Aside from Horrible squad AI it had fun powers and a great story with interesting characters.

User Rating: 6 | Clive Barker's Jericho PC
When Jericho was first released I had tried the demo for it and was underwhelmed. I found the gameplay to be too simple and it just didn't intrigue me. It didn't help that the main selling point of the game for me was the ability to switch between the seven characters as I saw fit and my major problem at the time was that I didn't really like using any of the characters. I didn't like their weapons, and I don't even think I tried any of their powers. Well a little while back I found Jericho at EB Games for $9.99 which I consider my sweet spot price. At $9.99 I am willing to take a risk and if the game turns out to be crap I don't feel I lost much. I picked it up and gave it a shot. After finishing Jericho I can say that it had a ton of potential and could of been a great game but it was bogged down in both breaking my own cardinal rules as well as having some serious AI issues.

As I stated Jericho broke some of my cardinal rules of gaming. It had no quick save option instead offering only checkpoints. It was littered with quick time events that made use of not one button but up to four buttons.There was regenerating health instead of any other method (I am pretty open to most other forms of health). These are rules that I expect games to follow because the alternative to these features I don't like. When a game breaks these I can't help but dock them marks. I also am not a fan of the ammo system used in Jericho. Their system is that the character Cole can replenish your ammo any time she wants by basically reversing time on your gun. My major problem with this is that she isn't always prompt with this service. I found many times that I was totaly out of ammo before she would give me more. If you are going to go a different route then having me pick up ammo then it should at least function properly. Another problem was when switching bodies I found it would sometimes stick. It required a single mouse click to the persons name to switch but sometimes it would require a double click for no good reason. I was hitting the key as hard as I usually do. It isn't a huge thing but it made me a target for longer then I would of liked and got me killed a couple of times. I have arrived now to my biggest problem with Jericho: squad AI. It is by far the worst squad AI I have ever seen. It made the squad AI in Call of Duty 4, which was bad enough, look like Mensa members by comparison. My squad in Jericho was totally inept in combat. I once saw a weak cretaure (it took about 3 shotgun blasts to kill) walk up to three memebrs of my squad and kill all of them before they could kill it. Every memeber aside from one had pretty good powers at their disposal yet they rarely used it when I wasn't controlling them. For the first five levels I didn't see them use any of their powers once and after that I only saw them use powers maybe once or twice a level. If they would have used more powers maybe they would of lived longer and made my job easier. I felt like a glorified babysitter that had to constantly check on my squad. One boss battle later in the game I spent more time healing my squad then fighting the boss. I think that Mecury Steam knew this which is why one of your squad (Rawlings) can also heal. He takes some of the load off of my shoulders but not much. When my squad was actually alive I found they would get in my line of fire a lot. I can't shoot them though (sometimes I wish I could). This created an interesting problem because sometimes they would get close enough to my crosshair that while I wasn't aiming right at them I still couldn't fire at an enemy because they were close enough. The worst part of this is I could blow them up. I can't kill them with bullets but God forbid they get close to one of my nades which will kill them. On the bright side of things the powers that I got to weild were really fun for the most part. The sniper rifle bullet I got to guide through multiple targets was my favorite but I have to give props to the flame that seeks out targets as well. I should also commend Jericho for allowing you to change the difficulty setting mid game. It is a small thing but way too many games are starting to make you restart the whole game to change the difficulty which is ridiculous. The load and save times were very good as well. The next level pretty much always finished loading before I finished reading the text.

One area where the game did satisfy me for the most part was in it's options. It had support for 1920*1200 and also had support for up to 8x AA. However Jericho did not have support for EAX or AF, both of which I believe games should have these days. Jericho also had a console menu for the main menu. By that I mean it had the whole "press Enter to continue" thing going on. I never understood the point of having to press a button to go to the main menu I wanted to go to anyway. They could of just as easily taken me there to start with.

If I had to state the main reason I continued playing through Jericho, despite the terrible squad AI making me want to eat buckshot, it would have to be the story. I was genuinly interested in what was going on and where the game would take me. The characters were also very interesting for the most part. I wanted to know more about them and actually cared about them.

The graphics of Jericho were all around average. Nothing was outright bad but nothing was spetacular either. It was not the best looking game out there for lighting, character models, fire, gore, it was just decent. It was also not the best optimized game either. When I maxed all settings at 1920*1200 with 8x AA the minimum frame rate was around 18. The average was around 30. I was running this on a GTX 260, 4GB of PC2-6400 RAM, an AMD Athlon64 X2 6400+, and an SATA II hard drive. I have been able to max out games that look better than Jericho with much better framerates. I got rid of the lag by turning off AA which I don't believe I should of had to do. I was also not impressed with the gore. I expected more gore from a Clive Barker game. There is plenty of gore in the levels but it is all put there to start with. I was expecting to be able to do some awesome stuff to enemies with my weapons but I couldn't. The biggest thing you could do was blow the enemies heads off of their bodies. There weren't even bullet holes showing up in the enemy creatures. There have been plenty of games in the past where you could blow off limbs and where you could impale people to the wall and many other fun ways to kill. Jericho had none of these.

The audio to Jericho was very good. The music on the menus and in game was very atmospheric and set the tone well. The dialogue was above average. Some conversations were very well done and furthured my interest in the characters. One scene in paticular involved one character trying to calm down one of the other characters because they are starting to lose it. I should say that by dialogue I mean in cut scenes because there are repetitive statements from all characters that they say in combat that get old extremely fast. The weapons sound effects were pretty good as well. Each gun had it's own distinct sound which seems like it should be nothing special but in so many games the guns all sound and feel the same.

There isn't much lasting value to Jericho. There is no online play, although I would rather none than one that feels tacked on. You do unlock these cards throughout the game that you can view from the main menu that will offer you more background info on the heroes and villains of the game. There are three different difficulty settings for those that want to beat them all. There are no achievements offered even though the game promotes Games For Windows Live on the box. I don't see the point of going through the process of getting that certification if you don't use the service.

Overall I enjoyed the story of Jericho very much. I thought the game had a ton of potential that was all spoiled by the horrendus squad AI. It made the game that much harder to sit through having to deal with these morons. The game also could of earned more points with me by not being such a console port. Add some AF, give me quick saves, give me EAX, all of these things could of made me happier without going through the trouble to actually code decent squad AI. I paid $10 for Jericho and I still feel it is a little high for what you get. I can not reccomend this game even to hardcore shooter fans.

Final score: 6/10

This game was reviewed on the following system:

AMD Athlon64 X2 6400+
BFG GTX 260 OC 896MB
4x1GB OCZ PC2-6400 Platinum
1TB Seagate ST31000340AS
Asus M2N-E
Samsung SyncMaster 245B