Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Clive Barker's Jericho (2007)

Genre: First Person Shooter  |  Players: 1  |  Developer: MercurySteam

Jericho’s premise, which I suspect is the only input author Clive Barker really had despite having his name prominently on the box, is pretty fantastic. It could make a hell of a novel. Before God created man he created the Firstborn. It turned out wrong. In fear and shame God banished it to the abyss, where it remained. The Firstborn wasn't entirely happy about that. If it were a book that’s the blurb you’d get on the back. The remainder of the story will be revealed if you play the game.

What follows is a squad based FPS that sees you sent on location to contain a threat. You control what could've been interesting characters, voiced by cheesy B-Movie style voice actors who succeed in sucking out any hope the characters had of transcending the second dimension. That’s a shame, because they each have a distinctive style visually. So too does the game world; it’s often a lot more interesting than the usual war-torn COD and BF environments.

The lighting is effective when it isn't being overly-dark and moody. The sound is also good, with guns sounding chunky. Music adds to the tension.

On the flip side, it’s primarily a chaotic and repetitive slog that sees you plugging away at Cenobite-esque bad guys in painfully linear, restrictive tunnels. It also suffers from the most overused and illogical FPS crime: the enemy will take two dozen bullets to the face with nary a twitch, but will fall like babies after one or two melee attacks. I don’t exaggerate when I say two dozen bullets. Those fuckers eat lead like I eat curry: hot and plentiful.

There are occasional Quick Time Events (button prompts that you have to press as quickly as possible) to break the monotony, with emphasis on the Quick; they should be renamed Lightning Fast Time Events.

The game’s faults could've easily been rectified given a little love and effort. As it is, it’ll please people who just want to shoot things in the face, but even they may tire of the experience sooner rather than later. File under: Missed potential.

Buyer's Guide:
Available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

2½ lengthy loading screens out of 5

No comments: