Clive Barker's Jericho


Clive Barker's Jericho
Clive Barker's Jericho
Clive Barker Jericho Cover.jpg
Developer(s) MercurySteam
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Designer(s) Clive Barker
Joe Falke
Writer(s) Clive Barker
Composer(s) Cris Velasco
Version 1.01
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • NA October 23, 2007
Genre(s) Survival horror
First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s)
System requirements

Minimum Specification:

  • Windows XP / Vista
  • CPU: Pentium 2.4 GHz or Athlon XP 2400+
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Graphics card: GeForce 6600 / Radeon X1600
  • DirectX 9 compatible sound card
  • 6 GB hard drive space
  • 2x DVD-ROM drive

Recommended:

  • Windows XP / Vista
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo or Athlon 64 X2
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Graphics card: GeForce 8800 or Radeon X1950 XTX
  • 6 GB hard drive space
  • 2x DVD-ROM drive

Clive Barker’s Jericho is a supernatural horror-themed first person shooter video game with author Clive Barker providing the premise of the storyline. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2007.

Contents

Gameplay

Jericho's core gameplay consists of leading the game's eponymous seven-man team, allowing control of all team members by jumping to each character during certain points in the game, through various environments that have been warped by the Firstborn while fighting off a variety of twisted creatures.

The game also features several "survival events" where the player must press the corresponding buttons or keys shown on screen in order to successfully survive. Additionally, each team member has both a primary and a secondary attack, either in the form of an alternate fire such as a grenade launcher on a rifle, or a secondary weapon such as a sword or pistol that can be dual wielded. While the game is a first person shooter, the ability to control different members of one's squad adds a tactical element; players must determine which squad member is appropriate for each particular job. Not only does each squad member have different strengths and weaknesses, but they also each have a unique ability (or supernatural abilities in some cases). This allows the player freedom in choosing a playing style that suits them throughout much of the game. However, during certain instances, certain characters are unplayable.

The squad's supernatural abilities play a prominent role in the game. The character the player originally controls is a psychic healer (medic) with the ability to fully heal fallen comrades that are close to death. Other squad members have other powers, such as summoning a fire demon, slowing time, firing a guided bullet, and leeching life from enemies to add it to one's own.

Story

Premise

Certain depictions and ancient scriptures dictate a being created by God in His own image before the creation of Adam and Eve; according to legend, this being was abandoned by its own Creator. Called the Firstborn. God was so disturbed by what He created that He banished it into the Abyss. God then started anew and went on to create mankind, giving the species two sexes, feelings, and love.

The Firstborn, too powerful for even God to keep from breaking into the mortal world, would make seven attempts to escape, each time taking back a piece of the earth to add to its domain and each time sent back to the Abyss. Fragments of time and space would form layers around this domain, linked to this world in the city Al Khali. These layers would entrap pieces of history within its walls, from the time of the ancient Sumerians to World War II. Over time, other great conquerors and civilizations would arrive to claim the city as their own. Eventually, the city was forgotten and buried by the sands of time.

The Department of Occult Warfare was created in the 1930s to combat the supernatural and unexplained. Another purpose was to meet Nazi Germany's own research into the paranormal. One of their most brilliant members, Arnold Leach, was recruited in 1962. However, his unscrupulous behavior and nature would eventually have him expelled. He was marked for assassination, and although the operation appeared to be successful, it seems that he may have survived.

The Jericho Squad is sent to Al-Khali to prevent Leach from opening the breach and unleashing the Firstborn upon mankind once again.[2]

Plot

The game begins with General Arnold Leach, a high-ranking member of a secret U.S. organization called the Department of Occult Warfare (DOW), being contacted by the Firstborn, a being that was imprisoned by God at the beginning of time in a patch of reality called the Box. The Firstborn convinces Leach to help it escape from the Box. Leach leaves the DOW, and spends the next twenty years committing acts of great evil to build up evil energy to cause a breach in the Box.

Eventually, a breach is made, and the DOW sends in a Special Forces team called Jericho to seal the breach. Being unable to seal it any other way, they enter the Box to close the breach from within.

Once inside, they must battle the souls of those who have breached the Box in the past; a Nazi officer, a fallen Catholic priest from the Middle Ages, a depraved Roman Governor, and six ancient Sumerian priests (Ninlil and Ki, Inanna and Enlil as well as Nanna and Utu, who were the first to banish the Firstborn but ultimately fell victim to its corruption. Jericho is aided by the souls of those who ultimately resealed the breach each time it was broken.

