Continuing the dark and grimy adventures of Ethan Thomas, I reviewed Condemned 2 for the boys at Fidget.
Check it out here.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
In the darkness of the dirtiest grimy city in America, a spate of murderous activity can only be solved by shamed alcoholic FBI agent Ethan Thomas. Can he get over his misfiring brain and chronic mentalism long enough to solve the mystery?
More importantly, will there be plenty of dark rooms full of random homeless to twat with steel bars this time around? Unsurprisingly, the answers are mostly yes. Following on some months after the end of the first game, things seem to have gotten little better. The world of Condemned 2 is still downright nasty enough at times to be a David Fincher movie with all of the funny moments removed. The city is awash with deaths and strange happenings. To boot there are legions of horrific weirdos running about, and they’ve left a whole load of bodies for you to investigate in CSI-lite mini-scenes in-between the knuckle breaking fist-fights.
The original Condemned was full of atmosphere and despite some bad pacing was genuinely scary although it didn’t seem to know what it was supposed to be. Bloodshot goes some way to fixing this, with a better balance of frantic beatings and quiet moments. The combat has also been refined to the point of being clever as well as fun, instead of just swinging a bludgeon wildly or blocking, you can hook, jab and block through pain-dealing combos that open extras and weapons in later levels. The overpowered guns are still there, but can now be reloaded, and any weapon can be thrown or dropped at will. The single player story is the meat of the game, and conforms to the usual 6-8 hours that FPS games tend to last, but it’s an experience that will keep you gripping your controller till your palms sweat and your eyes bug out.
The multiplayer options are pretty sweet, letting you gang up together as either cops or nutjobs and hammer each other ugly with toilet-seats and table legs, or maybe play hide and seek with clues in the dark. The big doosy is the sound, and this is a game worth buying a surround-sound system for. There simply ain’t nothing like cowering in a corner as yelping horrors lope around the shadows crashing and screaming from all direction. The game also looks grimly pretty with the dirty gritty locations rendered beautifully. Sadly this upgrading of the graphics comes with some side effects.
The returning characters, including Ethan and his forensic genius mate Rosa look and sound nothing like the original characters. Ethan’s changed from a chubby hispanic palooka to a pale-skinned body-builder with an emo-fringe. Rosa on the other hand has magically transformed from a middle-aged spinster aunt to something not far from Halle Berry. I can only guess that this was to make them more appealing to newcomers or PS3 gamers who hadn’t played the first game, but to old hands its a disappointment.