on 6 August 2014
The first person shooter has been a dominant force in gaming for over 20 years; ever since ‘Wolfenstein’ morphed into the likes of ‘Doom’ and ‘Quake’. These earlier FPS were action packed and pretty crazy; you ran around and shot everything that moved. The multiplayer aspects of ‘Call of Duty’ may suggest things have not moved on much, but in fact they have a lot. Story and subtle movement are far more key. However, there are still fans of the 90s FPS glory days who just want a game that will allow them to run and gun. For these people they can now play ‘Painkiller: Hell and Damnation’ on console, but do they really want to?
‘Painkiller’ is a very old fashioned shooter that cannot hide its roots as an older PC shooter spruced up for the modern market. However, not that spruced up. This is a game that harks back to the days of the Quake style engine that provided any colour known to man, as long as it was in a shade of brown. The game just looks depressing and boxy. The old fashioned feel of the game also continues in level and control design. The character is far too fast and feels like he would be played best with a mouse and keyboard, not a joy pad. The levels also feel very late 90s, early 00s, with the boxy nature of the maps and endless corridors.
As someone who loved ‘Half Life 2’ and later ‘Bioshock’ I think gaming has moved on since the days of games like ‘Painkiller’. However, there will be some people who with love the senseless shooting of ‘Painkiller’. I am not one of these people. Having endless enemies running at me with poor AI is not my idea of fun and if it was, I would play the openly insane ‘Serious Sam’ games instead. ‘Painkiller’ is a long buried game that should have remained 6 feet under because this version is a bit smelly and flaky round the edges.
Owned the original on the PC, loved it but was broken any save file beyond a certain point would corrupt the save file. So looked forward to this when noticed on PS3.
Played for about an hour local multiplayer and I have to admit I am undecided, compared to the PC just does not seem as manic.
Weapon selection is annoying, they should have made L1 / R1 filter weapons instead you have to filter with one button, R1 and yet both L1 and X are assigned to both jump... which is hardly ever needed.
If you are looking for an FPS inspired by old school game play inspired by quake and doom ( no iron sights, able to walk around with loads of mad guns all at once, tons of ammo and 1000's of enemies charging you and pumped up music ) then get it, serious sam just wasn't a touch on 1 and 2 and this has the benefit of split screen play, and more entertaining firepower.
on 8 October 2014
This game's one and only draw is the old school FPS temperament it employs. It's cheap, ugly, loud and repetitive. There is a reason I think they don't make games like this anymore though, and that's because they are not very good. I like all genres of games and will give anything a fair go but Painkiller did nothing but bore and frustrate me. The music that kicks in anytime there are enemies to slay is annoying and gave me a headache; the environments are bland and uninspired; you move far too fast, almost like you are controlling someone who is on skates; there is no enemy AI to speak of, all just simply run straight at you or get stuck behind scenery; there's lots of backtracking across areas with nothing much to do other than shoot hordes of unconvincing enemies; the weapons, while fun, don't handle great or feel right and the lack of iron sights is a pain; the coin/tarot card system added nothing for me and collecting orbs from vanquished foes is also rendered a farce given the fast speed you move around and the time delay from your enemies death to the orb released.
All in all this is a poor effort that offers little and is so repetitive it hurts. If you like games that offer no pace, no deviation, inspiration or innovation and will reduce you to a simpleton hammering the same buttons and repeating the same tired actions over and over again, then you are on to a winner. Everyone else avoid.
on 19 November 2013
Upon seeing this game, you already know it is one of those under the radar games that nobody knows about or plays, this of course had me intrigued as i am a fan of dark gothic settings and i hadn't played an old school shooter before so i thought it was worth a try, these are my results.
The game markets itself as a trigger happy bouncy old school fps with a metal soundtrack which transitions during battle. Painkiller is essentially a no brainer shoot everything type game, think devil may cry with only guns and in first person (or doom on steroids to be more accurate), lots of demons and you just shoot them all in a closed arena, kill them all and you move onto the next area, simple right? if you expect anymore depth than this, stop reading this review and go play half life or something, this is a game for those who just want to shoot waves of demons.
One of the games strong points is it's art design, they really did capture the dark gothic scene and the high definition graphics are a boost also. You will spend time simply exploring these areas for secrets, gold, armor and ammunition. There are some rather interesting locations, my favorites are the opera house, the haunted orphanage and the demented theme park, especially the latter, they really thought of everything didn't they?
The boss fights are also pretty intense as the game has you fighting some huge creatures, sadly there are too few of them but the second boss in particular was an impressive sight, the first boss however can be kind of cheap as it can send spikes through the ground which hit you and they are nearly impossible to avoid. Most of the bosses are just shoot till their dead kind of fare but what did you expect?
