Condemned: Criminal Origins
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Critic Reviews 80% add missing review
Despite its detrimental effect on my blood pressure, I found myself drawn into Condemned. In this dark, first-person thriller you play the role of a wrongly-accused cop fleeing the law while in pursuit of the "real" killer. The atmosphere maintains an ultra-high level of intensity as you creep through abandoned buildings, collect evidence, and bash the skulls of crazed wandering drugs addicts (who love to sneak up on you). The dark alleys, grungy abandoned buildings, and dank subway corridors look amazing. Don't let anybody tell you that graphics don't matter, because these "next generation" visuals make you feel "in the game" like never before.Oct 28th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
GameCell UK (9 out of 10)
Condemned is my surprise hit from the launch titles for Xbox360, I loved it. And if you like a good scare, and have no doubt – this is THE scariest game you will probably play – you can’t afford to miss this.2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Cheat Code Central (4.5 out of 5)
Out of all of the launch titles available for the Xbox 360 CCO manages to set itself apart from the competition providing an action packed, spine-tingling adventure that hasn't already been done to death on the current gen consoles. If you're a thrillseeker who isn't afraid of things that scream in the darkness, you just found your next challenge.Dec 8th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Planet Xbox 360 (9 out of 10)
Condemned is definitely worth owning. The game is very immersive, many times I felt like I was in a dark empty hallways with crazy criminals hiding behind the next door, just waiting to bash me in the face. All the levels were very impressive and although the story may raise a few eye-brows in confusion, I felt that it was good enough most of the game. Condemned is probably the best Single-Player experience you can have for your Xbox 360 at the moment.Feb 14th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
360 LIVE (9 out of 10)
Durchgeknallte Mörder richten, wüst um sich Ballern oder mit allen erdenklichen Gegenständen um sich schlagen, das packt.Jan 2006 · Xbox 360
Xboxdynasty (XD) (9 out of 10)
Mich hat das Spiel von der ersten Minute an gefesselt. Ich konnte mich nur schwer nach ca. 6Stunden vom Spiel losreißen und habe die andere Hälfte dann in einer anderen Etappe von 5Stunden gespielt. Über die Gameplay Fehler kann man klar hinwegsehen und das Spiel ohne sich andauernd aufzuregen Genießen. Durch die teilweise fehlende Musik, hat das Spiel an Atmosphäre eingebüßt aber Notfalls tuts da auch die eigene Musik. Wer eine 360 hat und brutale Spiele nicht verabscheut, der sollte zugreifen oder das Spiel mindestens einmal gespielt haben.Jan 12th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Game Chronicles (8.9 out of 10)
Condemned is truly a showcase title for the Xbox 360 and a must-own title for anyone who loves FPS games, scary movies or a frighteningly good time. Turn off the lights and prepare yourself for the thrill ride of the year.Jan 12th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
FOK!games (89 out of 100)
Condemned is aan prachtige en super-enge horror-game met CSI invloeden erin verwerkt. Het kan je echt de stuipen op het lijf jagen en de manier waarop je de vijanden kunt neer meppen met de verschillende slagwapens is prima uitgewerkt. Het is erg leuk dat je allerlei verschillende wapens kunt gebruiken en dat je deze gewoon kunt vinden in de levels als normale voorwerpen. Dat er bijna geen vuurwapens worden gebruikt in dit spel is alleen maar positief te noemen, want zodra je een vuurwapen in handen hebt wordt het een gewone FPS en kun je de vijanden van een afstand neer knallen. Als je geen vuurwapen hebt zul je toch echt dichterbij moeten komen om de vijanden af te maken.Jan 18th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Game Informer Magazine (8.75 out of 10)
But even with some complaints, I have no qualms about recommending Condemned to horror fans grabbing a 360 at launch. It packs some true scares, a fresh approach to its genre, great graphics, and fun gameplay mechanics. In short, Condemned: Criminal Origins is the start of the next great horror series.Dec 2005 · Xbox 360
Fragland.net (87.3 out of 100)
Unpacking a new game, let alone a console, is for men an experience that holds the middle between the feeling women get when they're shopping in overdrive or kids when they're heading down the stairs on the day Santa passed by. In other words: it's fun! If you've gotten yourself an XBox360 by now and next to PGR3 you've gotten yourself Condemned, the fun won't stop after unwrapping the plastic!Dec 15th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
IGN (8.7 out of 10)
