Reviews by tenaciouscree
If you enjoy a scare, try this.tenaciouscree | June 16, 2011 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins [Playfire]
I enjoyed this game. I'll give the reasons soon. I'll skip the plot summary as others have mentioned it already, I'm sure. My opinion of this game is this -- the melee combat is very well done and it's just as well because at least three quarters of the time you'll be facing foes with whatever make-shift weapons you can find. My personal favourites were the Paper Cutter and the good ole Axe. I haven't played another game which has executed melee combat as successfully as this (I own Zeno Clash and it pales in comparison). Your character feels weighty -- you move slowly and you can't just pummel the enemies as if your weapon is weightless. Your every movement needs to be considered, and blocking is important rather than optional.
The story is well done and not simply an aftersight as with so many games these days. The beginning of the game portrays you being framed for the murder of two of your colleagues, and from then on in you are trying to collect the evidence to clear your name. The city is in upheaval with violent crime rising quickly. Your initial enemies look like bums and addicts, but later on the enemies become much more surreal and 'Silent Hill' like.
I bought it when it was cheap on GMG, but at £9.95 I'd say it is worth the money. I got a good few scares (and I'm not easily scared -- the last game to scare me was STALKER, a few years ago).
But. It's not perfect. A couple of things that I'd mention would be the fact that you need to collect certain weapons to progress through the game. For example, you're carrying an axe but it won't let you progress until you can find a shovel to break the electronic lock -- this seems quite arbitrary and broke the flow of the game a little bit at times. Graphically it can be quite beautiful (in a dark, twisted kind of way), but the player models stand out as being a little bit less detailed than the environment. I'll guess that it was ported from the Xbox360, and the console's limited resources required this. The character textures are quite bad, to be honest. The environments do look great though and I don't think it's that important an issue. The sound design reminds me of STALKER in the underground sections -- low hums and general ominous ambience. The voice acting is pretty decent too.
I could go on, but I'd say if you enjoy atmospheric, moody, creepy games which are best played in the dark (as another reviewer wrote) -- then this is definitely worth a go.