When they finally reach the point at which they can seal the breach, they decide that they should kill the Firstborn rather than try to reseal the breach, as resealing would just result in them being trapped in the Box and endlessly tortured until the breach was opened again. When Jericho passes into the Firstborn’s cavern, they find the Firstborn in the middle of an island on a lake, with Leach tied to a wall. During the final battle between Jericho and the Firstborn, Leach breaks free of his bonds. Angered at the Firstborn’s betrayal, he grabs it and carries it to a tunnel of light, destroying them both.

The cavern soon begins to collapse. Jericho jumps into the water and swims as deep and far as they can. The game ends as they emerge from under the water in a vast ocean under an orange sky.

Characters

The Jericho Squad

The game's Jericho squad (l-r): Simone Cole, Abbey Black (crouching), Xavier Jones, Frank Delgado, Billie Church and Paul Rawlings

Major Devin Ross Formerly extremely skeptical towards all paranormal and psychic phenomenon, Jericho Squad Leader and accomplished war veteran Devin Ross was transferred to the Department of Occult Warfare after his own psychic abilities manifested during a botched raid on a Taliban safe house several years previously. As a psychic healer, Ross is able to revive fallen teammates, provided he is able to maintain visual contact. Near the start of the game he is killed by Arnold Leach, a former Jericho member turned demon, but his spirit lives on in the bodies of his teammates, as he may freely switch between them. He serves as the main protagonist in the game. The player plays the game as Major Devon Ross. His voice actor is Steven Blum.

Captain Xavier Jones Little is known about Jones, and he seems to like it that way. Second in command, Xavier Jones is more of a bookworm than a fighting man, having spent most of his career at the DOW in an office before recently joining the combat division. He is skilled in astral projection and empathy, and the Jericho Squad look to him as some kind of enforcer, seen at one point after some team infighting, when he is ordered to "arrest that man." He carries a Patrioteer which is an HK G36C assault rifle with a mounted XM26 semi-automatic shotgun. During the game other beings have used him to translate their language to the Jericho squad. He is killed by the Firstborn along with Cole before Jericho battles the Firstborn. His voice actor is Jamieson Price.

Lt. Abigail Black A telekinetic sniper, Black tends to keep to herself. The only daughter of an avid Alaskan-born outdoorsman and hunter, Abigail Black persevered through a childhood of poverty and abuse to become one of the top marksmen in the US Army. She carries a sniper rifle called Flash Thought which also has an under-barrel grenade launcher. Her psychokinetic powers allow her to guide her bullets into multiple targets (Ghost Bullet). Her teammates pick on her somewhat, with Delgado in particular making jokes regarding her sexuality. Black also seems to understand Simone Cole better than the rest of her team, as demonstrated by her ability to calm her down by discussing Phi. Her voice actor is Cindy Robinson.

Sergeant Frank Delgado Sgt. Frank Delgado is of Mestizo and Chickasaw descent, his powers owing to a life-long pursuit of alchemy and shamanic wisdom. Delgado has only one useful arm on a mission—his right is encased within a protective shell containing Ababinili, a parasitic flame spirit of which Delgado was able to summon and earn the cooperation of after offering his arm as a sacrifice. His recruitment saved him from execution at the hands of the Chinese government. Accordingly, Delgado favors high-caliber firearms to compensate for his reduced dexterity. He carries a 7.62 mm minigun fed by a continuous ammo strip (Hells Keeper) and a custom .50 calibre semi-automatic pistol with 6-round magazines (Pain). Delgado is a very hot-tempered individual who has little respect for authority, and often clashes with Rawlings. He is dating Church at the time of the game. His voice actor is Armando Valdes-Kennedy.

Sergeant Wilhelmina 'Billie' Church Church is a blood mage who serves as a point man for Jericho Squad. She can cast a blood ward and a fire ward to keep enemies at bay. Raised by snake handling fundamentalists in rural Tennessee and haunted by a terrible past (in which she was abused by her cult, raped by her father and then later taken in by the state, who put her in an asylum, where she attempted suicide many times), Church became somewhat introverted, taking up training in stealthy arts. Now skilled in ninjutsu, she serves Jericho as a scout and assassin. She carries a rapid-fire machine pistol with a 30-round magazine (Kenjuu) and a legendary nodachi sword, which is lethal at close range. Due to her past, she suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia, and lives in fear of her cult tracking her down. She also has ophidiophobia, a fear of snakes, also likely due to her past. However, since undertaking intense therapy sessions, she is now very extroverted and a lot more confident than when she was first taken in by the Department of Occult Warfare. She is dating Delgado at the time of the game. Her voice actor is Kate Higgins.