When you were in elementary school, didn't you at least once fantasize about what hitting someone with that gigantic razor on the paper cutter would do? Of course you did. Well, thanks to Monolith Productions Condemned: Criminal Origins, you can actually live out that fantasy as well as do the world a favor by brutally ridding it of drug addicts and their pesky homeless cohorts. This game is dark, it looks great, the sound is insane, it's got an engaging melee combat system, and it's one of the scariest games I've ever played. Even though the game's level progression and puzzles are extremely linear, you'll have a hard time being disappointed by this one. That is, unless you've got a severe aversion to ramming your head into the pulpy face of a grotesque sledgehammer-wielding sewer-dweller.Nov 17th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
GamingHeaven / DriverHeaven (87 out of 100)
At the heart of Condemned lies a solid storyline with an in-depth combat system and a haunting atmosphere, but there isn’t enough variety to keep gamers coming back for more. Still, playing the campaign the first time through is an absolutely bone chilling experience that makes this game easily worth a rent, if not a purchase.Mar 1st, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
DarkZero (8.6 out of 10)
I advise you to pick up Condemned and give it a go, if you find it too scary, let your friend play it. Condemned helps round out a solid Xbox 360 launch as it is contains all the qualities of a ‘AAA’ game but doesn’t offer enough replay. They could add in more weapons to use, a jump button to help out your attacks and even diversify the enemies you encounter. Overall though, Condemned is worthy of your $60 and is a definite pick up.2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Gamigo (8.6 out of 10)
Knallharte Action mit Gruselgarantie. Wer meint, so etwas ist nur auf dem PC mit F.E.A.R. möglich, der hat wohl noch nichts von Condemned: Criminal Origins für die Xbox 360 gehört. Nein, keine Panik, das hat jetzt nichts mit mangelndem Zockerwissen zu tun! Wer sich nicht täglich mit dieser Materie beschäftigt, dürfte eventuell gar nicht mitbekommen haben, dass dieser Titel bereits im Handel ist, denn offiziell zu kaufen, gibt es ihn in Deutschland nämlich gar nicht.Dec 22nd, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
XboxAchievements (86 out of 100)
A short single player game and a non-existent multiplayer means you could potentially knock this game out in a weekend, if not a single day. Clever achievements provide some incentive to revisit the game but a completely linear story means there is little or no reason to replay the campaign rather than to get both endings, though the Propaganda Reports do add slightly to the experience.Jul 9th, 2007 · Xbox 360 · read review
Jolt (UK) (8.6 out of 10)
Stylistically Condemned is more like the bastard child of Max Payne 2 and Manhunt, with the latter being most evident through the faux film-grain effect, violently detrital environments (coincidently including a shopping mall) and ten-a-penny psychopaths just itching to bludgeon you to a lifeless, unrecognisable corpse. In Condemned you play a cop – or more specially a fed, working on the city’s most violent crimes. In true sci-fi style it pretty quickly emerges that your call to the profession was more than mere morbid fascination, when during the course of a serial-murder investigation you begin experiencing a very specific form of psychosis, giving you insights into the killer’s prior actions. It’s this ‘ability’, for want of a better word, that makes you such a keen crime-scene investigator, but it’s also what sends you on a perilous journey through a violently depraved underworld, hot on the heels of an enigmatic killer who has singled you out for the special psycho treatment.Dec 10th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Xbox World Australia (XWA) (86 out of 100)
Condemned: Criminal Origins is one of the finest horror games to date, managing to mix the traditional scares with action-packed, enjoyable combat. The atmosphere is palpable, the audio downright chilling, and the storyline is compelling and well executed. The game isn't without its flaws - the framerate should be better and the action can get a tad repetitive - but overall, if you're looking for an engrossing experience, real scares or just an intense first-person fight, then you really ought to pick up Condemned.May 1st, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
VGcore (8.5 out of 10)
Condemned: Criminal Origins is simply put, an awesome game. The compelling story, the insanely good graphics, lighting, animations, and the great audio are what makes the game great. The storyline was well put together, and the scary and realistic graphics make it happen. The audio adds a great deal of suspense to the game, just like you were in a scary movie. Condemned is really more about the interesting story than gameplay, and this is probably why there was no multiplayer included in the game.Jan 25th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Official XBox Magazine (8.5 out of 10)
