Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a survival horror first-person action game that casts you in the role of a detective tracking a serial killer who is killing other serial killers.

The game boasts astounding, creepy presentation, and it plays like a gritty police procedural that is more like "Seven" than "CSI". The game departs from the traditional action shooter in that more often than not you do not use firearms but instead whatever instruments you can find to engage in close quarters melee combat. Weapons include pipes, axes, crowbars, two-by-fours, and the occasional pistol or shotgun. This results in a visceral, even unsettling, game experience where the combat feels as desperate as the condemned buildings through which the story leads you.

The story is well-plotted but doesn't quite deliver the revelatory moment or satisfying climax to which it builds. There's also a fair bit of repetition in the game's uniform dark and dreary levels.

Overall, though, Condemned: Criminal Origins delivers as expected in providing an unsettling first-person horror action experience.

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