Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena – hands-on

8) Ghost drones

Created from the bodies of captured prisoners, the drones can function in two states. When their lights are red they are relatively stupid, semi-autonomous guards that can shoot and defend, but not organize. When their lights are white, they are remote controlled by mercenaries and are incredibly effective fighters.

Aside from the given creepiness of their design, the drones can be both cannon fodder and useful tools. We already told you how to use them as a weapon in a pinch, but when you manage to find a drone control room they get even cooler.

Think of the drone control room as a Matrix chair. Riddick gets in the chair and you suddenly have control of a drone. As the drone you have full access to its weapons and movement. Because you're controlling it remotely, if the drone dies you simply jump to the next one in the rack, essentially making you invulnerable. The catch is that while you're controlling a drone, you are completely exposed in the chair. If you don't keep an eye on your real self it's possible to suffer a surprise attack, but otherwise going hog wild as a drone is a blast.

Concluding thoughts

It's rare to see an early preview that feels as polished as Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, but there really wasn't much to nitpick about. Visually the game looks great, the controls felt silky smooth and the action was exactly what you'd expect from a Riddick game. The developers were keeping key story details close to their chest, so we can't speak to that, but if Escape from Butcher Bay is any indication, the latest installment in the Riddick franchise is going to end up on a lot of "must have" lists sometime in 2009.

Dec 4, 2008