'Jericho' Is the New Game From Clive Barker
Clive Barker has created a new video game entitled "Jericho," which should hit stores this Autumn. As part of eSplatter's ever-burgeoning coverage of the horror game scene, we're delivering the scoop to you on this new release.

The Trailer:

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Clive Barker’s Jericho is a squad-based action horror game based on an original concept and story by acclaimed horror writer and filmmaker Clive Barker.

An ancient evil has broken through into our world and is threatening to spread its taint across the whole of the earth unless it’s stopped. At ground zero lies the Middle Eastern city of Al-Khali, a modern city built atop the ancient ruins of a dozen previous conquerors. All attempts with contacting the doomed citizens of the city have failed. With tensions already running high in the region, this is just the sort of thing that could trigger the Apocalypse…

Created from an original concept and story, Clive Barker’s Jericho promises an overload of sensory horror shock as players journey through hellish locations and slices of time. A squad-based horror FPS, the Jericho of the title refers to the Jericho Team, a seven-man strike force that protects government interests from paranormal threats. Trained in both conventional warfare and the arcane arts, each Jericho Team member is an expert in different para-psychological disciplines, including clairvoyance, alchemy, blood magic and exorcism.

Jericho is played from the first-person perspective as the Jericho Team moves through labyrinthine streets, alleys and structures, encountering horrific armies from the mind of Clive Barker. The player leads the Jericho Team into the flaming ruins of the city, moving block by block towards the dimensional rift at its heart. Along the way, they encounter the hellish denizens that now rule the city and corrupt everything they touch. As the player gets closer to the source of the evil, he will have to rely less and less on traditional weapons and instead on the combined psychic talents of his teammates.

Jericho takes place almost entirely within the city of Al Khali, a modern Middle Eastern metropolis that has been built over the layered ruins of several lost civilizations.

When the forces of this unknown evil breaks through the temporal rift into the world, layer upon layer of instances from the city’s turbulent and bloody past are formed. Through the game, players will pass through one time slice to another, encountering new threats and challenges as they descend into Al Khali hellish history.

Time Slices
• Modern Al-Khali a seemingly regular Middle Eastern modern city.
• World War II – a city already destroyed because of the war itself and Nazi occupation.
• The Crusades. Classic Arabia when crusaders have influenced architecture with massive, aggressive structures built directly on old walls and buildings.
• The Romans. Occupation of the city by Romans as the empire expanded, looks like an unrefined, rough version of Rome.
• The 4th millennium BC… the beginning.

THE JERICHO SQUAD
 

Sgt. Frank Delgado (Pyromancer)
Delgado is a Pyromancer “one who speaks with fire”. In Delgado’s case, the fire he speaks with is an entity of living flame that he says is Ababanili, a flame spirit. After contacting the spirit, Delgado offered it his right arm as a sacrifice to win its cooperation, which it accepted. Now his right arm is encased within a protective shell that contains the living flame – the source of his power.

In combat, Frank opens the containment shell and releases Ababanili, where it immediately sets to wreaking as much havoc as possible before being forced back into containment. When loose, Ababanili responds to Delgado’s commands, and so becomes a formidable tool and weapon.

Cpl. Simone Cole (Reality Hacker)
Cole is a programmer/numerologist, which affects everything she does. Cole’s gifts are purely intellect based – she has no psychic powers other than an incredible level of intelligence that allows her to work extremely complex mathematic problems in her head.

Augmented with a wearable computer, gesture-based UI, and HUD interface, she runs custom-made Cabalistic and chaos mathematic sequences that have a profound effect on the physical world. She can activate save points by creating “anchors” to a particular spot in time/space, slow or speed up time. She also carries an assault rifle capable of 900 rounds/min and a variety of customizable grenades.


Cpt. Xavier Jones (Seer)
Jones is a seer, which allows him brief, cryptic glimpses of past or future events. Using his second sight, he can spot paranormal elements in the game world that others cannot.

Lt. Abigail Black (Telekinetic)
Lt. Black is a top rated sniper, thanks in great part to her telekinetic ability to steer rounds, in flight. She carries a highly modified and personally customized US XM-110 SASS sniper weapon.

Cpl. Black can telekinetically steer her shots mid-flight. She can also use the ability defensively by stopping or redirecting incoming projectiles. The greater the force she exerts, the weaker she becomes. The ability physically drains her health points, causing bleeding from the ears, nose and mouth in extreme cases.

Sgt. “Billie” Church (Blood Ward)
Sgt. Church doesn’t believe in firearms, even though the army requires that she at least carries a small machine gun as her primary firearm. Church is positively lethal with her samurai sword if she can get in close.

Church’s powers come at the most obvious physical price. Through the ritual of drawing her own blood with her dagger and writing potent sigils with it, she can cast powerful wards, enchantments and banishments.

Father Paul Rawlings (Exorcist)
Despite being a man of the cloth, Rawlings is still an experienced soldier with tours of Vietnam and Iraq under his belt. Her prefers to use the standard army special forces infantry weapons, augmented by his own personal luck charms and talismans.

Rawlings power comes from his intense academic study of magic systems from around the world (especially in the areas of consecration and exorcism) and just pure faith. He is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to dealing with malevolent spirits and otherwise hostile paranormal entities.

Captain Devin Ross (spirit/ghost)
As a spirit/ghost, Ross doesn’t have any physical weapons. Like Rawlings, he is able to heal incapacitated team mates but this ability is far from being comparable to Rawlings'; Ross needs to physically touch wounded mate to heal him/her, while Rawlings casts powerful spells that can heal at any distance. Through the careful training, Ross has learned the art of “threading” – psychically linking one team mate with another so that their own psychic or paranormal powers mix to create a new one.

Character switching.
The player is able to switch character anytime/anyplace - although this may be restricted at certain points by specific events. Generally, this means player has full use of all available weapons and powers from the squad members present at any given moment.

Conventional combat.
Players will be able to use conventional weapons from any squad mate he is able to transform into at any given moment. Weapons are specific from every character and use specific ammo that is supplied in special places - kind of connections between real world and game world. Gameplay with conventional weapons is about hitting moving targets.

Magic and Threading.
In Jericho, players can control any of the squad members, each with special appearance, weapons, paranormal powers and even attitude. Players are even able to thread their powers to obtain new ones and linking two team mates gives players access to powers that they would not have individually. For example, Black is Telekinetic and can guide her bullets to any target she can see, making her preternaturally accurate. However, if she is Threaded with Jones, a Seer who has the ability to project his consciousness out of his body, Black gains the ability to steer her bullets around corners and hit targets that are completely hidden.

This process works in one direction: It creates the new power only for the character the player is playing. The player may use the threaded power as long as he controls the same squad member. Once he/she jumps to any other squad member or decides to create another thread, the previous one vanishes. Therefore, there can only be one threading active at a certain moment

Life and Death
The player and his team mates are vulnerable to all manner of physical attacks from the enemy. Each player has a set amount of “hit points” that are reduced every time they receive damage from enemy or trap in the environment. Hit points are naturally recovered after a few seconds.

When the player or his squad mates’ health reaches zero, that team mate is out of commission, remaining incapacitated in the place for a minute or so. Then, two scenarios are possible:

a) Rawlings can revive the fallen team mate. To do so, it is enough team mate is into Rawlings' line of sight; Rawlings casts a healing spell and team mate comes instantly back to life. This ability improves along the game.

b) Ross is also able to heal team mates but he only can do that via physical contact, so he needs to get close to fallen mate and revive him.

To sum up, casualties are not allowed. Jericho squad never abandons its members.


MEET THE BEASTS

Just a selection of the early foes…

Melee Crusader
Crusaders have become a truly twisted shadow of their previous human forms moving more like crazed beasts than men. The Jericho squad will find them everywhere, hidden, patrolling, guarding sections of the keep…Like wolf packs, they ferociously protect their territory and most of times attack in group, although they also like to ambush, waiting for the squad in the most unsuspected places. Remarkably, these enemies are able to make superfast dodge movements while closing to target, jumping from one side of the way to the other.

They are able to perform the following attacks:

o Long range attack: Crusaders melee have a device attached to its right arm which launches small blades at high speed. This allows them to attack target almost from any distance. Crusaders are also able to sprint+jump+strike.

o Medium range attack: Instead of left hand they have a harpoon attached to a wire. When they are at a certain distance from the target - about 6/7 meters - they are able to launch the spike to hit the target and then to coil up the wire. They perform this attack as a way to daze target, leaving it unarmed for a second, then they jump+strike a blow.

o Close range attack: Instead of right hand they have a huge round axe they use as a weapon and as shield. When they manage to get really close to target, they are able to perform several fast melee dodge/attacks with that weapon. As said, they can also use the axe to shield them if attacked. They put shield in front of them and keep advancing towards the objective.

