Review by Smileytin

"Unfairly critiqued"

I can see what happened with this game. The hype was so big before it came out that it destroyed it. While Jericho is far from perfect, it's received far too much bashing for a game that's pretty decent. The atmosphere is creepy and unsettling. The storyline is unique and intriguing and also ties in well with the gameplay aspects which was a pleasant surprise. Probably the best aspect I can say about this game is the intuitive gameplay. You have 6 squad members and you can switch back and forth between them (which ties into the storyline I might add, which I thought was really neat). Each member is very unique, sporting different weapons and different special powers. Usually in games like this, I find the 1 or 2 guys I'm best with and go through the entire game but Jericho greatly encourages you to use everyone and I found everyone (and their powers) to be useful throughout the game. Jericho further encourages this behavior by starting you out with different characters after every cut scene and instead of immediately switching over to my favorites, I felt more inclined to stick with who they'd give me for a while. Jericho gives every squad member their chance to be uniquely better to handle certain enemies and situations. It also helped to freshen up the sometimes monotonous gameplay. The squad itself was well developed. They act and talk to each other like a squad and the character development was surprisingly solid which is a rarity for an FPS. I also want to point out that the boss battles were all pretty awesome! I enjoyed them all and there are quite a few and man do they look messed up!

Jericho does have its flaws though. For one, the gameplay pretty much consists of killing wave after wave of enemies, move along, then repeat. This can get old if you don't change it up and switch between squad members. Second, there weren't a lot of different enemies to fight. Probably 10-15 different types of enemies throughout the entire game. I WILL say though, the method of killing these enemies can differ greatly and many times, shooting isn't your best option. Another thing I didn't like, there's not a good cover mechanic. You can duck but it doesn't do a whole lot of good. It's hard to get good cover from the enemies shooting at you. This becomes less of an issue later in the game but it's a killer for the first part. I can't help but wonder if this game would've been better using a third-person system like "Gears of War" instead of first-person. Not only could you use cover, but since you have characters who depend a lot on melee attacks, and button pressing sequences (God of War style), third-person probably would have played and looked a lot better.

Intuitive gameplay
Captivating storyline
Good character development
Creepy Atmosphere
Good voice acting
Fun and grotesque bosses

Sometimes monotonous gameplay
No good cover mechanic
Not a lot of variety of enemies

Bottom Line: This game got unfairly skewered when it came out. While it's not a classic by any means, I'm glad I ignored a lot of the negative backlash it got and enjoyed playing it. I DO think it has the potential to become a revolutionary game with its innovative gameplay but I'm afraid with all the negative reviews surrounding it, it'll never get its chance to work out the kinks in a sequel.

SIDENOTE: I see a lot of reviews complaining about their squad dying a lot and them having to constantly heal everyone. When I first started playing, I can honestly say it was happening to me as well but as I continued to play I realized it started happening less and less. By the third mission it wasn't happening at all. The key was learning how to play it and play with the different characters and learning how to kill different enemies efficiently. I can see how learning by trial and error might annoy some but the point is, the game doesn't have to play this way. The AI is not dumb. They DO find cover, they run from explosives, they use their powers, they shoot at immediate threats and Rawlings goes out of his way to help heal everyone. You just have to learn how to play. It just doesn't hold your hand through some lame tutorial and tell you the best way to kill everything. Change it up. Use different characters, different powers, and different weapons. Even if something seems to work fairly well, there's usually something that works even better.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/13/10

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

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