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January 21 2009
Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Chronicles of Riddick on PS3.
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Riddick sneaks up behind an enemy.

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Vin Diesel looks pretty good as Riddick.
So why would a developer decide to remake a game that they released to much critical acclaim only a couple of years ago? Well apparently they want to expand the audience for the franchise before looking at sequels. Indeed the original game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, was released on the original XBox in June 2004 and received much critical praise with a PC version released later that year also a major critical and commercial success. But this game has deviated. While it started as a port of the original with upgraded visuals, this has almost turned into a port of the original, with full-blown sequel bundled in as well.

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Riddick faces some enemies ahead.
So what exactly do we get in this First Person Shooter (which we must add includes plenty of stealth elements)? Well first of all we have the original Escape from Butcher Bay game ported across to this game with improved visuals, and several other enhancements across all areas including improved AI. Following the conclusion of this game we have Assault on Dark Athena which continues the story and sees Riddick and the bounty hunter Johns on board a mercenary ship called Dark Athena. Yet again Riddick must escape captivity, this time working his way through the ship.

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Vin Diesel as Riddick in Dark Athena.
When Starbreeze first announced this port one of the main goals was to improve the visuals beyond that of the XBox original and bring it up to the standards of the current generation. From what we have seen the developers have done a decent job, although the game does manage to fall a bit short from dedicated PS3 games like Killzone. Still from what we have seen looks like a decent upgrade and while it won't win any awards it isn't likely to disappoint either.

One of the key selling points to this game was the brilliant voice talent used in the game. Naturally Vin Diesel stars as Riddick, but the other characters have been voiced by Xzibit, Cole Hauser, Ron Pearlman, Michael Rooker, and Debi Mae West (who gamers should know as Meryl in the Metal Gear Solid games). This expanded game adds a couple of new voice actors, the most notable being Lance Henriksen from Aliens fame, as well as Michelle Forbes and Wade Williams who are both most well known for their roles in Prison Break.

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Riddick has 38 rounds remaining.
To hear that this game has evolved from an updated port of the XBox original to include almost as much new content to create an entirely separate new game is fantastic. Starbreeze have already proven themselves with The Darkness on PS3 so we know they have the technical know-how to get the game running well. With a release only a couple of months away now we won't have long to see if they have succeeded in bringing this game to a wider audience.

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Enemy design is pretty impressive.
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The head could be a little, well, smoother.