Systems: XBOX 360, PS3, PC
Notes for the parents: This game contains graphic depictions of violence, gore and contains graphic language. Not for young children.
Note to the readers: Because the titles of these games are a bit long I am shortening their names a bit. Assault on Dark Athena = AODA & Escape from Butcher Bay = EBB.
Visuals: The new graphics engine in AODA is breathtaking. Fantastic lighting and good textures make for excellent eye candy. Also EBB seems to have been ported in seamlessly to the point of not being able to tell witch game you’re playing with visuals alone.
Music: Orchestra music akin to the soundtrack of the movies graces every moment of AODA and EBB. The music sets a tense atmosphere when trouble is near by blending the slower daunting music with heart pounding compositions that make you feel as if you’re watching a movie instead of playing a game.
Controls: Keeping the controls from EBB, AODA has very fluid almost natural controls. Every button has it’s own purpose and a few can be context sensitive. I only wish that the weapon selection screen would be just a bit more forgiving (sometimes you select the wrong weapon in the heat of battle by pulling the right stick too far in the wrong direction). Overall the controls are second nature to a fan of the first game and easy to pickup for late adopters.
Story: Taking place after the events of EBB, AODA starts Riddick off in the dimly lit rooms and corridors of the Dark Athena (a merc ship with a touch of slave ship thrown in). After a narrow escape from the Dark Athena Riddick reaches a planet overrun by mercs and his only way off world is to sneak back into the ship he tried so hard to escape in the first place. That’s were I’ll stop so as not to give too much away.
Game Play: Fans of stealth titles like Splinter Cell will love the stealth approach Riddick gives to hand to hand combat. You are constantly (even if it doesn’t appear so) given the choice to take out a group of enemies silently one at a time, not at all and sneak past, or gun them all down as fast as you can. I find no matter how many guns I have I always try to sneak up and attack someone with my Ulaks (two curved blades that Riddick carries as a default weapon). EBB plays now just as it did when it was a new title on the Xbox and I do have to say that I wasn’t able to resist playing it again now that it looks even better.
Final Answer: With both games on one disk for only $60 I find it hard not to suggest this game as a buy for anyone who enjoys stealth action. There are many hours of game play involved in just one of these games and by buying this set you have both (many hours X 2 = No sleep for a long time). Even if you have no idea who Riddick is I suggest you rent this game from your local Blockbuster or use your GameFly account and play as long as you want with no late fees. The only problem you’ll have is knowing when to say when and put the controller down.
Jesse’s Rating : 9.5
Best value since The Orange Box, Fantastic camera, Hours of fun playing in the dark, Multiplayer adds new dimension to Riddick