Review by zelgamer

Reviewed: 01/27/06

Condemned, filled with cheap thrills and shocks

This game is great, I really enjoyed it, and I actually still am enjoying it. The thing about Condemned is, its a good game, short, but still good, and it could have been better. For a launch game though, I think it deserves its props. Criminal Origins has many cheap scares, or as others like to call it, Resident Evil type scares. Some parts were really great, like seeing a bunch of work desk getting sucked into the end of a hallway by some shadow, going through that hallway, doing a circle, coming back out the entrance of the hallway, and the desk being right where they were before being sucked away. The game doesn't seem to well paced either. Some would call it repetitive, though for me, I enjoyed beating down every enemy I came across. Well anyway, I'll get to the review.

Story 6/10

The story is actually good, you are an Agent trying to track a serial killer down, and in a turn of events, end up being framed, hey, if its on the back of the game case, its not a spoiler. The story goes on from here and has some nice plot twist. I am not to much on spoiling so I really can't go on from here. The reason for it being so low is because, its not really told well. The whole way Ethan is framed, and the explanation given on why he can't clear is name is... very ridiculous. Still, the story is fun to follow through.

Graphics 7/10

The graphics are good, but, you can definitely tell they are not pushing the hardware at all. Character models look okay, and the clothes from a distance looks really good, but if you get close, you will notice a bit of ugliness. There are also a lot of glitches that don't take away from the experience, but, are noticeable. Like when you are walking and a floor tile suddenly flickers. Or a tear in a wall. The shadow of the main character is really stiff... that isn't to say the shadows are bad, because they are really good, but the actual character walks very unnatural. Enemies die rather odd as well. They move fluid as they are attacking you, but when you lay the smack down on them, they fall rather odd, their arms crooked in awkward fashions. Remember though, graphics are not everything. They certainly get their point across in this game. Something that is great though, is that almost everything is movable in this game.

Music/Sounds 8/10

This really sets the mood in this game. You are walking, most of the time everything is quiet, but then, you hear footsteps running, you hear a can tip over, is it you? or are you being followed? When there is music, it isn't anything worth remembering, but again, it fits perfect with the game. The noise of you beating the living snot out of your drug addicted enemies is great too. Fine job in this department.

Controls/Gameplay 8/10
You actually don't have to much control over your character, you can't duck when you want to, you can't jump when you want to, and you can't crawl when you want to, all these are set up on certain things, if you need to advance through a window you walk up to the window, and it will tell you, "crawl out" and you hit X and you crawl out. The combat feels great through, you kick by pushing the right analogue stick down, you use your taser with LB, you attack with RT, and when battling opponents, it feels sturdy, oh, and you block with LT. Great Solid controls when in a fight.

Fun Factor 8/10
Not much to say here. Many have complained about it being repetitive, but I am a big horror fan, I liked going through those narrow passages, and I definitely enjoyed the fighting, the last battle though not amazing, is still one of the coolest fights in a video game in a while. So, for me, I very much thought it was fun.

Replay Value 6/10
Many also say this game doesn't have any replay value, and if it wasn't for Achievements, it wouldn't have any. I consider Achievements replay value though, because they do drive you to replay the game if you want to unlock them for more gamer points. There are 50 of them in total, and I have 41 out of the 50, so I am still enjoying this game. After the all are met though, there will be no motivation for me to go back to the game again though. The achievements are a bit repetitive as well, having you go through to find dead birds, metal pieces stuck on walls, behind objects, and on the floor, and finding TV's with an Xbox 360 hooked up to it.

Over all 7/10 Rent or buy?

Hmm... I would say buy it if you are into gamer points and completing it 100 %to me, it was worth its purchase.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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