• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 16, 2005
  • Also On: PC
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 72 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 72
  2. Negative: 0 out of 72
  1. Though the game could be longer and could stand more diversity, the cold shivers that run down your spine while playing it are an undeniable rush.
  2. One of the most nicely immersive titles I’ve seen.
  3. It has exceptional gameplay, tight controls, beautifully scary graphics, and a soundtrack to wet your pants to. Unfortunately, a lack of replay value is just inexcusable when there are so many basic ways they could have enhanced it.
  4. Anyone that is a remote fan of horror games should check this game out immediately. I haven't played a game this scary in a long time and the game play remains interesting throughout.
  5. 90
    Like a good horror movie, there are plenty of jump-out-of-your-seat scares, but the game is just as effective when you're imagining what could happen.
  6. Visually, Condemned will spoil you, as everything is exactly as it should be. Monolith has set the bar extremely high with its first 360 offering. [Dec 2005, p.52]
  7. Is it a fresh and unusual take on shooters, on horror survival, or both? Ah, let's just say it's fresh and unusual and leave it at that.
  8. 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".
  9. If a little more time was spent tweaking graphics, as well as fully developing the forensic elements of the game, I think Condemned could have been close to perfect.
  10. Not only does it do the normal "look at the pretty graphics" common in other 360 games, but it also has excellent and engrossing gameplay to back it up.
  11. Condemned: Criminal Origins succeeds in making an atmospheric, vicious game with an emphasis on hand-to-hand combat and scarce gunplay. The gameplay is great, though we would have liked some more variety.
  12. The graphics, the sound, the level designs, the characters and their voice acting - everything about this game is truly terrifying and horrific all at the same time. Revel in one of the scariest video games ever made.
  13. One of the few Xbox 360 launch titles that actually has the next generation look. While the game is a bit too short, the undeniably brutal action and the great atmosphere make it a winner. [Jan 2006]
  14. It’s like being thrown into a top quality thriller movie; you’ll feel incredibly on edge and at times have second thoughts on venturing into the darkened trail of the killer.
  15. 90
    Especially with its low price, I’d recommend you buy this game immediately if you’re into horror games. The story, although a bit short has some nice plot twists and there’s enough action to keep you busy between the moments where you’re refreshing your pants because of the scary stuff.
  16. If you enjoy horror games, or if you just want to experience a true next-gen game, you owe it to yourself to pick up Condemned: Criminal Origins.
  17. A consummate horror title. From the razor-sharp graphics to the pin drop audio, not to mention the visceral, frightening combat in terrifying surroundings, this game fires on all cylinders.
  18. Makes for a great experience while it lasts and should give players nightmares for weeks.
  19. More of an “experience” than a game. You’ll come away from each game session emotionally and physically exhausted and even a bit timid about walking across the dark room to flip the light switch.
  20. Condemned is a very solid game with great horror elements, great sounds and voice work, and plenty of in-your-face action.
  21. It packs some true scares, a fresh approach to its genre, great graphics, and fun gameplay mechanics. In short, Condemned is the start of the next great horror series. [Dec 2005, p.162]
  22. An intense, exciting, experience that is sure to have you slowing down your pace a bit to make sure the boogie man isn’t around the next corner.
  23. It is by far one of the scariest games of all time, and its innovative combat system and captivating storyline make this game one hell of a ride.
  24. 87
    An unforgettable experience. At no point in the game will you be calm or feel comfortable, and that's the best part about it.
  25. A solid game, and honestly one of the few launch titles that bring something new in terms of gameplay.
  26. With creepy moments that made me jump out of my chair, this title delivers on almost all of its promises.
  27. The keywords are creepy, realistic and atmospheric, and taken on those grounds, the combined whole works very well indeed. Aside from some muddy texture work here and there, the game is audibly and visually sublime.
  28. Easily the scariest game I've played since the original Suffering, and it has that beat hands down. The immersion makes you feel like you are so far into the game that you might want a friend nearby to remind you from time to time that you are not in actuality fighting for your life.
  29. Condemned: Criminal Origins is one of the finest horror games to date, managing to mix the traditional scares with action-packed, enjoyable combat. The atmosphere is palpable, the audio downright chilling, and the storyline is compelling and well executed.
