Zero Punctuation: Condemned 2: Bloodshot

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Actually, it struck me as more of a noisy clutch disk than a hubcap.

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a fantastic and damn scary exercise in creepiness. I bought it in the first batch of games for my 360 in the same month I bought a Nintendo Wii. Twilight Princess, Gears of War and Dead Rising all got played far less than Condemned which ate my life away.

Condemned 2 I did really enjoy, but when it started eating away the mystery and putting in a Super Shouting Cult instead, having several gun-only levels, and one of the worst end-game bosses of all time, I enjoyed it far, far less. And the Doll Factory should've been the equivalent of the Department Store of the first game, but those exploding dolls were just too rubbish.

I'm really surprised Yahtzee didn't mention the bear.

Awesome review, kudos to Yahtzee as always! And yes, bring on the t-shirts!

Yahtzee, have you every laughed so hard a little bit of wee came out?

Fatastic review, it doesn't effect me if the game was a good or not though as I'm about as as rich as the bums in the game. I've barely got enough to get GTA when it arrives. If only i wasn't lazy, then maybe I could get a job.

Anyway, whatever, excellent review

Quap!!! I say...... I love all his reviews but this one is awfull..... its short and unfunny...
no good witty puns cept for X Files reference which i think am the only one to get it coz no one seems to watch X files..... and he blammed a perfectly good game...

I agree the story gets a little dodgy near the end but c mon its its a gazzi-lion -get- in- the- car times better than all the other crap that is around.... sides he never mentioned how repetitive the fights get or the crappiness of the multiplaxer

Yazi i frown on your shenanigans..... not that you care

Bah, Humbug.

The unexplained insanity of those homeless people was very nice.. shame they ruined it in the second installment....

Actually Condemned 1 explains why every retard goes insane + the whole cult thing you just have to collect all the metal pieces hidden in the levels. I guess our friendly neighbourhood reviewer just didn't want to bother. But I can't blame him really ,I only did it , becouse I'm into playing a game untill senseless. That and I really liked the stick a pipe in a hobo's head fighting system :)

That was great. I really liked the first Condemned game. I haven't gotten around to playing this one yet. I guess I will just rent it.

I'm all for t-shirts (although I have too many already). I agree with the no big "ZERO PUNCTUATION" blazed across the chest, but more with the traditional character figures and little black demons running around causing havoc.

Hilarious review as always.

im jus gonna rent C2 now lol
Great review :)

I was just asking someone in the forums about this game. Thanks for the hilarious review! I think i'll still get this game for the combat system and spooky atmosphere. (Once it comes for PC :-p. )

I also signed up for Zero Punctuation specifially and found the forums to be interesting. I read every post, it's just so damn good!

Yup, this review oozed out of every orifice what is known as "Awesome".

We all know what "awesome" is because of the "branston pickle" poured over a particular item and what would occur. And I mean this in the positive way.

I read other reviews and even tried it out on a friend's. He was already past the "dbz powers initiation" part and I remember blasting away the baddies with a sense of boredom. Sure it was a fun for the first...kill. Then it got stale. Finally it began to rot and then bubble with gases before I finally tossed the controller down and went out for some fresh air.

Awesome job Yahtzee! I don't know if he even reads these, but The Escapist did a a brilliant job bringing this unique critic to the masses!

Lovely as always.
Oh, and Mulder/Scully DID get it on.
I've always wanted to be the annoying fact-checker on an internet forum. Now that I've done it I can retire to the mountains, writing my life's story, relaxing in the sunlight...

I've never played either of the games, but it sounds a bit like the criticisms condemn the games taste rather then its skill in implementing it. Shouldn't it be made clear in this case that it is a matter of taste and not necassarily the games bad.

Eitherway, i wonder, if the game does suffer from such poor taste, whether the points of interest are purely coincidential and infact they just choose the whole homeless thing for commercial appeal?

I have a similar question for the call of duty 4 review which praised the game for its portrayal of the ugly side of war. I wonder if this was simply a by-product of its attempt at commercial appeal?

AHAHA "Ima cut you bitch!" that was priceless.

