I recently finished the Chronicles of Riddik, Escape from Butcher Bay. I picked it up cheap at a Blockbuster near my house after hearing Penny go on about it being the best movie-game crossover she’d played. I do agree it’s good in terms of movie-game crossovers, but it doesn’t do what it sets out to do very well.
It strives to be a cross between a generic first person shooter and a stealth game like Assassins Creed or probably more accurately, Tom Clancey’s Splinter Cell. The shooting and melee battles you can get into are fun, even if they aren’t that challenging, but the stealth (which is how I wanted to play the game) was just plain annoying.
The idea is that you have to creep around while guards backs are turned and if you’re in a dark spot they wont see you. Most of the time though, the guards have flashlights on their guns which makes the dark spots useless so you just crouch there like an idiot and wait for certain doom in the form of an alarm going off and guards shooting you and not letting you get near enough to knife them.
The stealth does get a little better when you gain the eye-shine power, which lets you see in the dark. However, when it’s turned on it’s hard to see the dark spots in the area so you have to constantly flick between on and off. Also, by the time you get eye-shine you already have the skills to kill anything but the armoured guards in close combat or you have sufficient firepower to not need to be sneaky anyway.
The game does have a good storyline, I guess. It’s a little too quest based and there were a few times I thought I was stuck on a quest only to find that I’d already picked up the quest item and didn’t even realise it, or randomly talking to people and having them say “good job, here’s your reward”. The underlying narrative isn’t bad though and I can see how it ties in with the movies, and I watched the second movie soon after finishing the game and got a tiny bit more of the references Riddik uses sometimes.
All in all it was enjoyable enough for me to want to play to the end, which is not an easy feat for most games these days with my work schedule and the speed new games come out, but it did have its flaws. I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, and the stealth needs a lot of work to be fun, but it was a good game-from-movie adaptation. It beats all of the matrix games anyway.