Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: Condemned Criminal Origins

The first horror game of this generation was made by Monolith Productions, called FEAR: First Encounter Assault Recon. However, not long after the release of FEAR came Condemned, also by Monolith. A new gritty take on the often underused psychological horror genre. Did it turn out well?

Developed by Monolith

Published by SEGA
Platforms: 360, PS3, PC-DVD

(Reviewed on PC-DVD)
Condemned tells the story of police officer Ethan Thomas who during a murder investigation gets dragged into something bigger than he could possibly imagine. Chasing after the serial killer simply called "X" who tends to kill off other serial killers one by one he soon fins himself face to face with strange humanoid creatures who tries to kill him. The atmosphere in the game is great and captures the feeling of darkness and being alone better than a lot of other games of its kind.
Ethan Thomas is probably one of the most badass characters of this generation, because not unlike Frank West in Dead Rising, Ethan prefers the use of melee weapons rather than guns to defeat the forces of evil. Pipes, 2x4s and Wrenches are just some of the weapons that you'll use to survive in the game. The length of the game is average, clocking in to about 7-8 hours. The game is a classic FPS when it comes to controls and style, which works better than many other attempts at blending the two genres together.
The graphics are nice and blends in perfectly with the style of the story itself, the character models look very realistic and the environment stays true to reality in design. The audio is also very good with some great voice acting but unfortunately a very forgettable soundtrack. The sound effects are powerful and sounds wonderful in partnership with the blows from Ethans weapons.
Condemned is a great game, especially for being such an early title for the (then) new consoles, setting out to become a brand new horror franchise, Condemned succeeds in everything it tries. A big recommendation for any horror gamer.

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