Condemned: Criminal Origins Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

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  • Summary: Developed by Monolith Productions for the Xbox 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins allows players to experience a heightened level of psychological tension as they use their instincts, forensic tools, and melee combat to track serial killers and bring them to justice. Gamers will play as AgentDeveloped by Monolith Productions for the Xbox 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins allows players to experience a heightened level of psychological tension as they use their instincts, forensic tools, and melee combat to track serial killers and bring them to justice. Gamers will play as Agent Thomas, an investigator in the FBI’s Serial Crimes Unit (SCU), whose pursuit of relentless serial killers leads him through urban environments filled with sociopaths lurking on the periphery of humanity. Weapons and ammunition are scarce, leaving the player vulnerable to a gallery of mentally deranged criminals. Careful detective work and precision reflexes are a player’s primary means of survival. [Sega] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Its brutal, in-your-face action will make you cringe, while the creepy atmosphere will have your heart fluttering as you wonder what's around that next corner. Even the hardened veterans of the world's best horror games will find this to be a fine addition to their collection.
  2. 85
    Condemned: Criminal Origins isn't a long game and it only has one game mode, but it's an unforgettable experience while it lasts.
  3. Condemned: Criminal Origins combines a visceral atmosphere; both auditorily and visually, that really does a bang-up job of immersing you into the world of Ethan Thomas. However, this is not the easiest game to pick up and just play on a Sunday afternoon.
  4. 80
    Survival horror has simply never looked this good.
  5. It may feel somewhat underdeveloped, but it is an intriguing experience. [May 2006, p.90]
  6. 70
    Condemned is intense, but it's more of an elaborate tech demo or proof of concept than a truly fleshed-out game.
  7. It's still over too quickly, and there's little explanation why you're running around these ruined buildings beating up drug addicts. [Sept. 2006, p.76]

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  1. Nov 3, 2014
    10
    I love this game, it have a good combat, the story is perfect, the tension and jump scares never ends, and you never know what is going on inI love this game, it have a good combat, the story is perfect, the tension and jump scares never ends, and you never know what is going on in this game. Expand
  2. Dec 23, 2013
    9
    the mannequin level... i remember beating this game twice and it still gave me the creeps.

    game seems slow, unresponding and somewhat
    the mannequin level... i remember beating this game twice and it still gave me the creeps.

    game seems slow, unresponding and somewhat lacking coherence but the atmosphere it has... except silent hill 2 and 3, this maybe the only game that really had me on the edge without resorting to cheap scare tactics like todays most of the "horror games" such as slender man, amnesia etc etc..
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  3. TiagoM.
    May 27, 2006
    9
    . It´s violent in a way that no other game was before.Dark raw and evil-scared me a lot. And the sound it makes when your head gets . It´s violent in a way that no other game was before.Dark raw and evil-scared me a lot. And the sound it makes when your head gets beated by a pipe is amazing and extremely real. The use of soft shadows is very good. FLAW: more questions than answers at the ending. Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2013
    7
    The basic plot was good. I really enjoyed this game, though I had to quit it few times and I almost broke one of my wireless keyboards :DThe basic plot was good. I really enjoyed this game, though I had to quit it few times and I almost broke one of my wireless keyboards :D
    What I did not like:
    1. You can equip only 1 weapon at a time... Why the logical f*ck I can't carry a pistol in my pocket, while keeping a shotgun in my hands????? Ok, for thrill, for tactics. LOL, There should've been even less shooting weapons, but keeping the option to carry 2 at a time...
    2. The ending. For me, it pretty much sounds & looks like the developers wanted to continue it, though they obviously never did.
    3. "Boss"-fights. During these fights, you can't really interact with the environment. You have no time, and you can't use tricks--- just the same method you use against every other opponent.
    In spite of the negatives, I really enjoyed it (except the "pool"-scene, which I managed to re-try about 25 times, until I realized there are 2 machine guns at the left side and the farest end of the pool), as the game really tries to keep the thrill all the time and it mostly work!
    I didn't tell about graphics. It's an already old game and graphics are so much subjective. I say the graphics are good for this kind of game!
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  5. asasasasdfxdvxvd
    Dec 16, 2008
    6
    Just like F.E.A.R the novelty of this game wears off really fast, except it's even more confusing than F.E.A.R ever was. For 3/4s of theJust like F.E.A.R the novelty of this game wears off really fast, except it's even more confusing than F.E.A.R ever was. For 3/4s of the game I couldn't understand what was wrong with the entire town. Why where they all beating each other to a pulp? Unfortunately instead of having somebody asking in the beginning of the game "what's wrong with everybody" or someone saying "there's unexplainable surge of violence amongst the civilian population in this area," they leave any such dialogue towards the end of the game. This makes it seem that such violence is completely normal, as none of the characters even mention it, with all dialogue focusing on catching a serial killer instead expressing concern for a town which literally seems to be ripping itself apart.
    The main character is extremely cliche - the old story about a cop who has been framed for murders he never committed. This barely serves any purpose in the game, as you very rarely encounter police officers, and when you do they're more focusing on riot control than capturing you. Otherwise you're investigating crime scenes just as you would be if you were still on the force.
    While its a struggle for the protagonist to get from area to area, other characters get around relatively easily rarely facing danger when they meet you in the streets just before or after you've just smashed some addicts heads in with a sledgehammer.

