The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is a first-person action/stealth video game developed by Starbreeze Studios and published by Vivendi Games. Released for the Xbox and Windows in 2004, the game is a tie-in prequel to the futuristic science fiction film The Chronicles of Riddick. Actor Vin Diesel—who was involved in the game's development—reprises his role as that film's protagonist, Richard B. Riddick.
The game follows Riddick, the anti-hero of the two films (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick), as he attempts to escape from a maximum-security prison called Butcher Bay. Escape from Butcher Bay's designers focused on exploring Riddick's character in a prison break setting to differentiate the game from The Chronicles of Riddick. Influence was taken from the film Escape from Alcatraz, and from video games such as Half-Life and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.
Escape from Butcher Bay was praised by critics, who lauded its graphics and its implementation of stealth, action and adventure elements. However, they commonly lamented its brevity and lack of multiplayer components. An enhanced remake of the game, included in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, was released in 2009.
In Escape from Butcher Bay, the player takes the role of Richard B. Riddick and attempts to escape from a prison called Butcher Bay. The game is played primarily from a first-person perspective, but the camera transitions to a third-person perspective during certain scenes. It incorporates elements from video game genres such as first-person shooter, adventure and stealth. Unlike many first-person shooters, the game contains no HUD; on-screen cues are limited to flashes when a new weapon is selected, and small, white boxes that display the player character's health when damage is taken. Health can be replenished in predesignated areas throughout the game. Concept art and video files may be unlocked by finding cigarette packs hidden in levels.
The player may interact with the prison's residents, from whom quests may be received; the player earns information, tools and other rewards by completing quests. Violent conflict often occurs between the player, inmates and prison guards. The player attacks with Riddick's bare hands, or with improvised weapons such as shivs and clubs. Combos are created by stringing together punches. A DNA-scanning security system initially prevents Riddick from using firearms, but a limited arsenal later becomes available.
A "stealth mode" is activated when the player character crouches. The player moves silently while in stealth mode, and can drag bodies out of sight and hide from enemies; the screen's edges are tinted blue when the player is hidden. The mode grants attacks that quickly kill enemies; the player may drop on enemies from above, or execute them from behind. During the game, Riddick acquires "eyeshine", which allows him to see in the dark. The player must manage the ability; using it in brightly lit areas blinds Riddick temporarily.
- CPU: Pentium 4/Athlon XP 2.6GHz
- Memory: 512Mb
- Video: 128Mb
- Free space on harddrive: 4.4Gb
- OS: Wind