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Condemned : Criminal Origins


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#1 m_hael

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 08:27 AM

TITLE: Condemned : Criminal Origins
PUBLISHER: Sega
DEVELOPER: Monolith Productions
DATE RELEASED: November, 2005
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1
XBOX SYSTEM LINK: No
XBOX LIVE COMPATABLE: No
HDTV Support: 480p/720p/1080i
In-Game Dolby Digital: Yes
GENRE: FPS/Horror
PLATFORM: XBOX360
ESRB: M (Mature)
Retail Price: $59.99
Achievement level reached: 560/1000


Setting the Scene - quoted from IGN

A demented horror game from Sega and Monolith, designed for next-generation consoles and game systems. You are an FBI agent on the hunt in this gripping and sickening hunt for serial killers. The game is played in first-person perspective, and with the use of the Havok 3.0 physics engine and other advanced techniques, players can utilize anything in the area as a weapon when they've been cornered by their prey.

The Good
The game does look pretty darned good tho I should mention that is is DARK with a capital D. I would have to say its the best looking I've seen so far making great use of shaders in a more sensible way than say Kameo or Quake4. The addition of some fairly high end filters great shadowing and some great cinematically scripted set pieces left me firmly in the opinion that more people need to use this form of storytelling/gameplay.

The sound is similarly amazing with some incredibly good surround sound effects highlighting the spooky/uneasy feeling propagated in every chapter. Having played this primarily at night I can definitely attest to the surround being both surprising and lifelike - I can't count how many times I found myself pressing pause to make sure there really wasn't someone behind me; its a chilling effect to have on a player and it remained even down to the final scenes.

The gameplay consists largely of roaming/investigating specific areas of your game world attempting to find evidence of crimes that all stem from the initial scenes within the game. You are accused of murdering 2 police officers and thus your aim throughout the game is to prove your innocence... seems sensible enough until you actually start exploring.

The world is populated by drug addicts and homeless zombie like people who are all "crazed" in some way and all occupy darkened areas that you have to investigate. The primary weapons are melee in nature with some firearms dotted around. The most common form of attack is a surprise one as you walk around a corner and suddenly a nasty looking face is hitting you with a random piece of pipping or electric cabling. The AI is particularly noticeable in that it seems to learn from your movements/attacks... if you attack with an axe and your attacker has a wooden plank then he is likely to run away and try to find something that contends with your axe - on most occasions they fail (I'm an attack first - hide the body kinda player) but they do try more and more as your progress through the 10 chapters.

The game does contain a normal amount of "you're stuck" "find the switch" type tasks but they are almost seemless and don't detract from the spooky feel to the game. Something the game does contain that isn't normal is an almost CSI like investigatory tool that allows you to (at certain times) examine evidence and have it analysed by a lab tech. The reports that come back almost exhaustively direct the game and so the aim of the game becomes to get this evidence and move on to the next scene.

There is an element of collection OCD in the game too in that you are urged to pick up pieces of metal and dead/dying birds... I have yet to actually find any reason for this but I did find myself on many occasions going back through to find the birds to get the acheivements (I failed miserably so far).

The story is for once pretty good and while I won't spoil anything I can tell you that you won't guess the ending, it has characters, interaction and semi-believable motives without being too Family Channel like. I enjoyed it.

The Bad
The melee combat does get tired, not immediately but by chapter 6 I was pretty well trained up on how to kill the various enemies within the game and how to react to their moves... 4 chapters later and I was ready for the ending. That is not to say it doesn't offer a challenge but it is definitely to say that it was too much of a good thing - more variation may have alleviated this feeling but without having that variation to begin with its hard to say for sure.

The graphics in places look uncharacteristically bad - some cutscenes seem to have been arted by very different artists and thus the look doesn't remain consistent. The character always looks like the same guy but the bad scenes simply have that guy looking BAD, like a bad model was used or some bad texturing slipped through. This occured in maybe 4/5 places in the game including the final scenes in the car at the end (for anyone who has played the game its the one right after the final battle).

Physics - while I should note that in general the physics are good it does seem strange that certain elements of the scenery can move whilst others cannot without any notable reasoning or visual cue. While this isn't a major issue it did bug me on various occasions so I thought I should mention it.

Movement - it seems strange that your character cannot jump normally but only when the gameplay prompts you to do so, again nothing really bad but irritating in situations when being able to jump would have eased the tension somewhat.

The save system could have done with more information regarding WHAT you were saving. On several occasions the game seemed to switch from a checkpoint style save to a more generic save whereever form, I may be mistaken on this but the checkpoint style (esp at the end) irritated me somewhat.

