Review by ranion
"Why all the hate?"
A little about myself: I am not big into FPS, but enjoy games like Half Life, Bioshock, & Deus Ex that have a little story and innovation behind them. The allure of games like Halo completely escapes me. If you are like me, then you'll probably agree with this review.
Graphics: absolutely beautiful. This is the first game I have played on my Xbox360 that has really looked next generation. The models were terrific, as were most of the levels. Granted, the WWII level was a little drab and felt like a rehashed version of the intro levels (with some barbed wire added), but it didn't bother me too much.
Story: Fantastic! Very creative and extremely Clive Barker. The story and atmosphere of this game really draws you in if you let it. There is such an overwhelming since of despair surrounding the Jericho squad that eats away at you more and more as the game progresses. The character and enemy designs are absolutely amazing and leave you wanting to know more about these inhabitants of the Box. The final boss characters in the last act especially were extremely cool, and felt like McFarlane Toys come alive. Anyone who is into Barker-esque horror will not be disappointed!
Sound: Also good. Some of the voice acting is a little cheesy, but most of it is excellent. The music perfectly fits the game.
Gameplay: The idea and process of switching characters is very easy and a lot of fun. Everyone has psychic powers that provide some sort of advantage at some point in the game, so there really isn't a bad character. (Even Jones, who seems like a waste of space for the first half of the game, has some very interesting puzzles later on). If your dying too often, your probably doing something wrong.. because there is usually some combination of abilities and/or tactics that can keep you alive.
This being said, Jericho does have some downsides.
1- If you are into super technical FPS, then this is probably not your thing. The squad based features of the game are way underused and the AI of the enemies is a little drab. It plays more like a really good arcade game at times then a sophisticated squad based shooter. Guns are also very limited (though still necessary) relative to the psychic powers.
2- The levels do seem a little linear, which didnt bother me at all but may bother you. Its not meant to be a sandbox game, but even despite that, there is really no need to explore at all.
3- The game does lack an overall sense of polish. A couple of examples: the cinematic in the beginning looks like a demo that was made long before production was finished as it has nothing to do with the actual story (and actually conflicts it); a couple of great boss enemies toward the end only make a brief appearance.. some of these could have been better used as more standard enemies instead of boss-type, adding a little variety to what your shooting; more gradual and meaningful introduction of Jericho's powers to the player (instead of giving them pretty much all at once); hard mode is too easy; instruction manual mentions two levels which aren't in the game.
Final thoughts- Jericho is a fantastic game, especially for horror movie fans. It is a very satisfying experience that entertains way more than it disappoints. I've played through it several times and will likely play through it dozens more over the years. Lets hope for a sequel!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/07
Game Release: Clive Barker's Jericho (US, 10/23/07)
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