Clive Barker's Jericho Xbox 360 Updated Hands-On

Grab your torch and gun, we crawl around in the dark with upcoming horror-themed shooter Clive Barker's Jericho.

Clive Barker--you might remember him from such films as Hellraiser, Candyman, and Nightbreed. But in addition to his movie and licensed toy lines with Todd McFarlane, Barker has also turned his hand to videogames. While his 2001 partnership with EA on title Undying was well-received landing 9.1 and an Editor's Choice award on GameSpot, Demonik, a videogame project in development to be launched alongside a feature film of the same name was canned in 2005. Fast-forward a year and Clive was back on the horse, announcing a partnership with Codemasters to develop Jericho, a next-generation horror-themed first-person tactical shooter.

We last saw the game in July but with the launch just over the hill we sat down with a more polished build of the game to explore some new game mechanics and give an updated impression on the way it's tracking.

Straight out of your nightmares and onto your TV screen or desktop monitor.

Unlike previous builds of the game, our current preview code includes the intro cinematic, and starts at the beginning rather than a liberal sprinkling of disconnected levels as we saw in our July preview. This gave us a real feel for the universe, establishing location, defining what you're fighting and why you're there. In a nutshell you're part of a special ops unit, a mix of traditional military and occult-trained specialist agents tasked with stopping Arnold Leach, a religious fanatic and former gifted member of your own department from unleashing God's original creation, the Firstborn. To do this you'll need to enter Al Khalid and face pure evil.

Your team is made up of seven characters, each the top of their field, and after an event early on in the piece, you'll be given the ability to jump between and control your team from inside their bodies, taking full advantage of their special abilities. Environmental puzzles will keep you switching between players to complete goals such as using Cpl. Simone Cole's time-slowing ability to drop grenades into the rear hatches of machinegun pill-boxes, using Frank Delgado's fire shields to protect your team from taking damage, and Captain Xavier Jones's astral projection which can be used for reconnaissance, and to control enemies, using them to open gates or destroying targets your team can't reach because of physical boundaries.

The tactical control of your team is introduced steadily as you progress through the early part of the single-player campaign, with team controls allowing you to command two groups of units, one running point and the other covering your back. This is done by pressing up or on the D-pad to advance, or down to hold your position. AI in Jericho appears to be solid, with your team moving out of the way when nudged or given a command, and if left alone, they can hold covering fire long enough for someone to either brings you back from the dead, or for you switch to a live character.

The environment plays a huge role in Jericho, and in suitable horror-styling, you'll spend a lot of your time crawling around in the dark. Thankfully you have both a flashlight--although ours would occasionally turn off and need to be flicked back on--and a team who can spot an approaching enemy a mile off. The latter becomes crucial to your survival, especially with enemies often killing you with a single blow. Relying on your team to get the lead flying early will help you stay alive and once enemies are in sight, you can help them take them down. Staying alive is an interesting dynamic in itself, with the game allowing you to both heal and resurrect fellow team-mates if they fall in battle. Much like in Gears of War, all you need do is walk over to a teammate's body and hit the A button--either in combat, or when you've killed the target--to bring your team back into the fight. There's no mana micro-management here, so you can fight as long as someone is still standing. You'll know when it's over by the sound of buzzing flies as they engulf the screen.

The visuals in Clive Barker's Jericho are looking better every time we see it, though you'd be forgiven for immediately filing it under the Unreal 3 engine moniker. In actual fact the title runs on the Mercury Engine, a custom engine written by developer Mercury Steam. Character models are highly detailed, and from what we've seen with our flashlight, the environmental textures lovingly sculptured. Each player's weapons and special abilities has a distinct look and animation, and with the exception of healing--which each player is able to do--all the players have a distinct feeling even from a first-person perspective.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this was using the Unreal 3 engine it looks so good.

We didn't replace, drop, or upgrade our weapons at all, but ammunition seemed to flow bountifully, with Cpl. Cole conjuring more whenever we looked like we were running low. As a result, we threw caution to the wind and put as many rounds into enemies as quickly as possible to get them down. If you'd like to play conservatively, enemies do have weak spots where you can pick them off quite quickly with a few well-placed rounds.

Without spoiling the storyline, you will encounter other AI controlled players within the environment, but in our hands-on with the game, we were unable to control anyone outside of our team with the exception of Jones' astral projection ability.

