Let me paint a picture for you. It is 2007. We are all young and thin. Roger Ebert says video games can’t be art and Clive Barker steps up and says, “You’re wrong Ebert and Jericho will prove it!” Meanwhile we are all playing Bioshock and need no further evidence that games are indeed art, but we appreciate Clive Barker standing up for us, because Hellraiser scared us when we were kids. I found Jericho in the bargain bin recently and decided give Barker’s argument for games as art a shot. Find out what I thought about it after the break.
You play as the Jericho Squad, an elite branch of the military with supernatural abilities. You start out as the leader of the Jericho Squad, Ross, who dies and can then possess the other members of your team allowing you to utilize their unique abilities. The other characters are token black guy, stereotyped Hispanic person, preacher with a troubled past, angry lesbian sniper, girl with sword and girl who can slow down time. The characters are all poorly developed with no character development and they are topped off with some pretty bad voice acting. Although if you are a fan of B horror movies these points may be a plus to you.
Anyway, your mission is to investigate a paranormal disturbance in the middle east, You discover that the disturbance is being caused by the Firstborn, God’s failed first attempt at creating man. The Firstborn is trying to escape and it is up to the Jericho Squad to stop it. You travel through rifts in time sealing the breach so the Firstborn doesn’t escape. That about covers it for plot. Nothing to get too excited over.
Gameplay isn’t that enthralling either. It fails to deliver scares since you almost always have your squad with. Moving around with a squad six means you don’t have to fear the enemy since you always out gun them. Each character has powers and weapons unique to them, but it doesn’t matter since you’ll be spending most of your time using your favorite character and only using the others when the game forces you to. The levels are incredibly linear and yet somehow you will find yourself getting lost. You’ll also get hit up by the occasional quick time event that force to input a nonsensical button combination in order to proceed. Boss fights don’t offer much of a challenge other than sometimes being frustrating when there is no clear indication on how to proceed through the fight.
In the end Jericho is just another bland FPS. Playing it you can see the potential it had to be a good game, but it constantly fails to deliver. If you really must play this game or you’re a die hard Barker fan, rent this game and don’t take it too seriously and you can probably have a good time. I found once I shut off my brain I started to have a good time with it. One last point to put a bitter taste in your mouth. If you like to cheat you have to pay for the cheat codes. That’s right, you have to pay to unlock cheat codes already programmed into the game. Smooth Codemasters, smooth.
By: Ryan Weissmuller