Condemned: Criminal Origins

VideoWatch: Aoife plays Condemned: Criminal Origins for the first time

It's a scary new episode of Late to the Party.

I've got a huge soft spot for Condemned: Criminal Origins. I was working night shifts when I first played it; after work I would rush back home while it was still dark, turn my headphones up loud and get absorbed in the dark and depraved world that Sega had created.

My favourite type of game is the first-person melee fighter, which is an unfortunate preference because the good ones are rarer than Fabergé eggs. Only a handful of games feature first-person brawling or swashbuckling at all, and in many of them like Skyrim, Dishonored and Dark Messiah it's only part of the overall experience, mixed together with magic and stealth. Games which rely on the mechanic almost entirely, such as Zeno Clash and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, are scarcer still.

FeatureKillerspiele

In search of Germany's virtual scapegoats.

An October Saturday and Stuttgart is pale with the cold. Outside the State Opera House, the city's grand attraction, a skip sits awkward and incongruous to its surroundings. The sides are spray-painted with graffiti, a hip hop-cum-youth club pastiche probably commissioned to soften the otherwise stark utilitarian appearance of this giant iron dustbin. While the murals may obscure the rust, they do not obscure the function, which remains as it ever was: a receptacle for unwanted rubbish. Except, rather than industrial waste or the assorted debris of home movers, this skip has been put here to collect videogames: "Killerspiele", the name given to violent games by Germany's tabloid press.

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Crime Scene Infestation.

I'm going to prove that you're a really sick puppy: You want serial killers to kill again.

It doesn't really matter whether it's a super-evil baddy in a movie, or someone rampaging, reported on the real life news - a horrid, secret part of your mind wants them do get another victim. It makes the story better. It makes it more exciting.

But it's only you that thinks that way, and the rest of us are sickened by you.

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Condemned PC trial

Book 'em, demo!

Fruity, psycho detective FPS Condemned: Criminal Origins is due out on the PC in a fortnight's time, and to get you in the mood SEGA and developer Monolith have put together a demo.

Condemned on PC in March?

SEGA confirms date.

Oops, here's one we missed last week: SEGA's German website has word that Xbox 360 shooter Condemned: Criminal Origins will be released on PC on March 31st.

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Condemned: Criminal Origins

That's 'origins', not 'oranges', Tom.

You know a game's doing something right when it makes you scared of your own footsteps.

Creeping through the perennial inky gloom, armed with only a rusty pipe, a failing torch and some palpitating hallucinations, you know only one thing: they're out there somewhere.

Where and when they come is moot. With that seed of certain uncertainty firmly planted in your head, Condemned keeps you on tenterhooks for hours on end as you inch your way closer to the source of all this unpleasant madness. With its perpetual grip on suspense giving way to increasingly frantic close encounters, it's an ebb and flow that drags you through - probably by a rusty, disease-ridden hook.

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Condemned movie planned

Scriptwriter already hired.

Warner Bros. has announced plans to develop a new movie tie-in for forthcoming Xbox 360 title Condemned: Criminal Origins, according to Variety newspaper.