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Barker Brings Jericho to Gamers

BarkerDemonik was a video game we were following for one reason and one reason only. The idea didn’t sound brilliant, the graphics we’d seen were maybe average at best, but Clive Barker was working on it.

Tom Clancy aside, Clive Barker is the only author, let alone horror author, to lend his name to a video game that turned out decent. Actually Clive Barker’s Undying was one of the flat out scariest games released and a game I’ve played through multiple times. Any return to the gaming arena for Clive Barker was big news, and I certainly wasn’t the only one disappointed when word came that Demonik had been cancelled. Heck, out of all the news pieces I’ve written for Dread Central, I think that one was the most depressing.

Fortunately for us, Clive had another idea for a video game. As he said in a press release that appeared on Yahoo! today, “There are things in my imagination which I think can only be paintings, things that can only be books, and this thing has to be a game. Is there a movie in it later? Sure. But what it has to be is what it’s going to be first, an absolutely killer game.”

This ‘thing’ he refers to is Jericho. Codemasters is the studio collaborating on the game with Clive, and it’s currently slated for release late next year on next generation consoles and PC. It tells the story of Jericho, a walled city in Africa, and the team of special forces trying to reach its center in order to save humanity.

Of course, there’s more to it than that, as the special forces team are trained in not just combat but arcane arts, and Jericho isn’t your average run of the mill city. First of all, there isn’t just a wall around the outside, but numerous concentric walls within. Each ring as you get nearer the city contains older and older slices of time. Your enemies will start off relatively modern and get progressively older and older until you’re fighting Crusaders, which certainly sounds interesting.

Will it be scary though? Given that Clive says that as you approach the central ring you get “closer to something that makes the devil look like Pollyanna,” it at least sounds like Clive and the team at Codemasters are trying to bring the scares.

In many ways this sounds like a much more interesting game than Demonik where it seemed that, similar to Undying, Clive had come in at a later stage. This appears to be the first time that Clive has come up with the central concept himself and will be overseeing the development right through to completion. Undying certainly turned out great despite Clive’s lesser involvement, but I can’t help but think that more Clive is a good thing… and who knows, if Clive Barker’s Jericho turns out to be a great game, the cancellation of Demonik may turn out to have been one of those disguised blessings.

Watch this space!

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Jon Condit