- COMIC: XCOM The Healing Process
- Evenin '13
- SimCity's Amusement Park Pack Leaked, Releases May 28th
- Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Re-Confirmed For PC Release
- Game Gear Games Coming to 3DS eShop
- Nintendo Open E3 Gaming Doors to Public at Best Buy
- The Wonderful 101 Gets a Release Date
- GTA 5 Screens - Cars, Motorbikes and Scuba Diving
- Black Ops 2 Uprising DLC Ships
- Driveclub PS4 Screenshots
- The Elder Scrolls Online Gathering & Exploration Video
- The Elder Scrolls Online
Gathering And Exploration Dev. Diary
- Gran Turismo 6
- Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City\'s most dangerous
- Metro: Last Light
- Resident Evil: Revelations
Panic Dev. Diary
- Command & Conquer
Beyond the Battle Dev Diary
Painkiller: Battle out of Hell Review
developer: People Can Fly
PIII 1000, 256MB RAM, 1.2GB HDD, 32MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Nov 29, 04 (released)
|» All About Painkiller: Battle out of Hell on ActionTrip|
Expansion packs have become all the rage in the gaming industry. It's like boob jobs in Hollywood: you need to have one to look cool and be accepted by the 'in' crowds. It appears that both the publishers and the general public are laboring under a misconception that unless you release an expansion for your game, the original title simply wasn't a success. Maybe that's some secret PR rule handed down from generation to generation, but whatever it may be, it sure as hell is widespread. I mean, I still can't get over the fact that someone wants to make an expansion for Soldner.
Five bucks a ride, and you get a stake rammed through your butt.
You have to appreciate the erotic nature of this scene.
Amongst the crop of the good, the bad and the ugly expansion packs, DreamCatcher has decided to capitalize on the busiest season of the year for gaming by releasing their expansion to the arcade twitch-shooter Painkiller, entitled, Battle out of Hell.
For the uninitiated, Painkiller plays like a combination of the original Doom and Serious Sam games. It's a fast-paced, pure action shooter that's supposed to dazzle the player with dynamic gameplay and lots of scripted, adrenaline-packed action sequences. So for those of you who have played the original, in terms of gameplay, the expansion doesn't bring anything more or anything less than you would expect from the first title. The simple fact is that if you liked the original, you're probably going to enjoy Battle out of Hell. But before you rush out to buy the game, I feel I need to warn you about a few things first.
Battle out of Hell suffers from sporadic spurts of schizophrenic game design, which is most apparent in the level design department. The game opens in an abandoned orphanage where our fearless demon fighter, after narrowly escaping certain death by the hands of his arch-nemesis from the original game (setting things up for a sequel?), is tasked with killing dozens of undead kids that'll be running at him with cleavers in their tiny little hands and setting themselves on fire. Now usually I don't mind killing monsters in videogames; I've been doing it for quite some time. However, it did feel SLIGHTLY awkward blowing kids away with a 12-gauge shotty (you only felt SLIGHTLY awkward???! -Ed). I mean, rip apart one kid... OK... fill a few full of pellets... well I guess we can let it pass... but we're talking about a mass slaughter of undead children here, with that spinning-blade melee weapon and a 12-gauge shotgun! That did feel a little weird. Still, that's beside the point; the point is that while the enemies as well as the familiar-looking corridors of the orphanage were a 'Pain' in the ass rather than a painkiller, the amusement park level that followed surprised me with its original design and amusing killer clowns. That was followed by the lab level, which again felt flat and then came the haunted city level which was mostly fun again. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the level design was very inconsistent - something many felt was one of the main downsides of the original game.
Besides new levels (there are 10 of them in Battle out of Hell) and enemy models, every twitch-shooter expansion has to feature brand-spanking-new instruments of destruction. (I'm talking about weapons, you dumbass.) The 'new' weapons in the expansion felt more like an upgrade of the old ones than actual new weapons: the stake gun got an overhaul; it can fire more stakes at once and you can use it as a multiple-grenade launcher in secondary mode. There's also the SMG/flame thrower weapon, which proved very useful against swarms of critters.
In addition, the expansion features new bosses, so that's something for the fans of the original to look forward to.
Overall, however, I felt like there wasn't enough content in the expansion to justify a purchase; not unless you're a fan of the original game, in which case, I think you'll like Battle out of Hell. The expansion needed more weapons and more consistency in the level design (as well as more levels altogether). Although the developers claim the levels are now 'bigger,' I've witnessed no such thing in game. The expansion is very short and any semi-experienced shooter player will beat it in several hours of playtime on the normal level of difficulty. Granted, the expansion is tougher to beat than the original, but once you get in the groove of things, you'll be coasting through the levels with relative ease.
What's up with the Ford? Battery dead?
There's blood and guts everywhere... Hey, is this downtown Detroit?
Visually, the game has gotten a moderate facelift. It looks better and from what I could tell, it now makes even heavier use of pixel shader effects. However, Battle out of Hell has some VERY unfortunate timing as by now, most shooter fans have played Far Cry, Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 (or most likely all three). Painkiller looks all right, but it really can't stack up to the big boys. The way that People Can Fly implemented the Havok physics engine has now become a major sticking point for me. I admit I liked what I saw in the original, but after seeing what CAN be done with this technology in Half-Life 2, I felt like the physics in Painkiller were outdated, unrealistic and lagging heavily behind the undisputed king of physics-based gameplay.
Finally, another minor gripe I had with the game is with the sound effects. They have been edited poorly: the bass it too loud while the speech and any other flat or high frequency tones sound garbled. The soundtrack is the same as in the original, so in a way, fans can't make any complaints about it: if you liked what you heard in Painkiller, you'll like hearing it again in Battle out of Hell.
As expansion packs go, this is just another notch on the wall to be released in the last couple of years. Fans get to play some more of the game they liked and publishers get to milk more cash out of the franchise. The developers finally get to release the kind of bug-free game they had hoped to release from day one and everyone's happy. (Ironically, this particular expansion did crash on me a few times, but that might be just my rig.) The biggest gripe anyone can have with an expansion pack is that it doesn't have enough content to justify the purchase. Battle out of Hell comes dangerously close to the edge of the cliff, but with the help of new bosses, optimized net code and added multiplayer facets, it manages to hold on by the skin of its teeth. I mean this is still a fun game to play, and fans of Painkiller will like it. Nonetheless, the expansion dearly needed more content and a more consistent level design.
Some very nice adrenaline-charged levels, new bosses, visual tweaks;
Some very flat and uninspiring levels, needed more content (too short).
BACK TO TOP