The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Xbox 360
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The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Product Details
Released on 24/04/2009
The Chronicles of Riddick series of games takes the player deeper into the universe of Universal Pictures' films The Chronicles of Riddick and cult classic Pitch Black, which first introduced Vin Diesel as enigmatic anti-hero Riddick. In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena the player takes the role of Riddick using stealth and action to overcome the merciless crew of the predatory Merc-ship Dark Athena which awaits its prey in the dark reaches of space. Cheating death through a series of spectacular battles and events, Riddick will fight for his life amid a storm of malevolence and horror.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena on Xbox 360 Features:
- Multiple forms of combat – Unique blend of first-person range and melee combat with stealth kills and counter-attacks
- Atmospheric and cinematic first person shooter – Great story telling in sci-fi environments handled with AAA Hollywood treatment for an immersive journey through Vin Diesel’s blockbuster universe
- Multiplayer modes – Variety of fast-paced multiplayer and online options available for the first time in the Riddick franchise
- Bonus material –Escape from Butcher Bay, considered as one of the best games of 2004, has been re-mastered and will be included along with The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena on a seperate disc.
"They say that hope begins in the dark..."
'For me, Starbreeze are one of the best developers in the world', begins Atari PR guru Lee Kirton. 'Especially in terms of bringing storytelling alive within a videogame – they did it very well with The Darkness, and they also did it very well with Escape From Butcher Bay on the original Xbox'.
After a world-first three hours hands-on with PS3 code of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, we can safely say he has a point. This masterwork of first-person gunplay meets accomplished storytelling is looking like being one of the year's dark horses.
"The darkness is where I shine…"
'Dark' would be right, too; The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is easily one of the most brutal, atmospheric and deservedly 18-rated games we've played in years. It's also looking like one of 2009's best value packages, with both the brand new Assault on Dark Athena 11-hour campaign, and the HD-ready remake of 2004's original Riddick release presenting 20+ hours of gameplay which has led to this being labelled 'this year's Orange Box'.
The Dark Athena is an enormous, oppressive vessel that plays home to a crew of merciless mercs, who are running a deep-space slaving operation.
In both campaigns, you play as Riddick, star of cult movie Pitch Black and less renowned follow-up The Chronicles of Riddick. Acted once again by Vin Diesel, he's a gravelly-voiced interstellar fugitive with abilities which make him extremely dangerous – including impressive strength and agility, skilled combat expertise, and the surgically-enhanced eyeshine, which lets him see in the dark.
Kicking off the Dark Athena campaign is a dream sequence which teaches the basic controls. X jumps; Circle reloads; Triangle is the use command; Square is stealth, which causes Riddick to crouch, and sees the screen turn blue when he's concealed from view. D-pad Up and Down activate eyeshine and flashlight respectively; Left and Right switch between two assigned quick-select weapons. L1 leans and R1 brings up the weapon select wheel, while L2 and R2 are alternate and default fire respectively. R3 is melee attack. Select activates Riddick's journal.
"Where there's desperation, there's opportunity..."
With that memorised, the game begins proper. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena sees Riddick's ship, post escaping Butcher Bay, reeled in by the Dark Athena; an enormous, oppressive vessel that plays home to a crew of merciless mercs, who you soon learn are running a deep-space slaving operation; only here, they turn the slaves into mechanised Ghost Drones, which can be controlled with no will of their own. Avoiding the mercenary Captain, a nasty piece of work named Revas, Riddick sneaks aboard Athena to destroy the slaver's operation.
Early progress sees you skulking through the ship's linear corridors and vents in first person, navigating some third-person hand-over-hand rail sections, stealth killing drones, then using their guns to shatter windows and shoot alerted mercs. Along the way you meet a young girl named Lynn, whose mother has been imprisoned – and within an hour, you've made it to the cells, which is where a real sense of Assault on Dark Athena's structure becomes apparent.
A good few hours of exploration, blending brutal first-person melee attacks and gunplay with RPG-like objectives.
Here, you meet ex military man Dacher, ex merc Jaylor, and Lynn's mother Silverman, a former engineer; and a series of objectives appear in the journal. Dacher can help you hack into the Dark Athena's computers and free the ship's prisoners, causing chaos Riddick can use to his advantage. However, to do that, he'll need a Vent Tool, which Silverman can help create. But to get the parts, you'll need a locker code from Jaylor – who wants you to kill the guy that got him landed in prison, Margo, and bring back his gold tooth as proof.
The upshot is a good few hours of exploration, in which the Dark Athena feels like one huge hub, blending brutal first-person melee attacks and gunplay with RPG-like objectives, and all the while finding warrant cards which unlock bonuses in the main menu.
It's all laced with adult language and enough graphic bloodshed to have the Daily Mail deciding all games should be banned, but a twelve-strong weapons quota, some amazingly well done set pieces (we don't want to spoil anything, but one involving a slowly descending lift and LOTS of gunfire will really get the blood pumping), and not a few puzzles, will also ensure that fans of intelligent adult FPSs like BioShock will have a lot to get their teeth into.
