Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 38
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 38
  3. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. With all the lackluster console-to-PC ports in existence, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay absolutely towers over the competition. The fascinating commentary mode and bonus level improve what was already a stellar game.
  2. The guards, prisoners and Riddick himself are some of the most realistic looking polygon characters you'll see this year. The level of detail in the facial contortions alone are benchmark raising.
  3. You can turn a guard's own gun on him, shank him with a homemade shiv, snap his neck with your bare hands, or drop down on his head. [March 2005, p.71]
  4. If the gameplay isn’t enough to grab you then the audio and visual presentation will certainly make this a showcase title for your expensive new video card, one that will wow your friends. It’s a definite must-have.
  5. The biggest extra you’ll find, though, will come after you’ve completed the game. You can then re-enter the game and as you play through the second time you’ll notice the addition of some floating icons. Clicking on these pauses the game and plays designer commentary about the design and development of the level.
  6. For the PC gamers out there who like a great story, intense action and varied gameplay, Chronicles of Riddick will really get you going, allowing it to go down as one of the best examples of a game which paired stealth, hand to hand and action in first person gameplay and passed with flying colours.
  7. The outstanding combination of stealth, adventure, exploration and action, correlated with a superb technical presentation has created a game unlike anything before it, raising the bar in regards to how a console port or a movie based game should be made. Is it better than Doom 3? Without a doubt.
  8. Every bit as surprisingly good on the PC, thanks to an excellent translation that shows no traces of the game's console origins. Furthermore, some exciting, brand-new extras that are exclusive to the PC version make it worth experiencing even by those who've played and enjoyed the original version of the game.
  9. It still looks great and has one of the best single-player stories out there. [Jan 2005, p.143]
  10. There are very few games I recommend outright to anyone without hesitation. So let me just qualify: if you have any interest in first-person shooters, go get Riddick. Now.
  11. Short, intense, and gripping is far superior to 40 hours of average FPS action, and Riddick is too excellent to miss merely because of its first-impression pedigree. [March 2005, p.62]
  12. A surprisingly great little adventure that offers an experience unlike any other game out there.
  13. Wow, for a small startup developer like Starbreeze (whose only other released game was "Enclave" on the Xbox and PC) this is like dropping an atomic bomb for one of the first games you bring out.
  14. If we look past the minor bugs, the combat feels intense and the controls feel perfectly natural. The Chronicles of Riddick just feels right on the PC and it's as if this was a PC game from the get-go.
  15. The title may well have been one of the best-looking games to ever grace an Xbox but compared to the PC offering it resembles an early beta version.
  16. It is technically and artistically sound, not to mention fun. Definitely underrated.
  17. The definitive way to experience one of the games of the year.
  18. Even better than the excellent Xbox version. While it may not have the high profile of "Half-Life 2," it really is one of the better FPS titles you'll play this year. Take the chance, you won't be disappointed.
  19. Better than any licensed game has been in months and maybe years. It is at least one of the top games from 2004, superior in my mind to the likes of "Doom 3" or "Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines."
  20. 90
    It gives you tasty side dishes of RPG and adventure gaming to go along with the action genre. Add on top of all that the excellent production values, impressive voice acting, tight script, bonuses like Commentary Mode, and a reduced price.
  21. It's a beautiful thing, Butcher Bay, done with style that you don't often see, particularly in a movie license.
  22. The voice acting is done on a very professional level and doesn’t sound scripted or forced.
  23. 90
    With so much variation in game play challenging levels, and the amazing visuals it is a must for any PC gamer.
  24. An exciting mix of FPS, stealth, fighting and adventure all rolled into one great looking package. [Jan. 05]
  25. With excellent visuals, varied and entertaining gameplay, quality acting, and a compelling mix of action and stealth -- not to mention the catalogue of extras -- it would be great value at $50, let alone the budget price of $30 that it's retailing for.
  26. Riddled with shifts in tone and action that keep the pace snappy and engaging. It's even got a completely over-the-top distinct finale that makes it worth playing to the end. [March 2005, p.80]
  27. Fast-paced action, excellently integrated stealth, and even some well-tuned platforming blend to make a cocktail that suits many tastes.
  28. 88
    The equal blend of game elements is superbly crafted, and I am honestly surprised at enjoyable the stealth and hand-to-hand combat really is. Still, if you consider around 12 hours of gameplay short, then Riddick is just that.
  29. The game has undoubtedly improved in a number of ways in its transition to PC as a Developer's Cut, making it an essential experience on the platform. [Feb 2005, p.72]
  30. For the brief stretch you spend with Riddick in the galaxy's most notorious correction facility, Escape From Butcher Bay will keep you imprisoned in your house and chained to your PC from start to finish. [PC Zone]
  31. Put simply, the game is slick, well polished and has a real Hollywood feel. If you’re looking for an all-round actioner with a badass hero, an interesting story and solid gameplay, then Riddick is your game.
  32. The game has its moments and they don't really last because the game is a bit short. It can be completed in less than 10 hours.
  33. Big punchy man action, with a surprising amount of brain. [Apr 2006, p.94]
  34. Thanks to some fancy "normal-mapping,' Escape From Butcher Bay can boast stunningly realistic environments. The entire prison world is beautifully and fully conceptualized, from the sickly green and orange lighting to the cracks in the doors.
  35. A polished shooter that breaks the here-to-fore insipid mold of movie-inspired games. It is fun and immersive, but does feel a bit lacking. EBB does not have the addictive quality of many of its FPS brethren.
  36. There's also a huge, gaping multiplayer-shaped hole running right through the middle. The only other fly in Riddick's surgical bruise ointment is its length. Or lack of it.
  37. Provided you have no problem affording the 4GB footprint, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is definitely worth taking for a spin.
  38. There are moments that let Butcher Bay down - the melee combat, cack-handed first-person boxing, feels radom and ridiculous; there's some irritating mystical babble; and it's too short - but overall, the game's a gem. [Jan 2005, p.86]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Mar 1, 2014
    Amazingly great game, I was hooked from the very first moment when Riddick arrived to Butcher Bay. My first impression of the game however, was that it would probably just be another shooter with stealth elements, except this time you're playing as the infamous Riddick. I was surprised to discover that the stealth elements in this game was fairly over my expectations, and the experience just got better as you you delved deeper into the high security prison where the use of darkness is utilized in the best possible way by the developers.

