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Description

In Condemned: Criminal Origins players take on the role of agent Ethan Thomas, a member of the FBI's Serial Crimes Unit (SCU). He is part of an investigation looking for a serial killer known as The Match Maker, who kills people and then arranges their corpse with a department store mannequin. During the search Thomas comes across another serial killer who seems to be very interested in Thomas and his cases. It is up to you to determine who the true serial killer is, and who is behind it.

The game is played from a first-person perspective with a variety of weapons to attack your enemies. Focusing on melee combat Thomas can grab items directly from the environment, such as signs, pipes, 2x4's, concrete, rails, planks of wood, even desktops and desk drawers. There is also a supply of firearms, such as the standard pistol and shotgun, but all of those only have a limited amount of ammo.

The hunt takes Thomas across several different areas, from an abandoned office building to a subway station to an elementary school to an apple farm on the outskirts of town, battling all kinds of deranged people along the way. Combat is brutal and Thomas is able to perform a number of graphic finishing moves. The game is largely set in dark and narrow environment, with many horror elements. Lighting is scarce and Thomas has to use his flashlight at all time to light the environment. Enemies are also able to pull fuses to turn off lights and use the new darkness to their advantage. Movement is generally slow, but Thomas is able to sprint for a short moment. Health is replenished through kits scattered around. Enemies engage using the same weapons and they are also able to grab Thomas, which requires moving around frantically until they let go, with a dark haze over the screen visualizing the effects of strangulation. The screen also often turns grainy when Thomas has strange visions related to the serial killers.

Next to the combat there are also many moments where Thomas has to investigate the scenes, using several different types of forensic tools to find clues and help further the story. Use the UV light to find traces of blood, get a blood sample using the sample guy, use your laser light to find evidence that may be hidden. You also have a scanner to scan certain items, and a digital camera for any photographs which need to be taken. Most of the importation is processed at the bureau and Thomas keeps in touch with them through his phone.

Screenshots

Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows Opening sequence. All cutaways and clips blend fairly well and are all in-game.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows Going down into the subways to beat someone with my electrical conduit.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows This time a scummy and abandoned school. Seems everywhere you go in this game is either a burned out this or an abandoned that.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows Get used to this dark gloomy and dirty setting. You'll be seeing a lot of it.

Alternate Titles

  • "死刑犯:罪恶起源" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Condemned: Psycho Crime" -- Japanese title
  • "Condemned" -- European title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

FBI Agent Ethan Thomas, Open Up! Xbox 360 MasterMegid (897)
Condemned is Monolith's best game since NOLF 2, and is a unique gem of a game. Windows Kaddy B. (758)
An incredibly effective mixture between gripping horror and smooth gameplay Windows Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (580)

Critic Reviews

Atomic Gamer Windows May 01, 2006 90 out of 100 90
Xboxdynasty (XD) Xbox 360 Jan 12, 2006 9 out of 10 90
IGN Xbox 360 Nov 17, 2005 8.7 out of 10 87
Worth Playing Windows May 05, 2006 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Freaks 365 Xbox 360 2006 8.5 out of 10 85
Jeuxvideo.com Xbox 360 Nov 29, 2005 16 out of 20 80
Jeuxvideo.com Windows Apr 24, 2006 16 out of 20 80
TTGamer Windows Apr 25, 2006 7 out of 10 70
GamePro (US) Xbox 360 Nov 21, 2005 3.5 out of 5 70
Game Shark Xbox 360 Nov 30, 2005 B- 67

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Plotholes? Lazy writers? 3 WildKard (12126)
Jun 22, 2007

Trivia

German version

Condemned was supposed to be an Xbox 360 launch title in Germany, but had to be removed from the line-up when it did not get the approval of the German rating board USK.

References

On the 4th level, the Grid 4 Subway Tunnels, you get a message informing you to "Find Valve, shut off steam." A little jibe at the FPS development studio and downloadable store giant?

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – #3 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2005 – The Boxcar Willie Award for Best Hobo Killing Sim (Xbox 360)
Information also contributed by Theoban

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Contributed to by Kabushi (159704) and JPaterson (9103)