Condemned 2: Bloodshot, or Streets of Ethan

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Condemned 2: Bloodshot definitely got a spot of the old sequelitis there. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it Condom Tutu Bloodshit, however. It’s still a valid segment of the Condemned series, despite the fact that it changes some things that could have done without changing. Where once little scribbled eyes would pop up on walls and crows would plummet to their black, smoky deaths in surreal slow motion, now you have black tar people slapping your ass and deformed bums punching you in the face. I’ll get into that later, though. First, I’ll tell you a bit about the game itself.

Ethan Thomas used to be an esteemed cop with one hell of a nose. He worked the Serial Killer X case until the killer had a bullet in his face. One investigation ended, and another began. His lab tech Rosa told him that a cult was responsible for much of the madness he enduring during the hunt. After that, Ethan lost it.

You start the game off and learn that Ethan decided to quit the force and be a hobo. One drunk, pissed off, cynical hobo that’s sick to death of the corruption that’s plaguing the city. The SCU contacts him and sets him up with his old lab tech Rosa in an attempt to get him back on the force. Little does he know, the cult mentioned at the end of the first game has its fingers in every pie.

The Oro Invictus, Latin for “invincible voice,” is interested in Malcolm Vanhorn, the man who helped Ethan so much with the SKX investigation, and they don’t want Ethan Thomas getting in the way. What starts off as a leap back into policework soon turns into a hardcore search and destroy mission with powerful Oro Invictus members in the crosshairs.

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Most of it is just Ethan dealing with his alcohol addiction and growing hallucinations, though. Not quite as vivid or meaningful as the mental corruption in Condemned: Criminal Origins, but entertaining nonetheless.

Now, I’ll describe the difference between the two games, and what the second forgets that made the first fantastic. What comes to mind immediately is the use of firearms. Guns are much more readily available to Ethan, which causes the game feel to shift towards FPS than goal-oriented survival horror. Making you feel more powerful really takes away from the horror aspect, in my opinion. If you can just shoot whatever pops out at you, why should you be concerned? At all? They say boo, you say bap bap.

Secondly, some mechanic changes. The stamina bar, the recharging stungun bar, and the time window block were all redone. Stamina is now indicated by Ethan’s breathing, and dictates how long you can hold your block or sprint. The stungun now has batteries, each use draining one. Melee weapons can break, which means you have to resort to fist fighting in sustained combat.

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

You really start to see the whole “insanity theme” come into fruition, though. The hallucination levels are absolutely fantastic. In fact, they are the reason why I still replay the game. The visual distortion mixed with the quick, blinking illusions and auditory blips just put you on edge. It immerses you, if you went ahead and turned all the lights off when you play. Which I highly recommend.

So I guess Condemned 2: Bloodshot is sort of a tradeoff. You lose some of the original game feel in exchange for more action and violence. Less eerie and mysterious, more intense and volatile. You get to fight a rabid grizzly bear, and at the end of the game you can shout so hard people’s heads explode. It’s intense. But what does everyone else think?

Cyril Lachel of GamingNexus sees Condemned 2: Bloodshot as an “actually scary” game, not fake scary, which would be nothing but jump-startles. In saying Condemned 2 “gets under your skin,” I would say I agree to a fault. The first game does the horror better, but that doesn’t mean Condemned 2 is a bad game. But enough of my opinion. See a different opinion here. http://www.gamingnexus.com/Article/Condemned-2-Bloodshot/Item1810.aspx 

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