Clive Barker's 'Jericho'

Format: PC

Jericho is a squad-based FPS from Clive Barker. When Jericho came out the reviews for it seemed to vary between bad and mediocre and because of this the game was something I did not feel the need to purchase. Upon receiving a free copy of the game I decided to give it a chance.

First impressions were mixed, the graphics were nice, the introduction gave the game a nice feel to it and plot about a missing city reappearing seemed quite intriguing. Unfortunately the quality of the story took a steep nose dive and intrigue was soon replace with boredom and resulted in me losing interest every time a character was speaking. The plot mistakes spouting gibberish for well written dialogue, I would give you an example but to be honest I pretty much forgot what the characters said seconds after they said it. It was surprising (to me at least) that a game written by Clive Barker could have such a mediocre storyline. What’s worse is that for a horror game it is simply not scary enough and while the game throws lots of action and gore at the player it did not make me jump once.

The storyline does have one major positive and that is transporting the player to different time periods (not unlike Daikatana). Unfortunately the changes in time never seem much more than cosmetic and no matter what era you are in everything is just a dark brown.

Graphically the game is a mixed bag, despite the tendency for everything to be some shade of brown the game does have some pretty visuals and things like charred corpses look suitably revolting.

As for gameplay Jericho is yet again hit and miss. The game is mostly a run and gun sort of affair, actually it is more of a standstill and shoot whatever runs towards you. The game is reminiscent of classics such as doom (although a more recent comparison would be Painkiller). The AI in the game is basic at best and the enemies will simply charge at you or walk out into the open and shoot back.

The weakness of the team AI is infuriating at times and many battles can end up consisting of the player running around simply reviving his fallen team mates. Control over your team mates (via possession of sorts) and certain parts of the game require you to be a specific person to solve a puzzle. Overall the team based elements does not feel like it has been implemented very effectively and

The game also features quick time events, where the player has to press specific buttons that flash up on screen. Quick time events are a personal pet hate, at best they are a mild nuisance and at worse horribly frustrating and pointless. Fortunately for Jericho their implementation in this game is closer to a mild nuisance.

Slightly more successful is the character customization. This consists of giving your player strange abilities such as shooting fire or bees at enemies as well as freezing or confusing enemies. As the game progresses you are able to power up your abilities as well as gain new one.

Rating: 3/6

-- Review by Robert "Spartan" Bryden