The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

By: sayed islam

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay made its debut on the Xbox back in June of 2004. The video game was a prequel to the Pitch Black movie from 1999, and the game was a first person shooter (ala Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3). It revolved around the arrogant and fearless Richard Riddick (also known as Vin Diesel). The storyline in the game was fairly self-explanatory. Gamers were in control of the protagonist (Riddick) throughout the duration of the game, and he was captured by a bounty hunter named Johns. Furthermore, Riddick was sent to a maximum security prison known as Butcher Bay and attempts to escape the harsh prison. The gameplay made the game stand out more than other games in the first person shooter genre during its time. For one thing, players can regenerate their health (ala Wolverine from X-Men) by squatting for a short period of time. Gamers can also take full advantage of Riddick's vision mode that enables him to see more transparently in the dark (putting players in an advantageous situation). The game can go from a clandestine stealth game to a full blown eradicate anything and everything that moves game instantaneously. The most revolutionary aspect of the gameplay had to be the hand to hand fight sequences. It was rudimentary but entertaining at the same time.

All of Riddick's attacks literally packs a punch. Attacking and blocking had responsive controls and provided an immersive ambiance; moreover, Riddick could execute various counter attack maneuvers. The most visceral of these attacks was to force an adversary to shoot himself.
Chronicles of Riddick has a gameplay feature that prevents Riddick from utilizing certain weapons. This may seem gratuitous, but it was integrated into the game perfectly. For instance, the assault rifles that guards had equipped had a distinctive DNA fingerprint system. When Riddick tried to fire a weapon that was unauthorized, he would receive an electrical shock. This stopped gamers from shooting guns that the opponents had. There was a limited array of weapons at your disposal. Handguns, machine guns, and shotguns were mostly being used in the game. The audio in the game was absolutely amazing. It had the best voice acting I have ever seen in an Xbox video game. Every prisoner that was held captive had their own mannerisms. The game did a brilliant job of implementing the music to compliment the swift and chaotic gameplay. The graphics in the game were truly exemplary for its time. All of the environments from the prison to the characters looked stunning. Vin Diesel really looked like Vin Diesel. The prison itself feels like a hectic and claustrophobic environment (which was exactly what a prison should feel like). I have not been this flabbergasted from a video game's visuals since Doom and Quake 4. The artificial intelligence was excellent. Enemies will take cover, and they will strive to flank you from a variety of angles. For example, turning on a flashlight will give away your current location. They are more vigilant that your average first person shooter foes that you will encounter. The game was a first person shooter that did not coerce gamers into accomplishing tasks they did not want to do. A few minor flaws with the game was the lack of a actual heads up display, multiplayer, and the extended load times. The absence of a targeting reticule made the game more arduous than it needed to be, and it was a hassle not knowing how much ammunition was left in your weapon. Many gamers will be flustered with the somewhat prolonged load times. Having no multiplayer really decreases the replay value of the game. This was also hurt by the fact that the game had merely ten hours of gameplay. Fortunately, the game was engrossing enough that it will entice gamers to play through it more than once. Overall, the game was a dark and gritty gaming experience than first person shooter fans will acclaim.

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