Condemned: Criminal Origins review

  • Good god, this is scary
  • Truly terrifying, beautiful environments
  • Excellent sound design
  • Easy to get lost -- and frustrated
  • Investigating may be boring to some folks
  • Areas should be fully destructable

Condemned is all about confrontation, whether it's trying to survive gang attacks or the gulp you take before facing down a magnum-packing lunatic packing armed only with a length of rebar. The AI really is unpredictable, as crazed maniacs prepare their attacks depending on your actions. If you turn your back, they'll chase you down; approach them, and they may stand back with caution. Then there's the nutcases who just want to pummel your face in with a nail-ridden 2x4, or any other makeshift weapons they might scavenge from the environment. And they don't even come close to the really terrifying enemies, which we'll leave for you to discover all on your own.

Even though the unfulfilling ending leaves a lot of stuff unexplained, exciting exclusives like this one give the Xbox 360 some much-needed respect at launch. If you like getting frightened, you need Condemned -- it's the scariest game of the year.

More Info

Release date: Nov 15 2005 - Xbox 360 (US)
Dec 02 2005 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: Sega
Developed by: Monolith Software, Monolith Productions
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:


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