I didn't care for Condemned part 1, so I doubt I will get part 2 (unless I find a used copy dirt cheap).Condemned 2: Bloodshot for Xbox 360 - from Game Spot E3 2007: Condemned 2: Bloodshot Preview (Xbox 360)
Ethan Thomas’ life has gone into a harsh freefall. He’s a former FBI agent whose partner has gone missing.
Perhaps it’s a bigger deal, though, that he spends lots of time getting loaded and hating the world around him. And this guy is expected to figure out the critical clues to solve the case of his missing partner?
The original Condemned: Criminal Origins, being one of the first Xbox 360 titles to ship, gave the new console’s owners a quick fix of survival horror.
Now Sega and Monolith are revisiting the character with Condemned 2: Bloodshot and taking him into familiar territory from a gameplay standpoint—though with some new features that avoid having the sequel be just a rubber stamp of its predecessor.
Among the new additions is the ability for Thomas to issue “emotional responses” to other characters he meets. In the short gameplay demo Sega provided to us, a bum starts talking to Ethan, at which point the player is able to issue a response—in this case, comes in the form of two upturned middle fingers.
It was explained that you don’t have to engage in these encounters; if the Thomas character doesn’t flip off the bum, it wouldn’t change the end result or branch to a different story, but you wouldn’t get as much of the story either. Also, it was revealed that some achievements will be tied to these optional interactions (among other gameplay aspects).
Much like the first title, most anything in the environment can be used by you as a weapon—but they can also be used against you by the various creatures with whom you cross paths.
Additionally, there are items in the environment that can add what Sega and Monolith called “environmental finishing moves” to the interaction, such as slamming your adversary’s head into the front of a TV set.
In another scene, an enemy swings a wine bottle at you, which results in his spilling some of the fluid on himself.
This goes against the other character when you trigger a flame to light up the alcohol that’s on his clothes, turning him into a human torch—at least for a little while.
Monolith has also changed the door-opening mechanic, so that crowbars aren’t needed; now, most anything can be used to bash it open. It takes away the puzzle aspect that was prevalent in the first game, but also lessens how repetitive it became.
The forensic portion of the game has been revamped so that they’re nonlinear and play out more like CSI scenarios. In the example we were shown, a dead cop is lying on the floor, and when you move the cursor over him, it offers you context-sensitive questions.
Answer a number of the questions correctly and you earn “forensic points,” which can be used to purchase upgrades for Thomas—such as turning normal boots into steel-toed boots. Upgrading the steel-toed boots subsequently gives you the more powerful spiked boots.
The existence of over 33 upgrades leaves you plenty of room to jack up your character’s stats and abilities, and better challenge the various adversaries that’ll come at you in the game.
From a visual standpoint, Condemned 2: Bloodshot is going to take advantage of many current graphic effects of which the Xbox 360 is capable, such as high-dynamic range, bloom and depth of field. All of them contribute to a title that pushes the envelope with its looks.
But the real appeal—as much as non-gamers would hold their hands over their eyes in shock—is the close combat. It starts as mindless fun, but later gets more frantic and requires quicker reactions from you.
Enemies will grab whatever they can to make their attacks more vicious, though you can also put up blocks to counter. You can also partially disable an enemy, such as by breaking one of his arms, to make his fighting back less effective.
A side mode that Condemned 2: Bloodshot will offer has you fighting a constant flow of angry hobos, trying to survive as long as you can by grabbing and using the many weapons that are around the area, as well as by avoiding incoming attackers—which sometimes come two at a time.
Of course, that also makes it possible that you can trigger the two enemy characters to fight each other (such as by getting one character in the line of fire of an attack that’s intended for you).
It’s early in the build cycle for Condemned 2: Bloodshot (which Sega said is currently due out in spring 2008), but we can’t wait for fresh looks at how it’s coming along—and a chance to get our hands on the frantic action. TeamXbox’s editors will certainly keep you updated on any new details we receive.