Condemned: Criminal Origins (2005)


Genre Period Developer Publisher Theme
Action, FPS, Horror Modern (2001-2010) Monolith Sega, Warner Brothers Horror, Supernatural, Urban, Crime, Detective

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a decent first person action horror game. Good gameplay, paranoia inducing immersive environment, and good level design are its positives. A weak story and a weaker climax are its negatives. You play the role of an FBI investigator working on cases of several serial killers operating in your city. During an investigation at a crime scene, the perpetrator shoots your colleagues with your gun and leaves you unconscious. By the time you come to senses, you have become a suspect yourself. Now you have to search for clues and follow the tracks of the killer to clear your name. Enemies are substance abusing individuals and addicts, and in some cases demonic creatures. Focus is on melee combat. Guns and ammo are rare. Various types of melee weapons can be collected from the environment. If you like atmospheric horror games with plenty of jump scares, then this is for you.

Game Assessment

Complexity Matrix 

Complexity Parameters Values (0, 0.5, 1)
Control Scheme 0: Easy
Complexity 0: Simple
Story 1: There is a story
Lore 0
Immersion 0.5: Identity and immersion via environment and GUI
Difficulty 0: Low
Learning Curve 0: Easy
Total Score 1.5/7: Lightweight game 

Satisfaction Matrix

Needs Satisfaction Score (0-3)
Analytical 0: Not met
Creative 0: Not met
Mastery 3: Well met
Destructive 2: Moderately met
Entertainment 1: Slightly met
Pace 3: Well met
Horror 2: Moderately met
Total Score 11/21: Good Game

Game Review

TL;DR An enjoyable first person action horror game with a weak storyline.


  • Robust gameplay
  • Melee combat
  • Immersive scary atmosphere


  • Weak storyline

Game completed.

Game-time 19 hrs.

Purpose – Excitement, Entertainment

Gameplay – Standard gameplay. Emphasis is on melee combat. Combat is somewhat realistic. Ammo for firearms is scarce.

Graphics – Standard for its time.

Performance – Not really the best optimization around, but not too bad either.

Entertainment – Good amount of paranoia type horror.

Plot (if applicable) – The story is weak and presentation is flawed.

Replay value – Lot of collectibles which may not be easy to acquire in one single playthrough. Also some achievements which are not possible to obtain in one playthrough.

Immersion – Decent level of immersion.

Overall-  A satisfying experience with a weak climax.