But i'm surprised he didn't mention the health bar they used. That was pretty lame.

Mostly valid criticism, though I did thiink Condemned 2 was pretty good, even at the end, but that might just have been an adrenaline high left over from being chased by a fucking bear.

ZP t-shirts ftw.

As long as they have really tiny writing that you can only see from up close, like if you're kneeling in front of me.

Possibly "Whilst you're down there..."

Holy crap, I want to play these games so very hard now.

I mean, a game can survive a shittily easy end bossfight et al (*koffbioshockkoff*), but those actually looked... enjoyable, for all that Obvious plot twist is Obvious.


the hole bit about the C1 final boss fight made me laugh

damn fine work Yahtzee...

damn fine work

Hm, I might be wrong but I remember some explanation about Condemned1's agression-wave. It had something to do with the toxic anti-pest chemicals used earlier on that orchard (with that Hatred-guy as a side dish).

The review was awesome as usual, what else to expect?
Now about the game, indeed the 1st half was the best, it had a really nice feeling to it although I expected it to be a bit more scary (although I almots crapped my pants when I walked in just another hotel chamber to get a healthpack from a medicine cabinete and when I turn around so I looked at the mirror, a junky popped up). I was really looking forward to the doll-factory level, I was waiting for my pants to get wet....but it stayed dry, it really was a great dissapointment. Really, it was almost written on the walls, so clear it was: this level has craploads of potential, and could've ripped your soul to scared little shreds, but we didn't have the time/money/caring to make it that way.
I dissagree a bit with Yathzee though on the "Crazy ancient cult did it" plot turn. I could've lived with that (I can't stand it if mystery's like why all the hobo's would've gone crazy stay unsolved forever), if they just worked it out properly. Fact is indeed, they didn't. Some kind of cult behind it all is 1 thing, but why the hell does it have to be a high-tech/magic-ish combination again? It would've been fine if it would've stayed a bit more real, and the sudden superpowers from Ethan really made me go "wtf?" as well, they're even discouraging (well, making it impossible) the awesome melee combat in those last levels because you can't go near the damned baddies or your brain explodes so you háve to use your uber power.
The gun-only levels were a dissapointment as well, it's not that they were bad or something, it's just that they were easy and not what Condemned should be known about.
Ofcourse, the "boss" fight is nothing more then an annoying piece of shit. It's not even the boss wich is dangerous, it's the 3 baddies who spawn and totally beat the sh!t outa you (half a life bar each direct blow).
In the end, it's not that the mythic plot twist is really bad, it's just that it's not what you expected from Condemned: I feel kinda screwed in the ass by it. I still can't wait for 3 though, the last scene you see is really cool, at least now I know what to expect and I can anticipate on it.

His reviews have again become funny thankfully as I was worrying he was losing his charm. A good review, but many of the points he made were grossly inaccurate. Pretty much 95% of the bad things he said about the game were untrue. Funny review though.

Excellent review. My warning lights operate on the same system as Yahtzee's, it seems. Dolls? Okay. Knights? Sure. Then I got on the barge and found the Crossbow of Robot Slaying. (Don't ask. No, really.)

It was easy to forgive both the suicide babies (I refuse to call them "blow-up dolls") and the rabid bear because those levels were scary as hucking fell and I could forgive the deviation in an otherwise tight story.

...But the real warning sign for me was, sadly, the Warner Bros. logo when I turn the game on. I haven't trusted the WB with any sort of horror endeavor because of their uncanny power to cock up every "Exorcist" sequel in every way possible.

Epiphany Edit: I just had a terrible theory why this game HAS stupid giant robots or whatever they are. I'm guessing some suit at Warner Bros. thought Big Daddy from BioShock was TOTALLY AWESOME and DEMANDED that Condemned 2 get some too? ARRRGGHHHH...

That bit about 'like the serial murder right behind you, don't turn around!' actually made me look over my shoulder ¬_¬

It made me hurl myself around in terror. I'm too gullible... and have weak nerves.

Major props for the whole "Indigo Prophecy Syndrome" piece. Having played that, I could totally relate to the reviewer.

