Launch titles are a fickle bunch. As developers struggle to hit the console release window, day and date games are often just shoddy rehashes or genre fillers. It's the rare game that comes out of nowhere to please early adopters and help them justify their expensive purchase. With a somewhat lackluster launch lineup in November 2005, Xbox 360 purchasers were glad to find that unique title sitting on store shelves, in the form of Condemned: Criminal Origins. In many cases, the strength of that title alone tossed a bucket of cold water on early buyers' remorse fires.
Even playing through the game now, it's easy to see why. The creepy atmosphere, chilling scares and intense combat appeased 360 gamers looking for an early thrill. It was a first person game where the emphasis was placed not on flying bullets, but on frantic fists. For those who weren't around the original, Condemned featured you in the role of FBI Agent Ethan Thomas as he hunted a serial killer amid some stunning weird and terrifying revelations.