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The Chronicles of Riddick Xbox Review

The Chronicles of Riddick
Vivendi Universal
Starbreeze Studios
Xbox Live:

The Chronicles of Riddick 
Wednesday, December 01, 2004 

Iíve been a huge fan of the Riddick series ever since Pitch Black came out back in 1999, and I was really excited when I heard that a CoR game was coming out for the XBox along side the movie sequel. Even being the Riddick fan I am, I must say that the movie wasnít all that good. But the game didnít disappoint me, I can safely say it surpassed what I was expecting because, well, itís a game based on a movie. How often do they turn out this well?

Lets start off with the best part of CoR, the graphics. This game definitely pushes the XBox to its limits. All the levels give off that gritty, lonely feeling and look great while doing it. All levels are bump mapped, small details like blood, numbers, nicks and scratches were not forgotten either. Most of the areas youíll visit are somewhat interactive. Some even effect combat. For example, in the early stages of the game there are big fans on the roof. If shot they can fall and crush your opponents.

All the characters are greatly detailed. The main character, Riddick, is based on the actor Vin Diesel and looks exactly like him. The other characters all look unique. some have tattoos and scars. The best thing though is when you get in a fist fight. After youíre done beating the living daylights out of your opponent, you can see cuts, bruises, and blood all over his dirtied face.

One problem with the graphics in this game though, is that theyíre so good, theyíll look choppy if you donít have high definition TV. There is also some pop-ins every now and then, but not as bad as other games like Halo 2.

The Gameplay in CoR is unique. Itís a mix of FPS (fist fighting and shooting), Stealth (Only where needed) and Action (But not tons of it). Thatís not even all of it. Itís hard to explain really. But if I had to use one word to describe it, I would use: ĎAmazingí.

The games gimmick and our main characters special power is of course the eye shine he has. You obtain this power about halfway into the game and it really comes in handy at times. But it is a bit annoying. Itís like night vision, but purple. It was cool for a bit, but after awhile I really got bored of it, and stopped wanting to use it. Fortunately/Unfortunately this game is quite dark, so you really need it sometimes or else youíll die or just have a hard time.

Another thing I disliked about the game was the lack of weapons. It does make sense to not have a gun sometimes, because itís not all the time prisons arm all their inmates with weapons. But the gunplay is great, I just wish there were more of it during the 5 hours of this game.

Yeah, thatís right, 5 hours. Ok, 5 give or take some depending on the difficulty. The game is just really, really short. In a way itís good, because it wasn't strung out. But itís bad because itís so good, you just crave for more, but it ends. I was actually sad when I saw those credits roll.

The physics in CoR are really great. Throwing people off cliffs, knocking them off their feet with clubs or just moving them around, is really, really fun. Now, they may not be the best rag-doll physics, and they arenít really used as much as I would have liked, theyíre still fun to play around with.

The stealth in this game is alright. Itís fun sneaking around in shadows then breaking the unsuspecting guards neck, but it also get frustrating because it doesnít show 3rd person view. Is there an armed guard around that corner? You never know, so itís pretty much trial and error which does get tiresome.

Riddick also fights quite a lot in this game. The fighting system isnít bad at all, in fact, itís a really good one. Hand-to-hand combat is really fun in this game, I wish there were more of it. Earlier, I mentioned that sometimes you donít have a gun and you have to go unarmed against guards with guns. Hardly a problem. What you can do is go really close to the guard, and heíll try to melee you. If you time the buttons right, then you take his gun and shoot him in the mouth with it. There are a ton of these moves you can do, one for each weapon. Some of these include breaking and opponents arm, beating them with a club and cutting their throat with a shiv.

The gameplay in CoR is really enjoyable and unique. Lots of variety in the ways you can play, which makes for plenty replayability. I forgot to mention that you can collect packs of cigarettes, which unlock content like concept art, early videos of the game and movie screenshots. So, youíll probably take the time to find all the packsÖ. Well, I took the time.

The controls in CoR are okay, but could use a bit of work. Iím not saying theyíre terrible, because they definitely arenít. They make take a bit of getting used to before you get them down pat. It took me about 20 minutes until I really started to get used to them.

The sound in Riddick is quite astonishing. It supports In-Game Dolby Digital. Itís very useful for stealth parts, you can hear footsteps, gun shots, far away voices. Pretty much anything you would in a real prison.

And I really do mean anything youíd really hear in a prison. The agonizing screams of an inmate getting tortured, inmates fighting, rusty machinery at work, bugs buzzing and everything else you could imagine that would be in a triple max slam. Well, except for the robots, maybe those arenít the most realistic things, but this game has you believe so.

Just a minor problem I have with the sound is the character dialogue. Well, only Riddicks. The actor that plays him in the movie voices him, and that man goes by the name of Vin Diesel. No problem with that, Iím quite a fan of him. But what bugs me is that he tells you every stupid thing. Man, if a doors locked of course I need to find a damn key! I mean, the game is rated M, so any one who plays it should know that if a doorís locked, youíll be needing a key. And he sounds like he has a nasal infection or something.

All in all, this game is definitely one of the better single player games on the XBox, and probably the best movie game thatís out now. Everything about it is great. Even the cover art rocks. I also didnít bring up that itís online aware. So if you have XBox LIVE and youíre playing the game, you can be signed into XBL so your friends know that youíre online. So, I highly recommend this to any FPS/Stealth/Action game lovers out there, or any fans of the series. I recommend this game to just about anyone.

Overall Score

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