Horror has survived four generations of video game systems. From Splatterhouse on the Turbographix16 in 1988 to the Resident Evil series, gamers have always enjoyed the sudden rush of a dog jumping out of nowhere to bite off their leg or slice a throat or two. Now it is 2008, and there are brand new systems on the market that can create incredibly realistic thrills and chills. This is precisely what makes the Condemned series the new king of survival horror video games.
Graphics have the ability to make a good game great, and Condemned 2: Bloodshot is the perfect example of this golden rule. Condemned 2 is the sequel to the 2005 Xbox360 release Condemned: Criminal Origins.
In Condemned 2, the gamer is thrown into the body of Ethan Thomas, who, after the events of Condemned, drank himself into the lower class. It is now up to Metro City’s newest homeless bum to come out from underneath his cardboard box and find out why everyone is going insane. The storyline is very intriguing and does exactly what it is supposed to do: grab onto the gamer so there is something palpable to come back to in between college classes.
Condemned 2 takes place 11 months after the events in Condemned and matures the gameplay and scares throughout the game. A highlight of the original was the ability to have melee combat, and this continues in Condemned 2.
In fact, the combat has been tweaked and altered so the gamer feels more in control of his punches, kicks and specials. The punches look especially brutal with realistic blood spurting from eyes and cuts that appear on your enemy after contact. Throughout the game you can pick up a large number of objects to bludgeon your enemy with. Everything from a prosthetic leg to your garden-variety toilet seat can be used.
The ability for combos has also been slightly altered. When Ethan comes in contact, occasionally the game will slow down in order to perform neat looking combos. When the opponent falls to his knees, pressing both triggers makes Ethan grab hold of the enemy, and opportunities to smash his head into TVs will present themselves.
This game has an incredible sense of scope. Between Ethan climbing through oil-laden hospitals and being chased by freaky dolls in a dimly lit toy factory, this game is sure to have any gamer playing with a nightlight on.
This time around, the crime scene investigating has been trimmed down slightly, especially in the latter parts of the game, but a lot of effort was put into creating new ways to investigate. When Ethan comes across a dead body, the gamer can zoom in and collect information, like how the blood splattered.
Overall, Condemned 2 gives a feeling of fun and engagement and occasionally gives the same sensation that 2007’s game of the year, BioShock, gave gamers, which is never a bad thing. There could be tiny complaints about the confusing story and the lackluster boss battle at the end, but overall Condemned 2 does exactly what it set out to do: scare the living poop out of you.
I give this game 8.5 blood-curdling screams out of 10.