Tag Archive: Bloodshot


Condemned 2: Bloodshot Review

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Well in what seems an eternity ago Sega released this little title called Condemned: Criminal Origins for the launch of the red ring of death some like to call the Xbox 360. Overlooked by many, Condemned was like the ugly step sister in an over crowded genre, it offered something different from the other sisters but even after a bottle of Jack Daniels your uncle still wouldn’t be interested. Fans of the original are few and far between which is a shame because Condemned was actually a damn good title, it offered thrills, drama, an adult story and interesting gameplay mechanics that didn’t involve space aliens or bringing back a game from the dead only to kill it once again, that’s right Joanna Dark I’m looking at you.

We find ourselves back in the shoes of Ethan Thomas, the protagonist from the first game who has fallen on harder times than a cheap russian bride falling down a set of apartment stairs after burning the casserole. Ethan is now an alcoholic and is having trouble telling what is real and what is not, and a lot of paranormal activity is still surrounding him. This makes a lot of sense for those of you who finished the first game, but thankfully for those who never got the chance to play the first one, it’s easy to pickup that this is one messed up individual.

Fighting mechanics have been greatly improved from the first title. Basically anything in the world can become a weapon, and you will be finding yourself doing a lot more melee combat than gunplay in this game, which is what made the first title unique. You will get the chance to use all sorts of items such as a toilet seat, bed posts, bricks and even dolls with explosives. A combo system has been implemented and once you have learned the timing of blocks, parrys and different types of punches you will be having one of the best experiences I’ve had this past 12 months.

Investigation scenes are now less linear, and you actually have to use your noggin to get the best possible results. When entering an investigation scene you are notified but you will have to choose what tool to use, and what information you can find to send back by a number of text choices. Sometimes these scenes aren’t as obvious and you will need to do some digging around, and this offers a more realistic experience.

The one thing that annoyed me about the first title, and still annoys me this time round is that environments can tend to get bland. While this time round we get to enter a lot of different environments, all have long corridors with lots of doors and empty rooms, confined spaces and darkness. Now I get the idea that the darkness is supposed to make the game more intense, but quite often I found myself getting headaches similar to a hard night on the booze, and having to take a break from playing.

The story is meant for adults, or teenagers pretending to be adults. It is complex, gruesome and basically it feels good to know that developers have made a game for us older gamers. Not totally uncommon in games today, but it does have a small amount of language but unlike games that just use it for cheap thrills (aka Kingpin) Condemned uses it when appropriate and it’s actually believable.

This is what happens when you smoke kids!

Graphics are a lot like that blonde cheerleader at school. Looks good at first and you can’t take your eyes off her chest, but then if you look closer it’s not as beautiful as you first thought and you begin telling yourself that they are fake. Cutscenes are some of the most fluent and best looking I’ve seen in a while, but characters can look a little rough, and so do some of the environments. It’s not a bad looking game, but it certainly could have been a little better.

Sound on the other hand is perfect! It’s freaky, guns sound like they have some balls, and all the freaky bad guys do sound genuinely spooky! There is no real music in the game, but in this sort of game you spend too long on the edge of your seat to reallise, its just like a horror movie, insert sharp strings here to startle the viewer, but it works and that’s what counts.
Instead of collecting dead birds there are sonar emitters to destroy in each level, as well as news reports to be viewed or listened to on radios and TV’s. You will also find yourself making vocal responses to questions which is a nice touch. One aspect of the game that could cause controversy is that you are actually encouraged to make Ethan drink alcohol to calm his nerves and feed his addiction to steady your aim when using firearms. I thought this aspect was cool, but I bet the Catholic Church and Alcoholics Anonymous will have some gripes.

Worse than an all expenses trip paid at the Neverland Ranch is the multiplayer aspect of the game. It feels tacked on, weak and after about ten minutes I’d be willing never to look at it again. The first title survived fine without multiplayer and I feel that the developers should have felt the same about this one, but it seems to be the trend to throw in some shitty multiplayer for the hell of it these days.

