Review by topgamer101

Reviewed: 11/30/05

You want scares? We got your game!

This game is something to be admired. Some people won't understand this game, it happens to all good games usually. But if your willing to take the time to see the detail on all aspects of this game, you will be impressed. But it will end before you want it to.

Story: 7
Your are an investigator named Ethan Thomas. You track down serial killers and recently your cases have been going cold even after being so succesful. After a routine inspection of a crime scene, someone puts events into play that gets your cop buddies dead and you on the run from the authorities. Heard all that before? well that's where it ends. This games story is severly twisted to the point you can guess what the hell is going on. This happens all the way to the end of the game were when you finally think you got a grip on all that's happened, the game throws you through a loop. The story leaves much to the imagination but I believe that's what makes a story so intresting, the things you never knew.

Graphics: 8.5
These are spectacular graphics! One of the 360's best stuff! Now, high end PC gamers that play F.E.A.R. and other games like it will not be all that impressed, but for strict console gaming, this is impressive. The attention to detail is what's so great about it. The lighting is excellent. Things and lights react life like and will mess with your head just as much as the story. The locals as you go do tend to run together as that "I've been here before" kinda thing. However each area does have an area to it that is unique and will scare the crap out of you for just being there. The textures on enemies and build over all is also spectacular. If you've played Doom or Riddick, you won't be suprised by what is going on here. It is worth noting though that this is a step up from those games. If someone says you could have pulled these graphics off on a regular X-box, they don't know what they are talking about. Simply the amount of detail from when you rip a pipe off the wall or hit a light on the cieling will explain what I mean.

Gameplay: 8
This is part of the game that makes it or breaks it for some ppl. Anyone that expects to go around every corner with a shot gun blowing everything away like Halo or games like it, stay FAR away. For anyone that can put that aside you will enjoy the gameplay. This is not for NRA memebers. You can't go around with your trusty gun the whole time. There are guns in the game, but once you run out of what little ammo you have, your back to what makes this game, the melee combat system. You can grab alot of different objects around the world, wheiter it be a pipe off the wall or a paper cutter of of....well a paper cutter. Any of these things can be used and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Some fast, but weak. some slow, but powerful. After you get these things down, you have to get timing down. Each weapon not only has timing on attacks depending on how slow or fast, but also on the blocking. If you carrying around a heavy weapon to do some damage with, your blocki will be slower. You must learn the timing of your enemies and time you block before the strike. And vise versa with the faster ones. All these things tie in together in the heat of battle. Weither your in a situation trying to figure out where that enemy is hiding, or have a group of them all around you, you have to have these timings down or you will get splattered. The detective work is a bit of a downer if you were expecting a "do it yourself" kinda thing. But for those that didn't really give two clicks about that, then it's not hard to find what you looking for since the game will show you when to look. All in all if your willing to put down the halo gun and pick up the pipe from the wall from this game you will have one hell of a time, cause it't the melee fighthing system that pulls you into the frights and the first person that jacks you into the experience.

Audio: 9
This is probably where the game excels. Unlike Resident evil or Silent hill, there isn't music playing at key moments to let you know something is going to pop out soon. Sure, there is music, but not to that degree. The creepy atmosphere is more filled with that occasional foot steps in the dark distance, or the slow playing of deck the halls. Believe me, it's ALOT Creepier than you think. All these sound effects from the enemies, objects in the world, and things not of tis world that make you feel much more afraid than in other games of this nature. If you have surround sound I guarentee you that you will crap your pants! This game in the dark with the sound up is that creepy. play in a room that will echo! The voice acting from the characters is excellently done. Nothing here seems too cheesy. I've never been one to call a game on chessy voice acting, but from what I could tell none seemed present.

Replay: 6
This is the only part of the game I found severly lacking. The game has an intresting plot, but once you start getting into it it all of a sudden ends. The ending will be a love/hate kinda thing. I personally didn't have a preference do to the stories unraveling. Once you beat the single player game, there is nothing for multiplayer. I never truely expecter there to be any multiplayer, but I expected more. You can go back through different difficulties and collect all the hidden items through the levels. This in turn will unlock concept art for finding them. Unlocking concept art is not something I think of as replay value. So what you got is a single player game that is awsome mind you. But after that there isn't really much else. I dare you to play through once and then not play a second time. It truely is that indulging.

Final Comments:
I really loved this game. It is for sure the creepiest game I've played so far. I don't have HD or surround sound, and I still found myself completely creeped out. If you do however have these things, you will for sure be wanting to have someone with you after a few levels. While it's a excellent game, I must say again it was just too short. $60, even $50 is not really worth playing unless your one of those ppl that can play a game's single player 50 times in a row and not be bored. I love this game, but I can't keep playing the single player more than 10 times in a row before going " he's around that corner, he's going to pop up behind me..." I strongly reccomend a rental and if you think you'll love it, then maybe buy it...or make someone get it for christmas!

I give Condemned: Criminal Origins an average of 8/10 Go out and rent this as soon as possible and hope you enjoy :D

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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