Ho 20eb rror author Clive Barker last lent his name and narrative talent to a video game six years ago. The PC-only release, Clive Barker's Undying, was notably spooky in its delivery, if a bit derivative in gameplay. Recently, Barker took some time off from writing (and from an ongoing slap-fight with film critic Roger Ebert) to work on a new game. For his current spin on the video game merry-go-round, the author teams up with publisher Codemasters and developer Mercury Steam to deliver another horror-themed FPS. That game, Clive Barker's Jericho, is getting AAA-style treatment, with ports to the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and an ad campaign both in print and on television. With some serious resources behind it, will Jericho match the critical success of Undying?
A Point to Prove
If you've followed any of the back-and-forth between Barker and Ebert in the press recently, then you know that the two men disagree on one key point: games have the potential to be held in the same artistic plateau as cinema as an art form. Specifically, Barker believes that video games, with their sometimes free-form narratives and their often multiple endings, are just as much an art form as a play or novel. Ebert, on the other hand, asserts that games are not to be held in the same regard as other forms of art, because the experience isn't static. A player has the ability to manipulate the storytelling experience, and therefore a video game can't lure the player to an "inevitable conclusion" because of the "smorgasbord of choices" at a player's disposal. As a literature student, these arguments can be interesting, but as a gamer, I'm more interested in entertainment than exercises in semantics and rhetoric. But after tackling an argument like that, Barker - and Codemasters - should know that his game is under even more intense scrutiny than usual to deliver an engaging and entertaining game.
Games: Clive Barker's Jericho
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