|System: PC, X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Mercury Steam||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 23, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Halloween is almost upon us. When I was younger, this time of year meant watching horror movies, trick or treating, and, of course, trying to scare the crap out of anyone I could with haunted whatever trick I could come up with. Of course, this is a tradition that has somewhat been modified as I have grown, due to mainly the law that says I can't trick or treat anymore. Alas, I have filled the void of going to random people's houses to ask for candy or "decorate." The filler is video games.
With the increasing popularity of games that like to scare us under our covers, I am glad to see a big name in fright arrive on this interactive medium. I am referring to Clive Barker. Some call him sick, others call him deranged, I call him a genius at crafting gory horror. Most of us know him as the man that created Pinhead, the devilish character from the Hellraiser franchise, but could we now start referring to him as the man behind Jericho?
Jericho tells the tale of a special ops force with certain supernatural abilities. There are seven members in your rag tag group - Lieutenant Black Corporal Cole, Captain Jones, Father Rawling, Sergeant Delgado, and Sergeant Church, all lead by Captain Ross. Each one of these characters has their own unique ability and weapon of choice. This comes in handy when you are faced with the levels of pure evil that you will face in the game. The basic gist of the story revolves around an element of demonic nature has broken through into our world and threatens to taint the entire world with the blackness of its "soul." In the center of all of this lies a Middle Eastern city, Al-Kahli, built on top of ancient ruins. All communication has been severed from inside the city and now it is up to the two separate squads of your team, Alpha and Omega, to get in and find out what is going on.
The great thing about this game is the ability to select from any of the members of your team very early on in the game. Instead of having you achieve certain objectives, you will be flipping back and forth between your various capabilities in no time flat. It is also a great strategic method. Learning how to control the different characters and when it is best to use them and their abilities will come in handy. However, there are more than a few problems with the switching of characters. You will literally watch as the A.I. decides to do whatever they wish. This becomes a severe annoyance no matter what level of player you are. Another annoyance will be the extreme amount of clones you will face in the game. I know that usually a game will have similar enemies or even the same creatures over and over, but here it is just ridiculous levels of monotonous repetitive objectives and enemies. I was really expecting more.
In addition to the faulty moronic nature of your squad, there are the issues of the squad mechanics of the game. In other titles, when you give a squad command, more than likely they will react and listen to you. Here, not so much. There are more reasons for court-martials for disobedience than there are in your traditional military based horror films. If that annoyance wasn't enough for you, how about the actual shooting of the game? After all, this is a shooting game. I prefer games with a certain level of easy, but here it is almost pointless to get frantic about a mission or scenario when you end up just gunning your enemies down. There's way too many aspects to the game that will make even the toughest instance seem like a walk in the demonic park. One of these instances has to do with Cole's Infinite Loop. It might be just me, but the ability to slow down time has been done to death, and here it just seems to be getting another foot deeper in the ground, a burial that it may never fully climb out of.