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Condemned: Criminal Origins Member Review for the Xbox360

GENRE Action 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

Ethan Thomas must have some terrible nightmares, because this game left me with a pissed pair of jeans. I gained five inches on my vertical just from all of the jumping I did. Scary basement-dwellers, cracked out hobos waiting around the corner, pitch-black environments. When you're playing, it's enough to make you want to scream.

The graphics are not the best that I've seen, but the sounds in that game are great. And by great I mean terrifying. Don't try to play that game in the middle of the night with some of those state-of-the-art gaming headphones. You'll start to forget that you aren't actually in the game, and every couple of seconds you'll find yourself turning around to make sure that you actually are alone. Hearing the screams of strung out madmen and the scurrying footsteps of sneaky creepsters is bad enough, but then they play that uber creepy soundtrack that they have. The audio is very well done.

The gameplay is also very good. I especially like the idea that you can use almost anything as a weapon. Paper cutters, desk drawers, and even the arms of mannequin's are in your arsenal of unlikely weapons. There is nothing like busting a meth addict in the face with a lead pipe.  While the fighting was interesting (with very persistent AI), the blocking system is not the best. For some reason, the main character can only hold a weapon in front of himself for a split-second. If you don't time a block perfectly, and I mean absolutely perfectly, you'll get hammered in the head and lose a lot of health. But whatever, first aid kits are not hard to find at all.

An area in the gameplay that could use improvement is the series of crime-solving sequences that you have to partake in. It's not so much solving though; they are not puzzling at all. All of your tools are automatically chosen for you, and you are walked through the process each time you do it. It would make it more interesting if you actually had to find evidence for yourself. That being said, the tools that you have to use are actually pretty cool, and the crime scenes are pretty messed up.

Overall, this game is pretty great. It's scary, it's fun, and yes, it may be a bit short, but the story is good, leaving you wanting a bit more. Oh, and the best factor yet, it's really cheap now! I would have bought it at sixty bucks, so it's definitely worth it.

More information about Condemned: Criminal Origins
A- Revolution report card
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