The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay takes place before both Universal Picture’s Riddick films, 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick and the 2000 cult classic Pitch Black, which first introduced Vin Diesel as enigmatic anti-hero Riddick. The game tells the story of Riddick’s dramatic escape from the previously inescapable Triple-Max security slam Butcher Bay Correctional Facility, home to the most violent prisoners in the galaxy.
An enhanced remake of the game is included with Assault on Dark Athena, which is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X.
Escape From Butcher Bay is played from a First Person perspective, and as the player progresses through the game there are many elements, including FPS, stealth, horror, platform, and adventure.
Upon arriving at Butcher Bay, Johns escorts Riddick to his cell in the single-max security area. Johns then meets with the warden, Hoxie, to negotiate his pay. After learning his way around the facility, Riddick eventually instigates a riot and manages to escape into the prison's sewer system during the confusion. Fighting his way through the sewers against mutant dwellers, Riddick eventually comes across Pope Joe, a hermit who lives in the tunnels. Riddick helps Joe by retrieving his radio lost in the sewers and upon his return, Riddick gains his eyeshine and the ability to see in the dark. Shortly afterwards, a mysterious voice, Shirah, tells him he "has been blind too long." Afterwards, Riddick accuses Joe of tampering with his eyes, who states he merely fixed Riddick's bleeding arm. Riddick then continues with his escape plans.
Riddick is eventually recaptured and transferred to the double-max security area of the prison, where he infiltrates a mining facility. While in the mines, he comes across Jagger Valance, a fellow convict with a large amount of influence in the mines who wishes to escape alongside Riddick. During the escape, Riddick is discovered by the guards and is apprehended. While being transferred to another area, an outbreak of Xenos wreaks havoc in the prison and gives Riddick the opportunity to escape with Valance. His plans are foiled again by Johns, and Riddick is delivered to the triple-max level of the prison.
Here, inmates are placed in Cryosleep, and are awakened each day for two minutes of exercise. Eventually, Riddick discovers a flaw in the system and escapes. Shortly after, he hijacks a mechanized robot and fights his way through the offices of Butcher Bay towards Hoxie. With the help of Johns, Riddick eludes the guards and tricks them into killing the warden. The two then steal a ship and escape the prison.
The development of the game started in early 2002, with a name of "Pitch Black", it was an early prototype game to show the publishers what they had in mind. The making of the prototype took three months.
The game's name later turned to "Chronicles of Riddick", the prototype had similar scenarios, character, and locations. Although the prison was called Korovan Penitentiary. During the development, Starbreeze Studios started to fall apart and was about to loose the game project, as Vivendi was ready to pull the plug. The producers managed to convince Vivendi to let Starbreeze finish, but this meant scrapping the PlayStation 2 version.
The final game was released June 1, 2004, and had the name "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay".
- A vehicle chase level was planned. Riddick would stop at "Billy Bob's Way Station" to refuel before being captured by Johns again. The sequence was scrapped.