shaun832's Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360) review

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300 Word Review - Condemned

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a first-person psychological survival-horror game. The game stars Ethan Thomas, a forensic investigator who is called to investigate a murder victim when he is framed by an unknown serial killer who shoots two police officers. The rest of the game follows Ethan as he tries to apprehend the mysterious serial killer to clear his name. 

Melee combat is a major focus of the game. There are a wide variety of weapons you can wield, such as a sledgehammer or a conduit, each with their own individual attributes. There are also some firearms you can find but their ammo is limited and the game somehow discourages the use of them. The melee combat feels realistic and satisfying. Hitting an enemy over the head with a locker door makes them stumble back realistically and blocking and countering feels rewarding.

The AI of the enemies feels like a major selling point the game tried to push there are some flaws when it comes to it. For example, some enemies are programmed to find cover occasionally and sometimes this makes them go from being up close and personal to fleeing in a split second in mid combat. It felt strange when I had to chase after the enemies that were fleeing from me. Plus the enemies follow the same routine of 'attack, block, attack' that you can easily exploit. Occasionally the enemies will unpredictably go for an attack but stop, making you block to early and leaving you vulnerable. This was a nice touch.

The game is very atmospheric, making you feel as though you're actually in a city that's turned to shit and anybody is a threat.

Condemned is a great game and, with it's satisfying combat system and interesting setting, will make to keep playing until the end.

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