Apr 7, 2015
I’ll preface this by saying fictional bad boy Riddick is awesome… the perfect personification of cool, calm and deadly.
Is Riddick: The Merc Files worthy of carrying the name?
The game utilizes an abbreviated top-down view, and from the get-go, the player gets a front row view of the game graphics. The environments are scaled relatively well, and the designer is able to evoke futuristic, foreboding places. The characters move well, with decent animations and intuitive use of lighting.
The gameplay is based on the title character, and employs his well-known deadly stealth as a major element. The storyline is fairly simple, and pays homage to the official canon with Riddick’s dysfunctional relationship with the mercenaries that are ever willing to bag him. Of course, our antihero doesn’t take to this too kindly, and brings his considerably lethal skill set to bear often.
It is leveled in nature, and each stage generally finds our protagonist emanating from the shadows, looking to make it from one point in the playing area to another. To do this, he has to dispatch armed mercs using melee combat or procured weapons. Movement is initiated by tapping on the screen; Riddick will move to the tapped area. If one taps on a merc, Riddick will get to that merc, and, ordinarily, will initiate a melee attack to incapacitate the target. Riddick can then hide the body, collect any dropped firearm and/or move on to the next target or location or complete the level.
As one advances, the game amps up the challenge. The mercs at the beginning are fairly inept and unaware, but he game engine has better ones as ones along the way. At some point, firearms and stealth become more important; timing attacks so as to avoid alerting more enemy folks is key. Hiding bodies and shooting quickly from a distance practically become necessary. In this, strategy becomes an element that one has to contend with. It is a game of opportunity costs: does one tiptoe through or use deadly force?
There were some things I thought were present that I couldn’t find, like night vision. Also, the levels are pretty short. The artwork (with Vin Diesel voice overs) and gameplay come together nicely, but also make one feel like there should be more.
It’s a fine casual title that is fun. In some cases, that’s all one might need.