The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Preview
No one took the announcement of Vin Diesel forming a game development studio very seriously. But boy did our faces turn red as soon as we sat down and played Riddick on the Xbox and PC years back. There's no doubt about it that Starbreeze Studio and Vin Diesel's Tigon Studios collaborated to create one amazing show-piece for the FPS genre in more ways than just aesthetically. Butcher Bay had all of the components that make a game great. And now a much wider audience will be treated to that same glory in the form of a Riddick remake for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
More than just a next-gen remake, think of this Riddick re-release as to what Tecmo did for Ninja Gaiden on the PlayStation 3 - a complete overhaul. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, as it will now be called, takes its new since it features an all new chapter called Dark Athena. This expansion, as Vivendi calls it, comes complete with an all new storyline and new gameplay features. So essentially, you are getting the Butcher Bay remake, as well as the all new Dark Athena entry - think of it as two Riddick games in one.
Multiplayer combat will become a staple of the game, as Riddick will no doubt serve up a bevy of features in that aspect. But when you're not playing with friends, you'll be fighting of the drone army controlled by Captain Revas. Of course, you'll be required to use both stealth tactics, as well as all employing run and gun action, destroying everything in your path.
Stealth will lend itself in many situations, as you'll be able to sneak up quitely behind your and perform one of various moves, including: snapping someone's neck, grapple and throw your enemy down, or engage in hand-to-hand combat. When you're not being cautious, and feeling rather Vin Diesel-ish, go on and use a shotgun or an assault rifle to mow your way through the opposition.
Perhaps some of the best moments of the game will come around when you're faced with poorly lit conditions, and having to rely on your eye-shine to artificially illuminate the surroundings near you as much as possible.
"The Riddick universe is incredibly rich source material for creating on-going stories and games," said Cos Lazouras, Head of Production, Tigon Studios. "This next chronicle will take us to new, dark corners of that universe, which when combined with Starbreeze's fantastic next-gen technology, will deliver the compelling player experience gamers have come to expect of Riddick."
"We're very happy to be working in the Riddick universe again." said Ian Stevens, Lead Game Designer, Starbreeze Studios. "Assault on Dark Athena gives us an opportunity to revisit the original game and share it with a new audience, as well as offer a continuation of the Butcher Bay gameplay and storyline. We're also thrilled to be bringing Multiplayer to the game."
There's no denying that this redesigned Riddick is looking fantastic. Vivendi hasn't released a whole ton of media yet, but from what we've seen, we can certainly tell this is going to end up being one pretty game. Starbreeze is a talented bunch of folk, and so our expectations for this is quite high. No concrete date for Riddick has been set yet. Initially, Vivendi did announce it for a late 2007 release, but the game has since slipped into 2008.
8/27/2007 Arnold Katayev