Painkiller Archive

by Artas1984
Painkiller - 9/10 (great)

This game is the benchmark and example of what a fast paced shooter game should be like.

QUESTION: What is the definition of a truly great fast paced first person shooter?

ANSWER: a truly great fast paced first person shooter is the kind of game, that delivers an extremely well paced and balanced gameplay, is fast, has advanced movement techniques those require great skill, is challenging, is not aging, has great replay-ability, is technically sound, and most important - is professionally competitive in the arts of professional gaming.

That being said - Painkiller delivers all that with such a mighty blow, that there has not been released a more sound fast paced shooter yet as of 2010!

Of course, Painkiller is not the first game to climb into that elite category.

It all started with the original Quake - the first game ever, that delivered all the requirements for a truly great fast paced shooter. And many more games of that category have been released since 1996 till 2004. The truly last great game of this type was Serious Sam, with the exception that it was not professionally competitive. As of now, many games tried to best Painkiller - and in some aspects they did, but non of them truly bested Painkiller at it’s heart and took the crown from him as the next big thing.

Painkiller does not bring a story worth mentioning, the game is not about that, but the presentation is very nice. There are lots of movies between the chapters, as well as a nice intro and outro. Suffice to say, that later Painkiller games were never that good at initial presentation.

The game has 4 difficulty settings - daydream, insomnia, nightmare, trauma.

The standard setting is nightmare - is it described as a normal difficulty mode, therefore should be recommended for any experienced player, who is versed in these types of games. Players without experience should start on insomnia mode. I have to say that daydream level is ridiculously easy and shameful - it does not need to even exist, as everything in the game does a maximum ONE point of damage...

Trauma difficulty is different in the sense that it actually has a different ending, opposed to the normal version. Some of the levels in the game can not be opened on certain difficulty settings, so one thing for sure - you will have to play Painkiller on every difficulty, except daydream, for full experience...

Painkiller has got one of the most exciting single player gameplay experiences when it comes to pure adrenaline rushed fast and challenging shooting action without the need of the story. I will be comparing him to some other known games..

You will notice that Painkiller is very fast - something that was missed in many single player games since Quake 2. The single player speed certainly is not as fast as in the original Quake, but is still faster than in most games. The REAL speed is in Painkiller’s mutliplayer... Singleplayer allows you to gain max speed to the value of 15 - and you will feel bunny-hoping like a madman, faster than in Doom 3 or Serious Sam, however the speed in Painkiller mutliplayer is extended to the value 28 and if you thought that it was fast with 15, think again! Now it becomes a truly a worthy successor to Quake. We will talk about multilayer later...

Indeed Painkiller brings some new movement techniques. Some of them are worth explaining. The most important and quite most easy is bunnyhoping - it’s not the same as strafing however.. While you keep jumping forward, you gain speed and momentum. Once you reach the max speed, you will have the momentum to overjump difficult obstacles, which look impossible from the first glance. Second important technique is air control - once you have the max momentum, you can perform a jump around the corner in a hyperbolic like pattern. Or you can use air control to land from high altitude down with amazing precision. The third crucial technique is wall climbing - you can climb the walls in this game, which would be impossible to do in almost any other game. Frames per second is a very important thing in this game. If you have 120 FPS rate to climb a wall, you can perform more operations on that wall per same amount of time than you could do having just 60 FPS. This is unlike in most other shooter games, where FPS mostly matter for the eye sight or weapon aiming - in Painkiller high FPS is crucial to successfuly perform essencial jumping and climbing techniques - in other words to execture shortcuts, run from enemies, jump over obstacles.

You will start killing monsters in various ways and will be delighted by the level of gore and destruction Painkiller brings. Havok physics code allows for some great eye candy when tossing up with monster bodies and objects. Between objects and monsters, the detail in monster animation and movement is certainly most appreciated and visually stunning. After death they leave their spirits those you can consume as a health replenisher. Once you consume 66 of these spirits, you will transform into an invulnerable demon, that can destroy any monster with a single shot. Indeed as a transformed demon you see everything in dark and white colors and only the creatures those posses spirits glow in red haze - quite amazing. No weapons needed - you just blast a wave of energy and your screen shivers from it. You return to normal person after some time. That being said we move on to the weapons.