Horror movie fans will be champing at the bit to get their hands on Barker's latest nightmare creation, and with a scheduled release date of early November this year, it won't be long before they can plunge into this new world of darkness.

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114 comments
Geminidevine
Geminidevine

This game is revolutionary wheather it's on Xbox 360 or the PC. I remember playing Undying and now Jericho from the mastermind himself Clive Barker, he has done it again. I haven't played this game as of yet but i do plan on getting a copy of Jericho just to add to my collection. I have spent time watching screen shots along with video clip. This is one of the best games that came out this year and it deserves a 10 out of 10 PERFECT. Clive Barker may not be a gamer but he know his stuff when making a video game just like his movies, Hellraiser & Candyman to give a few. But His work show never be forgotten. Jericho is a visual masterpiece. I like the fact that the characters can use 2 weapons at the same time along with having magic capabilities. Clive Barker keep up the good work!!!!

vahid_xbox_360
vahid_xbox_360

wow this game will really scare the hell out of any body. this fear is pure . well this was predictable due to Clive Barker's name.

ACES_of_CRIME
ACES_of_CRIME

AHHH Sh*t I meant the lower not the upper image! Im waiting for GS full rewiew now........ I´ve read some dissapointing stuff about Jericho lately and Im not sure if I should get it. If not I´ll probably swear at codemasters and Mercury Steam and get Assassins creed instead. If Assassins creed and the rest of the "ace bunch" F*cks up next-gen gaming is in big ass trouble, but I doubt they will.

booska66
booska66

Hell yes this is a buy, turn off the lights and turn up the volume! Blood and bullets.

Furry_Fox
Furry_Fox

Well, the demo for PC was kinda cool. The game looks awesome, plays awesome, the characters seemed awesome. I'm definately going to get this one for sure.

ACES_of_CRIME
ACES_of_CRIME

IM agreeing with Nosnitsttam about the whole F.E.A.R. engine thing. There are like 100 games that runs better then F.E.A.R..... F.E.A.R. is a nice shooter though.... So for all you hardcore fps players I suggest too RENT F.E.A.R. and why......... COZ Its OLD. The AI is better than alot of new games though.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

well i thought Doom 3 on PC was scary, not because of the 'Monsters' but because of the atmosphere. In a game like this Atmosphere is everything!

JB2B
JB2B

I am definitely getting this one. Shooting those creeps with a seven member team sounds great and the demo is nice too. I agree with Nosnitsttam. A seven member online co-op would be awesome. I hope the full version has some nice scary moments in it. The monsters will probably not impress me to much, but together with some unexpected things that happen, hopefully it get me running around in my room thinking the devil is gonna get. And when he comes, my team will finish him off.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

nyranasaurus: FEAR runs great, i don't know what you're talking about. and of course newer stuff should run better than older stuff, that's the way its supposed to work. i really don't know what point you were trying to make but i think you missed it completely. zerosumgame: No i don't get tired of looking at the monsters. i don't care if they aren't scary, they still look badass and that's really all i care about. im not playing the game to freak myself out (i still have silent hill 2 for that), i'm playing it because violent, bloody and gory games are highly entertaining to me.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

I'm really impressed with how this is turning out. I really liked undying and cant wait to play the full version of this game. The graphics are stunning and a 7 member team at your fingertips certainly sounds great. now if they made 7 player co-op online? that would be freaking sweet

gta11
gta11

Sounds AWESOME:D

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Cheers dark77778 ive never heard of 'Undying' but ill check it out : )

KingKoop
KingKoop

I can see a decent review from GS on this one.

dark77778
dark77778

Hey, nephariouson? If you're having doubts about how Barker's imagination gets interpreted into games, play Undying. It's clearly not the graphics in the game that make me scream in terror and then laugh at myself when Aaron decides to wave stuff in my face.

ACES_of_CRIME
ACES_of_CRIME

Yo, the kick balls thing......... Just look at the upper image and you will get my point....

