Condemned 2 Q&A – RND 1

Condemned 2 Q&A

Bums beware, Monolith is bringing the terror back.

By Jeremy DunhamUpdated: 14 May 2012 5:21 amPosted: 5 Jun 2007 2:00 am SEGA wants to scare the civilized out of you. As revealed last month , the popular Japanese publisher has teamed up with Monolith Productions for a second time to bring Condemned 2: Bloodshot to the masses next spring. A darker, more brutal extension of the Xbox 360 launch hit, Condemned 2 follows protagonist Ethan Thomas as he deals with the bloody aftermath of Criminal Origins and how he picks up the pieces.
Unfortunately for fans of the series, details about the game have been kept under wraps (other than what was revealed in a “press only” trailer shown at a recent SEGA media event). To learn more about Bloodshot and what its future holds, we sat down with the team at SEGA and Monolith both. This is how the conversation went…

IGN: As an Xbox 360 launch title, Condemned was the first “next-gen” experience for a lot of people. With this generation well under way, however, games have improved quite a bit since then. With that in mind, how will Bloodshot be different technologically from the original?

Mar 19, 2021


Criminal+Origins+(pictured)+was+creepy.+SEGA+wants+Bloodshot+to+be+creepier.Brian Legge, Lead Engineer: When we started development of Condemned: Criminal Origins, we had only a rough idea of what the 360 would be able to do. Developers have to play it safe when developing for a platform that is still being worked out. While we delivered the experience we wanted in the first Condemned, we knew we could push it further. Condemned 2: Bloodshot is about taking our tech and truly optimizing it for the platform, giving the designers a richer palette of tools to use. This enables them to create a better gameplay experience.

Have you played Condemned 2: Bloodshot?YESNO
A large portion of time spent developing a first-generation game, particularly a launch window title, goes into building new technology to leverage the platform. For example, we implemented a resource streaming system for Condemned: Criminal Origins to take advantage of the 360’s multiple CPUs. This allowed us to have levels larger than we could fit in memory. The tech worked very nicely, but it changed the way we built levels. It took the designers awhile to learn to push the system. Now that they have more experience and our tools are more mature, they’ll be able to build more detailed environments and characters.

On the tech side, Bloodshot will sport a new shader system, a new environmental effect system and a new UI system. In addition, our bloom support is replaced by a new HDR (High Dynamic Range) functionality. The designers have a great deal of control over HDR and screen effect behavior, enabling them to create new and diverse visual effects. We have also made significant optimizations in CPU and memory use which allow us to better leverage the platform.

In addition to the tech challenges in Condemned: Criminal Origins, we had built many new gameplay systems, such as our melee combat system. With Bloodshot, we are starting with both a rich melee and ranged weapon system as a base. This allows the gameplay programmers to focus on diversifying the player combat options, such as throwing weapons and allowing players to perform combos. The forensics, as well, have been completely rewritten to give the player more control over the experience.

IGN: Arguably, Criminal Origin’s best feature was its storyline. What’s the plot this time around? Plus, since Ethan is back, does it mean that we’ll find out what it was that happened to him in the bathroom at the end of the first game and how many months or years have passed since then?

Frank Rooke, Lead Game Designer: The story takes place about a year after the first game. Ethan has really bottomed out due to the bizarre events he experienced during that time and his inability to make sense of it all. He’s a battered soul filled with anger, hatred and a smoldering drive to make someone pay for the pain he suffers.

Bloodshot will definitely answer many questions that were posed during the first game, but more importantly, players will connect with Ethan on a multitude of levels that will make resolutions more poignant. The first game was solely about fear and confusion, in Condemned 2, Ethan is back and playing by his own rules.

IGN: Will Greg Grunberg be reprising his role as Ethan or is Heroes such a huge show now that Officer Parkman is unavailable for comment?

IGN: Dave Hasle, Producer: Actually Greg Grunberg was interested in working with us on Condemned 2: Bloodshot. We were very happy with the voice-work he performed for us and it’s kind of cool to say we “knew him when.” We’ve taken a darker turn with Ethan and wanted to find a voice that better represented that “edgy darkness.”

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Summary:Players will assume the identity of Ethan Thomas, former Serial Crimes Unit investigator, who has been called back to duty to track down his missing partner.Genres:ActionUse of Drugs and Alcohol, Strong Language, Intense Violence, Blood and GorePlatforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3Developers:Monolith ProductionsPublishers:SEGAFeatures:Number Of Players, Online – VS Number Of PlayersRelease Date:March 12, 2008