Review by godxofxgears

"A great sequel to a great game."

Condemned 1 was a truly unique game. It perfectly combined fighting, horror, and an amazing, yet possibly confusing, story. It was one of my favorite games of all time. So when a sequel was announced, naturally I was very excited. Well, Condemned 2 did not disappoint me. So without further introduction, here is my review of Condemned 2:Bloodshot.

Story 10/10
As we all know, the original Condemned had a very confusing story with many important plot points being thrown around. Well, fortunately Condemned 2 does not have this problem. Condemned 2 answers many of the questions surrounding the end of the first one. The game takes place one year after the original and Ethan is looking less than fabulous. He is now a mean alcoholic with a big attitude. If you have played the first one, this change will come as somewhat of a surprise to you, seeing as how in the original, Ethan was a sort-of "nice guy" cop. But after the events of the first one, it really is no surprise how he has turned out. After the original, Ethan was cleared of the charges of murder of two cops and let back onto the force. After he is let back, he quits to go his own way which is where this game picks up. Unfortunately, Ethan still has paranormal "visions" of the supernatural. Condemned 2 still takes place in the same unnamed city which is very out of control. Murders are becoming more and more frequent in the city and frankly, the police can't control the city anymore. The game starts with Rosa getting a strange message from an unidentified person and the cops need Ethan to identify him. Very reluctantly, Ethan comes back to the force just to help out. The story does not disappoint as it is very engaging and explains every unanswered question from the first one while leaving a few questions of its own.

Controls 9/10
As with the original, Condemned 2 is a game that you can just pick up and play, which is very good as this is the perfect game to hand the controller to an unsuspecting friend who will then proceed to be very scared. The controls are more complicated than the first, with the addition of fist combat and combos being implemented but it is still easy to play. Fortunately, there is now a practice arena where you can hone your fighting skills. The learning curve of this game is about 10 minutes if you use the arena to practice.

Game Play 8/10
If you have played the first game, then you most likely remember it for its eerie atmosphere and pop-out scare moments. Unfortunately, the scare-factor is a little lacking in this game. It is good that this game has a lot more action but the developers seem to have traded the creepiness for the action. But don't get me wrong, some levels are very scary, such as a doll factory and an abandoned bowling alley. The fighting flows much more smoothly now with the added ability of your fists. And the forensics are now very much improved, with the game no longer holding your hand through them and you being asked to find evidence and having to search the body and surrounding areas for sometimes very subtle clues. You are rated based on how well you complete these forensic scenes and given rewards at the end of the level based on your rating, among other things such as optional tasks and collecting things. Although guns are very frequent in this game, which make you feel rather overpowered. And the scary parts are just not as consistent as the first game, which is a little disappointing. But all in all, the game play is very good.

Sound 10/10
Not surprisingly, the sound in this game is amazing. As expected, the sounds are loud and scary and will make you look every which way for what made them. Surround Sound is definitely recommended for this game. The music is eerie even in the multiplayer which just adds to the main theme to the game. The bums sound aggressive and the weapon sounds are great.

Graphics 8/10
Compared to the original, Condemned 2 has much better graphics. The character models are very detailed and realistic, which just adds to the horror when you are being chased. The environments look very realistic and scary, with every little detail of the environment being included. The only problems with the graphics are that facing to the left and right is kind of blurry, which is a huge disadvantage when you are fighting, and while performing your more complicated finishing moves, the character models seem to be less detailed. The realistic character models and environments in this game will definitely scare you and will have you dread walking towards that are where the weird noise is coming from.

Multiplayer 9/10
This game is a sequel with many improvements to the first one and the addition of multiplayer is no exception. Some people feel that multiplayer should have been left out. Well, I am very proud to say that I am not one of those people. I for one love the MP in this game. True, sometimes it is pretty laggy, but that depends on your connection and the host's connection and that can be fixed. The reason I gave this section a 9 as opposed to a 10 is quite simple, not enough variety. There are four MP modes, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Bum Rush, which is where two police officers have to survive while everybody else aims to kill them, and Crime Scene, which is VERY fun. Crime Scene has two teams, the SCU(police) and the influenced(bums). The influenced aim to hide two evidence coolers that contain severed heads. The influenced can hide them throughout the level and the SCU must find them. The only way that the SCU can find the coolers is to use a scanner that has a meter that goes up the closer you are. The influenced win if all SCU are eliminated or one or two containers is still unscanned when time runs out. The SCU win if they scan both coolers before time runs out. The MP in this game is okay, aside from Crime Scene, which is amazing.

Overall 9/10
Overall, Condemned 2:Bloodshot is a great sequel to a great game that any fan of the first should pick up. Although you can play without playing the first, the first game Condemned: Criminal Origins is an amazing and scary game that deserves to be played. If any game is worth the $60 tag price, it is this without a doubt.

As a side note, parents DO NOT buy this game for your young child. Even if you think they can handle blood, gore, use of alcohol and cursing, think about this. This game has the possibility to scare full-grown adults, so think about what it would do to a kid.

Rent or Buy?
Definitely Buy. This game has a lot of replay value and the MP can keep you entertained for a long time. So if you are in the mood to get scared, buy this game. You won't regret it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/10/08

Game Release: Condemned 2: Bloodshot (US, 03/11/08)

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