  30. For the ride alone, Condemned's super-creepy serial-killer yarn cannot be beat. [Holiday 2005, p.82]
  31. Condemned is going to stay in my 360 collection forever. It will always creep me out and Monolith did an excellent job with the game.
  32. The melee combat is easy to control and the ability to use the wide assortment of everyday items as weapons never gets old. The only concern I have with the gameplay is the repetitive nature of how the levels play out.
  33. I'd gladly pay full price for Condemned because of its ambience and atmosphere and scares. I haven't experienced a game that freaked me out this much in a long time, and that alone makes this title praiseworthy.
  34. It’s scary, different and great at what it does, with only a few missteps and a story that needs some more fleshing out. Bring on the sequel!
  35. 85
    A surprisingly satisfying and original first-person survival horror game that really shows off the Xbox 360.
  36. There’s not a great deal of replay value beyond unlocking a few achievements by completing the game with a number of different restrictions, but for the ten or so hours it lasts, it’s one hell of a ride.
  37. A great break from the standard FPS, combining gadgets, thinking, searching and good old fashioned combat. This is a great game.
  38. Not perfect but it is well done and provides enough tense moments that will mess with anyone's mind.
  39. Smashing a street thug over the head with a crowbar and then snapping his neck with your bare hands has never felt this good. Condemned: Criminal Origins is all about delivering a disturbing atmosphere and brutal melee combat. In that regard, Monolith has hit the nail on the head.
  40. Some shallow gameplay mechanics and weird environmental limits keep this corpse from the most elite graveyards, but that shouldn't scare you away from grabbing this awesome, and awful, thriller.
  41. It may have a very repetitive gameplay mechanic and even when you know something is lurking around the corner, yet it still manages to unnerve the player due to the game’s overwhelming atmosphere composed of great graphics, sound effects, and a demented storyline.
  42. 81
    The sounds also add a lot to this game. From the odd noise of your footsteps to the breathing of psychotic people trying to hunt you down, it’s all here and creepy.
  43. It’s a well constructed game that lacks in the gameplay department. The atmosphere and story presentation alone garner a rental but the length and fighting make it nothing more than a rental.
  44. Standing at a meager 10 hours, this game is cut down severely thanks to how quickly people will blow through this title, leaving the player wanting more.
  45. 80
    Ultimately, what really makes Condemned worthy of your sleepless nights is its relentless pursuit of total ambience, a design quality that's intrinsically tied to the power of the Xbox 360. Survival horror has simply never looked this good.
  46. 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.
  47. A rather short, but thrilling ride. The plot is linear and there's virtually no replay value, but it's a hugely compelling ride thanks to the pure visceral nature of the experience.
  48. There's not much to do after the single player adventure's been completed, but rest assured that this is easily one of the console's better games and a landmark achievement in game design.
  49. 80
    Many will say the game ends too abruptly with its nine-hour length, but there's no other experience like Condemned: Criminal Origins for those who can handle its savage disposition.
  50. While not entirely original, it still creatively mixes the first-person punching of "Riddick" with the jump-out-at-you frights of "Doom 3" and the investigative thrills of the best "CSI" episode.
  51. In terms of pure, unadulterated fear, Condemned is practically beyond reproach... The most notable problem is a lack of variety in the all-too linear gameplay, as well as the disappointingly small selection of enemy types. [Official UK XBox Magazine]
  52. Monolith resort to every trick in the book to scare and confuse players (along with cut sequences and voice direction that are professionally placed to enhance the experience). It's just a shame the developer couldn't expand upon the promise of forensic options and truly deliver something novel and terrifying.
  53. Naturally full of suspense and will no doubt make many players jump in their seat at times or genuinely feel anxious whilst playing.
  54. The dark, gritty atmosphere is captured perfectly. I can’t get over how great texturing looks on the Xbox 360. Tile looks dirty. Graffiti on walls looks genuine. The texturing effects in this game are beyond awesome. The lighting is also incredibly detailed.
  55. Although at times the gameplay is monotonous and it doesn't feel like there's much to the game, Condemned makes up for all of this by being one of the scariest and atmospheric games ever made.
  56. 80
    It doesn’t quite reach "Fatal Frame," "Silent Hill" or "Siren" (Japanese version) as a complete package, but with Condemned, Monolith have created one of the most shocking, frightening, atmospheric, unrelenting and involving games in recent memory.
