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Clive Barker's Jericho Review

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November 12, 2007 1:40:56 PM

Review written by Ryan Lord

Famed novelist Clive Barker returns to the gaming world with Jericho, a twisted title that mixes first-person shooter action with gory horror. Does Barker's newest game match his fiction and horror movies fright for fright?

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2007/11/12/jericho_review/
November 12, 2007 3:54:35 PM

Having played it start to finish it seems your review mirrors my own experience pretty firmly. I had issues with finding a ladder after the Lady Nazi, man that was frustrating, but they did kind of try to tell you what to do as the priest repeatedly yells for the right person to get over here. Just gotta find out where here was supposed to be!

I was really disappointed with how short it was. I dont consider myself to be elite at FPS, and I died and had to replay a few areas 1-10 times. It still seemed to be very short. I guess thats just how games are these days, especially FPS games. It just kinda sucks, as it seemed like they had a pretty solid game, I wanted more of it.

The only thing I really didn't care for was the key sequence portions. The almost DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) like portions where I have to press specific keys in order to fight without a gun. I know they were attempting to make it more in your face and visceral, but instead of drawing me in it pushed me out as I had to focus on "which keys I pushed" not "which actions I want to take". Seemed tacked on.
November 12, 2007 4:43:29 PM

Thanks for the feedback. While it was a bit short, I think that given all the technology behind the product, they gave about as much as they could within their budget. I'd imagine that Jericho was a pretty expensive game to develop.

The ladder section was the one which made me want to slap myself, I literally was stumped for part of an evening on that. If only they had lit up the wall or even the ladder a bit. :) 

I personally liked the key sequences, I thought it was a bit fun to do in an FPS. Plus the action going on during the sequences was really exciting.
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November 12, 2007 4:58:12 PM

Forgot to mention that Church > All other Jericho members... Anyway, finally a fair review to this game, it's only problem was the lack of multiplayer, other than that it was pretty entertaining.
November 12, 2007 5:32:41 PM

*Shrug* not a bad game, just not a good game either
November 13, 2007 1:16:24 AM

I enjoyed the demo. I had to turn shadows to low and only use 2x AA at 1680x1050, but it still looked great. I really liked the demo, so plan to get the game. Nice to know you guys enjoyed it. I thought some of the other reviews out there seemed to harsh.
November 13, 2007 11:01:55 AM

Its a great game, its no HL2 but its definatly fun. I don't see how its getting low scores, ign gave it a lower score than painkiller!
November 13, 2007 4:21:47 PM

Those sites I found to be very biased toward consoles (GRAW2 gets 1.7 points more on X360 than on PC on Gamespot, however the 360 version is ****) and even though there's an X360 and PS3 version, they just don't shine in comparison to jericho in PC. Especially since jericho is a pretty fast paced fps in my opinion.
November 14, 2007 1:21:32 AM

I wonder if you played a different Jericho than I...

To claim it can hold its own against the likes of Crysis or BioShock is pretty bold. I find it looks dated already, and it's brand new. The level design is mostly horrible, totally interchangeable with dozens of other mediocre designed shooters. And I can't believe you didn't find the leveldesign lead you down too obvious of a path. It couldn't be any more linear. There's never any deviation possible.
The characters might look quite good, but they lack any kind of facial expressions, which we've come to enjoy in recent top tier games. They don't even try to lipsynch. And the animations look a little too much like it's 2003 again.

The voice acting was mostly very good, but it was presented badly. Most of it is radio chatter of the guys standing 8 feet next to you but don't showcase any body language to indicate they're speaking. In fact, they hardly do anything at all. Half of time when somebody is supposedly doing something mission critical it's impossible to tell who is doing it and what it is they're doing. Oh how I yearned for the glory of Half-Life 2 where all the NPCs actually did something to resemble humans instead of just standing idly giving off soundbites.

Enemies don't display any intelligence whatsoever, but compensate with quantity. Teammates are equally stupid, more than once did they not engage in a critical battle because appearently there was no line of sight to enemy. And that Rawlings feller hardly made an effort to heal people.

The only thing Jericho has going is the body switch gimmick, which is really fun
November 14, 2007 4:04:11 AM

Were you playing on max details at a high resolution? I thought Jericho looked beautiful, and I can't think of a game that handled gore / flesh any better. Most developers don't have the guts to push things to that level, for fear of a mature rating, or worse, AO.

Yes, the levels and story were linear, but the level design went with that. There were plenty of areas that felt a little more wide open than a narrow hallway, and Jericho always had you moving around twists and turns which were a lot of times transparent.

There is a lot of facial movement in the characters, but for expressions, I'm not sure what you were expecting. There weren't really any "happy" moments. To be honest, I've always felt that Valve takes emotion a little over the top. I felt the voice acting in Jericho was very authentic, and the emotions were always fitting to the events going on.

In my play through, Rawlings was always reviving people, and the teammates were always engaging in combat. While I didn't make an argument for a game of the year award for AI, it was decent enough to avoid the Superfly Johnson syndrome in a co-op type setting.

I appreciated the story, the characters, the mini-bosses, and bosses most of all. If you felt it wasn't worth your time, I respect that. I however did enjoy Jericho, and felt that it was worthy of the 8.5.
November 14, 2007 1:50:07 PM

I played the game at 1600x1200 with 2x AA. Still, the overall polygon count is relatively low and the levels don't show a great deal of detail. Texturing is sometimes bland as well (and not in the intentional way). The lighting is mostly well done, but then again, it's 2007 and every recent game has pretty good light effects.

There are NO facial movements except for ad-lib, non-sync lip movements, I just checked again. Nobody shows any kind of emotion, not happiness or sadness or distress, they've got a poker face going all along. The voice acting is good, I agree, but I dislike how most of the time you can't really tell who is talking, because they're all just standing around, looking uninvolved. They mostly don't turn their heads to the people they're addressing or make any gesturing.

And the level design, from a non-asthetic standpoint, is crap. You're running down hallways, i.e. there are "walls" closely to the left and right, intersected by "rooms", areas that are a little spacier, but still entirely and visibly restricted. And every few hundred yards, you make a u-turn and start going back the direction you came from - just in a parallel corridor. The linear feeling gets underlined by the fact that you can't jump, somewhat a trademark of console shooters, so sometimes there are obstacles of merely knee height. And there are even invisible walls, which I really hate, cause it takes you right out of the immersion and makes your brain go "What the f***?!"

I really like Jericho still. The athmosphere is great, horror fps are still an oddity. I think the body switching is very amusing and it gives a good makeover to the whole Die-and-Reload paradigm.
I just thought you were a little enthusiastic in your review, comparing Jericho to other games.
November 15, 2007 2:35:19 PM

I thought the graphics were on par with many games out today. They looked great to me and I can't complain there. Given, I have only played the demo, I can't comment on much.

As for complaining about linear designs.... is it really such a bad thing? I know, it takes a bit from the immersion, but it does keep the action going and it makes it easier for the developer to get the story across. Some of the more open-ended games can take for ever to play and the story can become quite convoluted and confusing. So, I say there are pros and cons to both, and I imagine that it is difficult to get the perfect mixture of both... especially on budget titles.
November 16, 2007 2:11:42 AM

I agree. Often in very open ended games I feel like I have to go back and explore every little nook and cranny just for a healthpack or to make sure I haven't missed a pda or something, and that just gets really old. I personally look forward to playing it.
November 16, 2007 12:22:32 PM

I still can't get past the falling down the cliff part.
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