The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Starbreeze Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 7, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-12 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Still, no matter which campaign you are playing, there is plenty of fun to be had. Besides the more straightforward gameplay that is included, you'll also occasionally find yourself in some over-the-top action sequences. These segments work as a nice distraction from the rest of the game, as every so often you'll be able to get behind the controls of some sort of overpowered mech, or even a drone or two, and attempt to take out hordes of enemies. While each of these portions share a common goal, they still manage to feel different, as controlling a somewhat fragile drone is quite different than piloting a virtually indestructible heavy guard.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena screenshot

Visually, you will definitely see a difference between EFBB and AODA. Even with EFBB's new HD coat of paint, you'll still notice some graphical issues such as glitchy and disappearing polygons during in-engine cutscenes and some pretty poor lip-synching. AODA looks much better but isn't without its problems either. During the course of both games, you'll frequently witness many weapons and items floating in the air. While this doesn't really adversely affect the gameplay, hovering objects tend to ruin the feeling of immersion that is otherwise being cultivated. Still, these are only minor annoyances that don't overly hinder the experience and will hopefully receive a patch post-release.

The final piece of the AODA package is a competent online multiplayer component. When EFBB was originally released it didn't have any form of multiplayer, at least partially due to the fact that it would have felt really out of place. However, now with the more shooter-focused AODA also being on the disc, the online multiplayer seems like a better fit but still comes off as a little unusual. Here you'll find some standard modes like deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag as well as new offerings like Arena, Butcher Bay Riot, and Pitch Black. Arena consists of one vs. one or two vs. two matches on a small, enclosed map with the winners staying to face the next challengers and the losers having to watch and wait for their next turn. Butcher Bay Riot has three teams (guards, prisoners, and mercs) facing off against one another in an attempt to gain control over a power module. In this mode, players will earn cash for killing enemies and capturing power modules that can be used to purchase better weapons, armor, and ammunition between every round.

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Pitch Black was perhaps the most enjoyable of the bunch, pitting a group of mercs against one player controlling Riddick himself. These matches take place on very dark maps, giving Riddick the advantage. Mercs will need to rely on their flashlights, firearms, and teamwork if they hope to take Riddick down before being killed themselves. Whoever controls Riddick will earn points for killing unsuspecting mercs using the trusty Ulacks, your only weapon, while merc players can score if they harm or kill Riddick. If someone does happen to kill Riddick, then that player will become him for the next round. This mode was fairly interesting, especially since the more powerful guns also have much weaker flashlights.

In the end, AODA is a great package well worth its asking price. Getting two excellent single-player campaigns as well as a sizeable online offering should please fans of the original game and newcomers alike. While there are some minor graphical issues that can be found throughout both games, they thankfully never adversely affect the gameplay. If you happened to miss EFBB the first time around, you shouldn't make this same mistake twice, especially since it now comes with the addition of another full new game and online multiplayer on the same disc.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
While Escape from Butcher Bay does slightly show its age despite its updated visuals, and there are a few graphical hiccups to be found in Attack on Dark Athena, as a whole, both games look great.
4.2
Control
Everything controls well and the weapon select wheel is an excellent addition that makes playing both games much more user-friendly.
4.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice work is well done, the soundtracks are great, and the sound effects are lifelike and help to immerse you further in the game world.
4.6
Play Value
With an updated version of the excellent Escape from Butcher Bay, a sequel single-player campaign, and the addition of online multiplayer, you're definitely getting a lengthy and enjoyable experience for the price.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Brutal and graphic executions: Enjoy dozens of graphically gorgeous ways to perform brutal instant executions on unsuspecting enemies.
  • Advanced melee combat mechanics: The well-developed hand-to-hand combat system combines traditional melee attacks with blocks, parries, and savage counterattacks.
  • Intuitive stealth system: An intuitive stealth system unique to the FPS genre adds a whole new dimension of strategy to traditional action and FPS gameplay.
  • Exciting online multiplayer: Multiplayer includes never before seen game modes as well as melee combat and stealth action.
  • Escape from Butcher Bay included: A new version of the award winning Xbox and PC title Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay -- recognized as one of the best games of 2004 -- has been visually re-mastered for next-gen systems and is included free along with the new Dark Athena campaign. The game is developed by acclaimed developers Starbreeze Studios.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HD).


  • Screenshots / Images
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