Review by murt1987

"Man this game is good, a lot better than I expected"

I first heard about this game at E3 2005 and was quickly taken by its gorgeous screenshots and interesting gameplay. Since then, I didn't really hear much about it. Not much advertising or many previews to be found of this little gem and this may be the reason why its not selling as well as other titles. That and the fact that it is THE most gruesome and violent game I have ever played. Anyway, here's what I thought.

Graphics - 8
The graphics in Condemned : Criminal Origins is very nice, something you'd definitely expect out of a launch title for a new system. The characters look very good and life like and the environments in the game are great too. Saying that, the game is constantly dark but it gives off a very creepy atmosphere.

Story - 9
The one major gripe I have with videogames nowadays is the fact that the storylines suck and are never really believable but with Condemned I have to say I was very surprised. You follow a detective, Ethan Thomas, who on investigating a murder by a serial killer, is attacked by the same killer who kills two other cops with Ethans gun. Its now up to Ethan to find the killer and clear his name. Your probably thinking, 'oh I heard this kind of story before', and your right but as soon as the game gets into full swing(no pun intended) you'll discover how sick in the head this serial killer is with his methods of killing. It really does open your eyes into those type of criminals minds, at least for me anyway. All the way through the game I never felt that this game was not believable(like I usually do) or written well, except at the very end where it does get a bit weird but you'll forgive the writers for it as the rest is so interesting.

Gameplay - 8

This game is the scariest game I have ever played. Nuff' said. I dont know how many times I actually screamed like a little girl. To get the most out of the game, play it at night time. Anyway, one of the main reasons this is very scary is because its in First Person view, the game would lose its great atmosphere if it was in Third Person. Without giving much away about enemies, you have to defend yourself and attack enemies with weapons you find on the scene, stuff like planks of wood, crowbars, sledgehammers and occasional gun you find with a small amount of bullets. Generally this is all melee. Each weapon has its own statistics so you have to choose whether or not you want a strong heavy weapon or a light weapon without too much damage, depends on the situation. Hitting people with weapons is surprisingly satisfying and doesn't get too tired some as you do have a certain amount of firearms to play with too. The problem I have is blocking with the weapon you possess, I find it very hard to block enemies very well. The other part of the gameplay worth noticing is the forensic side of it. You are a cop of course. You get to use CSI style equipment to find fingerprints on dead corpses and all that other kind of stuff. It does kind of get boring but its a nice touch all the same.

Sound - 9
The sound is equally gratifying as the story. The sound of guys running around on the floor above you has never sounded more scarier. It really is that good, it really does add to the atmosphere. There is some music too(not much, kind of like Resident Evil style but better) now and again on certain scenes which sometimes drowns out the noised of enemies your not supposed to hear. Its very scary.

Overall - 8
This really is a surprise game for me, this is a very scary but enjoyable game at the same time. Definitely worth playing. One problem is the lack of replayability, apart from things you collect in the game and achievements there is not much going for it. If you have realistic expectations about what what your buying you wont be disappointed. For me, worth every penny.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/10/06

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