TCoR: Escape From Butcher Bay
|a game by||Vivendi Universal|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
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I didn't believe it at first. I'd only played a few levels, but I could feel its hooks digging into me. Gorgeous graphics, using normal mapping to give each texture a life, a feel all its own. It used actors that knew exactly what they were doing, like Vin Diesel and Cole Hauser, who reprise their roles as Riddick and Johns, respectively. Finally, like the little mint on your hotel pillow, a story that was completely unique, didn't borrow, beg, or steal from either Pitch Black or the new Riddick film. Each of these elements was strong in, but combined, they make for a truly wonderful game experience.
You'll hear no shoddy voice acting in this title. None, not a peep. Sound effects could've been done better, but not having to listen to a voice that would've been more appropriate in the original release of Resident Evil is what concerned me. Visually, the normal mapping technology more than lives up to its hype, and it shows. The characters appear to have a depth I've never seen before. Riddick's shirt has texture, and the walls themselves finally stand out as something other than basic texturing. It isn't quite what we've seen from E3 previews of upcoming titles, but it certainly performs.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay gameplay is an interesting mix of traditional and stealth that, aside from featuring the best tutorial level ever, also manages to present Riddick the character every bit as well as the story can support him. There's a reason he's a deadly, vicious character, who can usually get the upper hand on whomever he likes. Blending into the shadows is not only easy, but a strong visual cue (in the form of a blue hue that covers the screen) helps make the transition from gameplay element to intuitive response. The level design was good and prison like, but didn't stand out to me. Rather, you'll probably enjoy fist fighting, as well as the ways the developers actually created to get you away from your weapons, and not feel like you'd just been gimped, as in other titles.
Unfortunately, for all of this game's strengths, it still possesses flaws. For one thing, it's length, which I'd wager offers nothing more than about 10 hours of gameplay, even replaying the game on other difficulties. There are unlockables, but they aren't much more than concept art and a few trailers. Still, those things aside, I literally have never played a better franchise title, and much like the Boston Tea Party, this may be the herald of a great change.