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The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

The sequel you've been waiting for is finally here! Er, well, not quite...

The original Riddick didn't break the rules so much as grind them into powder, snort them and expel the whole lot onto its spleen-encrusted sleeve. A good game based on a bad film, it was an FPS short on shooting but heavy on the third-person view, and a game created by a fledgling developer but containing more original ideas than the Patent Office. It was also the only decent thing Vin Diesel has ever been involved with and will remain so until one day in 2013 when he spontaneously combusts - taking Steven Segal with him - in a shower of liquid testosterone and pulped crab canapés. F.A.C.T.

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But is that enough of a reason for this, a remake? Well, no, not really. This game relies principally on the fact that you haven't played the Xbox original (i.e, it's being made for the PS3 market), although Starbreeze promise us they aren't just pressing the 'go' button on the prettification machine here.

This is allegedly a proper buffing up for an already lovely looking game. And because the original was as short as Vin's grade-one skull-shave, extra levels have been bolted on in the shape of the spaceship whose name forms the second part of the box-bustingly lengthy game title.

VIN AND TONIC
Once Riddick and his prison shower pal Johns have done one from Butcher Bay, they meet up with one Gale Revas who captains the Merc vessel, Dark Athena, and on that ship she creates a unique type of combat drone built on the violated bodies of former slaves. Combat drones which - are we are going out on a limb here? - might not like squeaky-headed ex-cons with night vision.

For past players of the prisoner title this looks like being fairly disappointing stuff; certainly even with brand new multiplayer options it's nowhere near the remake that Half-Life 2 is. But for the rest of humanity it should still be a giddy ride through gaol-life and a sometimes sublime way to catch up ahead of 2008's sequel.

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