Just in time for Halloween, Monolith Productions’s first-person brawler/psychological horror game Condemned: Criminal Origins (which was released for the Xbox 360 and PC in 2006) has been made available on the Steam platform for Windows. Best known for their first-person shooter/horror series Blood and F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon, Condemned follows suit Monolith’s tradition of blending desperate elements of action, horror, exploration, and puzzle solving into the framework of the tried and true first-person shooter, though Condemned is a shooter only in the most superficial sense. Guns are present in the game, but they are rare — and ammunition is even rarer, making them impracticable and largely unreliable, given other elements of the game and its story. Instead, the focus of Condemned’s combat is based around melee, in which the player can utilize their a variety of improvised weaponry strewn about the environmental, including pipes, axes, cleavers, pieces of rebar, and mannequin parts, and their bare hands to defend themselves against the crazed denizens of the criminal underworld.
The player assumes the role of Ethan Thomas, a crime scene investigator and detective who has been tasked with tracking down a known serial killer, and as such he is equipped with a number of tools with which to examine crime scenes and uncover clues about victims. This leads into the other central part of the gameplay — the investigation, in which the player can examine bodies and uncover clues that might help lead them to the elusive Serial Killer X. Other prominent elements of the game include psychological horror, which permeates throughout all of the game’s dark, grisly environments, as well as the insane humans that stalk Ethan at every turn and other supernatural elements to the story that give the an morose feeling.
At full price the Condemned can be purchased on Steam for $14.99 USD, but as part of it’s annual Halloween Sale, the service is currently offering the game for a sale price of $7.49. We’ve included the game’s original launch trailer after the break.