Overview of Jericho
Clive Barker’s Jericho is a first person shooter that falls into the rare category of being a horror game, but it isn’t all that scary. It’s a single player FPS with a story written by bestselling horror author Clive Barker, who is the creator of Hellraiser. As far as shooters go, this one is decent, but the linearity of the gameplay and lack of multiplayer options really bring down its value.
Gameplay (3 out of 5)
In Jericho, you play a member of the Jericho Squad, which is a division of the Department of Occult Warfare, or DOW. Your job is to prevent a demon from escaping the underground prison where God banned him centuries ago. The game features several different characters, each with different abilities and weapons, and you can switch between them while playing. Each of these characters has a specialty that got them on the mission, and sometimes you need to step into that character’s role in order to get past certain parts of the game. The X-Men Legends game used something similar in order to keep you from playing one main character throughout the whole game.
One problem I had with this game is that you visit all kinds of cool locations and have next to nothing to do while you are there. The environment is not interactive, and you’ll find tons of doors that can’t be opened. The levels are so linear that you don’t even need to explore in most places, and there isn’t much else for you to do but run from one location to another and kill everything you encounter in between. Over time, it winds up being a rather exhaustive and repetitive shooting experience that is occasionally challenging. It plays like an interactive story where you have to push through monotonous parts just to get to the next piece of the plot.
Revival System (2 out of 5)
Another issue in Jericho that is most often talked about in other reviews is the whole rescue system where you constantly have to revive others or be revived yourself. Instead of the usual hit points or health system, this game lets you get knocked out of commission for a while until a teammate revives you. The problem is that it happens way too often, and you are constantly waiting for someone to pick you up or for you to go revive a teammate. It breaks up the action too much and is quite annoying, especially during tougher battles. To me, this reflects a flaw in the game’s design and for a Clive Barker game, it could have been made much, much better.
Graphics and Sound (4 out of 5)
I thought the graphics in Jericho were really good as far as how the creatures looked and were animated. A lot of typical horror movie effects, like smoke and dark areas combined with strobe lights, helps to set the atmosphere. The various monsters you encounter all look good and tend to come running at you very quickly, plus your other team members also look nice with their costumes and weapons. I also liked how the cutscenes integrate directly into the gameplay. The voice acting is also well done, although there is an awful lot of profanity spoken through the game, including numerous uses of the F-word.
Overall (3 out of 5)
I bought a used copy of Clive Barker’s Jericho at my local GameStop for just $8.99, so that was a good deal for the money. If you can find a good cheap used copy of this, it will keep you entertained for many hours. Just don’t let the kids watch you play because of all the violence and profanity.
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