Clive Barker's Jericho Hands-On

We shoot our way through a six-level demo version of this squad-based shooter.

Currently scheduled for release in September, Clive Barker's Jericho is a squad-based first-person shooter in which you'll be tasked with destroying an ancient evil that's threatening the world in multiple time zones. Time travel and Barker-inspired visuals aside, Jericho's most distinguishing features are the different parapsychological abilities that each of the squad members use in tandem with their more traditional weapons. We've been putting some of those abilities to good use in a six-level Xbox 360 demo of the game recently, and we've come up against some pretty horrible enemies while doing so.

Some of the enemies in Jericho could only have come from Clive Barker.

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that Clive Barker's Jericho is little more than a garden-variety shooter with especially dark visuals, but the various abilities of the squad members promise to really set it apart from the crowd. For example, Lieutenant Abigail Black is a telekinetic sniper who can control bullets midflight and move large items out of the way when they're impeding the squad's progress. In one of the later levels of the demo, she also has the ability to set enemies on fire. On the other hand, Captain Xavier Jones employs astral projection to recon upcoming areas and also has the ability to take control of enemies. Thus, the playable characters in Jericho are an eclectic bunch, and every single one of them has already proved useful in our time with the game. We're told that characters will be able to combine their powers as you progress through the game, but because we only have access to six disjointed levels right now, we're not entirely sure how that's going to work.

Perhaps the most unusual gameplay mechanic in Jericho, besides Corporal Simone Cole's ability to hack into reality and seemingly conjure up ammo for the squad out of thin air or force enemies into slow motion, is every character's ability to heal incapacitated comrades. You only "die" in Jericho if your entire squad (bearing in mind that, at times, you might only be playing with two or three characters) is incapacitated, so as long as you have one character who's able to move around and reach his or her fallen colleagues, there's a chance that you can have everyone back up on their feet in no time. Healing incapacitated characters requires you to do nothing more than stand next to them and push a button which, even with enemies doing their best to stop us, we've only rarely failed to do while playing on the default difficulty setting. We've also noticed CPU-controlled characters healing each other on occasion.

In fact, as gruesome-looking and as intelligent as many of Jericho's enemies are, it's the game's "survival events" that have been giving us the most trouble to date. These brief, scripted sequences play out in much the same way as the cinematic "super action" sequences that were featured in Tomb Raider: Legend. Without warning, you'll be prompted to press a number of buttons in sequence as they appear on the screen, and your failure to do so invariably results in an untimely demise. For example, during one sequence in the Temple of Pain level, we had to perform a lengthy sequence of button pushes to navigate a narrow, crumbling ledge over a spike pit. Missing any one of those button pushes, which incidentally, were a little unforgiving in our demo version the first time we encountered them, sent the squad member in question plummeting to her doom. But then, seconds later, we were resurrected back at the start of the event.

You can switch between the various Jericho Squad members at any time.

Survival events aside, Jericho's controls (at least on the Xbox 360) are standard as far as squad-based shooters go. You have primary and secondary attacks (using very different weapons in some cases) mapped to the right and left shoulder buttons, respectively; parapsychological abilities on the bumpers; a reload button; as well as the ability to crouch and zoom in on enemies by depressing the left or right thumbsticks. You can also issue simple orders to the three-man Alpha and Omega squads that make up your group using the D pad. There's a melee attack, of course, and because Jericho is every bit as dark as you'd expect a game from Clive Barker to be, we're pleased to report that every character has a flashlight. Noteworthy control features in Jericho include the ability to take control of any character at any time, and when using certain characters, the ability to customize weapon settings for different situations. For example, when playing as Jones, you'll be able to set your gun for single shots, burst fire, or automatic fire. Furthermore, Jones' grenades can be set to detonate on impact, on a timer, by remote, or with a proximity detector.

Since we've been playing the Xbox 360 version of Jericho, those of you with a penchant for achievement points will be pleased to learn that the game appears to offer a good mix of point-scoring opportunities. For example, many of the 42 achievements will be unlocked simply by playing through the game, but others will require you to kill a number of enemies using specific methods or to complete levels without ever being incapacitated.

Clive Barker's Jericho is headed to the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, and the PC. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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137 comments
vahid_xbox_360
vahid_xbox_360

essential note :don,t play this game if you are not a horror games veteran or you will pee in your pant

decebal
decebal

man if the game is half as good as the demo... wow i just hope that it doesn't get boring

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

the demo was great cant wait till the game is out a must buy in my opinion

knightboat
knightboat

I'm a big horror fan and a big FPS fan, so I'm sure I'll be giving the game a shot. I'm a total sucker for Barker's visuals, and I felt that the demo did a good job of giving me a taste of what the game is capable of doing withoutt showing too much.

AFWorm
AFWorm

I'm glad there are teamates. Otherwise, it's probably be too freaky of a game. Plus, the resurrection ability will ease the thoughts of dying.

jayfi33
jayfi33

Demo was ok. some parts are a little too dark and can disorient the player. the powers add a cool element and swithcing up between members of the team is interesting. Still not sure if id buy it.

soul_alchemist0
soul_alchemist0

played demo, i heard it'd be really scary, never jumped once >.>

wars45
wars45

this colud be good

marcod1
marcod1

I demand this game now !

x_kenney_x
x_kenney_x

i cant wait for this one. will it have co-op?