Interestingly however, multiplayer fans will also be catered for. 'Multiplayer in The Darkness was rushed in at the last minute', admits Kirton, 'But here it's the first thing that's been worked on. You've got six modes, including Butcher Bay riot, deathmatches and CTF – but also Pitch Black mode, where one player is Riddick in a completely black room, hunting down the other players. It's designed to be old-school, but also quite clever.'
Start saving the pennies folks; arriving just a week after Resi 5, Dark Athena will be another must-have release within a very bloody month of March.
Rise and EyeShine, Riddick's back
Starbreeze's original plan for Assault on Dark Athena was to remake Xbox gem The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay for HD consoles, with an expansion pack adding another couple of hours for good measure. Instead, Assault on Dark Athena turned into a fully-fledged game in its own right – and then the real-life Riddick, Vin Diesel himself, had a word, and multiplayer was added as a further consideration.
Three in one
The result is that The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena presents three games in one. The good news is that not only has the brilliant Butcher Bay been given a HD makeover, but the Dark Athena campaign effectively doubles the amount of time you'll spend behind Riddick's EyeShine powered eyes. Multiplayer meanwhile delivers further longevity.
The not-so-great news is that, while it does present great value, the three distinct offerings that make up The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena aren't all of equal merit.
The scale, dankness and oppression are better than before, and the sense of place and purpose behind Butcher Bay are all-but unparalleled.
Ironically, the best of the three is also the oldest – and because of that, the weakest graphically. That's not to say Escape from Butcher Bay is a bad looking game, though – by modern standards it falls short of, say, Killzone 2, with a few flat textures and the occasional wooden animation, but the HD revamp has still been a solid success. Most importantly, the scale, dankness and oppression are there, better than before, and the sense of place and purpose behind interstellar Prison Butcher Bay are still all-but unparalleled, even five years on.
And that bodes well, because The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is a game that's all about atmosphere. Much of its gameplay involves skulking through the shadows, emerging just long enough to snap necks, getting into firefights only when needed, and gradually working through the innards of the universe's most hellish, high security detention facility. Along the way you'll talk to inmates, discover their reasons for being in Butcher Bay, and take missions from them to further the story. By the time you're done, you'll have spent a good 8-10 hours enjoying one of the most deservedly acclaimed first-person adventures ever.
Following the Butcher's footsteps
That in itself is a reason to pick up The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena – unless, perhaps, you already own the original on the first Xbox. If you do, you'll no doubt be loving the idea of a fully-fledged follow-up. In that respect, the Athena campaign itself might delight some, and leave others slightly disappointed.
First impressions are encouraging. As a completely new game designed specifically for PS3, Xbox 360 and current-gen gaming PCs, Assault on Dark Athena looks far more polished than Butcher Bay, and yet the same sneaky, brutal feel is apparent the first time you stealth kill one of the many Ghost Drones patrolling the enormous slaver vessel. However, within a few hours Assault on Dark Athena has fallen back on all-out gunplay, slightly predictable set pieces and drawn-out fetch quests. It's like Butcher Bay, but with less tension, atmosphere or inspiration.
There's more great first-person gameplay here than you'll find in many a full-price release.
To be honest though, that's only going to be a major concern if you're a hardcore fan of the first game. Those coming fresh to Dark Athena will find Butcher Bay to be one of the truly outstanding examples of its genre, while the sequel is a more action-focused, but still great-looking and highly enjoyable outer space stealth-action romp. Put the two together and you've got more great first-person gameplay in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena than you'll find in many a full-price release.
Rent or buy?
That just leaves us with multiplayer, which presents the usual deatmatch and team deathmatch games, plus two Riddick-ised versions of other popular multiplayer gametypes. Butcher Bay Riot is a little like Counter Strike, with three teams trying to hook a generator up to their own base and buying items between rounds. The highlight though is Pitch Black mode, where one player is an EyeShine-powered Riddick, able to see through the jet black level, and the other players control guards hunting the convict down. Interestingly, the strongest weapons have the weakest torches, and Riddick can kill in a matter of seconds – which makes the whole thing feel like Sneaking Mission in Metal Gear Online. Sadly lag can be a big factor, which means this will probably gather only a small cult following.
Split into three unequal components, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is one part truly brilliant, one part really quite good and one part merely average. For fans who loved Butcher Bay the first time round this might be more rental material, but newcomers should definitely take full advantage of one of the best-value first-person packages around.
- Butcher Bay is still one of the best, most atmospheric first-person adventures ever - now in HD!
- Assault on Dark Athena basically doubles the length and value of the package.
- Both games present a tense, unnervingly brutal blend of first-person combat and stealth action.
- One or two glitches (keycards floating in mid-air, etc) and some slightly dopey A.I.
- Dark Athena feels like a slightly uninspired re-run of the Butcher Bay formula, with more action than stealth.
- Multiplayer is weaker than the two singleplayer offerings.
The classic 1990s gaming franchise Syndicate is to receive an all-new instalment early next year.
