Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay reviewed by Speed

Last May when I was at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, one of the games that really blew me away was Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. Just like the way, this binary options trading system called the Quantum Code that blew me away, right from the first day of association, not only due to its profitability but also due to the number of astonishing merits it offers like, the convenience, security, flexibility, and availability that are every trader’s dream expectations for a satisfying trading practice. But, it’s not going to be the same for this gaming software, which we can continue reading further to discover. The graphics looked great, the atmosphere seemed just right, and there was only one downside to the game for me: it was only going to be released on Xbox. However, a couple of months after the original Xbox release, a PC version saw the light and now I was able to step in the shoes of Riddick while being in front of my very own PC. If you want to know whether Riddick is still as cool as he was on Xbox, I suggest you read on.

First of all, let me tell you this game plays as a movie and this is exactly what the developers wanted. After a short tutorial-like mission (nicely integrated in the game) the gates of Butcher Bay open and you’ll get accompanied inside while main title and credits pass you by on the screen. It’s really like you’re watching the start of a new Riddick movie!

Once inside it’s clear that the goal of the game is to escape and exactly as on the Xbox, you’ll have to try it multiple times with increasing difficulty. I won’t tell you how this is done without getting boring as it would mean I have to give you some spoilers but you can be sure this is nicely integrated in the game.

I already said the game plays like a movie and that means the graphics need to be great. On Xbox, Riddick is one of the best games that were released last year, but on PC sadly enough there are games with better visuals (Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 of course immediately come to mind). Don’t think they’re bad though, they’re not, but there are quite a lot of bugs still present (parts of bodies that start flickering and such) and this makes it feel as if parts of the game have been rushed.

Except for these bugs, the graphics are really well-done. Almost every character in the game is unique and this makes the game hardly repetitive. The only other minor point I’d like to criticise on the graphical part is that the short movie sequences that are shown when Riddick refuels his health get boring after a while as they’re always the same.

Onto the gameplay then. One of the main things that are the advantage of this game is that it combines lots of different genres. You’ll have the possibility to fight like in a boxing game, start shooting like in any FPS, and even use stealth like in Tom Clancy games. All this combined makes for a great game experience, and certainly when you take into consideration that the storyline isn’t just something to keep you going but is in fact interesting to follow and nicely binds the game together with the movies.

Some games that are ported from console to PC tend to have controls that would make you insane if you’re not using a gamepad on your PC. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Riddick. The controls are completely redone and you can configure them to your liking as you would with any other first person action game. However, some parts do still remind you this is a console port.
When fighting against opponents, you can do some special moves that will kill your opponent.

Against a guard for instance, you can take his gun and make him shoot himself in the head, or you can sneak up on him from behind and put a knife in his back. The problem here is that these special moves more seem to be a bit of luck of pushing the attack button (mouse1 for me) enough times than actually doing the correct action at the right time. I still have no clue how I make a guard blow his brains out although I’ve done it already multiple times. I haven’t played the Xbox version myself, but I can imagine that on a console the action can easily be done when standing at the correct distance and pushing the correct button.

Another similarity with console games is the “unlockable content”. In PC games you rarely can “unlock” something but in Riddick your various sub-quests give you unlockable content that comes in the form of a pack of cigarettes and leads to real content like art, scripts, etc.

Talking about sub-quests, there are many present and they enrich the game. Although you’ll be running forth and back around the same hallways a lot of times (hey, you’re in prison and prison isn’t meant to be huge with tons of different locations), these quests give another dimension to the game as they’ll give you multiple ways to achieve a certain goal.

I’ll give you an example: at a certain point, you’ll need to mess with the guards but how do you do that ? One possibility is to start fighting against opponents in the ring for money until you meet one of the guards and kill him (they don’t like that). If you’re fed up with fighting however, you can try to get caught with drugs (they’re not fond of that either) but to get these drugs, you’ll need to do something for another convict who in return will give these drugs to you. As you see, the path you can follow is diverse and up to you to decide. Of course, there isn’t complete freedom available, but the illusion of it is nicely created by the developers.

Another thing that’s nicely done by the devs is the sound. Creepy sounds when you’re running around in the mines and mutated creatures are watching you, music that becomes harder when tension rises, and of course great voice-acting with Vin Diesel himself as Riddick. You’ve never played a character with such a great voice before 🙂

I could go on about the map that keeps track of where you’ve been, the inventory that keeps it easy for you to know what you’re carrying, or the diary where your mission objectives are kept but those things are completely the same from the Xbox version so I won’t bore you to death with them.

Multiplayer still isn’t an option but one can wonder whether that would be necessary. Ok, 99% of all modern first person shooters deliver a multiplayer mode right out of the box, but does that make the initial game any better ? I remember a couple of years ago, one of the best games I had played was Mafia and that didn’t have any multiplayer either. Still, that didn’t hold me back from giving it more than 90%.

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay may have some minor graphical glitches that make that the game isn’t ranked amongst the best that are currently available but the fantastic models, unique characters, gripping storyline, fun and varied gameplay more than make up for that.
What are you waiting for ? Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is one of the best first person action games out there. Get it. Now !

– Gripping storyline
– Varied gameplay
– Atmosphere
– Graphical glitches
– Lots of Loading