The weapons are a the key factor to game success. Every weapon has a primary attack and an alternative attack, and some have combos. You get 5 weapons, from which 2 are very common - the shotgun that also freezes monsters and a rocket launcher that also has an alternative chaingun option. However 3 other weapons are very unique. The main weapon - painkiller, apart from shredding bodies and retracting them with a beam has a unique feature to do a painkillerjump. This is a technique when using an object or a body you perform a jump against the gravity in the vertical direction upwards. By using this technique you can execute shortcuts or find secret places. It is hard and requires great skill as well as high FPS. Non of the games comes close with this feature. Quake 2 and Heretic 2 had a similar grappling hook, but it was used for retracting your body against the object, not but jumping with it vertically or using it as a weapon. Painkiller has a gun called the stakegun, which launches wooden stakes at a great distance and can either gib the monsters, if fired with great velocity, or pin them to the objects, if fired up close. This pinning to the walls alone is enough to install Painkiller as soon as possible. The stakegun is a sniper weapon, but unlike the famous railgun from Quake 2, fires the stakes in a non-flat, parabolic like trajectory. It requires a certain skill to use it, harder than using a railgun for sure. Stakegun has grenades as an alternative option and has the best combo in the game - while you launch a grenade in the air, while it lands, you must pin the grenade with your stakegun in the air and then such stake will fly having an explosive warhead.. The damage done when hit with this combo is enormous. Last, but not least, is the gun that fires shurikens and lighting... Need i say more? Yes - it has a combo - it fires a big fucking shuriken charged with lightning and everyone that comes near that big pancacke is electrocuted. Somehow Yahtzee did not mention that.. All of the weapons look and feel awesome.

Once you start a level you can see an empty statistics deck that needs to be filled while you progress; once you will finish the first level - a display of level statistics will appear on the screen. Again, great competitive games like Quake and Serious Sam offer these statistics and the end of the levels. You will notice how much challenge does Painkiller offer to you - first you can finish each level with the 5 stars rating - meaning you have to make something known as a perfect score, known in Quake games. Since every slain monster drops a spirit, you can make a spirit run, or you can make a gold rush run, and try to acquire as much gold as possible. Gold is needed to buy tarot cards. Of course an ordinary level speedrun or boss level time attack is the most logic challenge. You can make a tarot card unlocking challenge - one of the most obvious and popular challenges - just do what is told at the beginning of the level statistics and have that done in the end of the level. For example finish one level using a stakegun only or finish another level without grabbing an armor - you will be rewarded with a tarot card afterwards.

Painkiller is a game, that comes with some truly impressive graphics. The level of detail on the architecture is the best in any game released before 2004 hands down, and while it lacks some realistic monster looks as well as some particular modern grahical effects (HDR, bloom, coronas, warp effects, voluemtric lightning, sufrace scatering and so on) it still holds its own against Half-Life 2, Doom 3 and Far Cry. Exceptionally well detailed are the bosses in the game, as they have a much biger texture detail level than ordinary zombies.

