Clive Barker walling off Jericho

The Demonik debacle behind him, the horror <i>auteur</i> teams with Codemasters for new next-gen console and PC game.

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In 2001, author and filmmaker Clive Barker announced he was bringing his brand of macabre horror to another medium--games. The Hellraiser director teamed up with Electronic Arts to develop Undying, a grisly first-person PC shooter set in a haunted mansion in rural 1920s Ireland.

Barker lounges in his Pirates of Penzance costume.
Barker lounges in his Pirates of Penzance costume.

In 2005, Barker announced a partnership with Majesco Games and Tiger Hill Entertainment, John Woo's game company, for Demonik, an Xbox 360 action game that would be developed alongside a feature film of the same name. But less than a year later, Majesco abruptly pulled out of the premium games market. As a result, Demonik was abruptly canceled, casting doubt over the future of Barker's promising game career.

Today, a Hollywood Reporter article revealed that Barker is once again reentering the game world. This time, he is teaming up with British developer Codemasters for Jericho, a "Mature-rated title, set for release in late 2007" on PCs and unspecified next-generation consoles.

According to the Reporter, the game will follow a "special forces squad trained in conventional warfare and arcane arts" on a "perilous quest to reach the innermost chamber of a mysterious place called Jericho, wherein lurks evil incarnate."

Jericho itself will be made up of a layered maze, according to Barker. "I don't want to give too much away just yet, but the concept is that somewhere in northern Africa there is a walled city which is not just a walled city but walls within walls within walls," Barker told the Reporter. "It's like Russian dolls, spaces within each other, and trapped inside each space is a slice of time where the warriors of good have gone against ultimate evil and have lost."

The "warriors" in question will be soldiers from different time periods throughout history. The first levels will contain modern soldiers, while the latter levels will foster more ancient warriors imbued with magical powers. "Some are evil, some are not, and you have to make up your own mind," Barker said. As the game turns to more primitive combat, "it becomes a more primal experience as well, because the means of combat become cruder and the people become in a way simpler," said the author.

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