Before Adam and Eve, God created a being in his own image. This entity was neither male nor female, dark or light, a being that was both beautiful and terrible.
Disturbed by the power of his creation, God left it unfinished and banished the firstborn to the Abyss, forsaken and unloved.
There was a power in the spot where the Firstborn first touched the mortal world, and even God couldn't keep it from breaking into this world to reclaim it's Birthright. In a remote desert in the Middle East, the presence of the firstborn continued to fester eon after eon as human civilization flourished around it.
Prophesy states that the Firstborn will break into our world seven times. With each appearance will come disease, corruption and perversity until seven mystic's sacrifice themselves and drive it back into the Abyss, with the seventh attempt being the last. The firstborn has made six previous attempts, and each time it is Banished, the firstborn takes back a larger piece of the earth to add to it's realm, and adding to it's power. The magic has faded and the Firstborn is once again breaking free from the Abyss to the mortal world...
In Jericho you play Captain Devin Ross, who is part of Jericho Team a Special Forces unit trained in both conventional warfare and arcane arts, and your mission is to hunt down and kill the firstborn before he breaks free of the city. The Jericho team is divided into two squads, The Alpha and Omega.
Early into the game, you are killed but your spirit remains, and you are able to take control of other team members in the squads, by having your spirit share the body of the teammate you choose. Each of your teammates has different primary weapons and abilities. For example, Cpl Cole carries an Assault rifle and
Grenades as her primary weapons and has the ability to slow time and cast the firestorm spell, which intensifies the teams' firepower for a short time. So you can use the teammate who's weapon and ability's best match the given battle.
At first this sounds like a real novel idea, but in the heat of battle, with up to six other teammates, it can get real confusing remembering which character has the weapon or ability you need, and then which keyboard keys to use to activate these abilities. Do I use Coles time slowing ability or Churches fire spell? Now which keys do I press again? Oops, too late, my squad is dead.
The setting is a middle eastern desert city that is in ruins, with a mix of interior, caves, and some suprising Doom 3 style high tech lab levels. Game play is linear, with annoying invisible walls to keep you from wandering off course, even a short three step drop from a platform is blocked, you must use the stairs. Some areas you must use one of your teammates special abilities to proceed, but a hint system lets you know which teammate you need to "possess" to proceed. I found this real handy especially in the heat of battle.
They did a great job with the enemy AI. The fighting is intense and the enemy will try to flank you if you are not paying attention. Thankfully you and one other team member have the ability to heal team members, which comes in real handy given this games Checkpoint only save system. You are also given the ability to give your squads orders, but I found they don't listen very good, especially in the heat of battle.
The graphics are real good, but the colors are a little on the bland side. World modeling is great and you really get the feeling you are in the abandoned ruins of a Middle Eastern town. I would like to have had more world interaction, things to break, move, blow up etc. Character and enemy modeling are very realistic, with enough gore to satisfy most horror fans.
Highs: Intense fighting action. Huge game play world. The ability to take control of a teammates body and use their weapon or ability. Well written and fluid story line. Good blend of action and puzzle solving.
Lows: Checkpoint save. The ability to take control of a teammates body and use their weapon or ability. Too linear, with invisible walls to keep you on track. You can't jump. No Multiplayer! A squad based shooter without multiplayer!
Highs: Great character and enemy modeling. Beautiful game worlds with special effects like blowing sand, fog and mist. Overall great looking and well made game levels. Good lighting and shadows. Lots of blood and gore, everything seems to be coated in blood.
Lows: Drab colors.
Highs: Great use of ambient sounds to create mood. Haunting music.
As a horror game, Jericho falls short. So if you are looking to be scared like in FEAR, or Clive Barkers other game, Undying, you will be disappointed, but if you take the game for what it is, a Squad based Paranormal shooter, Jericho hits the mark. The action is non stop, there is a large variety of spells, weapons, and a challenging array of enemies. There are puzzles and plenty of cut scenes to move along a well-written story. If you liked the creepy ambience of Doom 3, but would like the help of team members then Jericho is the game for you.
8.5 Overall Score