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Review: Condemned 2
by Matthew Meadows
9.6.08
Condemned 2 is a hidden gem of a game. Amidst the influx of “kind-of-horror” games such as Dark Sector and (the fantastic) Uncharted, it is very refreshing to see a company as big as Sega put some money into a balls-out thrill-fest such as Condemned 2. And what a thrill it was.

Condemned 2 is set in Metro City a year or so after the events of the previous game. The game is played through the eyes of Ethan Thomas, an ex-SCU agent who has been recruited again to investigate the murder of a former mentor. The game is played entirely in the first person view, which adds a lot to the game as you are put right into the thick of the horror. The story is good and is very well focused so you always know what you are doing, something often not seen in recent games.

The characters, except Ethan, are well acted and the baddies seriously toy with your mind which helps create an atmosphere of foreboding and tension when you play. One thing that really lets the game down, and I mean a really lets it down, is the fact that as the player, you are in control of possibly the most unlikeable character in video-game history. I never felt any empathy towards him and it took every ounce of effort in my body not to run straight into the firing line of enemies to end that grumpy bastard’s life.

Gameplay is arguably Condemned 2’s selling point. Despite satisfying headshots that make you wince, gunplay remains a little weak with bad aiming and ammo is pretty rare to come across. You won’t care. With melee weapons lying around you could be forgiven for never using a gun in the game, in fact I would go as far as to say that using a fake leg to beat a drugged-up hobo to death is among the highlights of 2008 for me (it’s been tough year).

Multiplayer consists of three or four game modes which, while making the most of satisfying combat, will probably not keep you absorbed for more than a couple of hours.

Condemned 2 is a good buy for any thrill-seekers. To the game’s credit it focuses on its fantastic combat to give a well-rounded and satisfying experience that will leave you looking forward to a potential sequel.

8/10

Matt

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- Matthew Meadows

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