Until I played Assault on Dark Athena, my knowledge of Science Fiction pretty much began and ended with Star Wars. I’ve never had any interest in Doctor Who or Star Trek or any of the camp sixties Sci-Fi television series’ where the costumes are far too tight and the aliens far too plastic. Even as a Literature student War of the Worlds is the furthest I’ve ever dipped my toe into the genre.
So you’ll be unsurprised to hear that I’m not entirely sure what compelled me to play Dark Athena. It certainly wasn’t the presence of Vin Diesel, of whom my only previous experience was his lead role the execrable XXX movie. Nevertheless, since delving into Riddick’s dark world my outlook on both Mr Diesel and the science fiction genre have been significantly altered. My current favourite book is Frank Herbert’s legendary Sci-Fi epic Dune, and I gleefully watched both Riddick films, although I believe developers Starbreeze to have done a better job with the franchise than director David Twohy.
Assault on Dark Athena actually consists of two games. The first of these is a revamped version of the 2004 prison-break extravaganza Escape From Butcher Bay, which I passed on due to scathing reviews of the new Riddick film, for which the game was essentially extended marketing. The other half of the package is the entirely new titular campaign. Following directly on from Butcher Bay, Assault on Dark Athena is set on the eponymous spaceship where Riddick, a.k.a the most dangerous criminal in the universe, once again finds himself a fugitive, this time hunted by sultry Dark Athena captain Revas and her unsavoury crew of mercenaries.