The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
D: Starbreeze Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360
Preview date: February 27, 2009
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Preview
In late 2004, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay was released for the original Xbox. For a movie related game it got very high praises from all the major reviewers and gaming websites. The only two issues with Butcher Bay were that it was too short and its lack of multiplayer. Starbreeze Studio’s must have been listening to these complaints because they took that criticism and started right in on developing Assault on Dark Athena.
Dark Athena started off as an expansion pack to Butcher Bay, but quickly grew into a full 7-10 hr sequel. This is when Starbreeze thought that it would be great to include a slightly upgraded version of Butcher Bay along with the complete Dark Athena campaign and multiplayer. Even the ending of Butcher Bay has been extended to tie directly in with Dark Athena. So in April when you get your hands on Dark Athena you will be given the option once you boot up to either play Butcher Bay or dive right into Dark Athena. Vin Diesel has once again lended his voice and likeness to the anti-hero Riddick’s character. After Riddick escapes from Butcher Bay, he ends up on a mercenary ship called Dark Athena.
Riddick is a first person shooter with a few stealth mechanics mixed in. Riddick has an eyeshine that allows him to see in the dark. This makes the shadowy corridors of the Dark Athena very dangerous for the mercenaries on the ship. Patrolling these hallways are new enemies called Drones. The Drones are very slow and are not very agile. This makes them easy targets for Riddick to sneak up on. Riddick can use the Drones as meat shields and can also control their movements and the guns attached to their arms. These guns make quick work of anything that crosses their path, including Riddick. The gameplay is also focused around a first person fighting mechanic. The latest game to do so was Mirror’s Edge which did a decent job of implementing fighting from a first person perspective. Although some people didn’t like the combat in Mirror’s Edge, Riddick’s should be more interesting since he is known for killing people with his hands. Not much else has been said about the specifics of the story in Dark Athena. All we know is that Riddick is on this ship, and he is probably going kill a lot of people trying to get off it.
New to the Riddick series is the multiplayer. There are multiple modes including the classics such as deathmatch, capture the flag, and so on. Pitch Black however is a new mode made specifically for Riddick. In this mode your put into a completely dark room, 4 players are mercenary’s with weapons. The weapons have flashlights on them but the brightness of the flashlight is unique to every weapon. Underpowered weapons will have a brighter flashlight; Overpowered weapons like the shotgun will have a dimmer flashlight. This adds a level of strategy to your weapon selection, especially when you find out what you’re hunting. The 4 mercenaries are on the same team, and they are hunting Riddick. Riddick can see in the dark and is only armed with his twin blades. On paper this mode sounds very intriguing, and it should be interesting to see how players react once they get their hands on it.
Dark Athena is slated for an April 7th North America release on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Also a demo will be coming to all systems sometime in March. Since you’re getting two games in one, along with a fresh multiplayer experience, this should make Riddick one of the top games this summer.