But for the ride alone, Condemned’s super-creepy serial-killer yarn cannot be beat. It looks great, but more than that, it doesn’t rest on its visuals to get its gruesome point across: Next-generation gaming is just as much about gameplay as it is about graphics.Nov 28th, 2007 · Xbox 360 · read review
Game Freaks 365 (8.5 out of 10)
In the end, the slow pacing might turn off gamers looking for a straightforward shooter. The game isn't very long, either. Including all of the deaths and retries that I had during the game, I finished the adventure in about eleven hours. There aren't any other gameplay modes, so once you've finished the single-player game, you've experienced everything Condemned has to offer. Does this make it a bad game? No. Is it still worth buying? I'd say so, especially if you're a fan of this type of game. If you like to breathe heavily and feel your heart pound, this is definitely the game for you. The story will captivate you and the ending will have you excited for more. The unique gameplay, thrilling story, and disturbing graphics make Monolith's Condemned: Criminal Origins worth playing, and as an Xbox 360 launch title, it's one of the top five in my book.2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Play.tm (85 out of 100)
Perhaps seen by many as the 'Dark horse' of the Xbox 360 launch line-up (now fading from memory), Condemned is a surprisingly satisfying and original first-person survival horror game that really shows off the Xbox 360. The copious use of violence means that this isn't for the squeamish, but anyone looking for a next generation exemplar in this genre should definitely check it out.Apr 17th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
XBox Evolved (8.5 out of 10)
Condemned is honestly the sleeper hit for the Xbox 360 launch. When I picked it up last week, not much was available so my choices were narrow. It’s freaky, bizarre, eccentric, horrifying and will make players trembling at times. Well maybe not trembling but it will scare you I can guarantee you that. It isn’t the typical “what’s hiding in that dark corner over there” scare either. You’ll be surrounded by all light and still find the same scares that you wouldn’t normally experience in such games as DOOM 3 that rely on cheap tricks to scare the players.Nov 22nd, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Game Over Online (84 out of 100)
The Xbox 360 launch was marked by a selection of games that mostly featured sequels (or a prequel in the case of Perfect Dark Zero) and ports of popular sports titles. King Kong was based on an already-existing intellectual property so in fact there were only two titles based on original properties. Condemned: Criminal Origins is one of those two titles. From the twisted minds at Monolith, Condemned is a first-person psychological thriller in the vein of the serial killer movies Se7en and Resurrection starring Christopher Lambert (how's that for an obscure film reference). So grab your crime scene kit as we begin our investigation of Condemned: Criminal Origins.Jan 12th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Deaf Gamers (8.3 out of 10)
Condemned is a brutal action game that's fully deserving of its 18 classification. It's not a game for the squeamish or delicate and might come as a bit of a shock to those who normally enjoy action games in general. The brutality of the combat aside though, Condemned definitely deserves praise for its presentation and creating an atmosphere that is truly soaked in fear. The combat system is a well thought out one and having to deal with an enemy AI that's fairly sophisticated makes the experience all the more rewarding. The level design could have been better though and some will point to the game's length as also being a problem. The addition of captions for the out of sight enemies (that can be heard) would really have been a nice touch (and made the game more accessible for deaf gamers) but sadly there are none. If you want a fear soaked action game for your new Xbox 360 Condemned is certainly well worth it.2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Kombo.com (8.1 out of 10)
The best words that can be used to describe Condemned: Criminal Origins are violent, creepy, and chilling. Placing you in the shoes of Agent Ethan Thomas, this game is all about creepy settings, visceral combat, and solving a mystery. Who is this mysterious Matchmaker? Why is he so interested in Agent Thomas? What has turned ordinary citizens into psychotic killers?Nov 23rd, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
EL33TONLINE ( )
It is a game I would recommend to anyone that has any interest in survival horror games. For those that like guns, stay clear. It is not about blasting but rather about strategic planning of how to batter someone with a sledge hammer. Gore is also something that is plentiful so if you are weak at the knees ensure that you never play this game as you might feel condemned thereafter.Aug 2nd, 2007 · Xbox 360 · read review