Children Crusaders
These once-children creepy monsters wander around the crypt where all of them were savagely knifed and buried thousand of years ago, during the crusades. They were sent into battle, believed by those who sent them that the natural innocence of children whould protect them and lead to victory, but this never happened. Instead, all children were slaughtered and then buried. Then, resurrected by the source of evil, the children realized their new horrible condition and have been struggling for hundreds of years.

Children crusaders adopt two very different shapes: They fly around the crypt in spectral form, going through matter. While in this form, they can't attack, but they are invulnerable. When they spot the enemy, they start flying around it, looking at it from close distance. Suddenly they switch to physical form and start attacking using their unnaturally large veins they have instead of arms. They use veins like whips hitting and poisoning enemy with their corrupted blood. Also they have the ability to switch back to spectral form if they feel they are in danger, so it's critical do not give to them enough time to do so, it's critical to finish them off really fast. These enemies are able to switch back to their spectral form when they feel in danger.

Cultist
Cultists are acolytes to the ancient evil that is breaking through to our world from its dimensional prison where it has been locked since the beginning of times. They commit suicide in horrible ways as they believe in self-inflicted pain, death and rebirth. Immediately after they are reborn they are transformed in horrible beings.

Explosive Cultists
Cultists don't fear being killed because each rebirth approaches them a bit closer to perfection. In the specific case of the Explosive Cultists, this is obvious through the nature of their attack: they suffer thousands of illness and have bodies of toxic, pestilent blood and insides that causes deformations on their body. They commit suicide when enough close to target by knifing themselves, exploding and scattering their toxic load.

They prowl everywhere; if they perceive the presence of the Jericho squad they run towards them, trying to get distance to perform their attack: Instead of right hand they have kind of hook. When they manage to get really close to target, they knife themselves with that hook and explode, scattering their toxic insides, poisoning everyone inside the cloud of vaporized blood that remains for a seconds after explosion.

Here's the full press release:

Delivering a slice of the supernatural, Codemasters today announces the much anticipated launch of Clive Barker’s Jericho, a squad-based action horror FPS game based on an original concept and story by acclaimed horror writer and filmmaker Clive Barker.

Created from an original concept and story, Clive Barker’s Jericho promises an overload of sensory horror shock as players journey through hellish locations and slices of time. A squad-based horror FPS, the Jericho of the title refers to the Jericho Team, a seven-man strike force that protects government interests from paranormal threats. Trained in both conventional warfare and the arcane arts, each Jericho Team member is an expert in different para-psychological disciplines, including clairvoyance, alchemy, blood magic and exorcism.

Clive Barker’s Jericho leads the Jericho Team toward a source of ancient evil so supremely powerful that it has broken through time into our world and is threatening to engulf the Earth. At ground zero lies the Middle Eastern city of Al-Khali, the site of a huge, secret archaeological dig and paranormal research centre, now the heart of a dimensional rift.

Players must navigate Al Khali’s labyrinthine of streets, alleys and structures, moving block by block in search of the rift. As the squad approaches the target, the city now crawling with hellish denizens emerging from the source, the team is forced to rely less and less on traditional weapons and instead on harnessing their combined psychic abilities to defeat the supernatural nemesis no matter how horrific their looks or attacks may be.

Licensed by Alchemic Productions, Clive Barker’s Jericho is currently in development at Mercury Steam. The game will utilise the Madrid-based studio’s new proprietary next-generation graphics engine to bring the monsters and demons from the depths of Barker’s imagination to life. The engine marries photo-realistic art with hyper-realistic colour and lighting effects to achieve a uniquely dark and almost surreal visual atmosphere, dropping players into the heart of Clive’s chilling interactive nightmare.

Clive Barker’s Jericho will launch in Autumn 2007 for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox™ 360 videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC.

For the trailer video, screenshots and to register for further blasts from this cannon of nightmares, visit www.codemasters.com/jericho