Vasot
Vasot

I played the demo Not bad but the game feels a bit consolish

shiben
shiben

the demo was really good, i wasnt expecting it to be that good!

Edziscs
Edziscs

the survival event in the demo was just fine... finished it with 3rd or 4th time

blazered
blazered

I like the concepts and the art is, not surprisingly from a Clive Barker concept, amazing. That said, they still haven't fixed the super touchy "Survival Events" at this time anyway... I found the one in the demo to be next to impossible to complete (and I am quick enough to have completed Indigo Prophecy's action sequences at high difficulties). If they can patch that up, this game should come right up next to Bioshock as a first rate next gen shooter.

rocky_aj17
rocky_aj17

i just played the demo and i was impressed...Cant wait for full game.Its quiet scary related to other games and the cinematic action is awesome which comes without warning

muppen
muppen

The demo is awesome!

3abden
3abden

Can't wait for the demo!

waveddiamond
waveddiamond

worth playing while I wait for dead space to come out which is a long wait...

Reaper121
Reaper121

cant wait videos on the 360 looked tight

rockatanski
rockatanski

My God! This game looks like a total pants crapper!!! Horror games rule and I'm so glad Clive Barkers back for another round in this medium!

blt338
blt338

kagimus maxamus: gears of war was a third person shooter, u dolt, so dont compare this game to it. this game looks amazing if the screens are accurate about ow the game will work when it runs, then this game will be awesome and a must buy :)

insane956dv
insane956dv

game looks great, just not fond of " this guy can do this and this other one can do that"

anyjabroni
anyjabroni

ParisSun, this isn't a review retard

ParisSun
ParisSun

There is a better and more indept review of this game on gameinformer. com. It really sounds sweet.

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

I meant to say i do agree with Staithy. I just also that this is in the pc section. So way is there a link in the ps3 that takes one to this?

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

I most hardly agree with Staithy, why write a preview from an xbox360 demo in the Ps3 section? GameSpot you going have to do better then this, if your going put new news on games then they better be only for the console your playing a demo of.

Staithy
Staithy

Why then Justin if you've been playing the 360 version did you Write this preview in the PS3 section of the site? I take it the pics are from the 360 version too?. Also why would any PS3 owner want to know right at the end of the preview about achevement points? Game looks good though and sounds like it could be a great addition to anyones collection.

HTML_d00d
HTML_d00d

what is that in the picture, is it like a meat shield, cuz that alone would make me wanna buy the game, baddies with meat shields.

psyph3r-cn
psyph3r-cn

well last week's on the spot showed this as a nasty game. i like this sick stuff. hope it doesnt disappoint with the plot and gameplay

Nharia12
Nharia12

Really can't wait to see this game in action to see exactly how the various team members abilities work out.

klinsi
klinsi

I truly hope its not just a some FPS game without good story, revolutionary gameplay & superb setting ! Being too bored with many kind of games in recent times Hm... lets wait until this game out

KagimusMaximus
KagimusMaximus

Sounds promising, although possibly not worth the $60 that it'll cost. I'm a huge Clive fan, I even have all of the McFarlane Tortured Souls figures that he and Clive collaborated on, but there's one major thing I was looking for that they didn't mention. Taking cover. Gone are the ways of the old FPS where you simply strafe behind something for cover. Nowadays a game needs a cover system, a la Gears of War, to catch my interest. If there's a cover system in this and it's got gore and Clive's twisted design in it, it might be worth checking out. What's up with the ginormous thing on that dude's back in the pic above though?? Why do characters in FPSs look so goofy lately?? Even Marcus Fenix had that bulky ass suit that made him look like a cartoon. Maybe I should just start designing games....

termadoyle
termadoyle

Looks awesome. Clive Barker FTW!

RHPS_fan
RHPS_fan

Hm... reminds me of Brute Force...

rob3nelson
rob3nelson

All video games are basically the same - at least shooters. Remember Space Invaders? What about Pong? The goal is always to hit something or shoot it. The basic gameplay mechanics of shooters has never changed and nor will it. What will change and what should change are the graphics. Plus, each shootter should offer its own twist, to liven things up.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

That article really told me nothing about the game itself. I am curious as to what is up with the undead beast we keep seing in the promos and how the combat really looks. Splatter? Limbs?

capitancahonas
capitancahonas

Looking good. You just know that senor Barker will have some nice sick puppy stuff going on throughout.

marcod1
marcod1

I CAN"T WAIT FOR THIS GAME ANY LONGER.

taco4life
taco4life

Theres a reason why the US dont allow Women to be Infantry...

GreenC4T
GreenC4T

Why are some of you guys bent over the fact that they have a female soldiers? Women are able to do those stuff but the Goverment/USA is not ready to bring back female soldier's body bags. And if you must know, lawbreaker1776, I am a female who enjoys FPS and other action adventure games.

lawbreaker1776
lawbreaker1776

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Raven22788
Raven22788

Hmm....women who have died in gun battles....are we including those in the LAPD, NYPD ect ect?