Review by Nox Pupilla

"Never has violence looked so.. pretty."

Horror games - not my cup of tea, for the most part. I find them overly gory for no reason, with no real plot to sink my teeth into, and the scares tend to be either cheap, or overdone to the point where I get too scared and turn off the game and sleep with the lights on.

All of that was different when I played Condemned. The graphics were amazing, the gore seemed downright necessary, and the slight CSI twist to the game made me fall in love with it, something that other games of this highly-prized genre have never managed to do.

Sound 10/10
The sound in this game is mind blowing. There is always the slightest little noise to be heard, which can quickly alert you to the presence of someone, send your heart rate skyrocketing with the eeriness or the full onslaught of music. Even things like breaking a window with a fire axe, or the sound of flies around a carcass are delightful to hear, and only add to the already intricate effect of the game.

Graphics 10/10
The gritty, grungy feel of this game is something nice, and something I definitely did not expect in an era of everything being super sharp, shiny and clear. This game seems to take full advantage of an HD entertainment setup (which I played the game in), and it seemed to make the world as real as it could be for a horror game. Bodies moved wonderfully, lifelike and astounding.

Story 10/10
The story of this game kept me on the edge of my seat. From the start scene until the end of the game, I felt truly attached to the characters, the personalities, and every facet they brought out.

Gameplay 10/10
This game shines truly in the gameplay section, as no longer must we look for more ammo for our guns - instead we are able to rip pipes off the wall, pick up mannequin arms from the trash, and use 2x4s with nails in them as weapons. The attack interface is simple, but if you are in front of the enemy and they are on their knees, be prepared as you can snap their neck and perform other gory, beautiful maneuvers on them. The AI is not slow nor is it dumb at all - it will block, fight back, and move as fast as lightning ~ remember, these ARE drug junkies you are fighting, and you are fresh meat.

Scoring:
Sound - 10/10
Graphic - 10/10
Story - 10/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Overall Score - 10/10

If you are one of the lucky to own an Xbox 360, this is a must-have for any true gamers library. It is one of the best games I have seen come out on a console in a while, and it deserves every bit of respect it is getting. From the gritty city setting, to the story, music and simple, foolproof gameplay, it is worthy of any award and top rating it may win.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/16/05


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