Gamezine (16 out of 20)
Condemned est donc au final un jeu bouleversant, avec une ambiance extraordinaire digne d’un premier jeu nouvelle génération. Reste que les joueurs PC ne seront peut-être pas forcément convaincus, car le genre est déjà bien représenté sur ce support. Mais les joueurs consoles seront ravis de pouvoir apprécier un jeu de cette qualité sans se ruiner dans l’achat de la dernière carte graphique (même s’il faut acheter la console sur ce coup-là). Et dire que ce n’est que le premier titre… On se met doucement à rêver…Nov 16th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Gamestyle (8 out of 10)
In a game such as this, sound is everything. Playing your favourite tracks whilst experiencing Condemned will not only spoil the atmosphere, but also limit your ability to track opponents. Monolith resort to every trick in the book to scare and confuse players (along with cut sequences and voice direction that are professionally placed to enhance the experience). It's just a shame the developer couldn't expand upon the promise of forensic options and truly deliver something novel and terrifying. However, as its stands, Condemned: Criminal Origins overtook all our fears and certainly points the way forward for survival horror.Dec 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
GameSpy ( )
When compared to the horrific world of Condemned: Criminal Origins, you get the impression that other survival-horror games or shooters are merely playing when it comes to creating fear or depicting violence. Boiled to its essence, the gameplay is run-of-the-mill: you wind your way through linear levels, kill enemies, and grab some health kits. On paper, it's pretty thin stuff. Yet Condemned packs serious scares and manages to tap right into your id as it embroils you in utterly brutal violence. After all, that's where true horror lies: not with the monsters of fiction, but in the cruelty, depravity, and violence that can spring from even good men.May 3rd, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
GotNext ( )
The game is also short, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Any longer and it might lose its tight pacing, which culminates in one of the most intense final levels that plays like something straight out of The Hills Have Eyes. The amount of replay you'll get out of Condemned depends on how much of a completist you are, because there's a bit of optional collecting to be done here. If for some reason, as a 360 owner, you missed out on this game, at least give it a rental and brave its grotesque world for a couple of nights. You'll never look at your surroundings the same again.Oct 24th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
GameSpot (8 out of 10)
Raw, savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, an original first-person action game developed exclusively for the Xbox 360. You play as an investigator tailing a serial killer while struggling to keep your own sanity as you face off against what seems like an army of depraved sociopaths. Condemned's impressive graphics and bone-crushing hand-to-hand combat sequences make for a visceral, highly atmospheric experience that's quite unlike anything you've ever played before. But as great as that may sound, Condemned is also something of a one-trick pony, whose monotonous gameplay doesn't quite live up to the quality of the presentation and underlying concept. Don't you dare let that stop you from making this one of the first Xbox 360 games you play if the concept intrigues you, though. Despite its shortcomings, Condemned offers a compelling sneak peek at some of the incredible potential of the next generation of games.Nov 18th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Christ Centered Gamer / Christ Centered Game Reviews ( )
This is a masterpiece for the next generation of gaming. I wouldn’t recommend it wholeheartedly to a person of age as I would RE4, but it is the first great horror experience on the 360.Sep 23rd, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Jeuxvideo.com (16 out of 20)
Condemned puise dans les bas-fonds de nos peurs les plus primaires : la peur du noir, la peur de ce qu'on ne voit pas, et la peur de ce qui pousse des cris bizarres. Cette atmosphère pestilentielle et horrifiante enverrait au tapis les ténors du survival horror, en particulier quand on la couple à la violence des combats. Dommage cependant que le gameplay soit aussi tristement dirigiste, Monolith ne laissant pas la moindre initiative au joueur. Pour autant, Condemned n'en reste pas moins mon coup de coeur de boeuf faisandé sur Xbox 360.Nov 29th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Video Game Talk ( )
