The month of October is one in which people traditionally look to incorporate spooky or scary experiences into their routine days. Children look forward to dressing up as a myriad of characters to go out for a night of trick-or-treating and candy consumption. Teenagers and adults often hold costume parties where they dress up and have a great time eating themed food and activities. Other people turn to horror movies to get their blood flowing from the gruesome and violent images from their slasher character of choice.
So, what is a video gamer to do to bring in a little bit of that spooky, horror element into their lives? Luckily, there are a number of choices that you can settle down with for your console of choice. Xbox gamers have a solution that will be sure to get your heart racing and leave you jumping out of our seat. Condemned: Criminal Origins was a launch title at the release of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 system. Even just looking at the cover of the game, you knew that you were in for a good scare. The key to this game is that you must set up the atmosphere to really immerse yourself in the dark and gritty game world. For me, this meant playing the game after dark, turning off all of the lights so that just the images on the tv were visible, and cranking up the surround sound system connected to my 360. Right from the very beginning, as you setting into the role of Ethan Thomas, your placed into a rundown urban setting with bums and homeless people, possessed, scurrying around as they jump out to attack you. The game made some great use of the surround speakers by making it so that you hear movement and shouts coming from behind you. As you turn around to investigate, the direction you were just looking at will have a bum jump out and smack you with a wooden board. All around in the buildings ducts and in between walls, you hear movement and you are constantly on edge wondering just where someone is going to jump out at you. The game also brings in an element of realism into the mix by limiting the amount of ammo that you have available to you in guns you might find. To make up for this, you can pick up pipes and wooden boards to beat down the people attacking you. However, these items as well have limited use and will eventually break.
Now, you may be wondering why I’m discussing a 5 year old game. True, most everyone that wanted to play the game most likely has. However, given that the game is that old, it makes for a good excuse to dust off your copy and give it another play through. If you don’t own the game any more, you can probably find a copy for less than $10 at GameStop or on eBay. If you are newer to the 360 system and missed this game when it first came out, I recommend securing a copy and giving it a proper play through.