Condemned 2 PlayStation 3
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Released on 04/04/2008
In Condemned 2, players will assume the identity of Ethan Thomas, former Serial Crimes Unit investigator, who has been called back to duty to track down his missing partner. The disturbing events from Ethan’s past have left him a broken man – a desperate burnout drifting aimlessly through society in an inexplicable decline. Fighting inner demons throughout his one-man investigation into a sinister conspiracy, Condemned 2 sees Ethan needing to use anything and everything in the environment to survive as he unravels the mysteries shrouding the city in darkness.
As Ethan, Condemned 2 players will engage in visceral combat using a variety of firearms, blunt instruments and an all-new fighting system complete with defensive and offensive combo chains, as well as grapples and holds. To help track the killer and solve the mysteries behind Condemned 2, players will crack open an all-new set of high-tech forensic tools. Using wits and brute strength, Condemned 2 murders can be solved a number of different ways to keep players guessing throughout each suspenseful investigation.
Mark enters hell... and likes it!
Making a sequel is a double-edged sword. If the first game is a success, as was the original Condemned, the follow-up will have a fan base eager for more. This is a good thing, obviously. The downside is… the follow-up will have a fan base. With a long list of demands. No-one wants a rehash – but likewise, they all want the series-maker to feel like the first game. Just… bigger. Better.
Lacking firepower and favouring brutal fist fights, Condemned 2 is not your typical first-person title, but is every bit the ambitious follow-up Condemned fans will have wished for. That said, Condemned 2 still retains some of the problems of the first game, by way of that familiar feel.
Lacking firepower and favouring brutal fist fights, Condemned 2 is not your typical first-person title.
The best, and thankfully most important example, is in the combat, which enhances the first game’s pipe flailing with a relatively deep combo system. Left and right triggers throw left and right punches, which can be turned into consecutive hits if timed correctly. Add in melee items, from bricks to socket wrenches and more strewn liberally about the game, the occasional gun, and a gameworld full of vicious sociopath homeless types, and you’ve got the makings of a game with an unusually graphic twist.
It doesn’t get more graphic than Condemned 2’s environmental kills. Build up enough combo points and you can stick a guy’s head down the toilet, through a TV, or shatter a window with his skull, for starters. If that doesn’t take your fancy then why not simply snap his neck? Condemned 2, then, is every bit the 18 game that the rating says it is, and couldn’t be recommended for younger players.
Oppressive, atmospheric and downright creepy
Those old enough, however, with find violence is in keeping with the oppressive, atmospheric and downright creepy feel that the first game had in spades. Indeed, condemned 2 is a more unnerving fiction, pushing the next-gen hardware to greater degrees thanks to much longer in development than its rushed-to-launch forebear.
To call Condemned 2 ‘dark’ wouldn’t be doing it justice. The world that main character Ethan Thomas finds himself in has gone literally straight to hell, with scares around every corner in the form of psychotic tramps attacking you at leisure, a torch which barely lets you see a few feet ahead of you, and demonic forces seemingly gathering just out of reach.
Tune a TV in Condemned 2 and you’ll get an eerie voice through the static giving you hints. Walk into a dilapidated hallway and there’s more than a slight chance you’ll be attacked. If anything, Condemned 2 is a little more predictable than its predecessor, but delivers a more consistent sensory assault.
As a story, Condemned 2 is a triumph of tight scripting, tense atmosphere, action-packed gameplay, powerful visuals and terrific audio
Forensics are the other feature of Condemned’s offering, and thankfully Condemned 2 improves on them plenty. And while optional, they present new items and Xbox Live achievement points for those willing to pursue them.
To begin with they’re relatively straightforward; common sense use of your tools and inspecting your environment will allow you to work out how the victim died, where they died, if the body was moved, and clues to their identity, which you can radio back to HQ. Later on however, they get increasingly tricky, and prove at times some of the most satisfying gameplay in the whole of Condemned 2.
As a story, Condemned 2 is a triumph of tight scripting, tense atmosphere, action-packed gameplay, powerful visuals and terrific audio. As a multiplayer experience, however, it’s not so great. The focus on close quarters combat simply makes for a less diverse experience, with fights descending into last-man-standing button bashing attrition. It’s a nice idea, but the implementation feels rushed.
Thankfully, Condemned 2 isn’t trying to compete with Halo, CoD4 and co. It’s an adventure first and foremost, and an accomplished one at that. For those that haven’t played Condemned, it will take some getting used to first-person fighting, but for fans of the first game, Condemned 2 will be a tense, terrifyingly enjoyable return that’s been well worth the wait.
- Bigger, better looking and more intense than the first Condemned
- A compelling, frightening fiction with a well put-together story
- Great first-person combat once you've gotten used to it
- First-person fighting feels a bit limited if you're a hardcore Halo or CoD player.
- Goes for outright shock tactics more than the slower tension of the first game.
- Close quarters combat simply doesn't make for a deep, diverse multiplayer experience.
Sega seek to scare the pad right out of your hands!
