I’ve always wanted to play Riddick since the original version on Xbox and just now finally got around to paying the re-released version of the 2004 ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’ that is included with the 2009 sequel ‘Assault on Dark Athena’. I had bought the game super cheap on sale for PC during a Direct2Drive holiday sale last year. The game is also out for Xbox 360 and PS3.
I don’t normally review games on my blog, but it’s a great game that is often overlooked.
The ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’ story isn’t really in-depth but it’s enough, as the title implies the entire game is an escape from a huge prison or “slam”. The game is the prequel to the movie ‘Pitch Black’ (2000) that is actually quite a badass sci-fi flick. Vin Diesel’s character Riddick is the definition of “bad ass” in both the movies and game. I also really enjoy the sci-fi world that has been created around the movies and game; it’s got some great design and concepts. ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ (2004) film sequel to ‘Pitch Black’ was less well received, but I find the directors cut to be quite a fun flick also if you don’t expect a lot out of it. (Like the game, both movies can be found on the cheap.)
For a slightly updated 2004 Xbox game, (to my understanding it was mostly a graphical update) Riddick sure holds-up. The developer Starbreez does first person immersion extremely well; most of the story is told in first person and Riddick’s body is always well animated so you really feel like you are playing as him. It’s also one of the few games that does first person hand-to-hand combat quite well, it makes you feel like you are actually landing blows with clever use of camera shake and punch/stab animations.
It’s also a stealth game to an extent because Riddick can see in the dark you can sneak around and kill unsuspecting guards, it really gives you the feeling of being a predator stalking prey. It even expands your field of view while sneaking to give the effect of seeing out of the corner of your eye.
I plan to continue on to play the ’Assault on Dark Athena’ section of the game soon. Even without playing the newer part of the game yet I can highly recommend grabbing this game at the bargain prices you can find it at now. Both the Xbox 360 version and PS3 version are $20 or under and the PC version for under $10.
Starbreez’s other recent game ‘The Darkness’ (2006) is actually very similar, it uses the same game engine and in both games you use darkness to your advantage. I also really enjoyed ‘The Darkness’ for a lot of the same reasons.