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Condemned: Criminal Origins (Windows)

81
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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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 The lighting is incredible in the library.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows More mêlée. I'm about to get hurt real bad.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows You also have a taser which is great for stunning enemies. Sometimes it can even be fatal all by itself.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows No, they only "look" like zombies. They actually move like rejects from "The Ring."

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

Condemned is Monolith's best game since NOLF 2, and is a unique gem of a game. Kadath Bird (706) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
An incredibly effective mixture between gripping horror and smooth gameplay Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (590) 4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars

The Press Says

Playback Jun, 2006 9 out of 10 90
Atomic Gamer May 01, 2006 90 out of 100 90
Gameguru Mania Apr 26, 2006 84 out of 100 84
Gamers.at Mar 28, 2006 83 out of 100 83
1UP Apr 18, 2006 8 out of 10 80
DreamStation.cc May 03, 2006 8 out of 10 80
ActionTrip Apr 19, 2006 80 out of 100 80
Jeuxvideo.com Apr 24, 2006 16 out of 20 80
Game Shark May 04, 2006 B 75
Game Critics May 31, 2006 6.5 out of 10 65

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Plotholes? Lazy writers? 3 WildKard (12146)
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

Related Web Sites

Kabushi (126873) added Condemned: Criminal Origins (Windows) on Apr 10, 2006
Other platforms contributed by JPaterson (9146)