Friday, March 21, 2008

Condemned 2 First Impressions

Condemned 2 is the first of my most anticipated games of 2008 to be released but unfortunately. despite having it for a week now, I haven't managed to play more than the first level and a little bit of the second.

So far it seems like a worthy successor to the original, it's certainly as gritty and gruesome as ever. My biggest complaint so far would be that the game is way too dark. Sure, it's a horror game and dark goes with the territory, right? Well, Condemned 2 is so dark it's disorienting. Even with your flashlight turned on and the contrast adjusted to be brighter than it really should be, it can often be extremely difficult to see where you're supposed to be going. I had a few instances where I kept getting killed by enemies I couldn't even see.

The battle system also take a little getting used to. They've added a quick-time event aspect to it in which you can get damage multiplier combos under certain circumstances, such as after parrying an attack. The problem is you only have a split second to hit your attack button to reap this benefit and in my experience that usually just sets you up to get hit yourself. Fights tend to go like this: Hit a guy, back up, he swings at you, move forward, hit the guy, back up, etc. If you try and actually attack twice in a row you're just asking for trouble. The tactic of allowing enemies to kill each other and then swooping in to smack whoever is left standing with your trusty pipe or electrical conduit still works beautifully however.

The graphics are a mixed bag. Enemies animate nicely but some environmental textures aren't great. This isn't helped by the super darkness either. It's definitely not as graphically impressive as the original was a couple years ago. The movement also seems a bit off compared to the first game, maybe because Ethan is supposed to be a washed up drunk now. He definitely walks like one.

I haven't really gotten to try out any of the new forensic tools yet but I'm really looking forward to that. I did have an interactive conversation with Rosa (the FBI woman from the first game) in which I had to pick questions to ask about the investigation. Only, picking the right question seems completely random and getting them wrong will result in a lower investigation score at the end of the level. Since the game auto-saves immediately after the sequence there is no way to go back and pick the right question without playing through the entire level again.

I haven't tried the multiplayer yet, but I'll at least try a few matches before my review.

No comments: