Condemned: Criminal Origins

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Condemned: Criminal Origins
Protagonist: Ethan Thomas
Genre: Survival horror
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
Release Date: Xbox 360

NA: November 16, 2005
EU: December 2, 2005
JP: August 31, 2006

Microsoft Windows

NA: April 11, 2006
EU: April 13, 2006

Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Sega
Franchise: Condemned
Previous Game: N/A
Next Game: Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a first-person survival horror game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Sega. It was released in 2005 as a launch title for the Xbox 360 and ported to the PC in 2006.

It was followed by a sequel, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, in 2008.

Why It Rocks

  1. Interesting plot.
  2. Ethan Thomas is a likable protagonist.
  3. Unlike most first-person games, Condemned emphasizes melee combat rather than shooting (though you do get to shoot guns in this game).
  4. Objects can be taken from the environment and used as weapons.
  5. Engaging combat.
  6. You can't simply swing a weapon repeatedly to beat an enemy; you must learn when to block and carefully take opportunities for attack, which makes the gameplay more engaging.
  7. Smart and unpredictable enemy AI.
  8. If you find yourself overwhelmed, you can use a stun gun to taser your enemy. You can also steal their weapon while their dazed.
  9. Excellent graphics for an Xbox 360 (pre-)launch title.
  10. Good voice-acting.

Bad Qualities

  1. In the Xbox 360 version, there's no death animation when you die; the game flashes white and cuts to a screen saying "You are dead."
  2. Investigation scenes in which you use your detective tools to investigate a crime scene are far too easy.
  3. The taser can remove tension in the game.
  4. While the game succeeds in making a dark, mysterious, and gritty atmosphere, the plot is a complete and utter mess.
  5. The Steam port has entire audio bytes removed.
  6. Firearms are rather clunky.


Condemned was met with positive reviews and received a sequel, Condemned 2: Bloodshot.