The sonic devices are killing the birds and melting people's brains, yet you don't see anything like those devices in the first game, so it actually made me wonder if the writer(s) knew that that was the reason when the first game's plot was written. That said I was happy they explained it in some fashion. How is leaving something completely unexplained a good thing?

Other than that, "a cult did it" was pretty much what Condemned 1 ended with, I don't see why them expanding on that is bad, especially since Condemned 2 opened up a lot of other mysteries, like the tar-related hallucinations and what not. I was actually happy Condemned 2 answered a lot a questions because the first game left open a dozen mysteries in a very cryptic, LOST-esque fashion.

By answering questions the writers show that they aren't just pulling random creepy ideas out of their asses and are going somewhere with things.

The idea that you had superhuman abilities didn't bother me either because, again, they set that up in Condemned 1 when they revealed you had clairvoyant senses and higher than normal bone density.

Wow, I'm going to take Yahtzee's advice to heart this time. Been pondering all week whether or not to get it (especially since the first game was so good), but now I know it's necessary to wait until it's in the bargain bins.

Informative and witty. Zero Punctuation.



The idea that you had superhuman abilities didn't bother me either because, again, they set that up in Condemned 1 when they revealed you had clairvoyant senses and higher than normal bone density.

I have friends who have higher than normal bone density and also appear to have a connection with the spirit world around us.

I have yet to see any advancements on superhuman powers from them.

Just saying.

Best ZP so far. You brought up one of my fav games (Indigo) and ripped it for all its worth. I hated that it all went tits up in the middle. ZP shirts? Maybe..

I just love that crazy little englishman.

The "Cult Explanation" is retarded indeed. When I was half-way through the first game, I was convinced that Ethan Thomas was in fact the serial killer! It would be awesome if that eventually turn out to be the case, because this theory actually makes sense.

Think about it: Who killed those two cops in the beginning? You did, and then threw yourself out the window, and now the police is chasing you. The residents of the city going insane? No, you're the one who is insane, and attacking people for no reason. Why do the enemies get more and more monstrous-like? Because your derangement gets worse and worse, and you see monsters instead of ordinary people. Why doesn't anyone else except you pay any attention to the hoards of zombies and monsters? Because only you can see them. I could go on and on about how this theory is THE best explanation, but I don't want to bore you.

Keep "Cult Explanations" out of games, please. They suck.

A transcript

(with a new exciting mini-game, spot all the errors I made because I'm a recluse)

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Being British middle class and whiter then a snowman with a bukaky fetish, I'm no stranger to cultural guilt and have ambivalent feelings towards the homeless. On the one hand they're obviously all tragic victims of an uncaring society, but on the other hand, they're also tragic victims who smell and shout at me in the street. So I admit to feeling a bit guilty about looking forward to Sega's newest working class bludgeoning simulator. But maybe it's possible to worry too much about this sort of thing (while you're caving in a teenage runaway's skull with a bit of old pipe). Thankfully the guilt is assuaged this time around by the main character himself being homeless rather then a squeaky clean federal agent. Thus making the action seem more like a series of entertaining bum fights then a class war.

Since the intensity splattering scream fest that was Condemned, main character Ethan Thomas has gone to the Sam Fisher school of emo haircut transients and become a liquored up broken bottle street fighter. But all is not well in whatever-the-hell-city-this-is-ville. Everyone below the seeds who demographic has suddenly gone what is medically known as bad shit bonkers and have taken to the streets to twat each other with sticks. And then there's the serial killer running around knocking off people who actually matter. As the one remaining competent individual on Earth, Ethan is reluctantly called back into action. By that I mean set loose in a succession of ruined buildings armed only with a bollard and a bladder full of Wild Irish Rose.

