Escape from Butcher Bay
I never truly enjoyed Escape from Butcher Bay when it was released for the Xbox mainly because I wasn't really into gaming at the time. When I first got into gaming ala Xbox 360 about 2 years ago, one of my good friends recommended the game but I could never play it because I got rid of my Xbox to get a 360 so I was pretty hyped when they announced a remake with additional content.
Escape from Butcher Bay definitely doesn't feel like it was an Xbox release. It definitely could hold its own with the games of today. The controls and combat are not stale and don't really get old or repetitive. There are many sequences throughout the game that make the game awesome including controlling mechs and other large robots to destroy enemies.
One of the pitfalls of the game were the times that I was left at a checkpoint with 1 health and a screwdriver to fight a freaking mech. The game saves at weird times, I wish they would have allowed a Bioshock save system as cheap as it sounds but I would have been well equipped for the battles against these mechs. Another pitfall was the side quests, I couldn't get some of the events to trigger for the side quests for some reason. After about an hour and a half of roaming around Tower 17 unable to finish a couple side quests I said screw it and moved on. I even resorted to reading some guides on how to complete two in particular and the events that were supposed to happen simply wouldn't trigger. I'm not sure if it was my game or what but maybe they should have made the side quests a bit less complex or made sure the events would trigger properly. Of course this pitfall was probably due to a user error.
All in all, Escape from Butcher Bay was a great experience with some minor kinks that left me frustrated often times and almost made me put the game up for a bit.
Assault on Dark Athena
The beginning parts of Dark Athena are very, very fun. The game feels very stealthy throughout the beginning and killing hordes of enemies in dark places is very satisfying. A bit further into the game it seems to have turned into an all out war on the ship and you must resort to using a gun for most of the battle sequences and the stealth aspect totally disappears. While this is disappointing the gun combat is pretty good and doesn't really disappoint but I was really enjoying stabbing folks with the ulaks.
One downfall of Dark Athena would be the Droids, they seem to be able to spot you from a mile away in many situations but they are easy prey once you get them in the dark so I think it kind of counteracts their laser vision. In the beginning of Dark Athena, Lynn, a little girl, warns you that the Droids with white lights have flashlights and can find you. The Droids with white lights are still easy prey in the dark, I wish they would have beefed them up a bit and made them a little more challenging to kill or stalk.
Although I have not completed Dark Athena, I think I am very close.. the game is pretty good although a little less challenging than Escape from Butcher Bay. The game's "side quests" are pretty straight forward and linear in comparison to Escape from Butcher Bay where you might have to find someone's lost glasses or something. The side quests kind of incorporate themselves into the main story so I'm not sure that you could really even refer to them as side quests.
The multiplayer of the game was really disappointing it feels like a terrible version of Unreal Tournament. There is no party system so it isn't very easy to play with friends. I haven't had a chance to play Pitch Black mode which I was looking forward to the most. I will give that a shot after I complete the Dark Athena campaign and maybe report back then.
The graphics in both of the games look very good although Dark Athena seems to edge out Escape from Butcher Bay probably because they just retextured EFBB. The story seems to be lacking from all angles though. The developer's seemed to try and incorporate more of a story in Dark Athena then they did in Butcher Bay. I guess you can't really take a story too far when all Riddick is trying to do is be a badass and escape from a prison while slaughtering as many enemies as possible.The controls of the game are simple and great. Killing enemies never lost its flare throughout both of the campaigns. I enjoyed the Ulaks most of all because you can trigger some pretty awesome counter kills and normal kills. One thing that Riddick definitely got right was the hit detection system. Finally a head shot is recognized as a head shot,these days there are so many games that have terrible hit detection. Riddick captures hit detection almost impeccably.
With the amount of games that are coming out these days with tons of content and features. Riddick simply doesn't live up to what it hyped. The game has adequate single player content but you also have to consider the fact that Escape from Butcher Bay is a game that was already made. If you have no intentions of playing Escape from Butcher Bay don't bother purchasing the game at the full 60. Hell, don't bother buying it at that price in general because it simply isn't worth it. Look at the games you could get for 60... Gears of War 2, a game with amazing multiplayer, a solid single player campaign that can be played several times or perhaps Fallout 3 which now has 2 episodes of DLC along with a good 50-75 hours of content in the main game itself. Simply put, Riddick doesn't add up to a solid title that is worth $60. If you find the game in the 30-40 range I would say pick it up for sure. If you've played EFBB, rent the game. If you were teetering on the game, rent it because it can be beaten very quickly. read