I got our review copy of Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
late last week and while I didn’t get a chance to finish the game I thought I would share a few of my notes from what I’ve played so far. This covers the first half of the original game and the first two hours of the Assault on Dark Athena mission.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
is held up as one of the few exceptions to the movie tie-in game curse. It helps that the game isn’t bound at all to the movie as the purpose of the game is to flesh out Riddick’s background a bit more and help establish the mystique behind the character. The game is also the first major effort by Star Breeze studious who went on to create The Darkness and who are not at the center of a lot of game development rumors.
As the title explains, the game deals with Riddick’s escape from the Butcher Bay triple max security prison. The game is a mix of stealth and action with a few RPG elements tossed in for flavor. As you play through the game you’ll get to meet (and kill) a wide variety of characters as you try to find a way out of prison. This isn’t an easy task as the prison is one of the best in the galaxy.
I didn’t have a lot of previous experience with the game as I played the first few levels before handing it off to Charlie to review
. Even though I’ve only played the first half of the game I can see why Charlie liked it so much. The pacing and gameplay are excellent as you never seem to do the same thing for too long. I’m not a big stealth fan but I didn’t mind the stealth sections in the game as they aren’t overly long or difficult. There are a few action sections which does help action freaks like me get into the game.
The writing is strong and while there is some dialog that is a bit groan worthy, it’s mostly all good. There’s a bit of machismo schitck but it’s not nearly as bad as what was foisted on gamers in Gears of War 2
or Killzone 2
. The missions are well thought out and help pull you further into the game.
The game holds up well as Starbreeze and Tigon have done a great job of updating the engine. Some of the items in the game are a little too shiny but the game does hold up well. It’s not going to blow people away but it doesn’t look dated or out of place among other games on the market.
I also played through the first two hours or so of the Assault on Dark Athena section of the game and found more solid game play and writing. The plot is a bit more interesting as you’ve got to find your way off a large collection garbage collection ship that’s under the control of one of Riddick’s old nemesis. So far the game is very similar to the first but I can already see where they are expanding on some of the stealth concepts from the first game and forcing you to do things a bit differently.
If you’re wondering if a re-make of an old Xbox game is worth $60 I’d have to say that it is. Not only are you getting the original game (which was fantastic) but you’re also getting a blown out expansion pack and solid (but not great) online multiplayer. Check back next week for our full review of the game.