Chronicles of Riddick: Assualt On Dark Athena Review

Score: 88 / 100

*Good:* Great gameplay, a true sequel, amazing storyline, You get 2 games in 1 (Escape From Butcher Bay and Dark Athena), multiplayer added to the chronicles

*Bad:* Bad textural detail, gun-play kind of sucks, ridickulously hard at times (see what I did there?)

Whether you saw the movies or not, the Riddick game from 2004 (Escape From Butcher Bay) was amazing. The graphics were outstanding for that time, the gameplay was innovative, and the storyline was fantastic. All of these features, and more, added up to making it one of the best movie to game titles ever produced.

Now, five years later, we have Assault On Dark Athena. The storyline picks up right where Escape from Butcher Bay left off. You are floating through space with Johns in cryogenic sleep. The twist, and your first introduction to Dark Athena, is a missle hook that attaches to your ship and drags it into a port that is controlled by spider like claws.

While the storyline is top notch, again, I'm sure you would rather know about the gameplay. Dark Athena, in keeping with true sequel fashion, is almost identical with Butcher Bay. In fact, it is almost the same engine as Butcher Bay, with a few additions and adjustments. If you don't believe me you can just play Butcher Bay yourself...Dark Athena comes with it.

You will find yourself doing the usual. Sneaking, seeing in the dark, and stalking your prey until that opportune moment occurs and you pounce. But the biggest difference with Dark Athena is the ability to kill a drone enemy and use their weapon while it is still attached to their body. Though the animation is you using their body as a shield, this is not so. This feature is a great innovation, but honestly I love the outstanding melee combat Dark Athena has to offer.

Another great addition is all of the new weapons that have been added. While I will say that the guns are a lot of fun, I really think that they take away from what Riddick is supposed to be about: sneaking and assassinating with gusto.

Dark Athena has also added the ability of multiplayer. You aren't going to find many servers up, but this provides for some great LAN action. And who doesn't like multiplayer added to great games?!

The first downfall to Dark Athena are the mooshy textures. Though I think Dark Athena sports some pretty graphics, frankly the engine is almost the same one from 2004. This means that things as a whole look nice, but textures look like mashed potatoes. A massive upgrade to the graphics engine would have been extremely welcomed (and kind of expected). On a side note though, the graphics of this game really do give it its charm. Think Half Life 2.

The other downfall for the game are the old game mechanics and UI from the 2004 game. Don't get me wrong...I love that they kept it the same to ensure that this sequel was really a sequel. But in doing that, they brought along everything that was bad with the old game. The health 'boxes' are overly simple, the lean feature is kind of useless, and using guns feels just straight out wonky.

I am a huge Riddick fan and this game delivers. Though parts of it feel rehashed and beaten into the ground (due to lack of innovation), the overall game is great. If you have any interest in the Riddick universe, or a great storyline in a game, I strongly recommend you check Assault On Dark Athena out.

- Tyler (Chiko)

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