Review by Mono_Kosas83

"Creepy, unnecessary, boring, terrible controls, the list goes on and on."

I first played this game on a very dark night. It's just one of those stay up with your friend all night playing games or watching whatever. But I put this game in alone and with the lights turned off. And once I got passed the annoying crime scene investigation tools, the game really takes off. You play as a Federal agent investigating the crime scene, and soon enough the cops that are with you decide its best to separate (always a wise choice, right?). So you travel through a pitch black abandoned building with a gun and a flashlight in hand, though they don't help that much. The flashlight flickers constantly and you can only see what's in it's range, which makes moving around difficult because you don't have the best peripheral vision. And the gun gets taken away swiftly by means of a psychotic man.

Round and round I go, through the dark, and into a lion's den of psychotic, enraged, thugs/druggies prepared to kill you (must be a cop hating thing, because they don't attack each other). Then I came across more crime scenes and I bring out the toys. The tools range in what evidence they allowed me to see, but they all work the same; blood here, green liquid there, unrecognizable substance trailing here and there. And then sometimes you capture it with your little camera. I still don't get the point. The investigative tools controls aren't intuitive, and the FBI agent that I play as goes around killing everybody anyways (overcrowded prisons and mental institutions perhaps). I assume that by collecting all this evidence that our “protagonist” will try apprehending the suspect towards the end of the game. But I've given this game 3 chances to get me hooked, and I'm not compelled to play any longer. I got 3 and a half chapters into it.

When I'm fighting one guy, another guy will sneak up behind me and I won't know he's there until he hits me, then I'll turn around and swing wildly not knowing exactly where he is. While I understand that's where the challenge lies, and I give credit to a really good AI programming. In real life I can tell when someone is coming up behind me, maybe it's a sound thing, because when someone's excited and adrenaline is pumping, unless you're a trained ninja you won't be able to soften your footsteps. Or maybe Molly Ringwald was right on Medium (inside joke). So, you have a point reader. I know you're thinking that this a just a game and it cannot be 100% accurate to real life (ooh, I'm a mind reader too!). That's understandable, but so much emphasis on realism is put in this game; from the forensic tools, not being able to see well in the dark, using the environment as an advantage or disadvantage, certain tools that can only do certain tasks.

You'll see a similar quote in the Resident Evil reviews: “Fire Axe required? I have a shotgun!! Just blow a hole through the door!!”

That is a direct quote from me while playing Condemned. And it doesn't end there either. At one point I needed to go get the sledgehammer to progress, so I did. Then I needed to go get the Fire Axe, which is back aways near where I got the sledgehammer. I exchange the sledgehammer for the Fire Axe. I travel through the door I need to go through, quite aways downstairs. Then I find a safe that I need the sledgehammer to open. F%*# that! I really don't want to go REAAALY far back to get the sledgehammer on the chance that there's something awesome in the safe. And for me, if it was anything less than a flamethrower or machine gun, it isn't worth it.

I like the weapons in the game. Being able to see what's better in terms of damage, block, reach, etc. in all weapons is great. I just like that the little box that tells you this pops up out of thin air, but nowhere can I find a map so I don't get lost. I realize it's an abandoned building, but you can find real abandoned buildings that have a fire escape map posted on the walls.

This game reminds me of playing a multiplayer game. Wherein all players come from opposite sides of the map to shoot or bash each others brains out. And if you die, you re-spawn and go do it again. The only difference is that everybody is teamed up to come after you. And to add a little zest, the developer puts in this “mini-games” where you have to jump through the level designers hoops to get tasks done, and fool around with forensic tools/collect evidence that doesn't seem to make any difference in storyline or gameplay.

I didn't hear any music, at all. But the sound effects were ok, nothing special though. I did not beat this game, I have no desire to beat this game. So I won't comment on the storyline or graphics (you're in the dark 80% of the game, so what's there to see?) I'm jaded now. So I'll just stop.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 07/15/09

Game Release: Condemned: Criminal Origins (US, 11/16/05)

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