ACES_of_CRIME
ACES_of_CRIME

Every hardcore fps MF or Horror fan is gonna like this one. Its tough, its nice, its brutal, fast and its got feel..... This is next-gen action horror and its not psychological like F.E.A.R..... OR thats what I think. This is a kickass game coz you kickass in it. You migth even kick balls..... Just kiddin

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

The Ureal Engine is very good, but ther are better engines out there

greystone227
greystone227

Woah. This game looks amazing. If there aren't any trade-offs for such great-looking character models (which there doesn't seem to be, judging from the screenshots), then I don't see why people don't start licensing this over Unreal Engine 3.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

'Shodden' "Hellraiser is a terrible movie. So is Candyman". You have to remember that the 'Film Makers' simply translate a 'Story' into a 'Movie' and in most cases do a poor job, personally i enjoyed the Hellraiser flick, but if you really want the best experience, you cannot beat the book, 'Barker' is twisted and has a fantastic imagination, just hope some of that has translated well to this game.

zerapup
zerapup

i thought it was Unreal Engine 3 in demo

tomcat51
tomcat51

Does anyone seem to realise Clive Barker is a writer first and foremost, and a bloody good one at that. Weaveworld would make an excellent game.

Shodden
Shodden

Hellraiser is a terrible movie. So is Candyman.

super_slonik
super_slonik

Here's something to distract me from Halo 3 multiplayer... This game will be absolute stunner!

advocacy
advocacy

The graphics look absolutely stunning. Like nightmares made flesh.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Aren't you tired of looking at scary creatures that actually aren't scary, over and over again? sigh..

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

wht i like about this engine is how well it runs and have great visuals too...it runs better than F.E.A.R and that came out ages ago..so if latest games are running better than some older games then hopefully the future is bright..for performance vs quality.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

"SrTVBR Unreal Egnine 3 rocks!"

Actually its running on the Mercury Steam Engine but yeah its that good

SrTVBR
SrTVBR

Unreal Egnine 3 rocks!

Bamb0o-Stick
Bamb0o-Stick

Want to know where you'll go in the afterlife if you're bad? Clive Barker's mind.

sridanu
sridanu

Looks great. Hope the squad play doesnt spoil it

hellpolice
hellpolice

This is one FPS I'm looking forward to play even more than Bioshock. *Warming up the 360*

The_Fury1678
The_Fury1678

Man,this is gonna give me nightmares for weeks...... I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

Xomonuchi
Xomonuchi

Can't Wait to Play Clive Barker's Jericho !

augustoc2001
augustoc2001

Mercury engine seems to be great doing organic textures and caracters..

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

You may find that the graphics on the actuall 'Full Release' version of the game are better than the demo as low detail levels help keep the download size to an acceptable level, remember R6 Vegas? the graphics in the demo were quite bland, but they were ramped up in the final release.

xnyfinestx
xnyfinestx

loved the demo, loved the graphics, love Clive Barker.

alfie1980
alfie1980

i downloaded the demo on both my 360,and my ps3......360 wins! the frame rate on the ps3 version isnt up 2 much.

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

I need someone's opinion...this game looks amazing, fast paced, and fun...but i'm not sure i can take horror games, i don't really like the horror genre at all, however i'm pretty much exclusively into shooters, and don't want to pass this one up if it's gonna be good. bearing in mind that there is a squad with you that should offset the "oh **** im on my own!" feeling, and that i loved bioshock, what would you say, should i get it or not?

xboxFan101
xboxFan101

for sure i gotta get this one just look at dem graphics dog damn son

pyire
pyire

The demo didn't really get me excited about the game, it actually lowered my expectations quite dramatically for the game, however, I will probably give the game a try once released in full version being a fan of Clive Barker's previous creations (Maybe I should mention that it is the graphics's and gameplay that gives me doubts, and not the writings and story, although a very slim part of the story was explained in the demo)

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Take 'Doom' & 'Quake', add the twisted imagination of without a doubt the best horror writer ever and you get the picture, nuff said, although its all a matter of personal taste..... cant wait : ) bring on the pain!

Frruxano
Frruxano

I have played the demo and I didn't like it. I don't know exactly what I hated about it, but I think this isn't going to be a great game

ibanezdropd
ibanezdropd

i played the demo on 360 and it seemed pretty sweet

FS_Beast
FS_Beast

I played the demo, and it was pretty bad. I didn't like it at all. but that's just my opinion

Eternal_Solitude
Eternal_Solitude

This one sounds amazing, cant wait to get my hands on it... (Too bad Demonik was downgraded to just a cameo appearance in Grandmas boy lol although it was a great flick )

dragonwarlock77
dragonwarlock77

Jericho is gonna be so awesome! 9 more days! Anticipating this more than I did Halo 3. Clive Barker is amazing