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Condemned: Criminial Origins (Pre-E3 2005)

Developer: Monolith | Publisher: Sega
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Survival Horror

Release Date: 11/16/05

Sega may not be the big company they were a few years ago, but they have recently struck up some great Publishing deals. One of the companies they have been Publishing for is Monolith. Last year at E3 they announced that they will be publishing Monolith's MMOG--The Matrix Online. The next title coming out from the two companies will be a next-generation Survival Horror thriller known as Condemned.

Set for release later this year on Xbox 360, Condemned has been shown in its very early stages. Sega recently showed an updated version of the game that was running at around 50% completion. Some of the elements seen in the final build may change but I really like what I have seen so far.

Players control Ethan Thomas of the Serial Crime Unit on a mission to track down a serial murderer. Along the way you will face an alarmingly high number of homeless people that seem to be psychotic and out to kill you. Players will have to use everything in the environment to help ensure they survive what is just around the corner. If you are out of ammo, you can use your gun to hit your foes but at the risk of it breaking. You will also be able to find other weapons by searching. For example, you can locate a pipe, tree limb, broken box piece, etc. And unlike DOOM 3, Ethan has the ability to actually hold a flashlight and a gun at the same time!! As you continue to progress through the title, players will gain access to other weapons like shotguns, axes, hammers, and many more.

Players will quickly be able to notice that Condemned tries very hard to remain realistic. This is a slow moving title that will not have any cinematic sequences. Instead, you will get story through your PDA by speaking to your office. Players can also use their digital camera to send evidence to your office lab and try to solve the mysteries of each clue you encounter.

To help draw you in to the game and make Condemned feel as realistic as possible, there will be no inventory screen or boss battles. Monolith feels that the time has come in gaming where boss battles aren't needed as much. And they have a point. If a game has a spooky environment where the player is drawn to complete a quest, won't that be reason enough to play until the end?

As Ethan encounters the events in Condemned, he will slowly become more and more troubled. Could this lead to him going insane and completely changing the way he sees and views the world around him?

Condemned may still be a bit early but it is already shaping up to be a great title. This could be one of the best Xbox 360 launch titles.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 05/16/05
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Screenshots for Condemned: Criminial Origins (Pre-E3 2005)

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