The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay is an Xbox game that surprised a lot of people when it was released earlier this year, partly because games based on movies tend to not be so good. The Chronicles of Riddick, on the other hand, proved to be a superb first-person action adventure game, combining impressive gameplay with excellent graphics and a strong story. Now Vivendi Universal Games is readying a PC version of the game, and we got our hands on an early version of it to see how it translates from the Xbox.
The game switches to a third-person perspective whenever you climb or perform an acrobatic feat.
Billed essentially as a prequel to the motion pictures Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, the game is centered on actor Vin Diesel's eponymous character. If you haven't seen the movies, Riddick is a classic antihero, an unscrupulous villain and tough guy who ends up doing good in the end and killing a lot of people who deserve it along the way. The Chronicles of Riddick tells the tale of how Riddick was thrown into the infamous galactic prison Butcher Bay, and of his subsequent escape. It also explains how Riddick gained some of the powers he displays in the motion pictures, such as his ability to see in the dark. Diesel, a self-proclaimed hardcore gamer, apparently took an active role in the development of the game, not only providing his voice, but also adding input on the game's story and design.
It's clear that The Chronicles of Riddick is a step above most movie-based games. Though it's set in a prison, it provides a rich backdrop for the gameplay, with dozens of characters to interact with. In fact, each character in the game is unique, and there are no generic prisoners. Your primary goal is to escape from the prison, but to do that, you must undertake a series of missions to gain access to new areas of the prison, or to gain the assistance of another character. These missions may range from defeating a fellow inmate in the arena to recovering a lost object for another character. The gameplay itself is open-ended enough that it can accommodate those who like stealth and those who prefer more-aggressive styles of play.
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENT
* Windows (R) 2000 (Service Pack 4) / Windows (R) XP (Service Pack 1)
* Pentium(R) 4 1.8 GHz or AMD equivalent
* 256 MB RAM
* 64 MB AGP OpenGL 1.5-compatible video card, supporting programmable shading.
(ATI Radeon(R) 8500 or NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) 3 and above - except GeForce(TM) 4 MX)
* DirectX(R) 9.0 or better
* DirectX(R) 9-compatible sound card
* 3.7 GB hard disc space (recommend 4.4 of uncompressed disc space)
* 16x CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
* Microsoft(R) compatible mouse and keyboard
RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENT
* Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.6 GHz or AMD(R) Athlon(TM) XP 2500+
* Windows (R) XP (Service Pack 1)
* 512 MB RAM
* ATI Radeon(R) 9700 or NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) FX 5900 or better.