The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
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Game Reviewed: The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Publisher: Universal Pictures
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Reviewer: Paul Stewart
Platform: Xbox, Xbox 360, Remastered PS3, PC
Category: First Person Shooter, Stealth
ESRB Rating: M
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The antihero, Riddick, was first introduced in the movie Pitch Black back in 2000, and has been in three movies (and a short film called Dark Fury) and three games. Escape From Butcher Bay takes place before the events of Pitch Black where Riddick is sent to a maximum security prison called Butcher Bay. If you've seen Pitch Black, then you know that in the game, Riddick has to get his special night-vision sometime. Throughout the game, you explore various levels of Butcher Bay, trying to break out and get off planet, but it's no walk in the park. Vin Diesel reprises his role as Riddick, and Cole Hauser reprises his role as the merc, Johns. Other well known voice actors include Dwight Schultz (The A-Team show), Michael Rooker (Call of Duty: Black Ops II and The Walking Dead), rapper/actor Xzibit, and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Pacific Rim). This game has got to be a very intriguing prison break action flick, but parents should keep in mind the M rating. Will you escape the most secure prison in the galaxy, or will you never see the light of day again? (in Riddick's case that's not really an issue.)
(Warning: This review may contain spoilers.)
What Parents Need to Know
Riddick is a murderer and escape convict, so expect there to be plenty of violence. In Butcher Bay, you use various weapons against guards, inmates, aliens, and robots. Riddick can throw punches, stab people with shivs, knuckledusters, screwdrivers, and shoot with rifles, pistols, shotguns, tasers, and grenades. Riddick can even sneak behind someone and snap his neck. Violence is not overtly bloody (I was able to turn off the Gore), but it is still there. People get gunned down by turrets, fall to their deaths, and attacked by alien creatures. In one level, I had to fight off some zombie like creatures which exploded into gory pieces when shot (even without blood it is still very violent). Alien creatures also explode when shot. Whenever Riddick uses a health station, his neck and chest are poked with very painful looking needles.
SPOILERS: Riddick meets a religious hermit named Pope Joe who does a "shine job" on his eyeballs that help him see in the dark. Before that, he stitches up Riddick's wounds which we see the procedure.
There is a LOT of bad language in Escape from Butcher Bay. The F-word is used frequently and is written on the prison walls in some levels. I heard one use of c--ksucker, and plenty uses of s--t and other profanities. Prison is full of rough, crusty people, so expect a lot of bad language.
In certain parts of the game, Riddick hears a voice in his head who guides him on his path. I also mentioned that Riddick can see in the dark (spiritual or physical, I have no idea). There is a religious hermit named Pope Joe who is neither portrayed good or bad. In one of the prison courtyards, there are some Muslim inmates who can be seen kneeling on the ground praying, but again are not portrayed good or bad.
In one mission, Riddick can obtain some drugs in order to get busted and fight the meanest guard in the prison. You can choose to fight some inmates instead of collecting the drugs.
The main protagonist, Riddick, is a criminal who kills people, cusses a lot, and has no respect for authority, which makes him not a good role model.
A Child's Perspective:
Ha! I have two little brothers in my family, and I would much sooner jump off a cliff with no parachute than let them play this game. No! No! A thousand times no! Out of the question! Absolutely not! This game is NOT for kids!
Despite the poor graphics, long loading times when entering levels, and drawn out storyline, Riddick did not disappoint me as a gamer. I'm a big fan of prison escape movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Escape Plan, The Fugitive, The Next Three Days, and the TV show Prison Break, and Escape From Butcher Bay met my expectations. Vin Diesel's performance as Riddick was outstanding, and the stealth tactics are excellent. I feel like Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell when I hide bodies in the dark, which this game certainly borrowed elements from. For fans of the Riddick franchise who can handle strong language, violence, and know not to look up to Riddick as a role model, I would recommend this game to them. If you are easily offended by the strong language and violence aforementioned in this review, then Escape From Butcher Bay is a game you may wanna pass on.