In its new avatar, the game comes with better textures and a more complex lighting system
Butcher Bay still very impressive, remarkable visuals and sound, engaging plot, good voice acting
Some technical bugs, buggy AI
Expert Rating :
The original Chronicles of Riddick was a landmark game, not only did it prove that movie-based games can be really good but also mixed a few genres (stealth/action) to create a totally new experience. The game did have a few flaws but overall it was one of the best games of the year.
Developers Starbreeze Studios is back with Riddick in a brand new avatar, and this time with better textures and a more complex lighting system. The next Riddick adventure was originally underdevelopment for Activision-Blizzard, but the title was dropped by them and later picked up by Atari. Starbreeze recreated the old game and added a sequel, all rolled into one complete package called "Assault on Dark Athena".
Now the Riddick universe isn't for everyone, which is a clear reason why the movie bombed at the Box Office. But there are many who enjoy Riddick's soul piercing monologues and his ability to slit throats without remorse. I can honestly say that Starbreeze has done an impressive job in capturing Riddick's character, with exceptional voice acting by Vin Diesel.
You can choose to play 'Escape from Butcher Bay' or Dark Athena at the start, but I would suggest starting off with Butcher Bay, even if you have played the original. The graphics overhaul is impressive with depth of field, high-res textures and detailed characters. I recently spent a few painful hours playing "The Wheelman", which also stars Vin Diesel, but as the review suggests, it was a poorly presented game.
Dark Athena on the other hand is a good example of polished presentation, the animations, the cut-scenes and the general feel of the game is very dark and engaging. Let's get into the plot and gameplay details. In the first game, Riddick has been captured and sent to Butcher Bay prison. His goal is to escape the prison, while fighting off various gangs and law enforcers inside the facility. The entire game revolves around Riddick and his struggle to escape the prison, with a few twists and turns that keep the player engaged. The first game ends with Riddick escaping the prison (although there is a twist there, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover).
Dark Athena starts off right after Riddick's escape, but this time he gets picked up by a mercenary camp. He uses his stealth skills to stay hidden on the ship and starts killing the mercenaries one by one. The plot takes a dramatic turn when Riddick gets involved with a family trapped on the ship. The mercenaries create 'Programmed Drones' from humans, by implanting mechanical parts and controlling them via pods. Riddick meets a young girl who requests him to help her family escape. You need to play the game to see what follows next.