Clive Barker’s Jericho

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Clive Barker’s Jericho

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Jericho is the newest horror game by the creator of Hellraiser, Clive Barker. For this review we are testing the PC version.  The story of the game starts out simple and turns more complicated as you progress. The initial information given and the premise is you are the leader of the Jericho team. A special forces unit which utilises both modern weapons and more paranormal powers. The squad is sent to investigate a lost city in the desert when it reappears and kill anything that moves. All in all, your average holiday abroad experience then.  Where the gameplay is concerned, what makes Jericho different to other horror games is that you end up working through the game with a squad and not on your own. Not only that, you literally end up possessing them in a full Exorcist style experience.  After playing for a short time, in essence learning the basic combat controls your character dies and then spends the rest of the game inhabiting other squad members, jumping between them at will. This means you can use different weapons and personal distinct supernatural powers. It also means that when you die, you just body jump to continue without having to reload the mission unless all your team die. This happens infrequently as members of the squad can revive others. In total there are seven main characters when you include the team leader. The standard weapons range from assault rifles to miniguns. Special abilities include a mind driven bullet, astral projection, possession, telekinesis, healing, fire barrier, slow time and four more.   While the squad jumping idea is interesting there are some issues with the title in general. The first thing is being able to revive squad mates an infinite amount of times makes the game much too easy. It also means there is no need to play over points making the game shorter. A better way would have been to put the condition that you can only revive squad members after all enemies in the local area are dead.  There is a wide variety of scenery ranging from dim lit small corridors to a giant arena reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome. Overall though, while the number of locations and the background visuals are great, the graphics let the title down. Add to that you have blood on every surface to the point where you become desensitised and it just looks like a red wall and not blood effects.  Apart from the signature bosses used in the many boss battles, the rest of the enemies look just as generic as any German soldier in a WW2 game. Sound and voice acting is really above standard.   If you are looking at Jericho wanting a good team based shooter, it is one of the most enjoyable and worth a go. If you are after an actual scary horror game, this is about as scary as having to sit through reality TV. So quite but not enough.

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