Really, it would be all too easy to throw our pads down and sit in the corner sulking, as following hot on the heals of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, there’s news of yet another Xbox port making its way to PS3. Is this what Sony’s behemoth of a console has come to? Forced to offer refuge to underplayed old Xbox games? As we say, it would be easy to bemoan the lack of original games until you take stock and remember that these are underplayed games, few people ever bought into Xbox and so missed many great games on the maligned console (we’re big enough to admit Xbox had some gems) including Ninja Gaiden and another hidden hit, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
So while on one hand, we look at this remastered version of Escape from Butcher Bay and a little piece of us dies, another piece comes to life as we indulge in a game we didn’t give two hoots about back in 2004 - we were too busy playing San Andreas.
In many ways Escape from Butcher Bay was ahead of its time. Firstly, here was a movie license that steered well clear of its namesake and instead created a whole new mythos around the central character. Secondly, developer Starbreeze (now putting the final finishing touches to The Darkness) created an amalgam of gaming “bits” - there was a little FPS blasting, some Splinter Cell stealth and between the frantic bouts of third-person neck-snapping and stabbings, some very rewarding adventure sections. You began the game with nothing except a bad attitude and the desire to escape from the maximum security prison, Butcher Bay. In order to break free, you would accomplish many trials and tasks, get Riddick’s famous EyeShine and sneak through the prison cells, mines and mercenary quarters in a race for freedom. The game would constantly surprise you around every corner and given what could have been if Starbreeze had stuck to the lame movie’s plot, the world and its dog signed a breath of relief.