There are many collectables to be found including holy artifacts and tarot cards, holy artifacts give you a gold bonus and are found in secret areas, tarot cards give you special effects when used in battle, but they can only be used once until you finish the level, silver tarot cards on the other hand provide passive effects. Tarot cards are unlocked by performing the required feats such as kill 25 frozen enemies.
The gameplay is fast paced and there are a lot of cool weapons you can use each with multiple functions, there is even a sub-machine gun with a flamethrower attatched to it so you can either have your enemies dead or flaming. The wide variety of weapons make the seemingly repetitive gameplay less sterile and you can switch them on the fly, sadly as could be expected by a game like this, gameplay can become repetitive but it can be nice to play through a level to let off some steam or simply to just sit back and mash the right trigger watching your enemies explode into bloody pieces, of course you can miss so you need to watch your ammo count and your aim on later difficulties.
Now hare comes the problems. Like i said the game play is repetitive and some scenario's can be quite long such as the Colosseum and the lab where you're facing several waves of enemies without a break, which can be annoying at times especially considering the fact that you have to collect the enemies souls which means bunny hopping up and down as enemies chase you around (or sometimes shoot you) gathering all the dead corpses souls, thankfully there are weapons which can make short work of enemy groups such as the grenade launcher and the heater which will annihilate huge groups of enemies in seconds making what could have potentially be a tough encounter a complete joke. It's up to you when to use these overpowered weapons but they can come in handy in a pinch. Still you get insane amounts of ammo for them which can make the game seem too easy as you can just spamfire the heater over and over but you don't get too much ammo for them so it is best to save them for large groups rather than waste them on just one or two enemies that could have been easily dispatched with the stake gun/saw blade.
There is a story to the game but it doesn't make much sense considering it is an entirely new story which takes place on levels from the original Painkiller so the story is essentially all over the place and to be quite honest, they wasted time even bothering with one. The ending is predictable and you can easily see how it's going to end and i shall tell you, it's not satisfying.
Also it seems that they lied about the game being uncut. The game isn't even finished and only has less than half the levels of the original painkiller and it's expansion combined, due to this the levels don't connect, at one point you'll find yourself in an urban train station, the next minute you find yourself on top of a tower fighting a huge demon in a not so urban environment. They seemed to have picked out several levels from the original Painkiller and it's expansion and saved the rest for, yep you guessed it DLC! Nordic are wanting to cash in on all the suckers who bought this game by shipping half a game and making us pay for the rest which is already on the disc (or at least i presume so after looking at some of the development footage from the bonus cd as they show footage levels that i haven't even played on, they even show some of the levels in development so they must have already produced them on the disc, sadly Nordic want us to pay more money for them, it's ridiculous.
Adding insult to injury, the ps3's online is completely dead and is reported to have had no servers at all essentially making online playable and co-op campaign is buggy as hell. I did manage to play survival mode on my own and whilst the idea is cool, it just doesn't functions properly, survival is all about having limited lives and fighting endless waves of enemies, there isn't supposed to be a time limit ant there isn't supposed to be a number of required kills to win so it doesn't really work as if you die, you simply respawn. That is not survival, that is pve at it's basics, i'd rather just play the campaign levels over and over than waste my time on survival.
All in all this game is a great shame, it had good potential but faltered to to publisher greed and broken online, nordic aren't planning to fix this any time soon.
it does have rent potential though so i'd give it a go, it is a fun game and you can probably finish it in a day or two, you could also get it cheap, i'd say nothing more than £5.00
Game play: 7.2
Replay value: 8.0
Overall Score: 6.9
I'd recommend renting it from your local rental, if you're thinking of buying collectors edition, pay no more than £15.00
on 26 August 2013
I've only played the XBOX version of the original Painkiller (Hell Wars I believe), and had hoped for a simple port or something similar, but just on the PS3. Unfortunately the game plays sluggish, the graphics are wholly underwhelming and the it also seems a little boring to go round each area and find the one enemy thats got stuck on something and kill it so you can move on. The gameplay is ok, when it works, but can get a bit bland. Its fairly cheap, which is the main reason I picked it up, and for nostalgia as I liked the first one, but its so buggy and slow running I was really unimpressed. Its a shame, but I don't recommend buying this, even if it is cheap, theres loads of better FPS games for the PS3 cheaper.
Side note:- The stuff you get in the Collectors pack, or whatever its called, is just fairly standard stuff, the box is just cardboard but looks kinda nice I guess and the stickers and postcards are exactly what you'd expect (I'm not super-hyped about /stickers/ myself tbh) , still not really worth paying for when the game isn't too great.