Anyway, I still highly recommend this game to horror fans, detective novel readers, or anyone that enjoys a nail-biting, gut-wrenching tale. I won't advise anyone to purchase this title due to its high price and short length unless you are going to resell it immediately on Ebay, but it's definitely a must rent. Don't miss out on the absolute best action/horror title on the Xbox 360.Jan 23rd, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Thunderbolt Games (8 out of 10)
Even still, I’m pretty pleased that I purchased Condemned: Criminal Origins. Once I bought it, I couldn’t put it down. The game is pretty different than a lot of the other ones that I’ve played, and it was a refreshing change of pace from the more typical first-person games that I play. The storyline is really good, especially during the concluding portions of the game. Monolith has once again delivered a memorable experience that challenges a lot of expectations and norms and proves that they’re probably one of the best in the biz. There are some problems, and this is probably a one-time journey for most of you, but Condemned: Criminal Origins does deliver an excellent experience if you’re willing to give it the time.Dec 12th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
MS Xbox World (8 out of 10)
Condemned Criminal Origins is a welcome game to make the launch of the 360 and offers something different to the other games on offer. Condemned is naturally full of suspense and will no doubt make many players jump in their seat at times or genuinely feel anxious whilst playing. It’s great when a game can accomplish this especially for the right reasons; and this puts Condemned as a must play launch title. It’s gritty, it’s destructive and it’s dark but most certainly it is a highly involving and entertaining game.Dec 8th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Totally Gaming Network (8 out of 10)
You know those warnings in the front of a games manual? The one that says take a break every so often but you never pay attention to? Well don't worry, Condemned makes you want to take a break every 15 minutes. We're not lying, it's not often that you'll find the Totally360 staff walking away from a game, especially one as good as Condemned. The crushing atmosphere, combined with the visceral attack on the senses combine to create one hell of a scary game; even with the lights on. Monolith has managed to create a game that blends genres, impresses graphically, and fills you with fear of what's round the next corner.Jan 12th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
UOL Jogos ( )
"Condemned: Criminal Origins" acerta no quesito mais importante num jogo de suspense: a capacidade de "sugar" o jogador para dentro de seu mundo de cenários desolados e de horrendos inimigos, aliado a um sistema de luta que obriga o confronto cara-a-cara. Por outro lado, as partes de investigação são simples demais e até mesmo as lutas acabam ficando repetitivas. E o enredo, que promete muito, não justifica as expectativas. Mas, mesmo com apenas um truque, o título é capaz de ganhar o jogador.Feb 20th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Digital Press - Classic Video Games (8 out of 10)
Even if the brutality of it all doesn't prevent you from eating while playing, the scare factor will. This is the essence of what we should expect from a new generation of consoles, and while it still carries some of the basic design flaws we've come to expect from the previous generation, there's little doubt that Condemned doesn't try to do everything to ensure the player has the experience the developers wanted.Feb 8th, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
Quebec Gamers (7.8 out of 10)
J'ai trouvé dommage que les environnements soient plus pénibles qu'amusants, car j'aurais peut-être pas détesté rejouer pour mieux comprendre l'histoire ou voir quelques subtilités que j'aurais manqué, ou encore amassez tout les items cachés. Malhreusement, je ne me vois pas rejouer des environnements aussi génériques dans lesquels ils est impossible de se retrouver naturellement. Malgré tout, c'est un jeu que je conseille à ceux qui aiment les FPS et les jeux d'horreur. Le finir une fois est recommandable car c'est tout de même un jeu avec de belles qualités, et il se peut que vous l'aimiez bien plus que moi, car selon plusieurs, il est excellent, ou du moins, plus excellent que je semble l'avoir trouvé!Aug 15th, 2007 · Xbox 360 · read review
JustPressPlay (7.8 out of 10)
Despite its short amount of gameplay and little to no replay value,Condemned: Criminal Origins is a welcome addition to the horror genreof video games. Its visual and audio concepts show just how strong theXbox 360 can be. Condemned: Criminal Origins, with its dark atmosphereand its lust for violence, is a game that horror fanatics and gamersalike will find to die for. My only suggestion is to play this game inthe dark with a good sound system; only in this element you will beable to take full advantage of the horrifying and disturbingconstituents that make this game unforgettable. Well done Monolith!Well done Sega! A sequel is inevitable.Jan 3rd, 2006 · Xbox 360 · read review
