Condemned 2: Bloodshot - game review

Date: 2008-04-04 09:20:00
The review was based on the X360 version. Also applies to the PS3 version

Written horror was (is) something. Inducing fear combined with a hint of reflection by using only words seems to be an almost impossible art these days. We are already used to more intense and less demanding stimuli. Hence the reflection on the creative process of game designers such as Condemned . Where is the line between the ambitious, deep fear and the superficial throwing of grotesque spooks at the viewer / player against the background of guts and a pile of walls? Not that the SEGI publishing house clearly falls into one of these two extremes. The first part of the already-series was released at the very beginning of the race of the next genes, and to this day is remembered rather warmly, though without too much enthusiasm. It will probably be the same with two, but everything is meatier, rotten and rotten. As a result, we must add a third one to the above-mentioned types of fear: the one we are aware of, which amuses us as much as possible, but which every now and then makes us raise a thunderous "fuuu!"

Yes, this is definitely not a game for the faint of heart (and the funny paradox is that I'm writing these words). We enter a dense, smoky city full of psychopaths ready to kill us with a toilet seat. And it's a bit hard to understand why, in a situation where there is rape and fire at literally every corner, the main character is called to help to solve the mystery of a series of murders. The few corpses that we will have to examine do not pose a particular problem in the face of the chaos surrounding the entire metropolis - but whatever. The authors of the game say it makes sense, so maybe they're right.

Ethan Thomas, a former agent of the so-called Serial Crimes Unit. Since the first part, the type has managed to break down well, fall into depression and schizophrenia. Ergo: This time, not only is there a specific macabre around the protagonist, but from time to time he will also imagine a gargoyle himself. Worse, even by his former co-agents, he is considered a penny worthless. There is something about it. The protagonist does not arouse sympathy in anything - it is hard to - and at times he even repels with a gutter imi and a bit stupid remarks. A treatment like a treatment, but the game's hero, whatever the chew, should be liked. And here it is rather difficult.

Sequel Condemned is still a FPS with a lot of emphasis on hand-to-hand combat. It has been extended compared to the original - we use both hands independently, we can block and combine blows in combos. There are also two types of finishers - the normal ones, which we can always make, as well as those related to the environment, let it be stuffing the opponent's head into the TV set. So there are many possibilities, and most of the opponents require combining. Health levels drop quickly, so you need to tread carefully and watch out for their dodges or branded fists. As far as weapons are concerned, the contraption found by accident at every turn is the main thing: boards, tubes, prosthetic hands, baseball bats, crutches, toilet seats (and you see, it wasn't a joke above) and so on. There is certainly no shortage of differentiation.

The macabre level of most fights is intriguing. Hitting an opponent with a board with a nail sticking out, accompanied by the powerful sounds of splashing guts, broken bones and agonizing screams, raises some moral doubts. Have you ever thought that you would prefer to get along with your opponent in the game because things are going too far? I don't think so until now. Well, the authors of the negotiation options did not take into account, so what remains is the merciless massacre of everything that moves (all as part of an investigation into cruel murders).

In addition to not-entirely-conventional means of extermination, firearms will also come into our hands from time to time. There are several types of it, all of them equally impractical and badly introduced into the mechanics of the whole. At the beginning it doesn't hurt, because the ammunition is simply not enough to get used to the shotgun by your side. However, there are moments with a clear twist towards long-range combat. The game then begins to resemble a flawed version of FEAR (and we all know that the same studio made both titles). A funny, but in practice tiring curiosity is the fact that Ethan, due to alcoholism, must (or at least should) smack his cup before trying to accurately aim. If he doesn't, using any more precise gun is pointless. Heh, the whole game is like this - OK, nice ideas, but it evokes some subconscious disgust.

The brightest point of Condemned 2 is its much tweaked crime scene investigation system. It looks like this: we go through some smelly level, we kill one enemy after another, and finally we come to some story-based corpse or other element of the environment that requires professional analysis. We have some nice gadgets at our disposal, such as an ultraviolet lamp or a camera, to help us establish the facts. The control panel gives us radio commands in the following way: determine the caliber of the missile that left the wound being viewed; assess whether the victim was crawling on the floor by himself or being dragged; figure out what the medieval tool you see is for. And so on. It is very cool, engaging and deliciously drilling on gray cells. Usually you have to combine some facts, catch a nuance in the dialogues, or simply show your perceptiveness. Our answers (we always get a few variants, from which we choose our own) are then evaluated and contribute to the overall result of the mission (also dependent on e.g. the number of secrets found). We don't have to give the right answers to move the story forward, but the higher the medal for the completed stage, the better the upgrade we get. A bonus may be an increase in the health belt or the possibility of wearing brass knuckles - it can be different, but in general, it is worth paying attention to the matter.

The main menu proudly shows us some different game modes. In addition to the traditional campaign, there is also an option to take on several different types of challenges (e.g. killing opponents on time), and even, heh, multiplayer. As far as I'm concerned, both are of equal caliber, and might as well not be. The combat system is digestible, when it pulls a fictional envelope and an overwhelming atmosphere, but an attempt to build an arcade fight around it is a shot straight in the foot.

The visual setting does not make a special impression in a strictly technical sense, but you have to respect the many sick ideas that have been pushed into every corner of the presented world. The levels are very diverse, in fact, each of them is distinguishable from the rest of the arrow. We can find here, for example, a silent-hill hotel, a doll factory (cliche?), SCU headquarters or one quite clear inspiration from Bioshock . It's all nice; Adequately sticky, slippery and chubby, so that the tourists have something to enjoy. I do not want to be a wimp, but I would refer to the topic of this dinginess and the load of violence that follows it. As for me - all this is a bit distorted and there are moments of crossing the border of good taste. As if these guts are not going anywhere, they are not a metaphor for the ephemerality of human life and the need to redeem sins, hence they are rather art for art. Tripe for tripe. But also, I do not count among the fans of realistic gore, so maybe it's just the frills of a guy who wears a T-shirt with a Mario mushroom. But there are horrors more dignified in bloodshed, you know.

Had it not been for a genius-based crime scene investigation system, Condemned would have been left in a void in many respects. It is a pity that these scenes appear so rarely and that in between, we have to spend so much time on tiresome fillers. A good horror movie is one where there aren't too many opponents. Here, several times a minute, someone jumps at you, screeching at the low-pitched "woeful". This machine naturally loses momentum. And in terms of the climate, well. An alcoholic hero, a dirty city full of psychopaths, crazy, twisted opponents, sauce and snot. It's all too literal.

Krzysztof "Lordareon" Gonciarz

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