Review by Berserk202
""A great first person horror game that shows us what the xbox 360 is capable of.""
Condemned Criminal Origins for the Xbox 360 is made by Monolith Productions and I have to say they did exactly what they had envisioned. Condemned is a first person horror game that mixes in the sense of being a detective as you use an assortment of forensic tools to find and collect valuable information and clues about the serial killer that you follow and hunt down. There are many more features to the game that not only make it unique compared to other horror games, but also redefine the horror genre in a new way.
The graphics are obviously next generation and really shows what the Xbox 360 is capable of now as well as in the near future. The character models are done with lots of detail; even their faces have and show the fine detail that was put into them. The movement of the characters as well as when they speak are done well and move very fluidly. There are no errors or funky animation glitches that you might find in games during the past few years. The buildings that you will visit and explore, as well as the small part of the city that you will venture through are splendid and deserve a second look at. Even the small things, such as the metal gates and the green trash cans that you will find lying around are done well.
The gameplay is something that will be old to most horror players, but it is unique in a certain way. First off, most survival horror games use weapons, which is the same old thing here in condemned, but there are a more variety of weapons to use and choose from. You get to use the usual pistols and shotguns, even use a few machine guns that can be found throughout the game, but the neat thing about this game, is that you can literally take pipes, crowbars, and even metal sings from walls, next to gates or even on walls. This proves to be vital especially when you don't have a fire arm to use and you are about to encounter a few drug addicts further on in the level.
The main thing about this game is that it is done in first person perspective. This adds a sense of realism as well as a new sense of horror to the game. Some people thought it would ruin the game, but it actually makes the game better in a different perspective. Being in first person view, this allows for the combat system to be at its best, as well as make the entire look and feel of the game real.
Another neat thing the gameplay has to offer, is when you knock an enemy onto his knees, you have four options to choose from that will allow you to finish off your enemy. You get to choose from either snapping his neck, head butting him for a vicious sound effect, slamming his head onto the concrete floor for a bloody effect, or you hold him by the head with one arm, and punch him right in the face with your other arm.
A big thing for the gameplay in my opinion is the use of forensic tools to find, read, and collect evidence as you go through the game. This evidence will likely lead you to the new location of the serial killer, or learn more information about the killer or maybe clues as to why he has become what he has become. Your forensic tools are an assortment of cool gadgets, such as a camera that you will use to take a picture of a crime scene or a piece of evidence or something that will capture a certain liquid and transfer it back to the lab for more investigation. There are a lot more forensic tools to use and will be vital to continue throughout the game.
The storyline for the game is better than most games that I have played. Today's games that have been coming out have had poor storylines, but this game goes beyond good and superb, it's probably one of the top ten storylines that I have played through in a long time. You play as a detective agent named Ethan Thomas. You start off going through a warehouse with your partner who are investigating a crime scene. After further events, you will find yourself in a chase with a serial killer, as well as trying to evade the local police who are hot on your trail.
There is really no musical score for the game, but there are a few lines and strands of sound that add a creepy atmosphere to the game. Sometimes you will find yourself with no music and no sounds, which usually means something's about to happen, but for the most part you will be hearing some creepy noises that will add an icy feeling to the atmosphere that you will already be drowned in.
The replay value in the game in my opinion is moderately high. If you enjoy this game as well as this type of game genre, then you will find yourself playing over and over again, just for the sake of playing it. There are however some achievements that you can unlock that will not only add points to your gamer score, but will also unlock art books and pictures, documents vital to the games story line as well as small movie clips on how the game was made.
Overall, I say that this game is a must buy if you are a fan to the survival horror genre and if you have an Xbox 360. If you have the system but can't decide if you want to spend the money, then rent it and then buy it, trust me you will want to. It's a great game backed by a strong combat system as well as a powerful storyline that will keep you playing for a long time.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/05/06
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