Corporal Simone Cole The daughter of two Silicon Valley programmers, Cpl. Simone Cole is a genius and "reality hacker". Her vast intellect allows her to manipulate space and time using advanced mathematical principles, using this to maintain communications, scan areas for temporal distortions, and generally keep the team in touch and aware of their general surroundings, though her techno-babble often confuses them. Her time manipulation powers (by way of a wrist-mounted supercomputer) are used to explain the in-game checkpoint system, as well as explain how the team keeps their ammunition supplies high (she "rewinds" time in their ammo belts back to the point when they were full). She has mild autism (possibly Asperger syndrome) and claims to be an atheist despite knowing for a fact that the Firstborn, and therefore God, exists. She hates being touched, and suffers from claustrophobia and nyctophobia. Her weapon of choice is an XM8 compact carbine. She is killed along with Jones by the Firstborn before the final battle. Her voice actor is Michele Specht.

Father Paul Rawlings A preacher with a troubled past and twin Desert Eagles complete with extended 15 round magazines. Serving as a chaplain in the military, he knows a great deal of history of the Jericho Squad and the hidden nature of their mission. He can heal members of the squad from great distances using Ghost Heal and can drain enemies health and distribute it among the squad by summoning Vlad's Curse. He carries two silver pistols; Faith and Destiny. He is the oldest active member of the squad, and he is a veteran of war from his experiences in Iraq and Vietnam. He has a strong personality and sometimes assumes command briefly when it is clear he has more knowledge of the situation than Ross. His personality sometimes leads to him clashing with other members of the squad, particularly the hot-tempered Delgado. His voice actor is James Horan.

Villains

Hanne Lichthammer Lichthammer (German for "hammer of light") was an officer of the German army (possibly SS) during World War II. Described, when alive, as an embodiment of Aryan beauty, since young she showed dangerous signs of sadomasochism, which drove her to extremes of depravity during adulthood, especially during the Spanish Civil War where she gained infamy as an interrogator and torturer, delighting herself with shattering people's minds and then contemplating her victims suffer horrendously (it is mentioned, as an example, that she forced men to gut themselves and mothers to devour their own children alive). When encountered by Jericho, Lichthammer appears as a pale, almost zombie-like woman clothed with a bondage-like Nazi uniform and has her chest skinned, her mouth forced open by hooks and lacks an eye, which is covered by an eyepatch. She can teleport herself at will over short distances and, thanks to her already powerful psychic powers, she can easily tap into others' minds, uncovering their innermost torments - she did taunt Church citing her incestuous past and also declared Rawlings a pederast. She was exorcised by Rawlings himself and then killed while pleading Church to spare her life. Her voice actor is Susan Silo.

Bishop Maltheus St. Claire Maltheus was a bishop during the Middle Ages, a man whose faith slowly drove him to extremes due to his fear of not being fit for eternal life after his corporeal death - apparently, he was guilty of gluttony, among other sins. He first learned of the Firstborn while searching for a way to save his soul in the scriptures of the Vatican, and thought erroneously that such a being, so similar to God, could have indeed been the salvation he was so desperately searching. Convinced that Al-Khali was the Garden of Eden, he then succeeded in gaining approval from Pope Innocent III in assembling an army made up from children he recruited across Europe - with their Christian-supported innocence, he argued, they would have been invincible and safe from the Saracens. He went so far that he declared to the Pope that the Mediterranean itself would have spread itself to let the army pass. This did not happen, and only after months Maltheus and his army, made up of children unprepared to the carnage they were sent to, were able to set sail to the Holy Land - a grueling voyage that saw many ships sinking, and others ending up in ports where the children were sold as slaves. In the end, the army, already weakened by the voyage, made it to Al-Khali, where it was massacred by the Saracens, the slaughter opening the rift that engulfed in the Box Maltheus and the crusaders. The bishop did not die in the carnage with the children, and instead sought refuge in the chapel of the crusader's fortress, Les Innocentes, where he was later sealed when the spectres of the children came back to him to exact revenge. Ironically, Maltheus became what he feared he would have never managed to be - eternal, though merely a ghost, constantly trying to exorcise the souls of the children, believing everything to be a test God imposed on him to pardon his corporeal sins. A spectral figure, Maltheus is encountered by Jericho in the inner chapel where he has resided ever since he was sealed, initially greeting them with an offer of absolution, but turning hostile when mocked by a derisive comment from Jones. For most of the fight he is invincible, being protected by a shield, and can use the dead children as pawns to attack the squad. Mainly, he has a powerful spell known as Black Rose, where he engulf himself in large, black rose petals and then unleashes them in a massive explosion, killing everything in range instantly, after which he is briefly vulnerable to damage. When defeated, he tried to gather the children one last time, though they instead attacked him and killed him, finally obtaining rest for their souls.

