Condemned 2: BloodshotCondemned 2: Bloodshot is a psychological horror video game, developed by Monolith Productions and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Condemned 2 was released on March 11, 2008, in North America, on the Xbox 360 on March 27, 2008, in Australia and later on April 4, 2008, on PlayStation 3, and April 4, 2008, in Europe for both platforms. It is the sequel to the 2005 game Condemned: Criminal Origins. Due to its violent content, the game was indexed in Germany by the BPjM in April 2008 and subsequently banned in October 2008.
Greg Grunberg does not reprise his role as Ethan in Condemned 2. Instead, Ethan is voiced by André Sogliuzzo.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot PlotCondemned 2: Bloodshot takes place 11 months after the events of the first Condemned. The mysterious phenomena causing insane violence and mass psychosis amongst Metro City's homeless population has only gotten worse, with massive riots breaking out across the city. Protagonist Ethan Thomas, having resigned from the FBI's Serial Crime Unit after the events of the Serial Killer X investigation, has been caught in a downward spiral and now finds himself homeless, violent, and an alcoholic. He still suffers from paranormal visions, and his alcoholism even manifests as an antagonistic alter-ego that taunts him during his hallucinations.
Under the orders of Director Farrell, Ethan is recruited back into the SCU to investigate the murder of his one-time mentor Malcolm Vanhorn. He is aided by his old partner Rosa and commanded by the hostile and antagonistic Agent Dorland, SCU's tactical commander. Over the course of Ethan's investigation, he discovers that his arch-nemesis Serial Killer X is still alive, having been nursed back to health by his uncle Malcolm Vanhorn after being shot in the head at the end of the original Condemned. Serial Killer X killed Malcolm Vanhorn, as well as Metro City's Mayor Rachel Mars, and eventually kidnaps Director Farrell.
Ethan and Rosa also discover the source of all the city's troubles is a secret organization known as "the Oro", the cult hinted at in the first Condemned, whose members use painful metal implants to develop psionic powers that allow them to influence and control the rest of humanity. Rosa theorizes that they are the source of all humanity's crimes, wars, and hatred.
Serial Killer X, having learned about the Oro, now wants to harness their psionic ability, and is currently killing and dissecting Oro members to obtain this ability. The Oro are much more powerful than previously thought; their members include many high-ranking members of society, including Mayor Mars, Director Farrell, and Agent Dorland. The Oro also control the SCU, and Dorland and his tactical teams attempt to kill Ethan when he discovers their secret. Ethan fights back with the help of Rosa and SCU Agent Pierce LeRue, and even Serial Killer X, who saves Ethan from the SCU, calling it "a future investment".
Malcolm Vanhorn, who has spent his life battling the Oro, leaves Ethan a videotaped message revealing the final truth; Ethan's parents were Oro members who defected from the organization and were killed for it. Ethan himself is "the Remedy", a long-prophesied being possessing "perfectly evolved" vocal cords capable of generating the Oro's sonic power without the metal implants the Oro use. Ethan's ability is more powerful than the Oros, capable of destroying flesh and bone. The Remedy is destined to be "the voice opposing that of the Oro". As a result, Agent Dorland and the Oro want Ethan dead. Director Farrell, part of a splinter faction of Oro that wants to recruit rather than destroy Ethan, sacrifices his life to unlock Ethan's sonic powers after the two of them are cornered by Agent Dorland.
Ethan proceeds to the Peninsula, an artificial landmass where the Oro have a secret base from where they monitor and control the entire city. Using his newfound sonic powers, Ethan defeats the Oro members, destroys the Oro machinery allowing them to control the city, then battles Dorland in a sonic duel within the collapsing Peninsula. Defeated, Dorland informs Ethan that the Oro's motives are "To create hostility, the unwavering desire to fight. To unknowingly become... our protectors." Ethan asks what they are protecting against, receiving no reply. Ethan tells Dorland he is nothing more than a puppet, and the former commander is flung to his death. Ethan escapes in a helicopter along with Rosa and LeRue, declining LeRue's offer of a drink and falling asleep. Meanwhile, the President of the United States suffers an apparent heart attack after receiving the message "The Remedy is among us!", suggesting that the President was a member of the Oro. Finally, strongly suggesting a sequel, Serial Killer X is shown receiving Oro metal implants in his mouth, similar in appearance to the those of the "final boss" Oro member Ethan fought and killed at the end of the first Condemned.
ReceptionCondemned 2: Bloodshot received mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 82.92% and 82/100, and the Xbox 360 version 81.05% and 80/100. The April edition of Official Xbox Magazine review of Condemned 2 gave it an 8/10, praising the areas of atmosphere, graphics and sound for the game, and found it to be improved in almost all aspects over the original. The review did, however, find the ending to be weak and one of its major downsides.
The three reviewers in Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Condemned 2 an A-, B+, and B. They praised the atmosphere and improved combat system, but were not satisfied with the "laggy, unnecessary feel" of the game's multiplayer component.
Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) gave Condemned 2 the Silver Award, with a score of 9/10. The magazine commented that the only minor problem was that the controls felt occasionally cumbersome.
UK magazine Edge gave Condemned 2 a 5/10, stating that it had lost the first game's tight storyline in favor of a deranged psychotic bloodbath, in which guns and gore "occur anywhere and everywhere to ever-decreasing effect" and had taken precedence over the tension and fear factors which the magazine had enjoyed in the previous title. In a caption the review expresses surprise that "you can make enemy heads explode by shouting at them" and noted that they did not expect that "the ABC Warriors would appear in the game's final act, and that you'd take them down with a sonic crossbow and giant magnet."
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