Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

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 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 The black-light will show you organic residue.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows Here's what it looks like to be shot with a shotgun.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Windows You also have a taser which is great for stunning enemies. Sometimes it can even be fatal all by itself.

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 (712) 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

Gameinatrix Jun 28, 2006 10 out of 10 100
Gamezoom May 08, 2006 92 out of 100 92
ComputerGames.ro May 15, 2006 88 out of 100 88
PC Gameplay (Benelux) May, 2006 86 out of 100 86
Worth Playing May 05, 2006 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Freaks 365 2005 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Chronicles Apr 11, 2006 8.3 out of 10 83
GameSpy May 03, 2006 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Deaf Gamers 2006 8 out of 10 80
Jeuxvideo.com Apr 24, 2006 16 out of 20 80

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Plotholes? Lazy writers? 3 WildKard (12149)
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 (121016) added Condemned: Criminal Origins (Windows) on Apr 10, 2006
Other platforms contributed by JPaterson (9147)