So once you will appreciate the almsot macabre and floetic visuals in a crude and primite way, as well as the performance, weapons, challenges, havok physics and how fast the game is, the next thing you will notice while exploring the game is the detail and accuracy in the level geometry and 3D design - especially gorgeous looking levels are the Cathedral, Atrium Complex, Opera House, Babel, Castle, Palace, Train Station, City On Water, Old Monastery. It is something that other FPS games released before 2004 can be only jealous off. Perhaps with the exception of Serious Sam, where some of it’s levels, like Babylon, were truly spectacularly pleasant. Having that compared, not all of the Painkiller’s levels look so amazing, some of them have a very linear and less attractive design - like the Military Base, Abandoned Factory or Docks - but on the other hand these less stylish levels offer greater gameplay value for the decreased looks (fightings in these levels are on a bigger scale and harder when compared to the beautiful levels). So Painkiller levels are very well balanced between each other, and there is not a case where a level is out of the picture. The most amazing thing about the levels, which most of you do not even realize, is that many of them represent real world entities! There is the same looking Asylum somewhere in the United States, same style Cemetery also in the US, same looking Train Station located in Austria, same looking Opera House somewhere in Spain - it can go on and on... Anyone who says that Painkiller has a bad level design is basically an idiot who does not have a clue of what he is talking about... Not all of the levels are real copies of the known places in the world, but all of the Painkiller levels, except Hell, have their counterparts, similar locations and installations in our earth, what can not be said about other fantasy FPS games, although games like Hexen 2 or Serious Sam did a great effort trying to realistically represent known historical designs and captured the beauty of excellent 3D geometry too.

The greatness of the levels does not just end with their geometry stuff. All the levels are filled with monsters, and each level has it’s unique distinctive monster list. For example you will only find Lepper Monks and Walking Undead in levels like Town and Castle. So there is a certain sense of style that each level has. Speaking of monsters i can not forget to mention the bosses of this game. Without a doubt Painkiller has got the biggest bosses seen in any shooter game ever released prior to 2004. Only Serious Sam rivals Painkiller in boss magnitude. You first get the taste of what bosses are about in the level Cathedral, where you face off against a giant vampire that is some 15 meters high. But he is nothing compared to the Necrogiant, which is, probably, the largest ever boss in any game i have ever seen. The bosses would not be all that impressive with their big sizes and that nice graphic detail on them - they actually bring up a challenge and fighting them is never a straightforward thing. Boss levels bring out the best in the whole game.

Painkiller multiplayer is something that many Quake fans have been waiting for. The game developers were Quakeworld champions in their countries and made a game so spirituly similar to the original Quake, yet so newly unique and fresh, that it is game changer in the way multiplayer games are meant to be talked about. Instead of being a jackass, i will simply quote some of the lines, the professional gamers had to say about Painkiller:

Johnathan fatal1ty Wendel: - for me Painkiller is the second greatest 1 versus 1 game after Quake 3 Arena.

Sander Vo0 Kaasjager: - my personal favorite shooter of all times, the fastest game that i have played.

No mater how much i like the game, it is not perfect. Actually Painkiller is one of the more error full games, and that just speaks about the fact that is has not been developed with first class materials. Bugs and crashes occur more often than wanted. Alone the lua application programing language is very irritating if you want to change some game scripts. Worst of all is that random lua based script errors occur just like that, without any explanation... Adding to the bad development is the fact that lots of stuff is written in polish language. Especially in the Pain Editor, which is used as a tool to modify maps.

Another fault is that Painkiller does not have a cooperative, and although one can not blame the developers for that, the fact that almost every Raven Software game had it, as well as Serious Sam had, makes you angry.

Final words: this game is almost a masterpiece, quite under rated in terms of being in the league of the greatest shooters of all times, but i certainly prefer quality over quantity, and do not care for incompetent opinions. Not everyone will appreciate Painkiller, but those who do, will know why...

Painkiller Battle out of Hell - 7/10 (favorable)

This game has both improvements and shortcomings. Overall a definitive must for hard-core PK fans...

If only every level in Battle Out Of Hell expansion pack had been as great in every aspect as any of the original Painkiller levels...

The problem is, that from the 10 offered levels, only half bring the outstanding quality like the original game did, and having that in mind there are only 10 levels total, what makes this game a little rip-off. Despite these negative factors the game brings enough to be a worthy successor to the original game.

Story and presentation: i am not going to spoil anything here, the important thing is that the story of the original game continues here as you play the same character Daniel Garner. However disappointing is the presentation: suddenly Daniel Garner looks somehow ugly compared to what we saw in the original, the movies no longer look that nice, and you just have the intro movie and the ending one, so talk about poor production value. But that does not really matter right? We are here for the gamplay and challenges..

