Tag Archives: serial killers

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Three years ago and more, I played the original Condemned game. Creepy homeless people, a serial killer, crime scene investigations… fun, scary times! So, anyway, turns out there’s a sequel. Condemned 2 is every bit as creepy, with all the angry homeless people and new bonus extra-creepy people who have bizarre mouth and body-modifications. Not to mention hallucinatory slime people and evil animated dolls and all manner of bad times. The story part of the game is… well, pretty silly? See, the same characters from the previous game are back: Agent Ethan Thomas has turned to the bottle after his successful crusade to take down Serial Killer X resulted in no body, no proof, and a long-term suspension. His lab contact Rosa is doing fine, but the wealthy Malcolm Van Horn is being hunted by… a secret society. That has sinister plans for Agent Thomas.

On the one hand, yay for explaining all the crazy homeless people, probably better than the first game did. On the other hand, changing from a serial killer series to a conspiracy series without so much as a how-do-you-do is just a bizarre choice. One that will work better, I think, if there’s no third game. Really, the story thing isn’t a complaint per se. The game was scary and that’s what I was looking for. My complaint, if one is needed, is that it was entirely too short. Well, and there was maybe not quite enough studying crimes while nervously watching over a shoulder for a well-wielded pipe wrench. …yeah. Okay. Scary enough or not, it just wasn’t nearly as good as the last one. Oh, well.

Dearly Devoted Dexter

51UeGHq5w4LMan. I am way too far behind right now. It is not pretty. But, so anyway, I read Dearly Devoted Dexter, the second book in the inspired-a-Showtime-series. I’m continuing to enjoy it all out of proportion to how much I think I should, though I believe this one was helped a lot by the series’ plotline divergences after the first book/season. Plotwise, Dexter and his sister and his nemesis Sergeant Doakes team up to face a killer who physically removes just about everything from his victims, while still keeping them alive and in perfect physical health. It’s… kinda creepy! (Well, technically, all of Miami homicide and CSI and whatnot are in on the team-up, but realistically, I mentioned the important people.)

I don’t know if he was written a little differently in the first book, or if I was so busy following along from plot point to familiar plot point that I missed it, but the Dexter in this book is hilarious. Yeah, he’s pretty good at stalking and killing bad people who probably deserve it.[1] And he’s good at realizing that he doesn’t comprehend people and their emotions, though I can’t make up my mind if that’s a character deficit or a choice, despite his claims. But he also constantly lauds his brilliance and ability to blend in among the normal people around him, even though the constant evidence of his descriptions belies it. He makes good deductive leaps, of course.[2] But he also falls into traps I saw coming miles away, apparently because of his not-acknowledgedly-pompous belief in himself. And for someone who does everything exactly right to keep from being picked out as odd by people around him, there are a lot of people who seem to recognize that something is off key, a fact he also rarely accepts. It is on the whole an entirely amusing confluence of unintentionally unreliable narrator, Scoobies mayhem, and disconcerting serial killer mentality.

That last bit is what I a) anticipate enjoying the most in future books and b) feel the most guilty about. Because, apparently, his girlfriend’s children are poised to turn into Dexter: the Next Generation, and of course he is delighted to teach them what to do and not to do, just as his foster father taught him. Instead of being all squicked out by sociopathic pre-teens, I really want to see where it goes. So, um, oops?

[1] If you don’t buy this central conceit of the book, then you are really guaranteed to hate it, and should not read.
[2] It is a mystery novel, after all!