Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Condemned: Criminal Origins (360)

So it seems that because of my update drought I've never mentioned that I've finished Condemned either.

So, just quickly, this game is great and if you're at all a fan of creepy games (or not a fan of them, but just like great games you can get dirt cheap - I fall in to this category) you should hunt out a copy.

Why is it great? It's very atmospheric with some very nice graphics for a lunch title; It's scary in a way that doesn't rely on cheap jump frights or monster closets; It has one of the better implementations of first person hand to hand combat, which is simple but feels very forceful, and has a little tactical element to it; It has some nice scripted events that are only small things but that help the mood immeasurably, and that often use the game's first person viewpoint to maximum effect; The firearm combat introduces another layer of risk / reward in that waiting for an enemy to run out of bullets will leave them defenseless, but storming them earlier will mean they drop a gun that you can use yourself;

The only downsides are that the investigation element is a bit over-simplified by the context sensitivity (but I'm not sure how they could have made this better without just making it unnecessarily complicated), and that the otherwise excellent story goes batshit insane and kind of undoes its great work on the final level.

I think the best indication of how good Condemned is, though, is how it seems to have stuck with people. While I was playing it people on my friends list kept sending me messages about the game, urging me on and joking about just how scary they found it. I've never had that happen on any other game.

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