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Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
VU Games | Xbox, PC
We can't decide what's more unbelievable: that this was a movie tie-in, or that it was tied to one of the worst films of 2004. A beautifully bleak first-person adventure, this prequel tasked players with sneaking and shivving their way out of an ultra-maximum-security prison of the future as murderous anti-hero Riddick.
Escape from Butcher Bay was a triumph on almost every level, outshining the crummy movie (and most of the games released that year) with brilliant level design, compelling characters, brutal action and some of the best in-game visuals anyone at the time had ever seen.
Sure, the loading times were ass, but they were a small price to pay for Riddick 's most jaw-dropping moments - like the first time you made a guard shoot himself with his own gun, or when you had only six minutes of flashlight time to navigate a pitch-dark, CHUD-filled maze. (That's before Riddick gets his fancy night-vision eyes, for those of you who follow this stuff.) The lack of multiplayer kind of hamstrung its appeal for shooter fans, but as movie-based adventures go, this was top-shelf all the way.
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