Arguably the first adventure to indicate the power of next-gen consoles, Xbox 360 launch title Condemned: Criminal Origins was a first-person psychological thriller focusing more on melee fighting than firearms. Condemned players took on the role of FBI Serial Crimes Unit investigator Ethan Thomas, battling sociopaths, bashing angry homeless types and doing a bit of DIY CSI as he tracked down a depraved serial killer.
Condemned 2 begins a year on, and Ethan's a broken shell of a man, haunted by the events of Criminal Origins and living the life of the tramps he once so enthusiastically battered; sporting an unkempt beard and looking the spitting image of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell Conviction. He's still a mean detective, however, and with Condemned 2's city sinking even further into decay and his former partner missing, Ethan's soon back to doing what he does best.
To the Condemned 2 player, that means... bludgeoning thugs in the face with fists, feet, and all manner of melee weapons. Indeed, Condemned 2's revamped fighting system is far more accomplished, with punches on the triggers giving plenty of scope for combos, followed, if timed right, by a graphic environmental finisher – from putting an enemy's head through a TV or window, or even shoving it down the loo!
Also vastly improved is Condemned 2's forensic investigation. The first Condemned was criticised for all-but telling the player what to do, but Condemned 2 lets you off the leash and turns it into a fully-fledged puzzle. The example we were shown saw Ethan come a cross a dead police officer and figure out how he died; first by making an ID, then establishing a cause of death and place of death.
A dank, decaying gameworld with an oppressive vibe and the feel that death may really be lurking around every corner.
This meant selecting the appropriate multi-choice answer from given lists – first establishing the gender and age, then picking out the police badge and radioing the number to HQ, before finding a bullet hole and identifying it as an exit wound – meaning our poor capped cop was shot in the chest. Finally, whipping out a UV light showed a trail of blood, and following the trail took Ethan back to the original crime scene.
Condemned 2, then, promises to be much more of a thinking-man's action game. It's also set to deliver a darker, more intelligent story this time around, with tuning TVs set to offer narrative hints and creepy, static-filled narration, while tracking down and getting rid of sound emitters said to be driving the city's inhabitants to brutal behaviour makes far more sense in Condemned 2 than the dead bird collectables of the first Condemned.
It's all helped no end by an immensely impressive graphics engine. Condemned 2 presents a dank, decaying gameworld with an oppressive vibe and the feel that death may really be lurking around every corner. Condemned 2 also goes for the minimal approach to psychological horror that all the best fright flicks do – ramping up the tension with eerie music and screeching sound effects before suddenly having a bloodthirsty thug sprint onto screen, panicking you enough to literally drop the pad... well, we did, anyway!
Condemned 2 is pretty original as first-person adventures go – and that extends to its multiplayer mode, with brawl-based combat that sees crowbars at a premium and players congregating in certain areas and mashing the triggers. It may not sound too strategic, but Condemned 2 multiplayer favours intelligent movement and well-timed attacks.
We found lurking on the edges of a big ruck was often a good idea in Condemned 2's multiplayer deathmatch; letting players batter each other senseless, only for us to run in and finish them off with swift neck snaps when several hit their last health point; stood wobbling on the spot like in Mortal Kombat. In all, Condemned 2 online should be something entirely different for the Halo-loving Xbox Live gamer or the CoD-playing PS3 owner.
And that's true of the entire package. Addressing the flaws of the first game, giving everything a severe makeover and adding in multiplayer, but retaining the same forebodingly creepy atmosphere and unique first-person gameplay as before, Condemned 2 could pack a real punch when it hits home this March.
Preview by: Mark 'One-Two Combo' Scott
Preview Published: 29.02.08
Condemned 2 Review (11/04/2008)
Mark enters hell... and likes it!
Making a sequel is a double-edged sword. If the first game is a succ…Condemned 2 Preview (29/02/2008)Condemned 2 User ReviewsTop review5 years agoCondemned 2Got the PS3 version and the graphics are amazing. Great game, great story, never jumped out my seat so much in my life. The fact you can go through the game once you have completed it with guns and unlimited bullets is excellent.5 years agoCondemned 2Absoloutely awesome, a huge leap from the original in both graphics and gameplay. A highly addictive and atmospheric game, play in the dark and alone for genuine thrill packed ride. A definate must buy for fans of the original on xbox 360 and new comers alike.1 year agoCondemned 2I bought this game for £5 and its amazing value. Its dark dingy and sets you up to basically have nightmares in some cases. The story is good, criminals are hard to kill in patches and because weapons have limited uses you have to choose wisely how to kill each person.2 years agoCondemned 2i think this game was ok, the graphics could have been emproved , the storyline could have been made longer, the fighting against criminals was very exciting because they were very tough and sometimes quite hard to kill. i found it quite scary because of things jumping out at you, but overall i give it a 4/5 and would recomend you picking up a copy. :)5 years agoCondemned 2Really good game!!! I would say its a mix between Manhunt and Silent Hill. Really scarey. The investigation parts are really good too. A must buy for anyone who likes horror games, fighting and gore. 9/10Configuring your price alert
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