  57. Proclaimed as one of the best Xbox 360 launch titles, Monolith's effort shines with its hyper-realistic gameplay and super-creepy visuals.
  58. If you like getting frightened, you need Condemned -- it's the scariest game of the year.
  59. The game is also creepy in another way; you spend much of it essentially beating homeless people to death with pipes. Admittedly, these people attack you, and in fact will often attack and kill one another if you just get out of their way, but I still found it disturbing.
  60. The atmosphere is really what pushes Condemned to the upper tier of launch games. While the melee combat can get a little repetitive, it’s the fear of the unknown that drives you through the game.
  61. 75
    For a good, different and brutal action romp with horror/thriller themes, mystery, a great atmosphere and freaky characters, Condemned: Criminal Origins fits the bill.
  62. 75
    Though it has no multiplayer, the single player story is engaging enough to sit through even if extremely straightforward and linear.
  63. The combat is startlingly visceral if a bit tricky to master, but your thumb may ache after hours of pressing in the analog stick to sprint. It's not a survival-horror revolution, but it's an adventure worth experiencing.
  64. 70
    Our first run through the game clocked in at little over four hours, which was quite disappointing. The game does have a ton of collectibles to find, including some cool Xbox 360 Achievement Awards, but just don't expect an epic 20-hour experience.
  65. It's a sign that next generation gaming may offer a wonderful audio visual experience, but it needs to be a tad more ambitious in the game design stakes.
  66. Virtually caving people's skulls in with a crowbar or snapping their necks is brutal and the game wholly deserves its 18 certificate from the BBFC. Having said that the gameplay is quite repetitive with seemingly endless searches for the correct blunt instrument does get a bit tiresome.
  67. It may short as hell, but it’s a sweet, scary treat for horror fans and never pretends to be otherwise. [Christmas 2005, p.122]
  68. While it is a worthy first survival horror game for the Xbox 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins is a bit of a one-trick pony. Once the campaign is over, the player can go back to unlock more extras, but the game is pretty much done, and it has probably gotten repetitive to the average player by then anyway.
  69. A scary, vicious, visually progressive if rather hollow next-gen showcase that doesn’t outstay its welcome. If you want to spend a night or two in the company of the future of horror videogaming, you could do a lot worse. [Christmas 2005, p.94]
  70. Frights are common as disturbingly psychopathic vagrants lunge at you from the shadows. The violence is raw, barbaric and unsettling.
  71. Squanders its potential with poor level design, repetitive gameplay and no Live content. [Issue #2]
  72. The combination of slow pacing and boring, nondescript environments makes for too many dull stretches. [Feb 2006, p.86]
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
  1. Feb 10, 2012
    8
    The best 360 game that hardly anyone has played. Others are complaining about it being boring because you just walk around with a pipe and hitThe best 360 game that hardly anyone has played. Others are complaining about it being boring because you just walk around with a pipe and hit people but seriously that's what this game is. You have to use your environment to your advantage, they aren't going to through you a AK47 so you can just blow through the game. Take the game for what it is and enjoy it. The atmosphere is the best part about it and it was very rewarding to play all the through to the end. Amazing. Full Review »
  2. May 27, 2012
    9
    A true underated gem! One of my favorite games this generation and of all time. This game is true survival horror that is actually fun toA true underated gem! One of my favorite games this generation and of all time. This game is true survival horror that is actually fun to play! It contends with Dead Space for best survival horror series of all time. I've been wishing for a Condemned 3 game forever now! So many great moments in this game! Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2015
    8
    A creepy, story driven, first person shooter. You play the role of a detective gone rogue to solve a murder case involving multiple serialA creepy, story driven, first person shooter. You play the role of a detective gone rogue to solve a murder case involving multiple serial killers. Condemned: Criminal Origins' thrusts you into a chilling, mysterious world, where you must use your wits to survive. It is a worthwhile experience, and is one of Sega's best games.

    However, it is not without its flaws. Graphically speaking it is not very beautiful, and there are bugs that disrupt gameplay. As well defense mechanisms are sorely lacking; this is probably the weakest area of the game. Your character's attributes are mainly offensive. While playing it becomes frustrating when it is apparent that you cannot duck, block, or zoom, and you get winded after a few seconds.

    But that does not ruin the game entirely. You should give this a try. The pros outweigh the cons.
    Full Review »