Online Play
NA

The Verdict
I really enjoyed playing Condemned and my facial muscles can attest to just HOW tense I was whilst playing. It is the first game that has really instilled actual fright into me while playing and that is hard to do, the story was good and the gameplay kept me going whilst not always thrilling me. I would play the game again and so it will remain in my collection if only to go back and get those damned birds/metal pieces. I would give it a score of 8.0 definitely worth playing tho probably not for everyone due to its frightening effects on the player; don't buy it for your grandad but DO play it in the dark and let it drag you in.

#2 LowProfileWurm

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:01 AM

I played the demo for about 15 minutes and it scared the poop out of me. I had my 5.1 cranked up so I could hear ever little whisper and noise. It was almost too intense for me (I'm a chicken-shit, I know) so I probably won't buy the game. Not because I didn't like it, but because my mind couldn't handle the intensity. Hahaha.

#3 nicmel

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 01:30 AM

I'm loving this game (though haven't played it in ages) easily worth 8.5 or more, and certainly one of the top 3 games out there right now.

#4 3rdnfnlbst

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 05:59 AM

i agree, the scare factor is quite intense... muhaha.gif

#5 JammDDR

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 09:39 AM

Very intense scare factor which to me is great. But with a $60 price tag and no Live, I'll wait till it goes down to the $20-$30 range.

#6 redwolf

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:45 PM

never thought this game will be that good, and since the game is all about melee attacks, thought it was gonna be crap and all, even after i played the demo from Marketplace, didn't convince me...

now i'm bord and since no game coming this month for 360 (UK anyway) i thought i grab this, was i wrong!!! loving this game at the moment smile.gif

edit: traded this with PDZ tongue.gif

Edited by redwolf, 21 February 2006 - 11:46 PM.


#7 metalhead212

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

Though a good effort to try to bring something new to the table. I did not quite like this game. I played it for about an hour or so and did not feel the need to continue playing. It just doesn't have a compeling allure to it. It is an interesting game though, but one that is not worth the price as of yet.

#8 srx04

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:07 AM

QUOTE(metalhead212 @ Mar 7 2006, 10:38 AM) View Post

Though a good effort to try to bring something new to the table. I did not quite like this game. I played it for about an hour or so and did not feel the need to continue playing. It just doesn't have a compeling allure to it. It is an interesting game though, but one that is not worth the price as of yet.



I agree. I must admit the chill factor is cool. In the begining when the 2 cops left to head up fire escape, I was like no don't leave me!!!!!

I'm sure there's frequent (even more intense) moments like this but in the end the fighting was so weak I couldn't bring myself to play any longer.....didn't even get through the demo level.



#9 metalhead212

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE(metalhead212 @ Mar 7 2006, 04:38 PM) View Post

Though a good effort to try to bring something new to the table. I did not quite like this game. I played it for about an hour or so and did not feel the need to continue playing. It just doesn't have a compeling allure to it. It is an interesting game though, but one that is not worth the price as of yet.



Well I had the chance to pick this one up for 30 dollars the other day. I am going to give it a run through here soon and will post my full opinion of the game when done.

Thanks for the review. I have re-read it and am ready to start playing it again.


#10 batmike1990

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 10:42 PM

QUOTE(LowProfileWurm @ Jan 6 2006, 12:08 AM) View Post

I played the demo for about 15 minutes and it scared the poop out of me. I had my 5.1 cranked up so I could hear ever little whisper and noise. It was almost too intense for me (I'm a chicken-shit, I know) so I probably won't buy the game. Not because I didn't like it, but because my mind couldn't handle the intensity. Hahaha.



LOL SAME HERE!!!!!

#11 perfectdark

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:35 PM

This game is by far the best game i have played on the XBOX360 and my favourite, not worth $60, you gotta be kidding me
I had more fun and the "i gotta get home to play Condmeed" feeling than GOW, COD2 /3 and Halo 1/2/3Beta

And especially now, you can grab this used for $20, your a dam fool if you don't get it

P.S The demo doesn't do this game any justice at all, and once you pass level 3, it gets 110% better

#12 I0RI

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:50 PM

yeah scary game awesome but am stuck blink.gif



#13 Rodiks

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:40 AM

quite interested how you guys react to this game... i getting curious of getting one already... haven't got to play this game and see it in its actual format... i'm having thoughts now... cool.gif

#14 zheo77

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

Hey guys, I've just came across this awesome game:
http://www.funny-gam...-faction-2.html
and I'm glued to it. you should check it too

Hey guys, I've just came across this awesome game:
http://www.funny-gam...-faction-2.html
and I'm glued to it. you should check it too

#15 alvinbell21

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:05 AM

I actually just finished this game recently and I think it is one of the best horror games out there. Something about the First person perspective and the darkness really makes this game scary.




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