Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic 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. CCO has all of the gameplay, story, visuals and atmosphere that you could possibly want in a mystery game and I think does them all to a proverbial "t".
  3. Even though the beginning is a little slow, the second half is downright exhilarating and the ending is a bit surprising as well.
  4. 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.
  5. Forgive the lack of variety and sometimes-baffling storyline, and Condemned is a brilliant undertaking.
  6. As long as you're not some kind of hippy who abhors violence, besides the slightly repetitive level design, the game is a masterpiece of nerve-jangling tension the first time round. However, the linear levels, short length (ten hours of play), story that's never fully explained and lack of multiplayer don't offer much in the way of replay value.
  7. 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.
  8. Condemned combines inventive melee-based game play and a real life horror theme to create a terrifyingly gritty, crime themed action game.
  9. This first-person action game hits you like a sledgehammer with its astounding, stunningly creepy presentation, but it sacrifices opportunities for more shocks and surprises by settling for repetition.
  10. Condemned delivers an experience that's worlds apart from what is usually on offer for PC gamers. At its core it's about as simple as a game could be, but it's presented in such a deranged and immersive way that it's hard not to get caught up in it all.
  11. Performance-wise, it is a hardware hog, and this seems even less justified than in F.E.A.R., where the special effects seemed beefier and more spectacular.
  12. If you’re looking for something which will provide some good scares with a pretty decent storyline and enough intense anticipation at times to literally make your muscles hurt, then this isn’t a bad one to check out.
  13. 80
    Survival horror has simply never looked this good.
  14. 80
    A rush of horror and brutality from the start, grabbing you by the throat, tossing you into the abyss, and laughing as you try to claw your way back out.
  15. Like the story, there are some cool ideas here but they’re not built upon enough to make a truly great game.
  16. It may feel somewhat underdeveloped, but it is an intriguing experience. [May 2006, p.90]
  17. As a plus for a console port, they even took the liberty of including a quick-save function, effectively issuing the middle finger to most other port developers out there and ultimately making Condemned: Criminal Origins a solid contender for the PC market.
  18. Condemned maintains an atmosphere of danger and suspense for a respectably long time, but unlike distinguished games that leap beyond the cliches of their genres(such as "Indigo Prophecy), it doesn't do quite enough to elevate itself into the realm of true greatness. [Jun 2006, p.50]
  19. 70
    Condemned is intense, but it's more of an elaborate tech demo or proof of concept than a truly fleshed-out game.
  20. This isn't a run-n-gun type of FPS, it is an FPS that will have you creeping around quietly and cautiously, while you nervously check your anemic ammo supply around every corner, looking swiftly behind you to see if that rolling tin trash can was the result of an oversized rat, or a stalking drugged out psycho planning an attack, even if you as the gamer has no idea why it is everyone wants to kill you.
  21. Great sound and visuals, but unremittingly repetitive gameplay. [July 2006, p.101]
  22. While by no means a terrible game, and not even a bad one, this is a game designed to increase the overall amount of sadness in the world, and for that reason alone, and despite its many high points, I can't recommend that anyone play it. Ever.
  23. Perhaps more importantly is the inexplicable disappearance of dead bodies. Literally five seconds after they've flopped heavily to the ground, apparently not man enough to withstand a nail-filled 2-by-4 in the cranium, they - *ping* - vanish.
  24. 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]
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 4 out of 14
  1. LeeWolfgang
    Oct 2, 2008
    9
    I have no damn clue why F.E.A.R. gets all this love from so many people when there's this awesome game to be proud of. Condemned: Criminal Origins, is the scariest game anyone will ever play. Unlike in any other horror game, you actually have to fight for your life instead of experience second-long hallucinations of random dead things. It's not actually scary to me, but that's just because I'm kind of stone-nerved.
    Many people say there isn't much story involved. There's a huge story involved, really. It's just at the end then it gets weird. In the loading screens, it gave a description of why people were brain hemorrhaging and become mentally ill. But then at the end you fight a ninja with metal pegs in his body and then the killing stops. That's the only really pointless thing about the story.
    Regardless of whether or not someone thinks of the story, the realistic gameplay, great sound, and effects make up for that and the fact that it's based on that abysmal Lithtech engine.
    The hallucinations the player experiences are done really well and show how he is undergoing brain hemorrhaging as well and is able to fight it off, though it takes over in some places to hype you up.
    It suffers some plot holes (I'll let you use my flashlight while yours is broken and walk around in the dark, Agent Thomas), but they're few and far between.
    The best implementation in this game, though, is that it's almost entirely based on melee combat. And that's done very well.
    The texturing is kind of low-resolution but the excellent effects and everything else make up for it. It's kind of slow, hence it's on an awful engine (though it's thoroughly improved), but everything is realistic as can be expected from a console launch title port.
    Full Review »
  2. JonathanB.
    May 19, 2006
    8
    An exciting, dark and violent melee action game that feels very much like commiting murder, over and over and over again. Pretty grim.
  3. MohammedN.
    Apr 21, 2006
    7
    A great hand-to-hand action game from Sega. Pity the game is short and the replay value is weak.