Review by moosek
"A survival horror with emphasis on survival... and horror"
Condemned 2: Bloodshot is game that is more about the experience than the overall package. That being said, Condemned gives you an experience that you can't get from any other game; specifically, beating the piss out of the desperate and downtrodden. There are flaws to Condemned 2, but they are overshadowed by the game's presentation.
Story: Condemned 2 picks up where Condemned: Criminal Origins left off, only not. The story and the characters all get a major facelift. Ethan Thomas, the once loyal and devoted federal agent, has become a brutal alcoholic after the events in the first Condemned. The first Condemned was about a mysterious serial killer somehow related to the city's poor going crazy. This Condemned is about some kind of cult, who apparently has their hand in everything. The story isn't great, but it is presented in a very compelling and creepy way. The entire game has Ethan battling with his alcoholism, and occasionally hallucinating which gives the player some truly scary gameplay.
Gameplay: Where the game really drives it home is the in the gameplay. At first glance, Condemned 2 is little more than a FPS. Really, it's more like a first person beat 'em up. Each level has its set of light and heavy melee weapons, ranged weapons, and crazed killers. Fighting involves a series of melee attacks relying on trigger presses and parries. The fighting can be a hassle at fist, but it can also be very rhythmic. Once you have the controls down, the fighting is very rewarding. Then there are environment based finishers which are oddly empowering. Shoving a man's head into a toilet and bashing it with your foot is strangely therapeutic. Riddled in each level are adventure-game like investigations. These are few and far between but they are pretty compelling.
Presentation: In a survival horror, sound and atmosphere is half of the package, this game is no exception. The graphics are par, and the sound quality is too just convincing. When everything is dark, something needs to fill that darkness, and too often has the surround speaker startled me. Most of the areas you visit are dark and creepy, and the game throws some twists your way, I won't spoil much, but you will never be more frightened of an imaginary bear.
Overall, Condemned 2: Bloodshot is a game meant for those who can appreciate it. That may be odd to hear, but it's somewhat of a niche game. If you like horror and dishing out savage beatings, this is the game for you.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/09/09
Game Release: Condemned 2: Bloodshot (US, 03/11/08)
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