User Rating: 9.2 | The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay XBOX
The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is the best 1st person Xbox game on the market to date. The game is a blend of only the most top-notch graphics technology and a well written storyline. Butcher Bay is a wonderful game well worth anyone’s time and money. At first, I thought this game would be a flop (kind of like the movie which stayed on the silver screen for about 2 weeks or less). It was made by a no-name Swedish developer who’s only experience was in a past game called Enclave which received poor reviews. In addition, it is an unwritten rule that all movie-based games have to weakly follow a storyline and half-heartedly feature the voices of your favorite actors. I expected Butcher Bay to be a horrible game. It was exactly the opposite. Butcher Bay has the best graphics I’ve seen in any Xbox game to date (including Halo). The game engine uses a completely dynamic lighting system which adds a wonderful dark, mysterious feeling to the horrible prison, Butcher Bay. The lack of an onscreen HUD also adds to the immersive quality of the graphics giving you the feeling that you are actually looking through Riddick’s eyes killing hapless people with your mighty strength. Every texture in the game is extremely hi-res. These textures are so hi-res that surfaces which have no actual bump mapping (like tiled floors or brick walls) look 3d. Each character is graphically impressive from the specular lighting shining off of their clothing to the fine bump mapping on their faces. The sound in the game is exceptional. Aside from sound balancing problems where you can’t hear characters’ voices over loud noises or sounds in the background, the sound is good. Guns sound how you think they will sound, and every character is voiced well. Vin Diesel does a very good job voicing his dark character, and that adds a lot of flavor to the game. Diesel’s tough attitude makes you feel like you are intimidating your enemies. The music in the game is also very immersive; it can make you very scared at times… Gameplay is wonderful! 99% of the game is in first person, but that is not a bad thing. The melee system is very fun; I haven’t seen a game pull off first person hand-to-hand combat so well on any game to date. Every character dies in a ragdoll fashion, giving the game a realistic feeling. The stealth mechanics are also very fine-tuned. A blue-screen effect tells you if you are properly hidden from enemies, and this makes the game even more immersive! There are also fun conversations you can have with inmates. You can threaten them and beat them up. Every character you meet in the game is killable (though you may be punished harshly later) and there is a wide variety of guns to choose from. I wouldn’t actually pay $50 for this game. A co-op mode would be a godsend in this game, but there is no such luck. There is no multiplayer component of the game; 1 on 1 hand to hand combats and tournaments with knives and guns would be very fun and would add much value to the game. You can collect cigarette packs scattered around the game to unlock concept art, but that doesn’t add much extra value to the game. There was so much room for a multiplayer component to the game; the options for multiplayer seem limitless. However, Starbreeze decided not to include a multiplayer mode. If it did have multiplayer, the game would get a perfect 10 in value. Even without extras to add value to the game, it is still very fun to replay the game over and over. This game is highly addictive. The combat is very fun and Vin Diesel makes the game feel like an interactive movie. I’ve only had this game on a rental for about 5 days, and I’m nearly done with it. I would recommend renting it because it is very short. However, the game is of such high quality that you may just want to buy it just to own such a well-made product.