    The many different areas of Butcher Bay gives the game a larger variety of atmospheric feelings, and you will sooner or later stop for a few minutes just to analyze the beautiful environments. Making a prison compelling and realistic might not be so easy for a level designer, but this one nails it. Although, there are moments in the game where you go like "Who designed this? It doesn't even make sense?". Some missions tend to get very repetitive, and the principle of going back and forward is common in this game. Bring me that, come back to me, go talk to that person, help him out, go there, go back etc etc.

    The game is quite short, but it's packed with tons of quality and I rather have quality over quantity. The combat in Butcher Bay first reminded me of the one found in FEAR, and they're are quite similar if you compare them except for the bullet-time. There are so many things that I can't point out with this game, it's one of the best experiences I've ever had while playing a first person shooter. Role playing is somewhat restricted, but there are plenty of things you can do in this game as you take on the role as Riddick.

    If you're ever looking for a great action experience, play this game, without any doubt. This is how every first person shooter should be made nowadays.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2013
    Probably one of the best first person experiences ever made. Fantastic action, ok.. the stealth less so but still fantastic, looks amazing to this day and has a better storyline than any Riddick film. Best movie tie in game I've ever played bar none. Full Review »
  3. Aug 31, 2013
    This game has something what the absolute majority of games lack, that something being the awesome characters. Expectedly borrowed from the movie industry and rightly so, just wish they did more with them (should have hired a hollywood scriptwriter). A perfect game? Nope. Map design feels like 1995. So many games have awesome environmental art but lack charismatic characters, it's the other way around with riddick, what a pity. Anyways, a very engaging experience even if a bit clumsy storywise at times. Full Review »