Dark and gruesome... blood and guts everywhereNow the big problem I have here is how to explain Clive Barker’s Jericho without blowing the whole storyline, which will take away a huge chunk of the appeal in playing it. You play the role of Captain Ross, a combat veteran leading Jericho, an seven man team from the Department of Occult Warfare, sent in to locations where paranormal activity is the cause of the problem.
In this particular instance, you and your team are sent to Al-Khali, an ancient site under excavation by the Department, on a mission to find some missing Swiss guardsmen… but as you can probably guess, things go downhill once the mutilated bodies of the guardsmen are found. In fact, things go downhill really badly for you as, playing as Ross, you get killed pretty early on. Now, as much as this sounds like a spoiler, I had to tell you that bit as its central to the rest of the game.
Al-Khali is actually the site of a temporal gateway where an evil being, the Firstborn, is trying to break through into the world of the living. Originally God’s first attempt at creating life, the Firstborn was abandoned into a nether world and has been trying to break back in ever since, creating the temporal disturbance around Al-Khali. You’re dying there only frees your spirit and from then on you can possess the surviving members of your squad, using their weapons and special abilities as well as your own healing powers to work your way through Al-Khali to find and stop the Firstborn, closing the rift it has opened up.
And I’ll not say more than that other than as you progress through Clive Barker’s Jericho you’ll also travel through different times, a piece of which has been dragged into Al-Khali and trapped forever each time the Firstborn’s break out attempts were defeated. So far the Firstborn has made six attempts to escape but this, the seventh, is make or break time as an old prophecy says that the seventh time attempt will end mans existence on Earth or drive the Firstborn back into the abyss forever.
Grim stuff then.
From the start of Clive Barker’s Jericho, it’s obvious that this is primarily a console game ported over to the PC, but don’t let that put you off, you’ll be missing out on some pretty good action if you do. Controls for Ross and his team are pretty simple with the space bar being context sensitive depending on what your crosshair is on. Once you’re dead a quick tap of the space bar whilst targeting a team member will jump you into their body. W,A,S,D does your movement with the mouse buttons for main and alternate fire and the mouse wheel issues team-wide hold and move commands. Your team is split into two squads, both of which can be moved independently by targeting with the crosshair and hitting either 1 or 3. You can also use one or two special powers with Q or E, and that’s just about it.