I am a big fan of new intellectual property for some of the bigger publishers out there, it broadens the gaming universe and makes less room for too much of the same thing. It seems to be common now for the big name publishes, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, SEGA, Activision, etc. to be introducing and developing new franchises. One of SEGA’s new franchises is the Condemned franchise by Monolith, which is back for its second showing in Condemned 2: Bloodshot for the Xbox 360. Does this game have the blood and gore that made it great the first time? Read our full review to find out!
I am not the biggest action horror fan out there, I actually have a pretty low appetite for these games. That isn’t necessarily because I don’t like the games, I am just one of those extremely light hearted type who gets pretty spooked by a good horror game. With that being said I still enjoy them, and the original Condemned was a perfect example of a horror game that I really enjoyed. It seems like with the launch of any console there are new games that stand out, and Condemned: Criminal Origins is the game that stands out for me on the Xbox 360. Now a few years later, can the same franchise continue to do as well?
The game continues the story from the first game taking the role of Ethan Thomas, a forensic guy whose life is pretty messed up. I am not going to get into the story too much as of course it is a driving factor in the overall experience. I will say however that as a whole the developers did a pretty fine job of wielding everything together and keeping you in your seat if not at the edge of your seat the whole time. There were a few things that had me scratching my head that once again I don’t want to give away, but all in all it was a good story experience.
So let’s get into the single player portion of the game, which for the first game really was the staple of the title. What you get in Condemned 2: Bloodshot is more of the same, the developers seemed to want to keep things paced and structured in a very familiar way for anyone who played the first game. The game however still invites new gamers to the table by starting off a bit slow and then working their way into the experience. What you get in the game is a very linear experience that will have you walking through dark corridors battling all sorts of different monsters.
The game is once again played in the first person perspective, something that was highly discussed with the first game. The reason is that using guns isn’t necessarily a primary focus of the game. In fact you will be doing much more hand to hand combat in this game than many other games in the first person perspective. In fact you could probably go through 97% of the game without touching a firearm. Much of what you will do is pick up items that are lying around the environment and just whack the bloody heck out of enemies. The game is extremely gruesome, but in a way that doesn’t pride itself on this. There are games that try to push the gore in your face and others like Condemned 2 that just make it part of the experience.
The single player campaign is just as good if not better then the original. The game flows really nicely and makes for a great experience. Some may find that the experience is short, but I think it hits a real nice medium and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
On the multiplayer side of things have made a surprising impact on this game, Condemned never seemed like a game that really was well suited for multiplayer but the different modes in this game actually made it worthwhile. Although not necessarily a big aspect of the game it still adds some depth to the experience.
Overall Condemned 2 is a complete package, it doesn’t hit that top category of fantastic as there are AI issues in the game where you will find the enemies to be mindless. There are also some portions of the single player which I found to be a bit bland on the creative scale. Other than that the game is really without fault and offers a fantastic overall performance.
Visually the game is running on all cylinders and that really makes the whole experience even more exciting. What is interesting about Condemned 2 is like many horror games it uses both sound and visual atmosphere to mess with your senses. But what this game does really well is mess with the different lighting effects that really twists your stomach into a loop, and that is a good thing. The game has some great detail, some great enemy design, and improves enough from the previous game to really keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Condemned 2 is the kind of game that you’re either going to love or going to hate. The greatest praise I can give this game is that, me not being a fan of horror games, I still very much enjoyed this title. It was paced well enough that whether you’re enjoying the story or not you’re still going to want to find out what happens next. The hand to hand combat is good, but wielding a lead pipe or a door of a locker and taking out enemies is even more satisfying. The gun play in the game is probably the weakest tool in the shed.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot is another solid outing for Monolith and SEGA. For fans of the first game this is a for sure upgrade and a must have game. For those who may have missed it (which I have a feeling is quite a few of you), then I would highly recommend checking it out, it truly is one of the best horror action games I have played in some time.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.