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Condemned 2: Too gloomy for it's own good

Globe & Mail games reporter Chad Sapieha reviews Condemned 2: Bloodshot.

"...The game's writers seem to have gotten lost in the gloom they have created. Our hero, an ex-cop recruited back onto the force, is a vicious, mean-spirited, swing-first-and-ask-questions-later drunk. Most of the officers he works with are just as unlikeable. And heaven knows we don't run into many characters worth caring about as we prowl the streets. One can't help but wonder whether these reprehensible people and their hellish world are worth saving.

And that makes the horror and viciousness all the harder to stomach. I believe that violence-even the extreme kind-has its place in modern, mature video games. Used in appropriate context it can have a marked impact on the emotions the player feels as the game unfolds. We need look no further than to a violent but psychologically complex game like Bioshock, in which players are able to choose whether to kill the strange, seemingly possessed little girls attacking them, to understand that brutality can have narrative purpose. But without the interesting protagonists and moral conundrums integral to a good story, it just becomes violence for violence's sake..."

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