Gameplay: this time the developers really strove hard and delivered a much more complex and challenging gameplay. The principles of gameplay did not change from the original Painkiller, but certainly increased is the difficulty and complexity of the game. In original Painkiller you played every level more or less the same way, with some exceptions. In Battle Out Hell, however, these exceptions are significaly exagerated.. In some levels, like Stone Pit, the gameplay is all about searching, exploring and climbing mountains, leaving fightings as secondary thing, since you spend more time navigating the map rather than fighting. In levels like Stalingrad, no longer works the formula - run fast and kill everything that moves - here you clearly have to use alot of camping and strategy, basically attack from hidden positions, oftene covered behind the wall, which was never a Painkiller strategy. In some levels, the opposite way, you are locked either in a roller coaster or in a van and can not move at all, totally exposed, but just aim your weapons as fast as possible in every direction and try to kill as many as you can or simply try not kill anyone at all - both work and deliver a versatile gameplay. 2 new weapons are included, those make a nice addition and fit very well into the gameworld. New tarot cards are available to unlock also.

Level design: this is where i have mixed reactions. The bigest problem for this expansion pack to score way lower than the original game is that half of the game levels deliver boring gameplay and their design is actaully poor... For example - Laboratory, Pentagon, Dead City and Colosseum all suffer from these problems. Underworld rail-van sequence works only if you want to make yourself a challenge and kill all the monsters while riding the cart, otherwise - it is an example of bad gameplay. Then again the surroundings of the Stalingrad level feel so uncompleted, but somehow manage to deliver a challenging gameplay by making it the hardest level in the game. But of course there are levels that definitely beat even the designs of the original Painkiller - Loony Park is definitely the most memorable level of this expansion pack and adds a great deal of challenge and unintended exploration value. Stone Pit is, perhaps, the most non linear level in the whole Painkiller franchise - from all of the levels in every Painkiller game, this is the only level, where you can skip the linear gameplay and, if you have skill in wallclimbing and rope jumping, you can just go from the very bottom to the very top without entering the tunnels... Finally, Shadowland is the real pearl of this expasnion as it offers one the most visually stunning and entertaining final boss battles you can find in any FPS game! The fight itself is alone entertaining and the graphics detail level in King Alasotor is something i have never seen before in any game by 2004 standards, it looks even better than the most detailed demon i have seen in Doom 3. This single entity has been really crafted better than the other game elements, unfortunately, because this was the only proper boss fight... That being said we move on the graphcis...

Graphics: what can i say more than supreme? When original Painkiller arrived in DirectX 8.1, it had the best visuals at that time, until the release of DirectX 9 games like Far Cry and Half-Life 2. Now Painkiller expansion is upgraded to Half-Life 2 standarts with DirectX 9.C, and new features are present like bloom, warp, coronas and ultra dynamic lightning as well as improved anisotropic filtering. It looks amazing, and although it might lack the shadow detail that Doom 3 presents or lack the facial realism that Half-Life 2 brings, it certainly surpasses Doom 3 in the graphics of the level design itself and graphcis effects look much better. Since Painkiller Battle Out Of Hell is installed on original Painkiller, it happens so that the original game is also upgraded with the new graphical attributes of the expansion and therefore levels like Atrium or Cathedral, where the architecture and visuals were already looking good, now look brilliant.

Soundtrack: just as in the original game, you will be delighted by the well fitted instrumental background music as well as by the battle music. Battle music is custom taste - this time there are less metal riffs, and more industrial pop - i can not really comment on that. You can turn the music off.

Sound: the in-game sounds are very well delivered. Wherever you go, just like in the original game, you hear all sorts of well fitted sounds those set the perfect atmosphere and mood in those particular levels. Clearly without these in-game sounds the quality of the gameplay would worsen.

Customization and menu: very customizable menu and hud - just like in the original game. Nothing lost.

