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Clive Barker's Jericho

Author: Geoff Larsen
Monday, 19 November 2007
Xbox 360

According to Clive Barker’s Jericho, Adam and Eve weren’t the first humans to walk the Earth (duh). First, God created a sexless being in his own image which he creatively called the Firstborn. The creature, both terrible and beautiful to behold, was created too powerful – so God did what every other loving parent does with an unwanted child: he locked it away in the basement and fed it a bunch of fish heads every Tuesday.
After that, God created humans and everyone eventually forgot about the Firstborn – and this, of course, caused his hatred to build up little by little over the eons. Long story short, over the centuries the Firstborn keeps trying to escape and each time seven mystics seal him back. In 2007, the newest batches of mystics attempt to seal him back for good.
In general, a lot of people were disappointed with Jericho. The game was hyped up as being a fast paced, scary, first person shooter and while the game is set in the first person it breaks a lot of the conventions that are set by the genre. Jericho isn’t a bad game however – it is just unique.
The game puts you in control of the seven-man squad that is attempting to seal away the firstborn. While each of the characters initially seems over the top and cliché, after a while you begin to warm up them as you learn their colourful history. In fact, learning about the past of each of the playable characters is one of the best reasons to play the game.
The graphics for the game are excellent and the character and enemy models have been expertly designed. Most of the enemies are extremely grotesque which really adds to the atmosphere. One thing that Jericho has been noted for is its extreme amount of gore. Levels see you walking paths of blood and fecal matter, passing occupied crucifixes, torture victims and other abomination. A preacher in the game nails it by saying, “The architecture is beautiful, I just wasn’t expecting this much blood”. The levels start off mediocre but those towards the end are masterpieces.
In terms of gameplay, if you are expecting your standard FPS then prepare to be in for a shock. When played correctly Jericho is more reminiscent of an arcade light gun game like House Of The Dead than anything else.
Much like Killer 7, this game requires you to target enemies at certain weak points in order to take them down. One character is able to spot these weak points – however the game never actually bothers to mention this pivotal game mechanic, so initially you are unloading round after round into seemingly invincible enemies. It wasn’t until midway into the game that I realised exactly what the game wanted me to do but after I did it definitely became a lot more enjoyable.
Jericho won’t appeal to everyone, those looking for a solid FPS will have to look elsewhere and considering that this game has been released alongside some heated competition it is likely to fade into obscurity. Still, those with patience will find fun to be had here, it just takes some digging.