12 November 2007

Clive Barker's Jericho - My opinion

I have seen very diverse reviews when it came to the game Clive Barker's Jericho, and as it happens that I finished the game myself today I just wanted to present my own opinion about the game, and some (counter-)arguments to the most prominent issues.

First of all, yes, the game was really very short. It took me about 7-8 hours to complete the game, which was on the 'Easy' difficulty setting. I picked 'Easy' because almost every review that I had read prior to playing the game accused it of being way too hard. Now, I must ask, if one finds a game to be to hard why not reduce the difficulty? At least that's what I did, so the game never felt too hard, while still somewhat demanding. A lot of the critic on the game's diffulty setting steming probably from the fact that single teammates die very often throughout the game. It's true, but I found it to be more of a tactical element to the game as it had me make a choice of when exactly I wanted to ressurect a fallen teammate.

Graphics and Sound were excellent, so I won't discuss that. Cutscenes are always in first-person mode, sometimes interactive, having you press some of the arrow keys as quickly as possible. Some may find this annoying, I had no problem with it, probably because I was used to it since Tomb Raider - Legend and Fahrenheit-though the latter one really overdid it for my taste. CB's Jericho was simple and nice.

Leveldesign was very linear, typical FPS, so nohing to complain from my side. Fights with the enemies were very intense, enemies coming in waves, though it sometimes felt as if fights were being dragged on too long just to make the very small levels seem a little bigger.

The handful of classes were all very varied, very nice to play with, though I found myself to be playing with Delgado, the heavy-machinegun guy, most of the time, since he never needed to reload, had the most hit points, and had a neat skill which unleashed a fire dragon that incinerated most enemies almost instantly. My second favourite was the sniper Abigail Black, good when dealing with enemies from far away, and she also had a cool ability with which she could control the path of her bullet fired from her rifle. Number three was Church, a melee ninja-chick. I really liked her fighting-animation which also added to the intensity of the fights. Her skill to stun nearby enemies at the cost of some hit points also helped a lot throughout the game. The rest of the team was a little boring or uncomfortable to use. There is a healer, a grenade thrower, and a guy that can posses enemies but only in special situations. Him I found the most annoying to use, since I had to press so many buttons at the same time to time his ability right.

Something else I forgot? Yeah, atmosphere and storyline. Not really frightening, a lot of blood and gore though. The short loading times inbetween levels are accompanied with small text passages written, providing some info on the world the team is currently in. The members of the Jerricho-team are all very cool, each with a distinguishable character. There are many cutscenes, some interactive as mentioned before. But in general there just wasn't enough game-time to get into the characters a little better. The storyline does not have a big cliffhanger as some reviews wrote. There is a climax in the end, though not anything like an aftermath that explains more, which may be the cause for the cliffhanger-rumor.

All in all it's not a must game, but a good atmospheric team shooter. Wait until it gets cheaper. 8/10


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