Review by wolverinefan

"A short but gory FPS"

I'm not a fan of Clive Barker. Not that I don't like him or anything but I haven't really been impressed with anything I've experienced of his. Sure Hellraiser creeps me out and I've liked the Abarat novels but nothing else has really stuck out for me. I do own his other game but have yet to play it. With it being around Halloween and all I figured I'd rent Jericho. Who knew I'd finish it in 1 sitting, on hard.

Team Jericho has been sent to stop the firstborn from being unleashed from the world. To reach there they must travel back into time starting with World War II and even going through Ancient Rome. With limited character development not a whole lot can happen. I do remember a character being a lesbian and a few jokes about it (for the record I do know Clive Barker is into other men so I guess it makes the jokes A-okay). Besides that the story creates an interesting history but does nothing with it. When the big finale hits there's two lines of dialog and a vague 3 seconds of light.

Graphically Jericho is a dark and twisted world. Taking places that exist and twisting them with Barker's dark mind. Rivers of blood flow and bodies hang all over. The Roman baths are filled with blood and the sterile white stone covering the walls are smeared in the blood of the dead. It's a very twisted world and it shows that some kind of creative juice was flowing into this title.

The problem comes in with the enemy design. I have never felt so under whelmed by the enemy variety. Sure they are sick looking but with about 8 different ones and then add some repeat enemies with minor changes it gets old quickly.

The voice talent behind the game get the job done but nothing stuck again. However there isn't a ton of plot or dialog so I guess it doesn't matter. The music is haunting and with the choir singing as the firstborn is shown is truly the game finest moments. Besides that the game relies on the background sounds but there really isn't any so the world sounds empty at times. The weapons, spells and everything make alright sounds though.

Control in the game is very simple. Move with the left analog and aim with the right. The right trigger is your main fire while the left trigger is your secondary fire. Left and right bumpers are for using the magic, each usually doing something different. The d-pad is used for issuing commands to your men. The A button is tapped for interaction with items with it can be held to swap to a different team member. The B button is sued for melee combat.

Jericho is a first person shooter. Plain and simple and while it throws in some horror thrills it just doesn't stray far enough from the path to stick out on a console that is overrun by the genre.

The levels are painfully linear. Enemies rush in hordes but I must admit the enemy AI is rather nice. They take cover, dodge and other stuff. Sadly your team AI can be a pain in the fact that they kill everything quickly. I know that sounds like a dumb complaint but some puzzles require you to possess an enemy and have them do something for you. Problem is if they die then you need to find something else to take over.

The game does have its fair share of puzzles and after playing the demo I thought it would be riddled with interesting puzzles but sadly the puzzles are as basic as everything else in the game.

What the games does well is make the team interesting with their powers. One guy can intake fire and shoot it. One has psychic powers while another can ghost sniper. There are others as well but I don't want to spoil anything.

A problem arises with all of this in the fact that if the guy you're controlling dies you just hop into another body and you just need to revive the dead comrade. I played through the entire hard campaign without ever seeing a game over screen on hard mode for my first time.

Something is wrong when hard mode is stupidly easy. The game even has easy achievements. Most are gotten from beating the game. A few do require some mild kill in not having your controlled character die on specific stages but I did half of those on my original play through. The rest that I didn't get were kill X amount of enemies with X attack. That gets tiresome.

It's not that Jericho is a bad game. It's just nothing special. Instead of actually using Barker's talent and gothic ideas it feels like they didn't want to push the subject matter too far and perhaps that's Jericho's downfall. If it had pushed the envelope and maybe broke away from the super linear path, rushing hordes of enemies and blocked passages for no reason until all enemies are dead then maybe, just maybe it would have succeed.

Story - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 6/10
Replay Value - 2/10

Final Score - 6/10


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/07

Game Release: Clive Barker's Jericho (US, 10/23/07)


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