Review by Exodist

"A nice 360 title."

Condemned came to the 360 as a completely new game. From developers Monolith, who made FEAR for the PC (later ported to 360), Condemned returns with a first person view and horror themes, although is different in many ways. Instead, Condemned favours a more real kind of horror, and more melee weapons than guns, to provide a different kind of FPS experience.

The story starts with an investigator, Thomas, going over to an old building to investigate a murder. It is determined the killer was the Match Maker, a well known serial killer. They soon find out he is still inside the building, so you search for him. A man in orange overalls takes you hostage, and then kills two police officers, with your weapon. Condemned sees on the run from the police, whilst trying to continue your investigation, with the help of Rosa, whom you contact by phone when you find evidence. The story is pretty good, well thought and, and certainly kept me interested until the end of the game.

Now, the main gameplay of the game. Condemned is simple, you can use many items you find as weapons, a bit like Dead Rising, but not as many. Through the levels are your enemies, namely, drug addicts or just homeless people, who seem to like violence, and thus try to kill you. You travel through the levels, you collect evidence, with evidence tools, this could be getting DNA or following some blood on the floor. The investigation parts are well done, although they are pretty much all the same, they add more to the story, and something else to the game. The combat of the game is fairly simple. RT attacks, whilst LT blocks. Blocking at the right time will get you a quick chance to attack. You also have a taser, with LB, which temporarily stuns the enemy, allowing you to even take their weapon, or sometimes kill them. The AI in Condemned is fairly good, although the enemies don't show intelligence as the enemies of FEAR do. They can block, run for cover, and even fight each other when some other addict attacks them. Then of course, we have the horror. Obviously, the game is set at night time, in very dark places. Fortunately, your flash light can be turned on at all times, without having to equip it separately, or with fear of it running out of battery. The horror in Condemned is slightly different. It's done more with the fact your stuck inside some dark subway with loads of addicts around, and you just don't know where they are, instead of things jumping out of you. The game generally does get pretty scary toward the end too. Whilst the gameplay doesn't add much in Condemned, it's still fairly enjoyable.

The graphics on Condemned are fairly decent. The levels look fine, the textures are nice, and the lighting is great. I don't know if it's just me, but the main character models did look a little off, although the enemies looked fine (to be honest, I didn't have time to look at them). Animation was solid, and there wasn't really anything wrong with it. One problem though, was of course, the environments. Quite a lot of places looked the same, so there was some repetition, although this isn't much of a bad thing. The sound in Condemned is of decent caliber, the music adds to the scary tone of the game, complete with a piano playing on the title screen. To be honest though, there isn't much music in Condemned at all, instead, you're left to wander around without music. The sound effects are pretty decent, and pretty much what you would expect.

PROS:

Fairly decent melee combat, with almost no guns available.
Nice good graphics.

CONS:

Achievements don't quite work so well (many glitch out and you don't get them).
Not much new to gameplay.

THE RATINGS:

Graphics: 8.5/10
Audio: 7.5/10
Gameplay: 8.0/10
Story: 8.0/10
Life Span: 7.5/10
Difficulty: 7.8/10
Multiplayer: N/A


Overall: 8.2/10

My Two Pence:

Condemned is a fairly interesting idea, with some nice melee combat, a decent length, and a scary tone to the game, Condemned should please horror fans, and maybe even some FPS fans who are maybe bored of running around with guns blasting everything. Definitely recommended.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/19/07


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