Guns, Psychic Powers, Carnage, and psychotic Godlike beings... "Just another day at the office."

User Rating: 7.5 | Clive Barker's Jericho PC
Some people like military shooter games... some prefer suspenseful survival horror... yet others are amused by fantasy and spellcasting stories. Now, what if a game was all three?

Clive Barker's Jericho takes place in an alternate-reality where magic has it's own governmental division, even though it's still not a completely trusted science. Throughout the game you take control of the leader of the Jericho Squad, a seven-man unit of "witches with guns" - each member is a soldier who specializes in a different weapon and a unique psychic ability ranging from telekinesis to fire-demon summons to healing.

Jericho's story begins with their assignment to Al-Khali, an ancient city that has been the source of contention since the beginning of time. The ruins house the Box, a slice of time seperate from the real world where the Firstborn resides. ((The Firstborn was God's first creation before man, but became too powerful and was sealed away into this alternate dimension. Needless to say, it wasn't pleased with this arrangement)). Occasionally throughout time, the Firstborn coerces some power-hungry moron into freeing it, and it immediately proceeds to take over the world unless a group of seven mystics forces it back into it's imprisonment. And it's happened again, but this time Jericho is assigned to clean it up...

The game is not RPG, but more of a point A to point B style action. The story is fairly interesting and follows a basic format of several levels set in different time periods ((each with their own set of enemies and challenges)) followed by a boss fight before moving on. Each 'level''s world is fleshed out with vivid - and usually bloody - scenery, complete with sporadic side characters, most of which are a few fries short of a Happy Meal due to centuries trapped in the Box, who add extra fire-power and sarcastic dialogue. Each character has their own personality and just the comments they fire off as you traverse Jericho's land ((are we having FUN yet??)) are amusing in and of themselves.

One of the best features of the game ((in my opinion)) was the character-switching system. Throughout the game you can jump between characters to maximize strategy, or just for a new twist on the battles because each of the seven plays completely differently. There were some balance problems, because some of them were simply more powerful than others, but for the most part it behooves you to experiment with all seven. This also allows for replayability: after playing the entire game with Delgado's machine gun and fire-demon, you can switch to Church's ninja-blade and blood magic or Black's sniper rifle and telekinesis for a little more excitement.

Jericho does however have some flaws. Like mentioned, some of the characters are extremely weak compared to others. Also, the game is fairly short: you can easily finish it in under ten hours, and it originally sold for a fairly high price ((though it's one of those games that made it to the bargain bin pretty quickly)). The run-and-shoot system goes from exciting to tedious after a few hours, and you're forced to experiment in order to relieve the monotony. And there are a few really cool functions of certain characters that the game simply never tells you about. During my second run-through of the game, I learned that Black's rifle had a zooming scope available by complete accident. That made my life easier...

All in all, it's a "solid" game. It's fun, fairly easy to grasp, and action-packed. Though the length and sometimes boring levels can be hindering, the psychic powers are pretty cool, and I recommend any shooter / fantasy / horror fan to at least try it out. :)