Review by wolverinefan

"Not as good as the first one"

I really enjoyed Condemned so when a sequel was announced I was very excited because they said it was a direct continuation and the combat would be enhanced which was a plus since I played through the original with just melee weapons.

With every new addition this title seems to fail in another area. It's hard to jump right in and point out the flaws and still maintain a balance of what was good in the game because it does have some good things going for it but most of the experience left a bitter taste in my mouth.

The game quickly picks up where the last one left off. The serial killer is dead, you're still haunted by your own personal demons and you've left the force. You're asked back when something resembling the original crime is found. Hobo's are acting strange, there's weird transmitters all around and then people start dropping like flies and not just your every day person but important people.

The problem with that plot is that it does a 180 on itself and the twists and turns become so convoluted that it ends up making less sense. The final weapon as I'd like to call it is so stupid that I can't fathom storyboarding the game around it.

But to be fair it does some things well. It fleshes out a few other characters, tries for a new mytho and there is one character that is downright badass and ranks high on my top 10 moments in a 2008 game.

The game has much snazzier visuals. More details and variety in levels but I found the game to be very dark. I understand it should be that way but when I originally played on a SDTV it was nearly impossible to make out what I was doing. When I got a HDTV it became easier to see things but by the final level I had to change the brightness. Atmospheric? Yes but it makes the game harder than it should be.

That's another thing, while the levels are open to an extent there are so many vague things to actually advance that I can't figure out how anyone could just figure it out right away. These problems start right before the mid point but here's a clue for you. Look at the ceilings because they might lead to new ground.

There are also has a few trial and error bits. To keep spoilers low I'll just say that parts in the Lodge are cool but way too trial and error based. It's also one of the few scariest moments in the game which it's rally lacking in.

The variety of enemies is very lacking. There's maybe 8 different ones by the end of the game and the final enemies are very badly done and again, once you get that final weapon any old enemy drops like a fly. I could see it making future play throughs very easy.

The game has some solid voice work and some of the soundtrack is top notch when they actually use it. Sound effects play a big part as you'll need to be stealthy in certain areas and once you get the sneak shoes you'll notice glass on the floor to avoid and other things. All of which will draw attention to you by the enemies and those areas are always crowded with enemies.

Combat is the biggest change for the game and the games biggest flaw. It keeps the idea of almost every object being used as a weapon but the guns have become overpowered and you're forced to use them really early in the game. The weapons now break easier and it seems like there are fewer choices.

Problems arise from the shoddy combo system used with the melee hits. It works like a boxing game but the enemies almost always counter, you can block with weapons but they break after a few hits. Later enemies take a ton of damage before finally falling so it becomes a race around the area preying to not only find a weapon but for the game to register that you're hitting the a button.

With it's flaws the game did do some things right. It has a pretty good atmosphere in the middle of the game and the new mythos is pretty good up to the final few chapters. There's an added on-line multiplayer but I never played it because no one was ever on it so I have no real idea how it all works.

Fans of the original might be disappointed because it's not what the original game was. I'm all for change but sometimes change isn't great and they "fixed" some things that just didn't need to be fixed. It's worth a rental but I'll admit that it's one of the few games I've paid $7.50 for and walked away wishing I hadn't wasted the money on it.

Story - 5/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Control - 6/10
Game Play - 6/10
Replay value - 5/10

Final Score - 6/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/27/09

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

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