A fantastic grusome experience for the mature audience
If faced against a psychopathic meth addict would you be willing to beat him down with a riped off toilet seat, or smash his face into a meat grinder? If you answered yes, then you might be prepared to drop down in Monolith's latest horror entry, Condemned 2: Bloodshot. The sequel to Sega's Xbox 360 launch title returns to the gritty Metro City, and engages players on a thrill ride jam-packed with the intense horror and melee combat that made Criminal Origins such a standout.
Bloodshot picks up several months after the events of the first game, and the city has seen better days to say the least. Special agent Ethan Thomas returns as our protagonist, but he's not the same clean-cut nice FBI agent we became friends with back in 2005. In result to the events in Criminal Origins, Mr. Thomas is in bad shape after leaving his job at the SCU. Now an alcoholic, Thomas spends his time wondering through bars, and battling demons both imaginary, and real. Without intention, Ethan Thomas is dragged back into the SCU to uncover the force chock holding the chaotic Metro City.
Purposely obtuse and disorient like its predecessor, Bloodshot's gritty atmosphere is its greatest strength and truly evolves both the series and genre. If you've played the first Condemned, then the environments will be somewhat familiar, yet still as spooky as ever. You'll quickly discover Metro City is a nasty place, trash is everywhere, and seemingly every object in site is broken and rusted. Traversing you from repugnant back streets, to dark abandon apartments, to a disturbing burned down doll factory, Bloodshot naturally sets you in horrific environments built for scares. While obviously taken from 80's horror movies, Condemned 2 throws frights that interlace perfectly in its context. I found myself searching through a medicine cabinet, then closed it to see the reflection of an axe wielding enemy behind me, just one of many "scream like a six year old girl" moments which keeps the momentum moving.
Like Criminal Origins, Bloodshot's combat revolves around melee. Rather than have obvious weapons laying around, Condemned 2 challenges you to find them yourself. This includes ripping steam pipes off walls, breaking a bed apart for a chunk of wood, or even using the environment itself to kill your merciless foes. If pulverizing a psycho with a wrench doesn't tickle your fancy, then why not smash his face into a T.V.? Your options for brutal fatalities are what really separates combat from Criminal Origins, and this sequel. If your a squeamish person who couldn't sit through a gory movie, then combat in this game is not for you, its brutal, and not for the kiddies to see. Their's a specific scene that forces you to kill a psychotic woman by smashing her skull in a crushing machine. Rated M for Mature.
Multiplayer does exist in Bloodshot, but it's just a distraction and doesn't belong in this type of game whatsoever. The multiplayer is just deathmatch variants, and various forms of objective team battles. This failed attempt at multiplayer proves melee combat doesn't work in the context of player v.s. player environments.
The single player game of Condemned 2 shines as the pinnacle of videogame horror, and contains some of the richest atmosphere ever seen. It's a hell of a time that any Eli Roth fan would hail as a triumph. With this said, if your stomach can handle excessive amounts of violence and gore, pick up a copy of Condemned 2: Bloodshot.