The first Condemned was an underappreciated gem, featuring a stark portrayal of society's very lowest rung that filled my pants with unrelenting grit and terrified wee. It's the rare first person game that emphasizes melee combat and an even rarer one that implements it's so realistically. Rather then in most FPS's where you're pretty much just hold down the attack button until everything in front of you breaks. You could almost feel the impact going up your arm as you whacked clouds of blood and broken teeth from the gobs of the down trodden. But getting past all that is was not without its issues. The forensics investigation element was little more then and an adventure in instruction following, scarcely more fulfilling then clicking an 'ok' button. And the levels featured fucking retarded doors that would rather snobbily only deign to be smashed open by a particular brand of sledge hammer, which you were called upon to go and fetch from some local murderous junkie's house.

Condemned 2 starts on a high note by throwing those dictatorial fetch quests into a bin on the dark side of Mars, and the note only gets higher because forensic investigation now takes the form of challenging little quizzes. And while they do demand that the player knows slightly more then is reasonable about blood splatter pattern analysis, you're not punished too much for cocking them up. So if Condemned 2 brushes the two errant turds off the otherwise delicious apple pie of Condemned 1, Condemned 2 must logically be a flawless flaky treat, Right? Wrong! And shut up.

For a while I was seriously all set to name Condemned 2 as my game of the year, right up until around the half way point everything was slinky. Forensic clever, combat visceral, atmosphere pant-wetting. But experience has taught me that while declaring a game shitty because of the first few hours is perfectly valid and completely professional, you should never assume that a good game will stay good. The first warning light flicked on a few hours in when the creepy doll robot suicide bombers showed up, but at that point I didn't think the worse. So the subtlety had been cut down a notch, I can dig it. The second warning light started blinking shortly afterwards in the museum level when I suddenly found myself swinging a broadsword at lads in full mid evil armor. But hell it was still reasonable. I'd hardly expect them to be hefting fire extinguishers when swords are available. The warning light only started going off like black pool pleasure beach when the characters started bandying around the phrase "Ancient Mystical Cult" because I realized I'd been through this before.

Condemned 2 is a textbook victim of Indigo Prophecy syndrome (that's farenheids syndrome in Europe). It's a disease that chiefly afflicts games with a grounding in reality but with a slight supernatural element with sequels at increased risk. The main and most obvious symptom of Indigo prophecy syndrome is a plot which in the second half goes, what is medically known as, snooker loopy, with lesser syndromes including total abandonment of subtlety, the introduction of an Ancient Mystical Cults, and the main character pulling hitherto unknown super powers out of their ass.

There's a final boss sequence in Condemned 1 in which you run through a dark claustrophobic labyrinth with a serial killer in hot pursuit. It's really intense and genuinely terrifying and part of what makes it so effective is that it takes place in a normal house exactly like, oh say for example, YOURS! And right down to the psychotic serial killer who lives under your bed and is standing behind you right now, but don't look because that will really piss him off!

Condemned 2, by contrast, ends on a stupid sci-fi tower thing resembling something the combine would throw together if they were all drunk, and the piss easy final boss fight, which you win by shouting at him so loud that his brain explodes. I wish I was fucking kidding.

Condemned 2 had so much going for it but as I played through it, all the things I liked dribbled away one by one. The forensics bits became less frequent and more insipid. The melee combat gave way to shooting and using your fucking retarded Dragonball Z Hidouken thing. And the story shits itself inside out.

In Condemned 1 it's never explained why the homeless all went kill crazy, and the fact that it was unexplained exacerbated the creepiness. In Condemned 2 it's explained on the first fucking level. Some prick nailed noisy hubcaps to the walls that were keeping everyone awake. Thanks Condemned 2, I was almost getting intrigued. This isn't rocket science, mysteries lose all their appeal the instant you explain them. This is why they never explained why Scully never got it on with Mulder, despite the fact that he had the charisma of a cardboard cut out with a bag of sick taped to it.

I'm the only one who thinks Condemned 1 is overrated for the people who say is underrated? I mean it was:
3rd-walk back till your tazer is charged
4th-repeat the 1st point
You don't even need bullets from those paper-made fire weapons. Ok, the first half it was really good and it's scary, but the second one you don't even need to hit anyone, some of your rivals just die with your super-hyper-xray-long-range-vision-tazer.

ZP on a T-Shirt, it's got my vote!

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