Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
|a game by||The Farm 51|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Painkiller Series, First Person Shooter|
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, a throwback to a simpler age of first-person shooters, is considerably more concerned with corpse counts and blood spray than gameplay complexity. The genre's return to its primitive beginnings is wonderful, even if it feels like the gaming equivalent of a junk food binge.
This recreation of the gruesome original is unflinchingly old-school, fast-paced, campy as hell, and action-packed. It provides you with a toolkit of twisted weaponry and constantly bombards you with enormous swarms of demonic creatures. The ensuing ridiculous carnage of flying appendages packs a lot of insanity into a brief but wonderfully gory frolic.
Though Hell & Damnation offers a somewhat different tale that is only loosely based on both the original game and the Battle Out of Hell expansion, it's a recognizable concept to anybody who has played the Painkiller series. Garner, who is trapped in a horrible purgatory after dying in a car accident, is eager to escape his nightmare prison. Death himself hires the unhappy protagonist this time, promising to reunite him with his wife, Catherine. Of course, he must first collect 7,000 souls. Your objective remains the same: blast and eviscerate your way through a bizarre collection of fantastical landscapes, annihilating everything that moves and scarfing down souls like Halloween candy.
Hell & Damnation is a drastically simplified run-and-gun adventure that leans greatly toward early FPS classics like Doom and Duke Nukem 3D when compared to its modern-day contemporaries. Charging through beastie-filled levels and grinding up skeleton soldiers, ghostly abominations, and wilder monsters isn't innovative, but the fast pace is enjoyable in brief spurts. The responsiveness of the controls also adds to the solidity of the gameplay.
There isn't much to do other than clear an area of demonic hordes before going on to the next checkpoint, but the catharsis of dismembering vast numbers of opponents with a plethora of lethal tools reaches a gratifying crescendo many times during each stage.
Completing the requirements required in each level to obtain black tarot cards used to bestow benefits in combat adds merely a smidgeon of replay value. The ability to go through the whole campaign jointly with another person improves things because certain foes resurrect if you don't eat their souls after killing them. However, it is insufficient. The pleasure of wanton ultraviolence dissolves into a repetitive rhythm towards the conclusion of the short campaign.
Anyone who has played previous Painkiller games will notice how much better everything appears using the Unreal Engine 3. The stages haven't been totally redone, but the new layers and sharp details truly stand out. It's nice to see familiar landmarks like the Cathedral, Loony Park, and the Orphanage spruced up with new paint.
Hell & Damnation doesn't waste time getting to the action, but it might be a touch too concentrated at times. The campaign is very short, taking roughly four hours to blow through the 14 stages spread over four chapters.
- Co-Op Campaign
- Fun Gameplay
- Great graphics
- Short Campaign
- Unrewarding Replayability