That Gaming Site (7.7 out of 10)
A great find for cheap and invest some time in, just a few rampant glitches that take away from the overall experience.Sep 21st, 2008 · Xbox 360 · read review
Gaming Age (B)
By mixing some of the best elements from games like Silent Hill and The Chronicles of Riddick and with a little CSI thrown in for good measure, Condemned turns out to be a great, original title. Like a number of 360 games, replay value is significantly enhanced by a smattering of interesting and sometimes difficult achievements. If you enjoy games like Fatal Frame and Silent Hill, Condemned should be right up your alley.2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
The Game Hoard (5 out of 7)
Condemned: Criminal Origins provides moments of intense vulnerability as you explore urban environments with only whatever you can grab to fight with. The enemies are armed with the very same tools as you and are just as dangerous when using them, your planning and spacing being what helps you win but it not so easy to consistently execute. Guns surprisingly don’t exempt you from the omnipresent concerns about your safety and can even leave you more vulnerable than a simple pipe if you aren’t careful, but having the taser always on hand means you won’t be agonizing over every item choice for engaging with the game’s compelling battle concept. The story straying into supernatural elements pulls it away from its greatest strengths and ideas like the investigations aren’t really the most fleshed out, but the horror at the heart of Condemned: Criminal Origins is that you are just a man up against other men, and in such a dark and rundown city, that’s more than scary enough.Oct 18th, 2022 · Xbox 360 · read review
Factornews (7 out of 10)
Condemned : Criminal Origins s’avère être un des tous meilleurs titres du lancement de la 360. Original dans son approche, techniquement au poil et, plus important qu’il n’y paraît, exclusif (du moins pour l’instant) à la console. Le concept pourrait même être amélioré dans l’éventualité d’une suite en donnant encore plus d’importance aux scènes d’investigation et en enrichissant les combats de quelques mouvements supplémentaires. Peut-être un peu court (une dizaine d’heures de jeu) pour les plus hardcore gamers d’entre vous, mais son intensité n’est jamais diluée.Dec 13th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
SEGA-Portal.de (7 out of 10)
Brutaler Horrortrip: Dreckig, dunkel, und kein bisschen lustig. Schlagt Psychopathen und Mördern die Zähne aus der Fresse, oder brecht ihnen das Genick. Schockmomente lassen eure Hände verkrampfen, und zwar so, dass ihr schon Titan-Nerven braucht, wenn ihr mit 5.1 Sound und nachts spielt. Condemned ist eine Mischung aus Manhunt, Breakdown und Silent Hill, wobei auf echte Rätsel so gut wie verzichtet wurde. Zwischen Nahkämpfen und Tatort-Check sucht ihr immer nach dem passenden Werkzeug, um voranzukommen. Dabei wiederholen sich genau diese Elemente sehr oft, und der Einsatz der forensischen Gadgets wird fast komplett vom Spiel übernommen – das schränkt die Handlungsautonomie stark ein. Schade, dass der XBox-Live Support schwach ist, ein coop-Mode fehlt, und der Wiederspielwert gering ist.Sep 20th, 2009 · Xbox 360 · read review
Eurogamer.net (UK) (7 out of 10)
Having created this wonderfully ambient platform to build an amazing investigative horror epic on, Monolith and Jason Hall settled for making something that's entertaining on a basic, primal level, but then failed to capitalise on that. The way was clear to make Condemned something truly outstanding, but in the end its place in gaming history will go down as merely 'a pretty good horror-adventure' - which is a great shame. In terms of getting an original game to go with your 360, this is definitely recommended on that level, but in the broader context it's a sign that next generation gaming may offer a wonderful audio visual experience, but it needs to be a tad more ambitious in the game design stakes.Nov 25th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
GamePro (US) (3.5 out of 5)
While much of the Condemned experience will leave you sleeping with the lights on for months, the actual game itself will last you little more than a handful of hours. Our first run through the game clocked in at little over four hours, which was quite disappointing. The game does have a ton of collectibles to find, including some cool Xbox 360 Achievement Awards, but just don't expect an epic 20-hour experience.Nov 21st, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Games TM (7 out of 10)
Admittedly, Condemned: Criminal Origins is far from perfect and is unlikely to set a new benchmark in what can be achieved with the Xbox 360's advanced technological capabilities. Yes, the character models look waxy and the last level is something of a farce compared to the rest of the game, but despite all this, Condemned remains a decent effort for a launch title. IT may be short as hell, but it's a sweet, scary treat for horror fans and never pretends to be otherwise.Dec 1st, 2005 · Xbox 360
