Reviews for Condemned: Criminal Origins


Underrated Horror-Action Game From Last Gen's Debut

MabaseSlums | April 17, 2015 | See all MabaseSlums's reviews »

It's funny to think that the FPS-riddled Horror climate of nowadays left behind one of its stronger entries. Condemned 1 is a half-action half-scare game with a thick atmosphere that's bound to set the mood. Most of the scares are either initiated by attacks from crazed criminals, or in semi-scripted events that are paced pretty well (especially for an FPS horror game). The game's combat is also surprisingly fun, as well. There's a bit of nuance to the attack/defense dance they have you perform many times, and the idea of improvising weapons is both pretty cool and surprisingly well executed. The only flubs in this system arise when you get sideswiped by an attack you were pretty sure you blocked correctly. It's a little finicky, but seeing as how it's several years ahead of its time it's also pretty cool. Overall, I think this is one FPS horror game that should be remembered. (It also has a sequel but I never played it.)


Them Chills !

Ghostbacks | Nov. 8, 2014 | See all Ghostbacks's reviews »

Condemned: Criminal Origins is psychological horror at it's best. The atmosphere of this game is very chilling and dark which makes you perpetually watching your back throughout the game and till the end. This is the sort of stuff that makes clothing store mannequins menacing. Worth it !


Sinister Underated Game

KingTed | Oct. 28, 2014 | See all KingTed's reviews »

Condemned is a survival horror from Monolith Productions, the guys who made us scared of a little girl in FEAR. This time, you play FBI special agent Thomas. You investigate serial killers' crimes on a daily basis. But this time, it's different. You're alone. You have hallucinations. Violent hobos and junkies are trying to kill you and even worse... Using forensic tool to investigate crime scenes and lots of hand-to-hand combat to fight for your life, you have to find your way in the linear but very atmospheric levels. The game is scary. Thanks to the pretty good visuals (For its time). Unfortunatly, the story is not that great but it's still a good experience.


Nice and atmospheric game

tadys0 | June 6, 2014 | See all tadys0's reviews »

I thought to buy this game because i saw gameplay on youtube and i was shocked. This game is kind of old today but still looks damn good and the atmosphere in this game is so good. I already got scared in this game by enemies even tho i played it hour. Worth to spend money for this game. :) Definitely recommending it to friends:)


One of the few genuinely scary games.

TomWeise62305 | Jan. 21, 2014 | See all TomWeise62305's reviews »

This is a fantastic psychological horror game. The story is about tracking down a serial killer who you've been framed as. The combat is primarily melee based with very limited ammo for guns. The combat is simple but satisfying and visceral. The levels are great and contribute to the atmosphere greatly. The enemy AI is pretty decent and they will regroup to ambush you when they've taken too much damage which can lead to some great unscripted scares. Visually the game has aged well and still looks somewhat contemporary even though it's going on 8 years old. Audio design is good with great sound effects, atmospheric background noise and good them music. It's a shame Condemned 2 never saw a PC release even though the original is quite a bit better.


Heart pounding, psychological FPS horror.

POOTDISPENSER | Dec. 21, 2013 | See all POOTDISPENSER's reviews »

The scare builds up as you slowly uncover the mystery behind the dead birds and riots. You have a variety of forensics tool to aid you in your quest. There's the weapon system, and the melee tools to beat people to death with. Take note of your ammo count, it's not going to be plentiful. Each bullet really counts. A great game, get it!


Underrated gem

Gmen | Nov. 24, 2013 | See all Gmen's reviews »

From the makers of F.E.A.R. comes Condemned: Criminal Origins. The atmosphere and environments you find yourself in are somewhat similar in theme to what you would have encountered in the aforementioned title, but the gameplay is rather different. You have to engage in close quarters combat with the foulest psychopaths the city has to offer. There aren’t many firearms around, and ammunition is scarce, meaning that this game could quite easily fall in to the survival horror genre. But it isn’t as utterly brilliant as F.E.A.R. in my book. First off, the PC version is a rather subpar looking port. The graphics are rather ugly, even when it was first released it wasn’t going to win any awards for its looks – the character models are particularly bad, and the animation isn’t much better. Rather strange considering it uses the same engine as F.E.A.R., but I would chalk it up to being "optimised" for the console version. I will say that the enemy AI is as cunning as it is deadly. But on the plus side it does give you plenty of unlockable content in exchange for finding various items in the game – this was common for games in the mid 2000s, like Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay – a somewhat similar title. It is also easily one of the scariest games I’ve played. So if you’re disappointed with the direction that most survival horror series have taken nowadays, try this one. It won't let you down.