Challenge value: almost as great as in the original game. 5 stars, soul collecting, speedruns, black tarot cards and so on... I have to say that this expansion is alot more challenging and harder than original - it is alot harder to collect the tarot cards or to get the 5 starts score in the end of the game.. Minor challenges are aslo harder. The only disappointing thing is that there are only 10 levels, and only 2 are boss levels, from which only one is a good and challenging level - Alastor. The Pentagon boss is actually not a boss, but an oversized monster with increased stats, one of the stronger ones of course..

Mutliplayer: see original game review.

Final words: for any Painkiller fan this is a must play game (not like Painkiller Overdose). This expansion - Battle Out Of Hell lacks some great level design, seen in the original game, and therefore, with only 10 levels total feels like a little rip-off, especially having in mind that half of the levels have really poor design and are just boring to play, but overall the new features like improved graphics, new tarot cards, new weapons and an increased challenge value, together with some of the best packed levels make this game worth the time.

You get this expansion for free in Painkiller Black.

Painkiller Overdose - 6/10 (decent)

PK Overdose just does not have that stuff what makes the original Painkiller a superb game in it’s class.

The developers of the game, Mindware, started out by making this game without the intension of releasing it under the ownership of the publisher, in other words, more like a mod. But in the end it turned out, than Painkiller Overdose was a totally new game to the franchise that brought a fair level of disappointment.

Introduction and story: the player is introduced to a new character, that represents a half devil, half angel like creature - Belial. Intro is shown with graphic pictures rather than with a movie-like scenes. There is not much to tell - after you are introduced with Belial’s story and the basic concept of what you will do - you get started just like in the original game - a wheel of time appears, letting you know how many levels there will be, and then you just start with the first one.

Gameplay: you now have totally new weapons and new levels filled with new monsters, and although the core of gameplay and it’s elements remain the same, unfortunately the execution of the gameplay is something totally different from the formula of the original game. You move and fight with the same level of furiousness and speed just like in the original game, but now it is both harder and more silly at the same time. Harder it is because the developers made it this way - there feels a total disbalance between your capabilities with weapons and what the monsters can do. All the weapons look new, but in fact, act like the original ones just with a "degradation". For example you have a bone made shotgun that fires primary - "bone splinters" and secondary - "fog of slowdown". Basically similar attributes to the original shotgun, but with a worse effect and execution. The same can be said about the new rocket launcher, which fires 3 rockets instead of 1, however, the new 3 missiles deal the same damage as the original gun and that alone does not really make any sense, but is for the looks. Chaingun has been replaced by rippler, which makes this weapon feel lame compared to the original. Original painkiller is replaced with a cube that floats in the air and does the same stuff just with less fashion.. The stakegun is replaced with a pathetic excuse for a weapon - crossbow, that fires 3 arrows, those really have neither the power or the style. Obviously gone are the grenades and the ability to stake-nade... Electroshaft is replaced with a head that fires lasers from it’ eyes and screams damaging voice - all this being said it is clear that the developers not only decreased the quality of the weapons, but also made them look more silly. The new weapons included in the game are not worth mentioning. The same can be said about the monsters - AI was never a strong part of such games, but this time clearly the developers have made mistakes in the behavior of some of the monsters by making them really either irritating or unbalanced.

Level design: you know that level design in the original Painkiller was exceptional - all levels were made with such a detail, representing most real world installations or simply copying them and the architecture was outstanding. In Painkiller Overdose the levels feel more cartoony, certainly have less detail, less architecture and more invisible walls as well as buggy places.. However few levels look really nice and have a good gameplay value - particularly Ragnarok and Ghost Valley. Some other levels might look good, but then again, the linearity or the gameplay in them does not make them good looking afterall.. Final not - level design might rival Painkiller Battle out of Hell, since it is mix of good and bad.

Soundtrack: it is a custom thing really, this time the developers have chosen a more pop-industro like battle music over the more heavy metal riffs of the original game. However, the ambient music does not have that amount of greatness and style like the original game had with the exception of the few levels where music is somewhat nice.

Sound: it’s ok if we talk about the in-game sounds, but the most irritating thing is obviously Belial’s trash talk voice overs. Serious Sam at least did not repeat his trash talk every 30 seconds...

