This is one of those games that had little fanfare on its release. You'll see it on the shelf from time to time, you'll look at the grisly pictures on the back... and then you'll put it back down again. And certainly at the full RRP, you were right to do so.
From the twisted mind that brought you the cinematic horror classic Hellraiser, Jericho follows a team of crack US military types as they attempt to close a breach that will otherwise spew forth the Firstborn, a deceptively aggressive infant who was shunned by God as his first failed creation.
From that point onwards the story becomes progressively more ridiculous, but unless you list satanic worship among your hobbies, you're unlikely to care.
The first hour of this game is a write-off. After a reasonable CGI intro movie, you're dumped into a succession of dark corridors with only the occasional ghoul and a limp machine gun. What's worse are the continual loading screens that seem to pop up after every few hundred metres, despite there being very little on screen that would demand such frequent interruptions. But just at the point that you're trying to decide whether this disc would make a better coaster or frisbee, things become more interesting.
Suddenly you're a ghost, able to inhabit any of your six team mates and take on their weapons and powers. These are fantastically varied, from a samurai sword to mini-gun, and from the ability to control enemies with the power of the mind to throwing a flaming dragon around the screen. Each character has the traditional strengths and weaknesses and save for one or two points where you're forced to use a particular individual, it's up to you to pick a favourite.
Using an extremely basic command system, it's possible to control your men in groups of three, asking them to stand their ground or go ahead and attack. This can work suprisingly well if you're ambushed by a larger creature or a group of smaller ones, as one unit can provide a distraction while the other launches an all-out assault.
Sadly, the potential here has been all but wasted. The better powers on offer are largely redundant until specific set-pieces, at which point you're given a step-by-step guide on who to use and how to use them. Only the very final levels ask that you think for yourself a bit more when dealing with a rare puzzle.
The levels are pleasingly gruesome but their design is never more clever than a few rooms linked with corridors, and there is zero exploration. The enemies quickly become too familiar and one particular beast that explodes just before it dies, normally spelling your demise, is a consistent annoyance.
Each character can revive the other should they fall, but in so doing, they are often killed themself. Many fights degenerate into a succession of deaths until you're either far away enough to be safe or every man has kicked the bucket and you start over at the last checkpoint. The team AI is so weak that most, if not all of the characters will run headlong into ill-advised confrontations and their deaths, essentially leaving you to fight alone against the odds.
If you stick with the game through to the bitter end, you will finally encounter (and defeat with ease) the Firstborn. At this point, after such a build-up, you might be expecting a decent ending movie. You will be disappointed. Having completed the ending of the game twice to be sure, I can confirm that there is nothing but the credits.
You'll want to like this game, but it will let you down. If you've completed every other title in the genre and still crave some first-person shootery, then there might just be enough novelty for a few distracting hours, but only on the cheap. At £40, it's bargepole time.