Condemned 2: Bloodshot Review
System Link: 2-8 players
Online Multiplayer: 2-8 players
Admittedly, I only just recently picked up the first Condemned game and got to experience what I found to be one of the best Xbox 360 games that I have played. The unique combination of horror elements with a crime story and a first person perspective felt quite unique to this horror gamer. As we all know, sometimes sequels have a tendency of losing what made the first game special. Unlike some games that have a more noticeable change, Condemned 2's appeal will depend on the player. Just how much change and new directions in story are you willing to accept?
Condemned 2 picks up a year from where the first Condemned left off. Once again we take on the role of Ethan Thomas, who has quit his job at his former agency and is now living on the streets while drinking his life away due to the events that he witnessed during the first game. Ethan is more in-tune with his aggressive side from the get go of this adventure. In the last game he wasn't afraid to duke it out at all but he was somewhat hesitant in tense situations. In this one, he just flat out doesn't give a damn and speaks his mind about everything around him.
Speaking of Ethan's change, his crime scene friend, Rosa, has undergone quite a makeover. She now has a much younger appearance from that of the character model used in the first Condemned. There are also a few more returning characters from the original Condemned that appear in the sequel. The changes to the lead characters take some getting used to. Rosa still contributes well to the story, but Ethan started to feel a bit annoying with his constant cussing and aggression by the end of the game.
The overall story doesn't feel as tense as the first game. Some missions stand out much better than others. With its overall scary atmosphere, The first mission sets the stage very well for what appears to be a good continuation of the story, but some of the other earlier stages overstay their welcome with the focus mainly on combat instead of taking a break to give the player some story development. Overall the story is satisfying, but fans of the first game are not guaranteed to like this one. The original Condemned was much more believable from a story standpoint and the stages and overall mood of the game never let up from the intense ride that it gave us. Condemned 2 has its moments but the game kind of oversteps its boundaries in terms of believability by the end of the game. One thing that will please fans of the original is that Rosa and Ethan still make a good team with their constant discussion on the situation at hand - the dialogue and overall interaction between the two still matches the game well.
Condemned 2's overall combat system is much deeper this time. Ethan can attack using the right and left triggers and he can chain together attacks for a more powerful combination. While chaining attacks, a bonus can be achieved with a well placed hit on an enemy which will increase a super bar on the top right portion of the screen. Once this super bar has been extended somewhat, Ethan can unleash a combination of blows that makes time slow down as Ethan delivers each powerful hit. Button combinations appear on the screen once the super move is activated and you must follow through with the timed button presses to keep the combination going.