Game Shark (B-)
While it is a worthy first survival horror game for the Xbox 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins is a bit of a one-trick pony. Once the campaign is over, the player can go back to unlock more extras, but the game is pretty much done, and it has probably gotten repetitive to the average player by then anyway. Fans of the genre who have a shiny new Xbox 360 will almost surely want to check it out to experience the immersive and disturbing atmosphere the game can create using the new technology, but those just looking for the best launch title should keep looking.Nov 30th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
X-Power (6 out of 10)
Toch stellen we ons de vraag waarom Monolith niet wat meer variatie in het hele opzet van dit spel heeft gestoken. De hele rit lang vroegen wij ons af wanneer we eens andere gameplay zouden voorgeschoteld krijgen, maar helaas bleven we op onze honger zitten. Het resultaat is een spel geworden dat erg sfeervol (is “angst” een sfeer?) overkomt, maar veel te lang teert op dezelfde, relatief simpele gameplay.Dec 31st, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
Lens of Truth (6 out of 10)
This is a fun game. Not a short game, not a long game, and as my wife pointed out, not an original game. I’m not even sure I’d recommend this game to anyone. If you like horror games, this might not even be interesting, but it might be a fun break from your Resident Evil marathon. I would put the replay value pretty low. Once you beat the game, you can’t wait to move onto another game. So why did I play this game again? My wife needed gamer points. Since this game was a launch title Microsoft pushed this game to give out more gamer points over the easiest tasks then most other games. So if you see this game in the bargain bin, pick it up, get your points, get a little entertainment, and move the heck on.Oct 23rd, 2008 · Xbox 360 · read review
Diehard GameFan (4 out of 10)
I simply can’t recommend this game to anyone under any circumstances. It is much less fun than even The Matrix Online, which is saying a lot. It just doesn’t look like they tried hard enough. And I think I know why. I think in their deal with Sega and Warner Brothers to make The Matrix Online, they were required to make this game as well. It’s rather appropriate that Monolith’s two worst games are connected like that. But either way, if you want to, give the game a rent, but do NOT, under any circumstances, buy this game yet. It’s running $60 in the stores and is barely worth $20. And I feel TOTALLY ripped off. It just isn’t fun at all.Nov 28th, 2005 · Xbox 360 · read review
FBI Agent Ethan Thomas, Open Up!
by MasterMegid (870)
Condemned: Criminal Origins, developed by Monolith, and published by Sega, is a unique horror adventure game. You won’t be fighting zombies or vampires here. But psychopaths with murderous intent as, you track and try to stop a serial killer. It is such and original idea for the genre yet a wonder why no one has thought of it till now. But does the game play as well as could?
You are thrust into the role of Ethan Thomas, an FBI agent with a talent for solving the unsolvable, and has stopped some of the most sadistic killers that Metro City has to offer. As of late it has been getting worse. Something is driving these men and women to kill, as violent crime is up in the city by 110% However Ethan’s day is about to get much worse, while investigating the latest killing by “The Matchmaker”, Ethan is attacked, the psycho then kills two cops, for which Thomas is blamed.
Now on the run, and attempting to clear his name, he must find the real killer, before the body count rises. Condemned is a visceral and very unsettling adventure into the heart of darkness, which reminds me of the recent, Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth.
As you will have to traverse some of the worst areas of the city, and not only survive but gather clues and piece together the mystery. Along the journey there will be many plot twists, as Ethan struggles to retain his sanity.
While gathering clues you have many tools at your use, a camera and UV light among others. When you approach a potential clue, a box will appear on the screen guiding you through the process. Doing this Monolith really idiot proofed the game, as Thomas will only use the proper tool at the right time. This is both a good and a bad thing. The good is that it takes the guess work out of the process. More on the bad later.
Combat is really interesting in this game. There are guns, pistols, shotguns, rifles, etc. Which all have their strengths and weaknesses. For example a headshot with a pistol delivers a quick death, regardless of distance, while a chest full of buckshot is best at close range. But firearms are rare in the world of Condemned. And furthermore it is the melee weapons that steal the show.