Governor Cassus Vicus A former tribune of ancient Rome, Cassus Vicus was a man infamous for his excesses, which included but were not limited to senseless slaughter, violent orgies, murder and rape and, worst of all, cannibalism. After being surprised while devouring human flesh, he was initially sentenced to death, though he was spared such a fate by Emperor Caligula, who instead sent him to Al-Khali, then the easternmost province of the Roman Empire, as its governor - it is also suggested that Caligula thought Vicus as a direct competitor to his own, notorious excesses. Initially he felt insulted by the exile, though he soon rejoiced in the complete freedom he was granted, elevating his already terrible crimes to new extremes of obscenity. The Firstborn noticed his barbarity, and contacted Vicus with ominous dreams, which the governor interpreted as augurs sent to him by the god Jupiter himself. Already thinking of himself as a living deity, Vicus eagerly embraced the eternity of torment that befell Al-Khali when it was engulged in the Box, and since then has turned his dominion into a nightmare, whose massive amounts of rotting flesh, feces-filled pools and crucified victims stand in stark contrast with typical Roman architecture. When encountered by Jericho, Governor Vicus greets them personally, appearing as an enormously overweight, bald and naked man with a large incision in its bloated abdomen and with blood seeping from his mouth and eyes. He traps the squad and feeds them to his massive coliseum, though he later confronts them personally when they manage to overcome his pit fighters, fighting from chains embedded in his flesh while using the orifice in his abdomen as a siphon to shower Jericho with large sprays of toxic blood and excrement. He is killed, his corpse used to open the final gate to Sumer. His voice actor is Michael Bell.

Arnold Leach Once part of the same organization as Jericho, Arnold Leach was a prominent summoner and occultist, though his craving for power and his paranoia over his possible fate - that of a heretic used by witch hunters to, ironically, hunt witches - led him astray and made him a madman. He founded a sect, the Brotherhood of the Dark Rapture, with which make atrocious ritual murders, sparing no one from newborns to the elderly, with each massacre gaining more and more negative energy to fuel his quest of freeing the Firstborn. He was believed to have died in a massacre that occurred in Dallas, though he made it clear that he survived when, with his cultists, assaulted the Al-Khali outpost and, in a suicidal orgy, killed himself along with his acolytes, so as to be absorbed by the Box and become what he is when he present himself to Jericho, a fearsome flying demon. Leach kills Ross, uses his influence to hinder Jericho's progress during the Crusades, and then briefly appear at the base of the tower of Babel, not to be seen again until the final fight with the Firstborn, where he is nailed at a wall, taunted for his foolish quest for power by the same entity he strove to free. After Jericho defeats the Firstborn, it is Leach who, angered by the creature's betrayal, finishes it off by dragging it in a portal of light, killing itself along with the Firstborn. One of the two antagonists during the time of the game. His voice actor is Jim Cummings.

The Firstborn An abomination predating mankind, the Firstborn was created by God in a failed attempt to make a soul for Man to be imbued. Disturbed and horrified by His creation, He cast it away, banishing it in another dimension whose location corresponded to that of Al-Khali - a literal wound in the earth that constantly seeped evil. Described in certain texts as a being whose coming would herald plague and destruction, the Firstborn is a singularity on its own, neither male nor female, both beautiful and terrible, a creature that the game portrays as a little child with black-greyish skin, completely bald, and with white eyes, that speaks in a multitude of voices, both masculines and feminines, that constantly change. As he did with others before, the Firstborn appeared to Captain Ross in his dreams, informing him of the impending crisis at Al-Khali and begging for help, sporadically appearing through the game as a sort of guide to the player. Only in his prison the creature reveals itself to be evil, as it lured Jericho to it just to absorb their powers and thus become powerful enough to break through his confinement. The Firstborn kills both Cole and Jones, then trying to use the squad's powers against itself, though he is defeated in the end, dragged to oblivion by Arnold Leach, the other antagonist, after being weakened by Jericho.

