Blood and guts

Clive Barker’s JerichoDeveloper: CodemastersPlatform: PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

Rating: 3.5 stars

A little blood and gore can spice anything up.

And first-person shooter ‘Jericho’ has plenty of it. ‘Clive Barker’s Jericho’ hit Xbox 360s, PCs and PS3s everywhere last Friday. Although very linear and lacking in scares, ‘Jericho’ is filled with slimy, hellish game play that will keep any FPS fan entertained for hours.

‘Jericho’ places you in charge of a seven-man squad of semi-supernatural mercenaries, hired to keep devilish creatures at bay. At the center of all these creatures is a being called the First Born: a creature made before man by God that He could not destroy, and locked it up inside a tomb.

Every so often after massive bloodshed and war, the First Born attempts to escape as it collects power while sitting in its tomb. At the start, the gamer can only control one character, but as the game progresses, unique abilities are required to change characters mid-game to utilize such abilities and mess around with your newly acquired weapons. Each squad member is equipped with a personal arsenal of weapons and abilities.

Each character has a primary weapon, secondary ones along with two supernatural abilities. The primary weapons range from a grenade-launcher-equipped sniper rifle to a massive three-barreled Gatling cannon. On top of this assortment of weaponry, each character has special supernatural abilities unique to particular characters.

The character Church, for example, has telekinesis, which is typically used to move obstacles like boulders and rubble out of the path of the rest of the ‘Jericho’ squad. Other members, such as Delgado have more deadly supernatural powers, such as the ability to control fire demons, which light targeted enemies on fire from any distance.

Because of the wide variety of abilities and weapons, the game can become a bit confusing to control with a PC mouse and keyboard. However, it has a fast learning curve to which a gamer can adjust.

Battles between your squad and demonic creatures can last for long period of time, making it a difficult game even on easy settings. During such battles, it seems as though your other squad members have death wishes. They are constantly running into gunfire and getting mowed down by whatever creature is attacking at the moment. However, each squad member has the ability to revive a wounded member, and if the member you possess at the time gets killed, you are auto-switched to the closest squad member and can continue to fight.

But by far, the best part about ‘Jericho’ is how it looks. Because of its very generic FPS feel, the visual effects that render the scenes and levels are what really make the game. Slime and blood look wet and real as can be on a computer screen. Special lighting techniques make the game much scarier and more realistic. This is especially true when blasting away at demons at point-blank range while watching your gun muzzle flash light upon the gruesomely mangled faces of your enemies.

While the storyline is engaging and keeps players on the edge of their seats, when it comes down to it, ‘Clive Barker’s Jericho’ is your standard FPS game. It doesn’t take the genre anywhere gamers haven’t already been.

But this is not to say that ‘Jericho’ is a bad game. It will keep most gamers entertained and challenged for hours, with beautiful visuals and long, bloody battles. If you need a good game to keep you entertained until a more elaborate game is released, ‘Jericho’ will certainly do it.

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