Synyster Graves

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

by on May.13, 2010, under Xbox 360

I didn’t know quite what to expect when I found a copy of this in Game. Upon inspection the rear box art marketed the game as being very inventive with the mere miasma of weaponary you can get from your surroundings, which obviously intrigued me. I do remember someone telling me a while ago that part of this game also involved beating up homeless people. Being the evil bugger that I am, this game was swiftly purchased. Maybe in hindsight it would have been better to have played Condemned 1 first but ah well too late!

First thing you notice when you put the game in is that the game is in first person perspective. The immediate atmosphere of this game was really quite chilling albeit the game by nature is very dark. And I mean VERY dark! It’s like watching Alien vs Predator: Requiem wearing sunglasses at times as you often find yourself running about in the dark like a mole in photography development room.

The next thing you notice is the combat is rather, how can I say, unique? Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite fun using both triggers as your respective fists to beat up hobos but why on earth is it so difficult to really get into the swing of it? Every single person you attack seems to absorb damage seamlessly like a tampon in a cup of tea before you have the screen popping up with directives the whole time you’re trying to fight someone. The blocking aspect is crucial to not dying every two minutes but you have to get the timing PERFECT otherwise you receive damage. It’s stupid that blocking a millisecond before impact will not register and your health will deteriorate swiftly before you’ve realised that providing a protective barrier with a pole does nothing if you pre-empt the attack too early.

The combos is almost a joke as if you receive damage mid-combo, you can”t finish the combo and have to start again. This seems fair until you take into consideration that if you’re pummeling someone in they just break out from the combo and hit you ALL THE FUCKING TIME. So I thought maybe my fists aren’t strong enough, I’ll use a weapon like a steel pipe. Still the same thing. So in the interest of science I reduced the difficulty down to easy, and guess what? Smashing someone in the face with assorted masonry doesn’t matter because they’ll shake it off in a nano-second and kill you in a few hits. I mean come on, nobody can recover from having plumbing inserted in their nostrils. So when you get a gun, this should give you more of an advantage. Wrong. The amount of times I have shot someone in the chest and they just casually get up, dust themselves off and continue their assault. The only satisfying way I found is either kick them in the face (which is clunky because it involves clicking the right analog stick) or if they do happen to fall to their knees you can execute a Mortal Kombat style fatality, albeit its not as visceral. Now I debate thugs’ ability to osmose ballistics as usually a gunshot to the heart is fatal but I let it go as it adds to the awesome suspense and atmosphere the game creates. The other really big let down with the combat is that if you’re engaged in a fist fight, you’re assailant has a ridiculously long reach. If you hit him twice and back away quickly, not only is he staggering in completely the opposite direction, but he can hit from you a good 2 metres away which would only be feasible if he was throwing a Guile style Sonic Boom.

The forensics in the game caught me by surprise as one minute I was in Silent Hill, the next I was David Caruso, although wearing sunglasses would just make the game even darker! You get a field kit comprising of a digital camera (which by default always starts in Mr Magoo mode), a UV Searchlight, a completely pointless GPS Sat-Nav thing and a Spectrometer. The latter is used for detecting the evil air conditioning systems dotted around the game which hurt you when you get too close.  While it seems farfetched that a resonating metallic pizza can damage you, its beneficial to destroy all of them as completing all the in level “tasks” rewards you with perks for later levels.

The questions they make you ask which contributes to your level completion can go from cryptic to ridiculous in the blink of an eye. To be honest asking the wrong questions doesn’t really affect your game playing but the rating system is really annoying if you happen to answer it slightly wrong. Plus no matter how you answer the questions, the storyline will descend into utter stupidity by the end. I personally like it when the loose ends are tied up but I’d rather the story be ambiguous rather than idiotic, much like if the twist was aliens, which its not, so I can’t criticise it for that. But it does get a bit Marvel towards the end and you do get slightly frustrated that what was building up to a great X-Files style conspiracy plot descends into a more X-Men finale.

In summation, Condemned 2 is quite a good game although the multiplayer deathmatch is slightly dubious and well worth it if you can get it at a low price. As survival horrors go the atmosphere is great even if the storyline gets a tad stupid at the end.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • The Ette

    The forensics in this game encouraged to me to go out and buy CSI… for that I am grateful!

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