Graphics: well what can i say? I mean they look the same as in the Battle Out Of Hell expansion that was released 3 years ago. Certainly this is not good considering that PK Overdose lags alot more than PK Battle Out Of Hell, but at least the graphics are not as bad as in PK Resurrection, where everything is just abysmal...

Competitiveness: the single player offers the same challenges as seen before: the 5 stars challenge, tarot card collection, speedrun, boss time attacks, soul collecting and gold gibing challenges. But it certainly won’t feel the same good as in the original.. Speaking of multi player - it is made just for fun. It certainly does not bring the level of technical craftmanship and competitiveness needed for pro gaming with these new stupid weapons and bad multi player map design.

Customization: it certainly is not a good thing, that the game saves as well as cfg files are stored now in a hidden Application Data folder instead of the root game folder. There is also another problem - in the menu you can not switch the weapons primary/alternative or numerical positions like you want. This is certainly a decrease and a bad turn.

Final words: well, for those like me, who appreciated Painkiller for what it was, this new expansion PK Overdose certainly feels disappointing. It might deliver the same amount of fun just like the original game, but overall PK Overdose became more stupid, less fashionable and appealing, less competitive, more buggy, with a decreased gameplay execution and too late in the gaming market - in the end of 2007... The best i can say about this game is that it is - still a playable and fun game, certainly not a rip-off and most important - lightyears better than Painkiller Resurrection..

Painkiller Resurrection - 2/10 (terrible)

This game is the example of the ultimate failure of the development. It ia disaster to the PK franchise...

Plain and simple: after 5 years they release a game that has a smell of decay...

Story and presentation: you were a mercenery in real life, then you die and go to the same place, where Daniel went originaly, you are jobbed to do the same demon killing stuff as he was before you, only in a budget orienteted, bug and crash filled, cheap looking environment... Plainly speaking, the presentation of the game is weak and has a cartoon like intro with pictures, somehow feeling like a cheap and unsuccessuf Max Mayne wana-be attempt. The character looks like a 7 day drinking Max Payne just got beat up. The title after the loading looks extremely cheap, like it might have been drawn by a 7 year old kid. You now get the feeling that Painkiller Resurrection will be one of the philosophically cheapest games you ever have faced.

Visuals: the game looks even worse than Painkiller Battle Out Of Hell, which by it is late 2004 standards had the best graphics, perhaps second only to Half-Life 2. So after all these years they release a game that looks worse than original, but has serious performance issues...

Soundtrack: it’s a custom thing, however is not appealing that much anymore and at points does not really fit the game. All i can say it is not even close to the original Painkiller’s soundtrack and all that awesome background and fighting music. Some soundtrack parts in PK Resurrection are repetitive from older Painkiller games.

Sound: quality is mediocre at best. One would expect that after all these long years they would improve the in-game sounds. Worst off all they added the voice overs - irritating chants, those nobody wants to hear..

Customization: thought the options menu and HUD remain almost the same from the original, there is no cfg file in the Bin directory. The absence of cfg file is an incredibly bad turn from original Painkiller, and an insult to the fans, who like to custimize their game like it was done in the good old Quake 2 days..

Models: level design is far less attractive than that of Painkiller Overdose, not even comparing to original Painkiller.. Levels are made without fashion, chaotically dispersed with no logics to their constructive look. In contrast almost all of the original Painkiller’s levels were designed from real world places or at least were made to represent the most familiar installations build in earth. However, Painkiller Resurrection levels are a joke. There is one level in the game, that does not even have textures - can you believe that? Monster design does not exist at all - you will encoutner the same 5 year old monsters from original games and a new one - that looks like a rotten potato with a face, that as been squashed by a boulder... This new monster has the MOST horrible design i have ever seen in ANY game...

The final bosses in the game are just re-textured monsters from original Painkiller - a re-textured black demon and a re-textured Alastor..

