Crank that S#!t Up
Perfect World Beta
Life After DX 11
AMD Contest Group
Final Round FiringSquad-Intel Edito...
Round 3 Editors Challenge Sponsored...
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Screenshot Contest
Top 10 Challenge Round Sponsored by...
Editors Challenge Sponsored by Inte...
FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round...
Synchronous Failure (1147)
||23 entry(ies) in this category
| Clive Barker's Jericho Review (Round 2) (6 comments )|
by: jacobvandy (1636) | Posted in cluster AMD Contest Group
Posted 67 months ago ( edited 67 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
God’s first creation was a failure. Literally sexless, soulless, and lacking any remarkable physical features, this being was known as the Firstborn. God was so thoroughly disgusted with Himself, He banished it forever. Or so He thought. However, the Firstborn was too powerful and created a breach into the mortal realm via perversion of space and time, manifesting a gateway in the Middle East. For the past 5000 years, the Firstborn’s attempts at returning to Earth have been foiled by secret societies sworn to do so. Unfortunately, a portion of our universe was consumed each time and added in layers to the pocket dimension in which the Firstborn resides. Not to mention, each “failed” attempt caused the Firstborn’s power to grow and the period of time between each subsequent effort to shrink…
|» MEDIA (4)|
Look good? Good. Because that\'s the whole level.
You will kill at least 3 of these...
... And 300 of these...
... And 3000 of these.
Clive Barker's latest entry into the horror FPS arena revolves around a group of seven soldiers that exhibit a myriad of supernatural abilities, dubbed Jericho. The squad, led by Captain Devin Ross, is sent by the Department of Occult Warfare to investigate the disappearance of a unit of Swiss Guardsmen. It isn’t long until grotesque and bloodthirsty demons start to appear, the Jericho team discovers the true nature of their assignment, and you are confronted by former-DOW-employee-turned-cult-leader Arnold Leach. Leach amassed an army of followers willing to aid him in freeing the Firstborn and, as a result of his diabolical pact, has transformed into a winged hellspawn. Though Leach kills Ross in the initial skirmish, it is soon discovered that Ross is able to possess the bodies of the other Jericho members. This allows you to change between any teammate at will, making use of their wide range of combat styles and magical powers.
While a unique prospect, the strategic potential of this on-the-fly switching is almost entirely untapped. With a wide variety of weapons and magical powers distributed among the Jericho team, it’s a shame that you are not left to decide for yourself how to solve problems. Approach a weakened wall or pile of rubble and you are explicitly told to switch to the telekinetic sniper to proceed. See a gate with no switch nearby? Assume control of the hulking, minigun-wielding pyromancer and put your back into it! One particularly cringe-worthy sequence saw the forced use of a combination of astral projection and pyrokinesis to ignite fuel tanks and destroy a fortress gate from the inside, twice. Not only will you never make use of such useless abilities aside from this and similar contrived events, you are not allowed the freedom to, say, use your explosive charges to blast through.
Your teammates do not die in Clive Barker’s Jericho. Instead, they become incapacitated if they sustain too much damage. This is convenient because, in addition to post-mortem body snatching, Ross is able to telepathically heal with a touch. On the flip-side, idiotic squad AI results in the exact opposite of convenient when you are constantly running back and forth between friendlies requiring revival. There is another member of Jericho capable of resurrecting and healing, which eases the burden somewhat. Of course, this makes it counter-productive to assume control of Father Paul Rawlings and his pair of triple-action Desert Eagles because that would leave you as the sole caretaker of the team. There simply should not be such a major inherent consequence unique to playing a single character.
If you’re feeling particularly optimistic, you could say that babysitting your oft inept brethren adds some variety to an otherwise mundane exercise in first-person combat. A textbook corridor shooter, Clive Barker’s Jericho employs various hackneyed elements such as locking you into an area until all enemies are dispatched, a checkpoint-only save system, monsters slowly spawning in waves or even individually, multiple incarnations of identical minibosses, and uninspired main bosses. Even the final battle with the Firstborn itself is completely lackluster and anti-climactic. When several hours of build-up culminate in little more than a brief game of Simon Says, you find yourself muttering, “That’s it?” Add all this to your far-too-common diversity deficiency of enemy types and this game is a walking cliché!
If there is a silver-ish lining to this cloud, it’s the visuals. The environments set a decisively creepy mood, often covered in gore and featuring gothic architectures. However, beyond a central theme for each level, they aren’t much to look at; dull browns and grays accented with ample crimson is the extent of the color scheme. As a result, it can be hard to figure out where to go next because everything looks the same. As good as the lighting, shading, motion blurring, and depth of field effects look, it's like putting a candy coating on dog poo.
The rotten cherry on top is a gameplay “feature” that is sadly becoming more prevalent in today’s titles: interactive cutscenes. Admittedly, allowing player input in what is traditionally a one-way storytelling tool is a good idea. The possibilities of increased decision-making, consequential plot branching, and more dynamic character development are all very tantalizing. Though as you may have already guessed, Clive Barker’s Jericho utilizes none of these. Instead, you are required to quickly press the movement keys corresponding to the arrows that appear onscreen and a failure to do so often results in your death. At that point, however, your only punishment is to repeat the series again! The entire ordeal is completely insignificant to the grand scheme of things, serving only to annoy and frustrate you.
Clive Barker’s Jericho - though featuring an interesting back-story, a promising system of real-time character-switching, impressive graphics and gore effects, and a genuinely eerie atmosphere - ultimately falls flat. The play experience just isn’t compelling enough; not even unlockable bonus content can foster a smidgen of replayability. If you’re a fan of Mr. Barker, give it a whirl once it hits the bargain bin. One thing is for sure, I definitely wouldn’t want my name attached to such a disappointment.
|6 User Comment(s) • 6 root comment(s)|
» Note: You need to be logged in to write a comment!Login here, or if you don't have an account with FiringSquad, register here, it's FREE!
My Media-Blog categories
No categories created yet.