be gooey and disgusting, which only adds to the creepy atmosphere. The environments are large and detailed, and the character design is top notch, especially for the demons you'll encounter; some of the enemy designs will haunt you long after you put the game down.
Unfortunately, while the stage design is awesome, there are some horrendously long load times involved. It makes sense given the game's graphical prowess but it really cuts into the sense of immersion that the game's atmosphere does such a great job of instilling. Also, the voiceover work, which is deliciously hammy in a B-movie sort of way, isn't always synced up properly to the facial animations, which annoyed us.
A worthwhile shot in the dark
Despite these mistakes, Jericho still shines brightly. Its slick style, amazing graphics, and dark atmosphere really make it stand out. Here's hoping that MercurySteam has another romp into the dark depths of Clive Barker's mind lined up soon.
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