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Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

By Stuart Andrews



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Luckily the final segment, with Riddick back in the dark where he belongs, helps the campaign win back your heart. In my book, three quarters or more of good game and one quarter mediocre game still makes a decent game overall, and even when Assault on Dark Athena is at its worst I never found it less than engaging. Were it a proper sequel I'd probably expect something more, but as an expansion it's easily good enough to complement Butcher Bay.

The final portion is, of course, the multiplayer. Sadly, and in the interests of full disclosure, I can't really tell you much about it. Why? Well, I only have pre-production, pre-release code and the servers have only just gone live. I'm reliably informed that the Pitch Black mode, with one player playing Riddick while the others hunt him, is a hoot while the other modes are a bit take ‘em or leave ‘em. If you feel different, leave your comments in the usual place, and I'll add mine when I get a proper retail box.

For me, multiplayer isn't really the point, anyway. Riddick was always about delivering a visceral, narrative-driven single-player FPS. Starbreeze showed it could do this with Escape from Butcher Bay, then showed it could do it again with The Darkness. Now, Assault on Dark Athena - while the weakest of the bunch - makes it a hat-trick. It's still way beyond anything you might call average, and in its best moments it's very good indeed. That's enough to keep me going, enough to re-inspire the Riddick faithful, and enough to keep Starbreeze in the frame as one of the most interesting action game developers around.


Assault on Dark Athena isn't consistently as great as Butcher Bay, but it's still a fine hybrid stealth/FPS. Put the two games together, and you have an exceptional package.

Overall Score



April 27, 2009, 3:11 am

I think the reason most of us avoided the first game because it was a movie tie in and only had a one in a hundred chance of being any good. As this one isn't released alongside any movie it should get much more interest.

(And I haven't bagged a copy of Gears of War yet because it always seemed overpriced or out of stock. The cheapest I can see it now is 㿀 where other 2006 games like obvilion or Medieval II: Total war can be had for half that.)

The review doesn't state it explicitly so does this new version include all of the original or is there any reason to buy that as well as this?


April 27, 2009, 2:39 pm

@ Xiphias the new version contains both the polished version of the original and the Dark Athena "expansion pack", so no need to buy the original.


April 27, 2009, 2:47 pm

I thought the review did cover this, but this is basically an HD remaster of Escape from Butcher Bay with the Assault on Dark Athena campaign on top. Structurally, it seems to be the same as the enhanced PC version of Escape from Butcher Bay with the graphics updated and the engine replaced by the engine Starbreeze used for The Darkness.


April 27, 2009, 3:19 pm

@Stuart - how long is Dark Athena? I remember EFBB being a good 20 hours or thereabouts and one of them that completely hooks you from start to finish. It had the "I'll just play this little section before bed" and 2 hours later still playing..

What are the acheivements like? Are they like orange box where they're balanced across both games equally? Not really a selling point in any way, just curious!


April 27, 2009, 4:20 pm

It's hard to put a figure on it because I was playing it in stints over about two weeks, but I'd say that I put in a good twelve hours on the game at the medium difficulty setting. I'm not sure it's as consistently brilliant as Butcher Bay - I had a few bits in the middle section where I was beginning to get fed up - but while it's great it definitely has that 'just one more section' feel.

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