Condemned: Criminal Origins Reader Review
Firstly to the reader I hope you enjoy my brief review of this game. I only completed this morning so it's all fresh!
In the game you play as a promising FBI agent Ethan Thomas, promising that is until he is accused of killing two policemen, sorry should be cops, we are in U.S.A country! any who he/you are on the trail of a serial killer, and the cops in turn are after you, although this doesn't really effect game play.
Upon watching and indeed playing the tutorial, I was most impressed by the presentation. The character models all look good,apart from Ethan? they sound and move as they should. You get an immediate feeling of foreboding and that the gameplay/story will be very dark and grown up.
Your first job in-game is to investigate a murder and take some photo's of a corpse (you haven't been accused of killing the officers yet). You are an investigater after all, upon doing this (you will be prompted to use various Forensic tools), to aid your deduction.. When you need to do some investigating you will be prompted to use a certain forensic tool, so you will have the right 'tool' (sorry for overuse of the word)you then send the evidence you have collected to an ingame NPC called Rosa via your phone, she in turn will give you information on her findings.
What follows is a very dark, both in story and atmosphere game of cat and mouse spread over ten creepy chapters. Some of the stand out locations are a school,office building and towards the end a house.
Your Arsenal, if it can be called that is culled from your surroundings for the most part, these include pipes,planks of wood,clothes rails and mannequin body parts to name a few. Their are weapons in game, ranging for pistols to semi automatic weapons, on that subject you can only carry one weapon at a time and their are no ammo packs lying around. I think this is a great idea, as it makes you think abit rather than just shoot. The game has more than it's fair share of people wanting to beat you up (seems like lately everybody wants to beat me up, bonus if you can name the film that line is borrowed from!)as was reported in the Eurogamer review, the "baddies" are smarter than most game villains and do take a bit of timing and persistence to overcome.
To me the game played very much like a Silent Hill game, which is very ok with me, as I love survival horror games, which I class this as. I did jump on more than one occasion, and always wanted to play a bit more. I think the game developers did a great job getting the tention levels just right.
I do have a few slight moans. I think the Forensic element was just added, and not really thought out to much, because of this I fealt it didn't really play that big a part in the game, or add a great deal, maybe it would have been better if you could have called upon the gadgets when you wanted them, and have a few more puzzles that would have utilised this procedure.
I was also a bit let down by the weak final boss battle, this is rare for me as I usually moan that the learning curve gets thrown out of the window on most end boss fights (I'm looking at you Far Cry,GOW) and you need to be super human or at least super patient to overcome them. I beat the boss first time without any weapons, just kicking and dodging. That in it's self did not deter from a totally enjoyable gaming experience.
I thought the awards for getting the achievements(collect alive/dead birds and metal!) were very good and enjoyed all the extras I have seen. I think I have around five more achievements to.....achieve.
To sum up. A really good adult game that you can get for under ten ponds on Ebay, so what are you waiting for.
8 / 10