A must have game

crisman | Nov. 4, 2013 | See all crisman's reviews »

Condemned is a pretty good solid game, I think it was the first game to have a melee-centric combat system in a FPS. The plot is also interesting: you are an FBI investigator, and you must find looking clues and evidences to find a very dangerous criminal. Sounds quite generic, but has some very good plot twists. The AI is one of the most advanced I ever see (this game was made by the same guys who made F.E.A.R.). When other criminals see you, they start looking for weapons around, like lead pipes, wooden boards, generic tools, and so on. Some of them will attacks you directly, some of them will hide so they can ambush you. Overall is a really enjoyable game, crude and really violent. Too bad the sequel is only for Xbox… damn you!


Well rounded classic

onedigi | Oct. 26, 2013 | See all onedigi's reviews »

I remember owning the Disc copy of this and the nostalgia i felt buying it for steam and playing through again put the warm gamer feeling in my heart ;) The horror is more psychological and subtle, as opposed to being in your face and obnoxious, so it makes it much more scary the creepy sounds and bewildering effects and the seemingly endless feeling of being watch all add to the intensity of the scares this makes every bump corner or look a jumpscare


This game is a must to play if you have not already.

Darkhate | Oct. 21, 2013 | See all Darkhate's reviews »

These is a great horror/adventure game. It has a variety of weapons: locker doors, paper cutter, guns, pipes, fireman axe, etc. not to mention a stun gun. It has a creep atmosphere that draws you in to the game. This game is a must to play if you have not already, now is your chance don't miss out.


Few games get my heart racing, this is one of them

BlockAgent | Sept. 17, 2013 | See all BlockAgent's reviews »

This game made me jump quite a few times. When you least expect it, a bad guy will sneak up behind you, or pop out of a stairwell and scare you half to death. This game's combat focus mostly on melee fighting and it does that fantastically. Usually in games, when you run out of ammo and have to fight with melee weapons you get a sense of dread because the experience of is so bad. But with Condemned, you will actually find yourself preferring to use a fire ax or a crow bar rather than a handgun or shotgun. The graphics are good, but are starting to show thier age. This game is a definite must buy if you remember when this game came out and wanted to play it, but never got around to it.


Close combat game with interesting story

Radovanh | Sept. 11, 2013 | See all Radovanh's reviews »

Use like a weapon things from environment, pipes, fireman axe, etc. This game is about close combat and good timing between defence and attack on the enemy. Firearms are quite rare and if you take the gun, there is only few bullets in. The story is written as you pass through the game and there is good atmosphere when you wait attacks of enemies around every corner. Very good game, not the best, but still very good close combat game. There are only few of these games on PC, so try it. I did it and I am satisfied.


True more ways than one!

MrBubble424 | Sept. 7, 2013 | See all MrBubble424's reviews »

Don't get me wrong, this game has some great feature, especially during the murder investigation segments, but its gameplay is lacking somewhat. With a OK story it does lag behind some of its competitors in the horror genre, but in terms of scaring you silly; the atmosphere in this game is almost second to none. Whilst the setting is fairly mundane, the creepy sounds and bewildering effects and the seemingly endless feeling of being watch all add to the intensity of the scares. Worth a cheap buy especially if a horror fan!


Definitely worth your time.

K_ralz | Aug. 16, 2013 | See all K_ralz's reviews »

It's not the perfect game, the combat can be sluggish and the level design isn't prime, but the other aspects are what make the game. Bought it on sale, (as with most games I own) for like 3 bucks and it was worth it. The atmosphere is great, the horror is awesome, and the story is good. I wish there were more games like this, Amnesia, and the original F.E.A.R. that put an emphasis on the horror and atmosphere of a "horror" game. The horror is more psychological and subtle, as opposed to being in your face and obnoxious, so it makes it much more scary. Even if not all the moments WERE scary, at least they didn't come off as obnoxious, and looked as if the developers were trying too hard to make you scared. Good game.