Just about any blunt of bladed weapon can be used. From steel pipes, to fire axes, and even odd items, like a mannequin arm. Like with the firearms, each has strengths and weaknesses. The steel pipe is quick, but has low attack power and poor blocking. Whereas, the axe, is extremely powerful, has good blocking, but is slow. And the key to successful combat is learning how to use the block feature. If you block to early your foe will not follow through, do it right and they are left open.
The combat with the psychotic populace, is very visceral. When you are struck blood smears your vision. When you attack, your weapon becomes covered in the blood of your foes. Furthermore you often feel as if your life is in danger, not only in combat but while exploring the areas, as well. There is also a stun-gun at your disposal, which can be used to get a free hit on an enemy or escape, or steal the weapon they have. You can also deliver a quick kick. This has the chance of disarming a foe. There are also these “quick kills”, when you tire a foe they will fall to their knees, at which point you can execute them. These are cool at first, but, I have to agree with Von Katze on this one. After awhile it feels like Mortal Kombat.
Some weapons double as items. A crowbar can kill, or it can pry open a safe. Most of the time these are optional, however. There are also tons of Xbox achievements. Which add to replay.
What is and adventure game without exploration? And Condemned offers plenty. The game really excels in presenting a creepy atmosphere, make you feel in danger, this is where most games of the genre fail. You will often see something only to investigate and find nothing. Ethan also has strange visions. These often foreshadow things to come, or are merely intended to freak you out. That being said many of the enemies are very disturbing, and in one of the games creepiest missions, you are in an abandoned department store. And there are these really freaky mannequin looking enemies, the first time you see them, they will completely freak you out.
The graphics in Condemned are good, yet not as good as some Xbox 360 games. The environments look great and have excellent lighting effects. And the characters facial details are very realistic, yet there is something about the character models that looks off.
The sound and music are excellent. The music is eerie and off-putting. While the sound effects really draw you into the game. You will hear audible hallucinations, as Ethan loses it. And the noises that are made by the lunatics is often bone chilling. The voice acting is top notch as well.
Back to the tools, Monolith made it WAY to easy. This detracts from the adventure part of the game as you cannot experiment with the different tools whenever you wish. Only when the game allows it. Furthermore being attacked while you are trying to collect evidence is annoying as hell.
Some missions are just not as well done as others. And I feel that you are forced to fight to often. I would have preferred less combat. To make the game more suspenseful, but at least the combat is well done unlike so many games.
Some of the plot twists are just plain stupid. I won’t spoil them, but I did not care for some of them.
The whole the FBI thinks Thomas killed the two cops plot point is completely moronic. The only have minimal evidence of this, his gun was the murder weapon. No provable cause. No motive. They just assume the worst of Ethan. Did it ever occur to them that his gun was stolen? What the fuck?
The Bottom Line
In the end, however Condemned: Criminal Origins, overcomes all of it’s problems, and is one of the best horror/adventure games out there. Especially for the Xbox 360, which has so few. A great game to play around Halloween.(For my American friends, out there.) Monolith and Sega have announced Condemned 2, for release early 2008, and this reviewer is looking forward to it, that I can assure you.
Oct 20th, 2007 · Xbox 360
by SanfordMorgan (5)
- Visually it's very unique and stylish, interesting direction. - Same can be said about sound design & music. - Visceral enemy encounters. - Most of the time the game looks very good for 2005.
- Story intrigues at first but descends into incoherent madness as you get closer to the ending. - Levels are mostly consists of abandoned buildings of different origin and almost every one of them is incredibly bland. - Annoying backtracking, very bulky and clumsy controls. - The engine can barely keep itself from breaking apart at this point.
The Bottom Line
A guilty pleasure. It's not really great, but i like it.
Mar 1st, 2023 · Xbox 360
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Big John WV, Wizo, Patrick Bregger, Flu, Sciere, Yearman, Jeanne, Corn Popper, Cantillon, nyccrg, Ronald Diemicke, chirinea, Alsy, jumpropeman, CalaisianMindthief, Tim Janssen, Alaka.