All in all Condemned 2 is a great sequel, has fixed a bunch of broken mechanics from the first title, but still manages to tie it all in and keeps the players engrossed in the story. The addition of combos in the fighting mechanics, finishing moves and a less linear investigation process has made this game really shine as being original and interesting. If you aren’t squeamish, I’d recommend you get yourself a copy, turn the lights off and play it in the dark, and you will most likely need a spare change of underwear

8/10

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2008 Shaping Up Big!

Looks like after an AMAZING 2007 for gaming, 2008 is not going to slow down and really push the boundaries of this gamer’s wallet…

Let’s just think back to last year, we saw a lot of quality titles, Bioshock, Call Of Duty 4, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Corruption and many more that were huge hits and high quality games.

But just in the space of this month I’m currently finding myself with too many big games to review, not enough time to do it, and too much excitement to sit down and play one of them at a time…

Condemned 2: Bloodshot is a great game thus far, been waiting for this one a long time, and it will be the first review I post. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 just arrived in my office today (a day before release in Aus) along with a copy of Super Smash Bros. This is going to be a big weekend, thank god for the easter break is all I can say 😛

 Then I start a new job next week, which is a 40 min drive away from my home, so don’t think I’ll be doing too much gaming for a little while, but what are you guys playing and looking forward to?

Condemned 2: Bloodshot Preview

bloodshot.jpg 

The boys and girls down at Monolith Studios have finally given us a look at the sequel to one of my favourite Xbox 360 titles, Condemned, and to say the least I am now quivering with anticipation for it’s release.

For those of you who never got the chance to play the first game, you filled the role of Ethan, a detective who was investigating a series of brutal murders, and through a lot of twists and turns, the police are now hunting after you and you become the prime suspect in the case. The games eerie environments, gripping storyline, unique gameplay and hand to hand combat is what really made it stand out from a pack of boring first person shooters that were being released at the time.

Well in the sequel players will be re-visiting the role of Ethan, who has turned to alcohol for comfort to dealing with the issues that have plaqued him for the past five years (after the original game). Unemployed and without much to live for, Ethan is called in on a case, which is where the game takes off. Problem is that Ethan suffers from hallucinations, and has to decided what is real, and what is not which takes the game and story to a whole new dynamic.

The developers have built on the dynamics that made the original game so unique, including upgrades to the combat system, and the investigation scenes.

We will start with the combat mechanics. Instead of the simple block and hit combination in the first game, the player can now chain together different attacks to create more effective combos. Players can now also throw weapons at enemies, which react to hit points on their bodies. Throw a brick into someone’s kneecaps, and they will have some trouble walking! The finishing system has also been updated, and instead of just having a handful of finishers, these will change dynamically dependant on what is in the environment around you, which offers some variety to the gamer. Gunplay will be much the same as the first title, except this time around guns can be reloaded and don’t require to be discarded when empty.

The investigation segments of the game have also been overhauled, and definitely for the better. While in the first game these scenes were extremely cool, they were quite linear. The game automatically told you which tools were required, and exactly what to do. This time around the tools will be more complex and it will be up to users to figure out what is evidence. This should make the game even deeper and more enjoyable

The developers have also thrown in a Multiplayer component which promises to be good, but I guess we will be the judge of that. It has four different modes with up to eight players online, including the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Players will spawn into the world weaponless and will rely on hand to hand combat and hope to find some of the weapons scattered across the map, which will make for some furious and close combat online, which will stand out from your typical run and gun online multiplayer modes out at the moment.

Bum Rush, a unique mode to Bloodshot, sets two players in the role of being a squad member of the Serial Crimes Unit, armed with automatic weapons. The other six players must rely on wits and their melee weapons to take down the two SCU members, and roles are switched at the end of every round based on performance of players.

The final game mode is called Crime Scene, and has four “Influenced” players protecting two cases from SCU members. Each player only has one life in this game mod

So I’m not going to lie, I am terribly excited to get my hands on the full game early March. What started out as a overlooked, but great game at the 360 launch, now looks like it is going to grab the attention of most people with all the improvements that have been thrown in