Creepy Game

Mikklo | Aug. 13, 2013 | See all Mikklo's reviews »

The game Condemned: Criminal Origins is a horror/adventure game. You play the role as the FBI-agent Ethan Thomas who is accused of murder. The goal with the game is to find the murder and prove that he is innocent by investigate the environment. At the same time you are looking for clues, you have to find weapons, for example a pip from the wall, to fight against the enemies. There will be a lot of fights and many of the fights is just like the one before but they are so complicate that you will never get tired of them. The gameplay is good, you are always afraid and feel unsafe. You will never know when something is going too happened and the atmosphere is amazing. Everybody who likes this sort of horror game should try this. The game is a little bit short with only one game mode but that the game is worth to buy anyway.


Recommended as a horror game but...

ZoraLink | Aug. 13, 2013 | See all ZoraLink's reviews »

I never really felt too much horror in the game. Tense times, sure, but never too much horror. It has a good atmosphere, fairly satisfying combat, and an okay story (Though pretty cliche), everything felt a little rough around the edges. While to be expected from an older game, it still felt awkward to play at times. A decent little game, I'd pick it up for $5-$10.


Too spooky?

crankafoo | Aug. 10, 2013 | See all crankafoo's reviews »

You won't cry yourself to sleep at night from sheer terror, but you will likely jump and shout more than a few times. Condemned: Criminal Origins is a fantastic horror experience with some sweet combat to boot. It may be a little rough around the edges, but don't take it lightly. You'll fight madmen and crazed druggies in mostly close-quarter situations, just make sure you don't let them get the upper hand. There are guns, but your ammo isn't plenty and you will likely end up giving more enemies a whack with the butt of your gun rather than shooting them. Plus, most of the time it's dark and it's not very smart to fire blindly into the shadows. It feels as if you're being hunted by crazies, so be careful. If there's any horror/fps fan out there who hasn't played this game, what're you doing? Buy it now.


Pure terror

darkyhbk | Aug. 10, 2013 | See all darkyhbk's reviews »

Condemned Criminal Origins might be one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had in videogaming. Using the FEAR engine perfectly, as it comes from its producers, it manages to create a dark, tense and sick atmosphere perfectly, without sinking too much into the paranormal that FEAR bathed in, but rather focuses on the human aspect, on madness and mental disease, exploiting the human psyche in such a way that it's terrifying to even take a few steps forward. This is helped by some fantastic sound effects and smartly placed music. Sometimes, this is used to introduce the player into the atmosphere and location of a level, only for it to disappear later on, its absence making the game more tense an terrifying. The other big plus of the game is that it scares you intelligently - it doesn't abuse enemies or makes it really obvious where they're going to jump you. No, you'll be playing large sections of the game on the edge of your seat, the game tricking you that you're about to be attacked by someone out of the darkness, but you aren't. It really excels at building up tension and releasing it in key moments, dosing it enough and tricking you into feeling safe, and then scaring you out of your mind. There are a few jump scares, but they're cleverly dosed, don't insult your intelligence and are masterfully placed. The melee combat is good, and the enemy AI is really great, making full use of the environment and surprising you more than once during levels. The story is also great, exploring a deranged killer's crimes, and later linking it up with some really strange happenings. It feels both investigative and purely horrifying in the same time. This is a great, great game which you should really play if you're into the genre.


Great simple game

lok0812 | Aug. 9, 2013 | See all lok0812's reviews »

A very unforgettable experience even though the game is very short and only contain one mode. The game constantly put you in a freak out state of mind and you will never feel safe for one second as long as you are playing. The graphics, animations, enemy behavior, and utterly unnerving sound make this easily one of the most immersive and atmospheric games One downside as mentioned before, the game is very short and if you are looking for a long sotry or a game with multiplayer to prolong the game, this is not it right here. All in all, it is still a great adventure with the single player along and a must get for any horror fans out there.


Truly amazing!

tomdoughnut | Aug. 8, 2013 | See all tomdoughnut's reviews »

Best horror game I have ever played. Bit short but has great replay value as the AI is really unpredictable. The story line is twisting and complex but the fighting is simple and brutal. The fighting method requires some skill and this helps to make the game more interesting. The 18 rating is valid as it's pretty violent. This is excellently put together and a model game in the first person horror genre. Buy IT! You'll scream and cry with fear but it's worth it purely for the story line and amazing atmosphere.



rydad | July 16, 2013 | See all rydad's reviews »

A tense and very atmospheric horror FPS. Though far from perfect, that doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. Despite some flaws, it's still one of the better horror games of the last decade. And for $15, you can't go wrong.


