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Painkiller: Hell & Damnation

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Painkiller: Hell & Damnation is an enhanced remake based on the original Painkiller and the expansion Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell. Of the 34 levels originally available in those games, 14 are featured in this title reorganized in four chapters. Each chapter has a boss and they were reconstructed with changes to the level design and the enemies. There is also a global graphical overhaul courtesy of converting the game from the original PAIN engine to UnrealEngine3. Most of the visual enhancements are apparent in the character models and skins. It is the second time a game in the series is available for consoles, following the 2006 Xbox title Painkiller: Hell Wars.

The game starts with a new intro cinematic that changes the setup of Daniel Garner's trip to purgatory. Next to the original weapons the Soulcatcher is introduced. It combines a saw blade with an energy beam to suck up the souls of defeated enemies right away. The original music is complemented by some new tracks by Ojo Rojo. Entirely new is a cooperative mode, both local and online, where the protagonist Daniel Garner can team up with Eve to tackle the levels together. It also introduces a survival mode where up to eight players can fight together to survive waves of enemies. The original PvP multiplayer modes are still present and the game is described as uncut with none of the gore or blood removed.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 65% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 1 reviews)

Pretty, but disappointing

The Good
Painkiller. Whew. THE most refreshing game of it's time period. When most FPS games was trying to get more "serious", "story-driven" or "realistic", Painkiller decided to go against all these directions. It was extremely arcade-ish, ridiculously over the top, fast-paced, and had little to no story, which we skipped anyway. Painkiller worked in a wy Doom, Quake, or Serious Sam did. You have hundreds and thousands of different foes to take care of each level. And all of them are unique and extremely gorgeus. But the levels and the monsters. The game was a frantic, insane bullet-fest, taking place in castles, cemeteries, theme-parks, factories, etc. You name it.The whole game was just epic and full of WIN. When I heard that someone decided to make a revised version, now running on the amazing Unreal 3 engine, I was psyched. Rightfully so, because, they managed to make this already beautiful game into a truly jawdropping experience. Graphics-wise anyway...

The Bad
This is supposed to be an ENHANCED REMAKE. Yet, it still doesn't hold up to the original. It looks better, I'll give it that. Everything else however, got a downgrade. Let's start with the best thing about the original game:

The Levels: Painkiller and it's first expansion, Battle out of Hell, had about 35 levels altogerher. The main game had five bosses, the expansion had 2+1 as I recall. Hell and damnation, on the other hand, has only 14 levels and four boss fights. That's it. Of course, we can argue, that even in the origial, the quality of these levels was inconsistent, so they must've left out the weaker ones, right? Wrong. If they wanted to keep only good ones, I really don't know why did they include the Arena level from Battle out of Hell, which is the single most annoying level in the history of ever. Originally, it had jumping puzzles. But now, thankfully those are out. The platforms are still there, but they're connected, sou you can just breeze through. It's just padding and meaningless. Three of the bossfights are from the original games, and they are awesome. The very last, big one against Death is a new addition. And it's terrible. Anticlimatic, confusing, lame, stupid and very crudely made. Remember the last level of Painkiller, where you were drifting along in a realm of hell, where time froze, on you saw wars explosions, etc stuck in the same moment forever? Remember how cool that was? They decided to scracth that. Now you shoot Death into smithereens with a blade-weapon, in a ruined city. No effort in it.

The Monsters: In both painkiller and Battle out of hell, there have been a myriad of different abominations. Each level introduced at least three or four new ones, and they all came in huge hordes. Now they got cut back in both variety and (strangely enough) in number. Hopefully I'm not just imagineig things, because it really felt way more relaxed then the original. In that, you always felt overwhelmed by the amount of enemies running and gunning at you, but here, I found myself constanly running towards the monsters, not away from them. Also, the types of monsters you come across is way less. Many of them also lost their special abilites (exploding little girls, anyone?) and all of them became much more quiet for some reason. This is just lame.

The small amount of additions: Of course, beside the new graphics and the extremely bad last boss fights, the developers added some new stuff also. A new gun, which shoots blades, and alternatively collects souls, and when it has enough you can use it to turn an enemy into your minion. I only used this last feature once, just to see how it works. It worked. Not very useful though, and a bit sluggish to perform. A few new monsters. Since they took out so many others, and these new ones are mostly modifications of other models, I say it just doesn't cut it. New cutscenes. While they look better than the admitedly low-tech, prerendered ones from the original, the story actually got even worse. Jokes: Headbanging withces in the opera. Others are pushing thrashcans at the trainstation. I guess this was supposed to be funny. but really, these made the game look way sillier than it was. Bad jokes are bad. No other way to put it.

The Bottom Line
Why, why, why is this so hard? I have no clue why none of the developers since the first installment ever get the ideas which made that one great. Painkiller was pure gold, Battle out of Hell was good, Overdose was acceptable, and all others were pure manure. Honestly there is no reason to buy this version. If you really want the shiny surfaces of the Unreal 3 engine, then go ahead and get this. If, on the other hand, you want CONTENT, then go and buy the black edition. It's even cheaper.

Windows · by marci nagy (7) · 2012

Trivia

Cemetery Halloween Edition DLC

Players who pre-ordered the game or ordered it during the October 2012 Halloween Sale on the Steam digital distribution platform received the Cemetery Halloween Edition DLC. It is an update where the first level is redesigned as a Halloween addition with new decorations and an additional achievement.

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Game added by Sciere.

Macintosh added by Charly2.0. Linux added by Leszek Godlewski. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 added by Jouni Lahtinen.

Game added November 27th, 2012. Last modified August 29th, 2023.