Clive Barker's Jericho - Jericho

By Stuart Andrews



Our Score:


What didn't come through in the preview was how complex and well developed these special abilities are, or how crucial they are to the game. Play Jericho as a straight 3D shooter and you won't last five minutes; your enemies are too hard and too numerous. Meanwhile, the simple D-pad based command system and poor squad AI (much more on this subject later) make it equally impossible to play as a squad-based strategic shooter. The trick, then, is to switch rapidly between characters and use their powers as you need to in order to dispose of the hundreds of skull-faced zombies and grisly, half-metal mutants that swarm your way.

Faced with a gang of grinning bone-heads toting exploding crossbow bolts? Black can take them out one by one from a distance using her psychically-enhanced sniper skills. Flamethrowing enemies on the way? Use Delgado to take some of the heat off, then let the rest of the squad wipe them out. Why not see if Jones, your friendly seer, can possess a monster and use something nearby to cause disruption? Or maybe Church can hold that flying demon in place with a blood rite, so that the rest of the team can fill the agile little git with lead.

Jericho also makes a little effort to integrate these powers with other aspects of the gameplay, though these mainly come down to flicking a lever or taking a little solo run. At times, the game also deliberately splits the team, forcing you to engage with specific characters and capabilities you might normally ignore. Let's be clear right now: there is some fun, imaginative stuff lurking here, and it has to be said that Jericho really doesn't play or feel like the average FPS.

And while we're spouting praise, let's also state that the guys at MercurySteam can be proud of much of their visual work. Their custom engine is capable of some stunning results, and when the monsters, colours and architecture come together, as they do in the Crusade section of the game, Jericho reaches Gears of War levels of magnificence. Throw in some huge monsters, generally great creature design from the Clive Barker school of flayed skin and bloody organs, and you have a game that always looks good and often looks great - with one huge caveat that I'll come to later on.

You see, for all the good stuff it's impossible to ignore that Jericho simply isn't actually all that entertaining a game.

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