Jericho has some great concepts that with a bit of tweaking could have risen to greatness.

User Rating: 8 | Clive Barker's Jericho (Limited Edition) X360
When I first heard about Jericho I was quite intrigued as I'm not only a fan of horror themed games in general but I also enjoyed Clive Barker's Undying on the PC several years ago. Undying combined basic FPS action with the ability to also cast magic spells and set it in an incredibly creepy mansion that gave me quite a few genuine scares. When Jericho was released it unfortunately received mostly mediocre reviews which kept me from purchasing the game for quite awhile. However I remained interested and when the game went down in price combined with that fact that other gamers were stating the game was definitely better then the reviewers were giving it credit for, I went ahead and took the plunge into Clive Barker's dark vision.

GAMEPLAY (8.5) - To get through this game and not be constantly frustrated you have to scrap your usual approach to a FPS and embrace Jericho's unique concept. You are actually the spirit of the former team leader that can possess any of the seven members of Team Jericho, each of which have several unique abilities. If you try to do as I did at the start, which is to simply keep gunning your way forward, you'll die. A lot. The problem is that for most of the journey your squad will be in tight passages that offer little to no cover and most of the basic weapons are underpowered to the point where you'll be emptying entire clips before you bring down a single enemy. Adding to this is that many of the monsters you fight are the type that explode when they die, and if you are anywhere near it you'll most likely go down with it. The team AI isn't bad, as they'll usually line up with the sniper staying back and the big guy in front, but with them constantly exposed they will go down if you don't take advantage of the devastating abilities they have. You can't count on them using these special attacks so the strategy is to not waste any time and immediately float from one to the other and use them yourself. Special attacks vary from the sniper's Ghost Bullet, which you control the flight of and can pass through several enemies, to another's ability to cast a ring of fire that will alight any enemy that crosses its path. Once you get used to the different abilities the game becomes much more enjoyable, though if a sequel were to come out I still hope that the environments will be more open and allow some more maneuverability and tactics. After playing a game like Brother's in Arms the limitations I had on controlling the team were quite apparent.

GRAPHICS (9.0) - Jericho offers some incredible visuals, and this includes both the environments and the character models. Most of the places you're at are covered with shiny and grotesque substances that look almost photo realistic. The seven Jericho members are unique and nicely detailed. While there wasn't a huge variety of monsters there were different ones that were appropriate to the era of history you were in and all of them were very creepy and at times somewhat disgusting. Speaking of which, many of the environments would be extremely disturbing if one were to experience this in actuality, as there is very liberal use of dismembered corpses and at times literally rivers of blood. My only complaint is that often the game was extremely dark, which I realize is appropriate for this environment but it still created a lot of eyestrain, and I was always relieved when I would reach a better lit level.

SOUND (7.5) - While not amazing, the sound was done well. The background music always fit the setting, adding to the suspense. Voicework was adequate, especially the enemy bosses that sounded like they came out of Clive's Hellraiser movies. The only fault is that there can be some repetitive lines from your teammates, but that tends to happen in almost all games.

VALUE (7.0) - Jericho is not a long game, though not terribly short. It did not keep track of my playing time but I'm guessing I completed it within 10 hours. Unfortunately there is no multiplayer, and it's especially disappointing that there is no coop, as this game really had the potential to be quite fun with two players taking advantage of the team's abilities. There's not much reason to replay the game except for the fun of concentrating on different teammate's abilities that you may not have taken advantage of in your first playthrough. For 360 players you can rack up different achievements by not only completing levels on the higher difficulty but also by destroying monsters in different ways, such as headshots, melee attacks, explosives etc.

STORY/SUMMARY - For the most part I really appreciate what Clive Barker came up with here. While the initial concept is a bit silly (you're dealing with beings that God created before he created Man, which were a bit too powerful so God locked them away) I enjoyed the fact that this meant your team, while staying in the same geographical location, goes through different eras of time ranging from World War 2 to the Crusades to the Roman Empire. Add to this the ability to quickly shift from one Jericho member to the other and you have some great concepts that separate Jericho from other FPS games. However as I stated before there were some things that can be improved on and if they hopefully make a sequel maybe we'll see a bit more polish, especially in the ability to move around the environments. Also as I previously stated this game can be very grotesque and it more than earns its M rating. If you get squeamish from any videogames this is definitely not for you, but if not and if you're interested in trying a FPS with a unique approach to combat then I recommend you give Jericho a try.