Condemned: Criminal Origins

Tabbo7 | June 25, 2013 | See all Tabbo7's reviews »

If you feel like combat is a key role within a video game and you enjoy anything that will keep you on your toes then this game is for you. The combat controls are absolutely excellent in this game down to every single last weapon EVEN THE GUNS! Once you run out of ammo you can use the butt of your gun to deal a fierce melee attack. This game is excellent gameplay wise and it is also excellent graphics wise the graphics don't seem dated at all and this game is like 7-8 years old. That is pretty amazing period and I consider it enough of a reason to pick it up purely just to marvel with your own eyes how the graphics look. I recommend this to every horror fan out there.


Suspenseful with Great Combat

thegaminglyfe | June 18, 2013 | See all thegaminglyfe's reviews »

Condemned is one of the most suspenseful horror games you'll ever played. One part of the game that adds to the suspense is that you are a detective and you've just found some very mysterious clues and you have no idea who the culprit is. The environment is dark and creepy, same with the sound. The combat is lots of fun though. There are many different moves that you can use against the enemies with melee weapons and guns. Highly recommended to any horror fan or just someone who is sick of generic combat systems.


Underrated because of it's flaws

tayfuntuna | May 10, 2013 | See all tayfuntuna's reviews »

There's the game I cannot forget. Condemned, while being linear, made me play and finish itself several times. The main reason is that even after playing few times, there will be moments where you can be scared and shocked because you get hit by the thugs when you least expect. Condemned is among the best Brutal-Melee-FPS games and since there aren't a lot them around, it's just engaging and thrilling. Downsides? Our main character, Ethan, is so slow that he can't even jump. This is the exact opposite of Mirror's Edge, you can't even run for a long time. But ripping off the metro sign and smashing the enemies' heads? Sir yes sir!


Condemned for life

milktea | April 26, 2013 | See all milktea's reviews »

Condemned provides some extremely thrilling and tense moments. Although, a bit repetitive at times. Once you get the basic of the melee and shooting it's basically the same thing over and over again. The weapons in the game breaks down over time so the player must analyze and determine it is necessary to use an object to thwart off enemies or face a situation where they find no good equipment to face a difficult battle against enemies. Investigations are intriguing and offer some great depth in interacting with the story. It's not a very long game, I completed in 8 hours. However, it was a great experience.


Extremely creepy

TheGrizzlyB | April 24, 2013 | See all TheGrizzlyB's reviews »

If you are a horror fan this game is for you. This game is quite scary especially if you are wearing headphones. The AI is incredibly well done and will hide from you and chase you down as much as you can to sneak up on you at just the right moment to hit you. It will make you jump every time you see an enemy. Graphics wise, it looks a little bit old nowadays, but it is easy to look over. Overall, this is a fantastic game, and a must play for people like myself who like to be scared.


Scary but repetitive

sl1ck | April 24, 2013 | See all sl1ck's reviews »

Condemned is a scary, albeit repetitive combat-based horror game. The game initially does well to provide up-close scary moments to the player. However, the game never changes settings or combat styles. Every level involves the player going through dimly-lit somehow always abandoned buildings. Despite the different locations, the environment always feels the same. So by the end of the game you know what to expect and the whole environment seems much less scary. The game does melee combat better than any other horror title I've played, and I would recommend it despite the faults I described above.


Thrilling horror FPS

Profoundly_Mad | April 22, 2013 | See all Profoundly_Mad's reviews »

Condemned: Criminal Origins has you investigate crime scenes and look for forensic evidence and clues, fight psychotic and somewhat creepy denizens of Metro City using a variety of melee weapons. While firearms are present they are rather uncommon which forces the player to use improvised melee as well as blocking attacks. The game is dark and moody, forcing the player to use a light source to explore the environments as enemies frequently ambush the player from darkness. If you enjoy horror games where you don't feel completely overpowered then check out this game.


Good game, but be careful!

PM_DMNKLR | Jan. 30, 2013 | See all PM_DMNKLR's reviews »

Both of the Comdemned games are great. They're moody, thrilling and really get you thinking as if you're IN the game. On the downside, you feel like you're really in the game, lol. The negative part of that is because it's a little too realistic in some instances but not enough in others. The most frustrating part is how real the damage is when done to you, but that's only aggravating because of how it stops you from going back and getting a medpack or medkit that you just saw not even 30 seconds back, because for some mysterious reason the door behind you is now locked/blocked off/whatever and there's no apparent reason for it. It's still a good game though, just be extra careful when you get into battles because you need to conserve all of the health you can. You never know when you'll get stuck fighting someone and have just enough health that they kill you with one strike.


