Will it be Gears of Horror, or a Clive Barker special delivery involving leather, chains and blood?

At this stage of the 360's existence, we have to admit that we start to hear alarm bells ringing every time we see a shot from an FPS which shows the heroes wearing massive, bulky genero-armour - and that's definitely the costume of choice for the Jericho Team in this game. They could have stepped right in from Gears of War, no questions asked. Apart from this one, of course: what are they wearing the armour to protect themselves from? Considering the fact that the game's prefix is 'Clive Barker's...', you can be sure it's something disgusting.

Clive Barker's Jericho gives you the task of exploring an archaeological site which has unearthed the ancient Biblical city of Al-Khali, which, due to sheer bad luck, is also a portal to another dimension. To add insult to injury, it's only the dimension where this world's 'ultimate evil' comes from, and blow us if this Evil Incarnate hasn't decided to come through for a nose-around in our dimension. Cue you taking charge of the Jericho Team, a crack strike force of seven 'para-psychological' investigators as skilled with alchemy and exorcism as they are with Very Big Guns. The genre may look to be 'survival horror', but Barker and his development team at Codemasters are at pains to point out that survival isn't everything - your job isn't done until this Evil Incarnate joker is stopped once and for all, before he can make life uncomfortable for every man, woman, child and dog on the planet.


This being one of Clivey Barker's messed-up brainwrongs, you can be sure that subtlety will not be its strongpoint, with vicious, tortured past victims of Al-Khali very keen to feast on your eyes at every turn - it seems that a lot of the Crusaders were tortured here, and they think it's only sporting that you get a hefty dose of the pain for yourself. Doesn't sound like an offer that's impossible to turn down, but there's year to RSVP.

The verdict

The Jericho Team look like typical FPS grunts, but their supernatural skills and the typically Barker-ish foulness of the threat they're facing could make this an extreme videogame nasty, guaranteed to bludgeon any player into sleepless nights. But we don't scare that easily...

Xbox 360
Mercury Steam Entertainment