First Impressions: A great game that has fantastic stealth elements and terrific FPS qualities.

User Rating: 9.6 | The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay XBOX
The Good : Very nicely done stealth mechanics; great story; complex and fun melee combat; Good AI

The Bad : Somewhat long loading times, yet not too common

I got this game because I like FPS and stealth games and this looked like a combination of both. I was right. And the two genres are pulled together very well. This isn't an all-stealth game or an all-shoot-em-up game. It's a combination of both. Approach it either way you want. While it may look cool running and gunning through levels, there is a certain satisfaction to sneaking up on someone and snapping their necks.

You're Riddick, the most wanted man in the galaxy. You are transferred to Butcher Bay, the futuristic Alcatraz. Impossible to escape from...but they haven't met Riddick yet, either. You start off being escorted to your cell and from there, you need to talk to the other inmates to learn how to find a way out of Butcher Bay. Along the way, you can pick up tons of stuff, like knives, guns brass knuckles, medical cartridges, and even packs of cigarettes that unlock bonus content.

The stealth is pretty good. It works really well. When you crouch and if you're hidden, your screen turns blue and you know that the guards can't see you. This means that you can sneak up on them and snap their neck or shoot them. The melee combat works really well, too. When you don't have a weapon equipped, you can grab someone and snap their necks, or pull a combo of strikes. Left trigger blocks while Right trigger strikes. It's hectic and exciting trying to pull off comboes and block your opponent's strikes.

Your life is measured in 4 bars. If you lose a health bar, you can't grow it back no matter how long you wait. If you don't lose a whole health bar, it'll grow back almost immediately. This can make the game pretty easy actually. If you get shot, just hide behind cover until you regenerate your health, then go right back at it until the guy dies or until you get shot again. The game has you exploring a lot. One of the reasons to explore is to find packs of cigarettes that unlock concept art. But really, the best reason to explore is to find new weapons and money. It's a lot of fun to explore anyway, because that means more enemies to fight, as combat is a lot of fun.

The presentation is beautiful. The graphics are breathtaking and the sounds are awesome. The graphics show beautiful detail and the character models look great. I really don't know why the creators felt the need to put "F***" in graffiti on the walls all the time though. That brings up the next point. This game is meant for older gamers. It's nothing like God of War, but it still is very violent, bloody, and loaded with F bombs, as the enemies that you'll fight will just yell out "Mother F*****!" during a fight. The voice acting otherwise, is awesome. Vin Diesel is used as Riddick's voice and it sounds very good. All the other characters are great too.

Gameplay : It's a great mix of FPS and stealth action. It blends the two almost flawlessly.

Graphics : Such detail was put into this. It looks beautiful.

Sound : The great voice acting, sound effects, and music set the tone for a great game.

Value : This game is easily worth $20 or less. I'm not sure how much game is there yet, but so far, it looks worth it.

Tilt/Final Words : This is a great game to add to your collection. Whether your a Halo fan or a Splinter Cell fan, you're gonna love it!