EA has announced that Starbreeze Studios - the developer behind The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - has created a new team to work on a reinvented version of Syndicate for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
The first Syndicate game was released by the legendary Bullfrog Productions back in 1993 and was an isometric strategic action game, set in a bleak future where mysterious syndicates vie for control of the world.
Starbreeze's take on the series will be a first-person shooter, putting players in control of a technologically-augmented syndicate agent who can use his powers to slow time and hack the digital world around them.
Long-time fans will recognise many familiar weapons and locations, while the separate four-player cooperative mode will recreate missions from the original classic.
Mikael Nermark, boss of Starbreeze Studios, said: "It's been... an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in the first-person shooter and action genres to bring back and reignite the signature action/espionage gameplay of Syndicate."
One of the worst kept secrets in gaming has finally been revealed. After months of rumours, EA has at last 'fessed up that it's working on a reboot of the classic 1993 real-time strategy game, Syndicate.
A cyberpunk tale in which players controlled a four-man squad of augmented spies on a mission to bring down rival corporations, the original game was a critical smash and remains a cult favourite even today. It was created by Bullfrog, the UK studio set up by Peter Molyneux.
For the 2011 model, the old isometric 3D strategy viewpoint is out, and first-person action is in. It's being developed by an all-new development team at Swedish studio Starbreeze, which previously brought us The Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness. Players will be able to enhance their character with bio-implants, while the story comes from sci-fi novelist Richard Morgan.
"We are excited to finally reveal what we've been working on the past couple years," said Starbreeze big cheese Mikael Nermark. "It's been a great experience working with EA, and an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in the first-person shooter and action genres to bring back, and reignite, the signature action/espionage gameplay of Syndicate."
Swedish developer Starbreeze, famous for the Chronicles of Riddick games as well as The Darkness, has spoken out about its decision to reboot the popular 16-bit strategy game Syndicate as a first-person shooter.
"We'd been asked by EA - they came to us, and this is what we know; this is where our expertise lies. So that's why we made it an FPS," said CEO Mikael Nermark in an interview with Gamasutra. Nermark went on to explain that while the game involves shooting from a first-person perspective, that doesn't necessarily mean they're copying the big beefy military shooters that dominate the genre today.
"When we look at any project, when we look at any games, we don't look at genre," he said. "If we put shooting in our game, it has to be top-notch shooting, and it has to be competing there, and it has to be right for the game. If it's driving, it has to be right for the game. I'm not saying that, if we do a shooting game, we have to go and compete with the Battlefields or Call of Dutys, but we have to have the right kind of shooting for the game we're making."
Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena Preview (06/02/2009)
"They say that hope begins in the dark..."
'For me, Starbreeze are one of the best developers in the world', begins Atari PR gu…Riddick: Dark Athena Review (30/04/2009)
Rise and EyeShine, Riddick's back
Starbreeze's original plan for Assault on Dark Athena was to remake …Syndicate franchise to be revived in … (13/09/2011)
The classic 1990s gaming franchise Syndicate is to receive an all-new instalment early next year.…
One of the worst kept secrets in gaming has finally been revealed. After months of rumours, EA has at last 'fessed up that it's working on a reboot of the classic 1993 real-time strategy game, Syndica…
Swedish developer Starbreeze, famous for the Chronicles of Riddick games as well as The Darkness, has spoken out about its decision to reboot the popular 16-bit strategy game Syndicate as a first-pers…The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena User ReviewsTop review1 year agoThe Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark AthenaReally good game1 year agoandrewgreat game must buy1 year agoThe Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athenagreat game ell worth getting, great stories, two games in 1, great graphics all round amazing every 1 should buy this game2 years agoThe Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena5/5 Didnt realise this game was re-released on the xbox 360. At first I was very skeptical about purchasing it, thinking that it would be the same old butcher bay with a new chapter spin of i.e dark athena. However to my suprise I looked into it and found that everything had been re-mastered and edited specifically for the 360. Upon finding this out I wasted no time at all and ordered it immediately . . . The story is great, the graphics are ok (but dont forget its a re-mastered xbox original) and the price is outstandingly good for what you get. If your not an individual who likes games based around stealth then I suggest you leave this game and dont buy it, however if you like the idea of hiding in the shadows and picking of your prey one at a time then I highly recommened this very good value for money game !3 years agoThe Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark AthenaRiddick is back, get your flashlight out ;-Even if you played the original Escape From Butcher Bay, you will be thrilled to play it again. The game, released in 2004, has been remastered an looks good enough, to be played again. But that´s not all. A new episode called Assault On Dark Athena is included on the same disk. The new episode picks up right after Escape From Butcher Bay, so playing the original first actually makes things much more complete if you ask me. While looking at screenshots someone might actually think, Riddick is just another polished Ego-Shooter, but beside cool oneliners Stealth kills are Riddick's trademark. There are a lot of ways to Sneaking up on an enemy. Get him out of the dark, attack him from the top, terminate all light sources, etc. Creep the hell out of enemies is one of the most rewarding parts of Riddick. I had a lot of fun with Dark Athena, the episode is pretty long and you will see a lot of interesting characters. It is more action-pConfiguring your price alert
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