Condemned: Criminal Origins Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £40.00

Imagine a world of sheer, relentless terror. A world in which savage, dishevelled lunatics wander around dilapidated buildings, always ready to attack, while you trudge fearfully in pursuit of goals that you can barely comprehend. A world in which just poking your head around the wrong corner of a department store can bring rage and bloodshed down upon your innocent head. A world in which there are no safe places, and nowhere to hide.

But enough about the joys of the post-Christmas sales in Coventry. We’re here to talk about Condemned: Criminal Origins, Monolith’s Xbox 360 launch exclusive and one of the most distinctive titles I’ve come across this year. Of course, it does have a lot in common with the above description, but that doesn’t begin to do Condemned’s world justice. Not since SWAT 4 has a game done urban squalor this well. Where Rare, for instance, used the 360’s power to create the super-shiny surfaces of a future techno wonderland, or the Oz-like scenery of a fantasy world, Monolith has used it to create environments that practically reek of rising damp, pooling vomit, rotting trash and leaking excrement.

The look isn’t totally original – all that grim dead city chic is straight from David Fincher’s Seven or Fight Club, and all the psychic weirdness and FBI style is borrowed from The X-Files – but it makes for a refreshing change from the usual. In gaming terms, Condemned resembles a first-person Silent Hill, except with a truckload more detail. No matter how repellent the visual content gets, you can’t deny that the lighting, modelling and texturing is beautiful. On a high-definition screen, Condemned is top notch stuff.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.