Dec 28, 2007
Good news, gore fans. There are two things that Condemned sequel Bloodshot properly nails and it’s this: tension and entrails. It’s nothing less than you’d expect from coders Monolith, of course, as we take another foray onto the mean streets of Metro City for a second round of tramp baiting.
Our first mission? Following former Special Crimes Unit Investigator-turned-hobo Ethan Thomas as he accompanies an FBI SWAT team into the depths of a ruined tenement in search of an elusive contact from the original game, Vanhorn. As our lapsed hero makes his way down a ladder into a squalid lift shaft, the rungs suddenly snap and Thomas hurtles towards terra painful. Then, as if the situation couldn’t get any worse, you’re forced to hit your D-pad sharpish as a lift suddenly careers down the shaft on a collision course with Ethan’s face. A perfectly choreographed example of Monolith’s flair for first-person theatricals, it’s incredibly cinematic, utterly immersive and bloody terrifying.
Turns out that our close-encounter of the steel kind is only the very beginning of the horror show, and the creepy sounds of wheezy breathing give us just enough time to duck out of the way as a demented down-and-out assails Thomas from behind.
Beating the living brown stuff out of this freakazoid provides the perfect opportunity to test out Bloodshot’s pumped-up melée combat engine, and despite being able to now thwack away with both fists (proper meaty sound effects help the whole thing), kick, execute some arm-snappingly satisfying holds (there are upwards of forty ‘execution’ moves) and enter a rage mode where Thomas really loses it, we must confess that we came away feeling underwhelmed.