Condemned - review

carlyle | Jan. 28, 2013 | See all carlyle's reviews »

The FBI agent Ethan Thomas is called to investigate a mysterious serial killer but then things go wrong and all of a sudden and he is then a hunted fugitive. The only weapons available to Thomas have a gun, which will discharge very quickly, the equipment of the science, which reveal and collect clues and samples, a mobile phone with which to keep in touch with the lab and a stun gun. The game takes place in a closed and dark, in which, in most cases, the only source of light is the flashlight. Dilapidated buildings and abandoned subway after closing time or spectral libraries night, these stages runs the ominous path of the player, along the way, meet increasingly aggressive and dangerous enemies. The most innovative aspect of Condemned is undoubtedly the combat system, you will find around any type of blunt object that we can imagine. Sure, some rifle or pistol pops out every now and then, but the ammunition is never enough, and soon we will have to throw away the weapon.


Follow the Match Maker if you dare

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | See all Guardian412's reviews »

Condemened: Criminal Origins is a highly original thriller FPS which is focusing on unique melee combat and crime scene investigations. Playing as SCU Agent, Ethan Thomas who was framed for the murder of his collauges, you have to clear your name, while you must track down a psychopath serial killer, known as the Match Maker. Following the trail of the killer on your longest and most thrilling night, you have to investigate crime scenes of the latest victims, so as you have to fight your way against overwhelming odds of drug addicts in abandonned locations to learn the truth. Condemned: Criminal Origins is a very atmospheric and creepy game, especially if you play it at night. Its about six years old, yet its still beautiful. It isn't a long game, about 8-10 hours, depending on your skills and the level of difficulty, but its a very unique and scary experience what you won't forget for a long time.


First person crime solving hack/slash and shooter

rstokes | Jan. 25, 2013 | See all rstokes's reviews »

Condemned is a great FPS that upon its release was quite original. You fight bums with a HUGE variety of melee weapons, use your cell phone for investigating, and wander down dark corridors. While it's not an incredibly deep game, nor is it particularly scary, It is however a ton of fun and well worth a play


Great underrated horror title

Mikester7 | Jan. 24, 2013 | See all Mikester7's reviews »

Condemned: Criminal Origins seemed to be a bit of a hidden gem in terms of horror games go, receiving some rather low reviews and attention considering just how good this game actually is. It did combat really well, with mostly solid and twitch melee combat. Solid jumpscares, creepy atmospheres and areas are the highlights of this game. The story is pretty solid and interesting as well. Any person that loves horror games, or people who just like to play them now and then for a scare in a creepy setting will no doubt enjoy this game.



captainstark | Jan. 24, 2013 | See all captainstark's reviews »

This game is like one of those games you have probably never heard of, but its a fun game in my opinion, and I do like the 2nd cause it continues the crazy storyline and the fighting game play is even more fun too, I always loved finishing moves in the first and 2nd I highly recommend this to horror movie fans, anyone who watched highly rated serial murderer films such as Silence of the Lambs, Se7en. You'll have a blast but watch out for shadows. This isn't remembered as a scary game but is a funny game, like the FEAR series, who were made by the same developers.


Top-Notch Psychological Thriller

Squiffy | Jan. 24, 2013 | See all Squiffy's reviews »

This game was an early title on the Xbox 360, and it was very under-rated for what it is. Don't go into it expecting Amnesia-level scares, nor Sherlock Holmes-depth of detectiving. At its core, Condemned: Criminal Origins is a movie-like psychological thriller. It has its corny moments, but it has a competently twisting plot to keep you paying attention. Add to that first-person brawling combat with blocking, kicks and combos, makeshift melee weapons and bits of gunplay. What you end up with is an intense fighting experience when played at the right difficulty levels; remember, a game won't feel tense if you don't die once in a while! The detective work mentioned is somewhat low-depth, but fun. You investigate important places or objects typically by passing a light over them to look for evidence, then taking a picture by aligning arrows to get it in focus. The key is discerning what is useful. In the end, it's an enjoyable experience. The combat is raw and intense, not "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots 3D" as seen in Skyrim. The story is interesting and twisted, the enemies and even your own character are well-fleshed. Not an amazing game, but a good one. I would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy creepy, atmospheric horrors over blood and gore horror. I rented it once, finished it, then bought it a while later to enjoy it again on PC.