    The 'one weapon system' is interesting, but stupid. Why is it so difficult for the protagonist to put a pistol in his belt so that he can use it when he needs it? And how does his forensic equipment survive the many beatings that Agent Ethan Thomas receives. Then there's all those stupid dead birds that you can collect around the different levels. It's seriously arcadey and ruins any atmosphere when you're using your forensic equipment to locate these tokens.
    Overall this game is very repetetive and the locations dead boring. It's looks very much like the game designers ripped off the levels from F.E.A.R, and replaced gun fights with melee fighting. It looks like alot of Condemned's potential was realized in its sequel, which unfortunately is unavaible to PC.
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  6. Joe
    May 4, 2006
    4
    The whole game engine is awkward and practically on rails...you can't crouch or even jump(!) unless the game allows it at certain points The whole game engine is awkward and practically on rails...you can't crouch or even jump(!) unless the game allows it at certain points (I know FPS veterans won't believe that one - try the demo and see). You can be carrying around an FBI lab's worth of analysis equipment (through devastated slums, no less) but you can't pick up health packs or hold more than one weapon at a time. The whole game is FILLED with the same kind of tired scare & "unreality" nonsense that F.E.A.R. already overdid...endless jump-scares from the dark, distant enemies who you can just glimpse but do nothing about as they scurry around a corner, meaningless "craziness" (like having reality shift on you for no reason, being suddenly surrounded by mannequins with no explanation, etc.) and so on. And what is probably the biggest disappointment considering the build-up, Condemned has an absolutely awful game backstory...one of the worst in recent memory. Why? Because no questions are even answered at the end...why does the protagonist pick up birds and metal pieces to begin with? Why has the whole world seemingly gone homicidally insane? Why are the birds dying? Why does reality shift so often for the protagonist and what does it mean? Is he insane? Why about all his so-called special abilities that the authorities are so interested in? Who/What is the final enemy? Etc.! Basically NONE of these very basic questions are answered...the game just opens up pandoras boxes of intruiging plot elements, then just...ends, with no plausible explanation for any of it and very few loosed ends tied. And I haven't mentioned the god-awful performance (which isn't worth it, if the game's visuals are anything to go by since most of it is in the dark). The only reason this game gets 4 at all, is because the hand-to-hand combat is exceptionally well implemented...revolutionary in fact. But other than that, this is an unbelievably overrated one-trick pony, except the developers forgot that the one trick has already been played out ad nauseum, and better, by the likes of F.E.A.R. and Doom 3. Save your money and time...I really regret wasting both of mine on this game. Expand
  7. Feb 2, 2014
    2
    The biggest problem i had was the stiff gameplay. Like seriously Monolith you produce an masterpieces like F.E.A.R and Blood and after themThe biggest problem i had was the stiff gameplay. Like seriously Monolith you produce an masterpieces like F.E.A.R and Blood and after them this? This could have been an better game but the slow and broken movement simply robs the rating. And im quite sure it wasnt the same engine they used in F:E.A.R... Expand

See all 16 User Reviews