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The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay is one of those exceedingly rare types of games that delivers exceptionally high quality through and through and single-handedly ups the ante for all similar games. The fact that it also happens to be based on a movie franchise--something that's usually a bad sign for a game--makes it all the more incredible. You could call it a first-person shooter, but that would be selling it short. This ambitious game is played mostly from a first-person perspective, and it effectively and innovatively combines excellent shooting, hand-to-hand combat, stealth, and adventure elements with a solid story and truly outstanding, highly atmospheric graphics and sound. The game debuted on the Xbox earlier this year, but it has turned out to be 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. No, the Chronicles of Riddick isn't a highly anticipated first-person shooter sequel. But don't let that make you assume it can't be one of the year's best action games--because it is.

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