Time slices

In the game, the squad moves through various 'layers' of time:

  • Al-Khali, Present day - The ruins of an ancient Middle Eastern city.
  • World War II, 1942 A.D. – A city already destroyed because of the war itself and Nazi occupation. Here Jericho come face to face with Lichthammer, the leader of demonic German forces.
  • The Crusades, 1213 A.D. - Classic Arabia when crusaders have influenced architecture with massive, aggressive structures built directly on old walls and buildings.
  • The Romans, 38 A.D. - During Roman times, Al Khali was the domain of governor Cassus Vicus. Vicus, a notorious obese pervert and cannibal, was effectively exiled from Rome by Caligula and given Al-Khali as a distant outpost.
  • Sumeria, 3000 B.C. - In pursuit of Arnold Leach, Jericho must reach the top of the tower of Babel. Between Jericho and its objective lie an army of stone statues of Sumerian demons which come to life intent on destroying the squad. Later, Jericho enters the original domain of the Firstborn - a massive chasm lined with the imposing faces of demons - and a place where Jericho find their very powers turned against them.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 66.18% (Xbox 360)[3]
65.40% (PC)[4]
61.31% (PS3)[5]
Review scores
Publication Score

Upon release, the game received mixed reviews with an average critic rating of 66.18% for the Xbox 360 version[3], 65.40% for the PC[4] and 61.31% for the PS3[5] at Game Rankings and 63%, 63% and 60% respectively at Metacritic. While some reviewers praised the squad based system, elaborate storyline, and Clive Barker's dark style, others criticized character AI, lack of scares, linear gameplay, abrupt ending, and difficulty with certain game mechanics.[6]

On the game's style, Eurogamer stated that "Clive Barker's contribution to the concept and narrative direction of the game will certainly help get the attention of horror fans"[7] while Gamespot noted its "gorgeously creepy visuals and sound."[8] Official Xbox Magazine praised the choice of characters, being "endless fun to switch tactics and experiment with different combinations of powers and weapons for crowd control."[9]

However, reviewers complained about the in-game mechanics. Among their criticisms were the poor AI, whereby teammates would die often, requiring the player to heal them regularly. IGN stated: "if the Jericho members' intelligence level wasn't enough of a nuisance for you, there's the actual shooting itself"[10] with Game Informer concluding: "if broken gameplay mechanics and community college acting didn’t weigh down the game, it might actually be worthwhile." Jolt Gaming commented that the maps were too linear and close.[11]

After being denied a rating in Germany[12] Jericho's uncut version has now received an 18+ rating[13] for the X360, PS3 and PC versions.

In 2010, UGO included the game as the #6 in the article The 11 Weirdest Game Endings.[14]

Sequel

Rumours about a sequel to Jericho were confirmed when Clive Barker had announced his intention to make a sequel to the game. In an interview, Clive let slip that plot details include "an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean with exactly 666 children in its hold", and will reveal the fate of the remaining Jericho members, especially Ross, following the death of the Firstborn.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Clive Barker's Jericho". IGN. http://ps3.ign.com/objects/843/843256.html. Retrieved August 18, 2007. 
  2. ^ "- Official Jericho Website". 2007-07-20. http://www.codemasters.com/jericho/EnglishUSA/intro.php. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Clive Barker's Jericho for Xbox 360 Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/934443-clive-barkers-jericho/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Clive Barker's Jericho for PC Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/934445-clive-barkers-jericho/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  5. ^ a b "Clive Barker's Jericho for PlayStation 3 Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/ps3/934444-clive-barkers-jericho/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  6. ^ Search Results from Metacritic.com
  7. ^ Kristan Reed (2007-10-24). "Clive Barker's Jericho Review". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=85883. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  8. ^ Kevin VanOrd (2007-10-30). "Clive Barker's Jericho Review (Xbox 360)". Gamespot. http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/adventure/clivebarkersjericho/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;review. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  9. ^ Logan Decker (2007-11-20). "OXM Clive Barker's Jericho Review". Official Xbox Magazine. http://www.oxmonline.com/article/reviews/xbox-360/g-l/jericho. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  10. ^ Charles Onyett (2007-10-26). "Clive Barker's Jericho Review (Xbox 360)". IGN. http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/830/830825p1.html. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  11. ^ Jolt.co.uk - Online Gaming - Clan Server Rental
  12. ^ "Surprise of the week: Jericho banned in Germany". Destructoid. http://www.destructoid.com/surprise-of-the-week-jericho-banned-in-germany-46460.phtml. 
  13. ^ "Clive Barkers Jericho - USK erteilt Altersfreigabe"
  14. ^ "The 11 Weirdest Game Endings". UGO.com. http://www.ugo.com/games/the-11-weirdest-game-endings?page=2. 

External links


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