AU Diary: Riddick Me This

AU Diary: Riddick Me This

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I’ve been playing Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena this morning. Except I haven’t. Instead I decided to check out the remake of Escape From Butcher Bay that developer Starbreeze has generously included on the same disc.

To my shame, I hadn’t played the Xbox original of Butcher Bay. I’d heard it was good, so I was keen to see what the fuss was all about. Two aspects immediately stood out: the sheer quality of the voice acting and the fact there was so much character interaction.

Having gone in expecting a first-person shooter/sneaker, the opening prison sequence came as a huge – but welcome – surprise. You spend much of your time unarmed, just wandering around talking to fellow inmates and prison guards, picking up “quests” and working out how to escape, almost like a town or hub section in an RPG.

Combined with the excellent voice acting, this section serves as a great way of establishing a sense of place. By allowing you to explore and backtrack and just generally soak up the atmosphere – all before throwing you into the shooting and neck-snapping action – Starbreeze presents Butcher Bay as a real prison rather than just a game level to pass through.

I’ve just escaped via the infirmary and am keen to experience more. Did you play Riddick back in its original incarnation? Are you looking forward to the re-release and the new Dark Athena content?


  • @ David:

    You sir are an arse for your teasing. I have been waiting for this game ever since it was announced ages and ages ago. I was keen on it just for the remake and when I found out they included a whole new campaign, the same size, I was over the moon.

    I loved the original. Have you done the one on one fight club comp yet?

  • Although I have never played Butcher Bay, I had heard that the Butcher Bay remake included in this game is actually a far better game than the box’s title game.

  • *looks at title. groans and rolls his eyes at the pun*

    The RPS gents have said lots of good things about the original in offhand comments and a big retrospective write-up they did, but I’ve only heard mixed reports of the new campaign. Keep us informed of your experiences with the new stuff, won’t you?

  • I didn’t get to play the original either. I’ve heard alot of great things about it so I might actually pick up a copy this time around.

  • I didn’t manage to finish Xbox Butcher Bay but it was (for it’s time) graphically amazing and the story and setting craft which went into as much of it as I played was superb.

    For some reason I didn’t finish The Darkness (their follow-up game) either, despite it displaying the same qualities. I had trouble figuring out the controls and generally what was going on in The Darkness and probably started on too high a difficulty, but I also found the tone morbid and didn’t enjoy eating people’s hearts (nor really understand the benefit of doing so, really couldn’t grasp the controls/special abilities which weren’t explained well in the manual.)

    I plan to get Riddick again and finish it. I’m not too fussed if the new content is not as good, it sounds like this pack is good value.

  • we’ve got a few copies of Butcher Bay at work, and i was considering getting it, but i’m not sure if it’s a case of playing the original to see how much they’ve butchered the new one, or whether the new one is a worthy remake/surpasses the original…

  • I got the original when it came out as budget (common practice for me – saves money) and started playing, got to the prison, did the first couple of quests then got distracted by BioShock and Crysis that I managed to pick up cheap. And never went back to Butcher Bay. I’m hoping that there’s more to it than what I’ve seen so far and it sounds like there is. If it was all just like the prison, it’d be kinda boring, I think.

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