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Jericho, Painkiller, UT3… So Much Gritty Futuristic Stuff!

Posted by deckard47 on October 26, 2007

Well, I just played through 3 demos, so I thought I’d let you in on what sucked and what didn’t.First off, Clive Barker’s Jericho, a supernatural super-horrific (supposedly) squad-based shooter. In the demo, you control three members of the squad, and through a ghostly gameplay mechanic, are allowed to jump between them on the fly. Your three characters are two Sexy Goth Girls, and one chunky heavy weapons guy. Isn’t original character design great? They are all horribly voiced, as is the narration. My favorite bit was about the Blood Scribe character: “she first learns of her powers as a blood scribe when she attended her local church.” Hey, thats how I learned about being a Blood Scribe!Anyway, the shooting mechanics are alright, each character has one to two weapons, and one to two supernatural powers. These can actually be pretty cool, with one of them including the ability to guide a bullet into three different enemies. So far it sounds silly, but it could be fun, right? No, actually, it isn’t. For starters, I am SO tired of Super Dark Bloody Medieval Magic Horror bad guys. Every enemy looks the same, and they all have Totally Evil stitches in their eyes or face or spleen. Plus, they rush at you extremely fast, and are hard to shoot. Luckily for you, your teammates couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, let alone enemies who are literally in their faces.Finally, the scary factor is seriously lacking. F.E.A.R. did a better job at startling me, and Boshock did a better job at making me tense and genuinely scared. Isn’t Clive Barker supposed to be the master of horror?So, stupid enemies and companions, bad writing, plot and dialogue, tired and cliché art design… whats not to like?Next we have Painkiller Overdose, the newest in the Serious Sam/Doom knockoff series. These games succeed by throwing tons of guys in your face at one time, and having interesting environments and weapons, hopefully. Unfortunately, Painkiller fails on all of these levels. The graphics are dull, brown and uninventive (oooh, undead Civil war enemies!), and the levels are so drab and dull I couldn’t believe I was spending the time to play through them. The weapons are a mixed bag, with some being fun (I enjoyed the laser eye skull and the spinning knife), but you only find ammo for a few of them, so you’ll end up using the “Biogun” (a shotgun) and the “Bonegun” (also a shotgun, but with bones?).So, this is another dud, mixing terrible elements all across the board to craft an experience you’ll be trying to forget soon. Oh, and it wouldn’t let me take screenshots, so it annoys me a little extra bit in that way.Now, on to Unreal Tournament 3. I knew my computer wouldn’t run it well, but I spent so many hours playing UT2004 I practically owed it to myself to play this game. To be honest, the game hasn’t changed much. Some of the weapons do a few new things, some look different, but the real change is the graphics. Kinda sad huh?Really though, the graphics are incredible, screenshots don’t do them justice. True, the art direction has moved in a very “chunky gritty space guys fighting” direction (it looks like Gears of War, but with colored armor), but I still like the look overall. Gameplay-wise, what can I say, if you liked UT2004, you’ll love this. It’s fast-paced team-based shooter gameplay, with a very arcade/sports feel, including Deathmatch, Team DM, and CTF (and that is just in the demo). In the full version, there will be loads more. It’s fast and fun, and very solid feeling.So, I suppose you could get Jericho for cheap from Gametap , definitely skip Painkiller, but pick up UT3 when you can. If you can run it that is…

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