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Hittin’ the Pipe Again

Ryan gives his impressions after a couple hours with Condemned 2.

When in doubt, grab something off the wall.
When in doubt, grab something off the wall.
OK, so I bludgeoned my way through the first level of Sega and Monolith’s Condemned 2: Bloodshot earlier today, and I’m pretty satisfied with the way it just amps up both the felony assault and the mental illness like it was a county jail. There’s an early scene where our protagonist, a broke-down and paranoid rummy in the wake of the first game, throws a couple nefarious-looking pills on a bar, crushes them with the bottom of his lowball glass, and then sweeps the remains right into his drink. So yeah, it’s like that.

I’ve honestly always been a little fuzzy about the significance of the ending of the first Condemned, specifically the whole OH GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HIS FACE thing, though the crux of the first level is that our protagonist’s mental health may not be as strong as his right hook. But judging by his sweet new beard, floppy haircut, and propensity for savagely beating strangers for no apparent reason, I’d say his Metal Health is just fine. I relish the idea of playing a game as an insane person, and this guy’s potentially the best kind of insane person–the kind who thinks it’s everyone else who’s crazy!

Maybe it’s just the result of faded memories, but my first impression of Bloodshot is that the hits are harder and more visceral than before. There’s immediately more depth to the combat, with these crazy combos that make your already wince-inducing blows that much more brutal and environmental kills that let you execute unfriendly guys with facial piercings in more creative ways.

The weapon selection is still on some caveman trip, and over the course of the first level I beat men to death with 2×4s spiked with nails, lengths of electrical conduit, pipes, bricks, prosthetic arms, crutches, and arm braces. I did see one shotgun in the first level, but seriously, why would you ever use a gun in Condemned? That’s kinda missing the whole point.

Keep in mind, this is still Condemned, and I’m pretty sure if you weren’t feeling the first one, this one probably won’t change your mind. We’ll see if it eventually starts to drag like its predecessor did, and if they’ve actually made any of the CSI business any more compelling, but so far it’s nasty and lurid the way I like.