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    dkirschner's The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC)

    [May 7, 2011 12:54:25 AM]
    Finished this just now. It's not the masterpiece I remember it being like 6 years ago, but it's still pretty fun. I remember it as more gritty, some of the best graphics I'd ever seen, and a more thick prison atmosphere. It's still gritty and got character, graphics of course look a bit dated now, but still nice.

    The voice acting is awesome, what little of it there is. I'm glad Vin Diesel had a hand in making the game and starred in it. Unlike most action/stealth games, Riddick isn't scared of anything. All the guards, even the warden, everyone is terrified of him because he's a ruthless killer. When you start the game, this officer, Johns, has captured you (again?) and brought you to Butcher Bay to get a fat bounty from the warden there. The warden is on a power trip and has Butcher Bay on serious lockdown. He doesn't pay the bounty and instead mistreats Johns and tosses Riddick in a cell, from which he promptly escapes, starts a prison riot, and wreaks havok on the prison in an attempt to escape, which he finally does, with Johns. They have a cool relationship, one of those where the cop always catches the criminal, but they both revel in the chase and help each other at the end of the day.

    The first chunk of the game is rather RPGish. Riddick has to escape general population, so he either wins some pit fights or gets caught with drugs, and has to run around doing favors for the inmates. That part was cool because you get to talk to the inmates and watch them interact. Some of them are crazy, some are mean, some are nervous, etc. etc. There's a decent amount of interesting extraneous dialogue to eavesdrop on. I stumbled on a repairman at one point improvising a song as he was working by himself. He was fixing an electrical panel. Something like "Oh yeah, gonna fix your panel baby. Mmmm, yeah, I'm fixin it good, gonna put it in place and fix your panel baby." Silly and random, and fun to stumble on. Unfortunately I had to break his neck for a key card.

    The game relies on light and shadow. Riddick can see in the dark due to some ocular implants, so it's in his advantage to shoot out lights and be stealthy. Guards aren't so good in the dark. Their guns have flashlights though, and they'll sometimes wise up and use them. Usually the dark really does provide serious advantage, and I figured this out at some point, to stop trying to run & gun. I died a lot from doing that, but probably even more from trying to play the light & dark game. Why? Because the enemies like to cheat and see you in the pitch blackness. They like to suddenly open fire on you. They like, after you shoot a light or shoot one of them, to run right next to you and shine their light on you and alert all the other guards. And they like to shine their light from completely across the room, in your general direction, and then pump bullets into you from impossibly far away. And they run around like chickens with their heads cut off sometimes if they're alerted, which makes it really annoying to get rid of them. For the most part, this actually made the game fun and challenging because the guards and their cheating was so unpredictable, but after replaying some parts 20, 30 times it could get old.

    Another highlight was getting to drive mechs. I like mechs. I like being overpowered and shooting missiles at guys with pistols. The final sequence in the game involves a mech, and is like a gauntlet. Very fun romp through the warden's offices for some payback.

    I tried to get on the multiplayer to check it out, but as I figured, no one was playing. Oh right, there are extras, cigarette packets you can pick up. Each one is some fake brand of cigarettes with some punny health warning on it. I picked up maybe half, and they were a strange diversion that were fun to read, but really didn't fit in the game world. You can argue about cigarettes being contraband in prison, but random packs lying around in the caves, the mines, in the oddest places. How did they get there?! A couple: "MBryo - Don't smoke while getting pregnant." "Charlie's Chocolat Cigarettes - Emits toxic gas if heated." "Lung Busters - Tracheotomy tickles." Yeah, anti-smoking campaign?

    Anyway, fun stuff. Played it because I found it and Dark Athena on Steam and never played Dark Athena. So refreshing myself on Butcher Bay and will get to Dark Athena soon!
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    dkirschner's The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 1 May, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 7 May, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Not as awesome as I remember, some cheap AI and stealth doesn't work that well, but trying to get into it. --------------- Ok, got into it. It's still a fun game!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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