Gameplay: dramatically changed - no longer you need to clear the area from monsters in order to progress to the next chamber, in most cases you can go free where you want - it looks like an improvement at first glance, but in fact this is the worst change in the game - because with this gameplay change the game is automatically stripped from any challenge values the original Painkiller had. It strips the game from the challenge and fun of speedruning and finding shortcuts - key success elements to original game and my favorite part about it. This new gameplay also intorduces a lot of errors and confusion. It makes the player wonder where to go, monsters sometimes bump right before your face, often you go the wrong way and so do not trigger many events those are supposed to happen - and that causes game errors also. Due to incohessive levele design, monsters spaw out of place, or get stuck, lost due very bad waypoints and AI, which also causes game crashes. In general, the gameplay somehow feels incredibly boring when compared to the previous games. Once you start macing up evil monks in the Cathedral, you feel like you have seen and done all this before, and just do not feel the motivation to play.

Challenge value:

1) 5 stars run is not possible due to the many physical 3D holes and glitches in the maps and due to the object displacement miscalculations as well as due to the changed gameplay, that makes no sense in collecting items like in original Painkiller.

2) Speedrun will not be competitive, because of the changed gameplay formula. The speedrun formula worked perfectly in the original Painkiller, where every level was divided into subsections - that made you learn and remember the pattern of how to skillfully and effectively clear the areas one by one as fast as you can as well as remember monster spawn places. This type of gameplay also forced you to search for shortcuts, those were not originally intended; that overall made the speedrun very attractive and competitive in the originalgame. Now here, in PK Resurrection, this speedrun formula does not work in almost every level - there is simply no entertainment and competition value left when monsters spawn randomly, sections can be skipped without any fights not even using shortcuts and skipping those sections can result in either crash like events or errors, especially in levels like Gloomy Mountains, Haunted City.

3) Black tarot cards - you do not feel the motivation to collect the black tarot cards, because the cards are the same from the original games, and the requirements to get the tarot cards are either dull, boring, repetitive or impossible due technical errors.

Artificial intelligence: downgraded from original PK. What the monsters in Serious Sam and Painkiller lacked in AI, compensated in numbers.

Here, however, the AI is the worst i have ever seen. It is hard to imagine how can this degradation occur after 5 years...

Cooperative: does not exist, although was promised..

Multiplayer: was never the point of this game.

Errors: i do not usually separate this, but in this case i have to. I have never seen so many bugs and errors in any game ever.. One after another - lua script errors, windows errors, dll errors, freeze-ups and hangs, Painkiller has stoped responding errors.

Support: does not exist, the game was developed by "fans", not developers, and the idiot publisher just wanted more cash. Epic fail. There was a patch released alter that did nothing major to improve the situation.

Final words: It is amazing to see how once released, original Painkiller was an epic game, that revolutionized the fast paced FPS genre and set a benchmark for future games, and from then it only went down-hill to it’s most miserable part - Painkiller Resurrection...

I really can not find anything special or positive to say about this game. I give some credit, because somehow the patching does work and you can actually finish the game even after many attempts and reloads from many errors. Only some minor situations and some minor level elements were nice in this game at times, those reminded what PK is all about.. I mean, if at least the game had been error-free and finished, without the many 3D holes and glitches, it might deserve a better rating - and that would be still bad, but now it is simply impossible. Gamespot’s 3,5 is too good for this piese of shit game, it is terrible, it is the worst FPS i have ever played.

Painkiller Redemption - 3/10 (bad)

It’s just a mod from multiplayer maps of the original game. It’s also the most boring mod i have ever played.

Before reading this review, please read my original Painkiller review - one of my all time favorite games.

So.. How about making a mod from the multiplayer levels of the original 2004 game, filling them with swarms of monsters, and naming it a new Painkiller game with new story and new levels? Great ha?

This is how it is: this game is a mod, in which the original Painkiller multiplayer levels are being used in a non-existant so called "campaign", just filled with huge amount of the same old monsters and items and given the name of a new title: Painkiller Redemption - a sequel to the franchise!

There is no story, there is only an pretentious excuse for it.

There is no campaign, no fluent level steam - just random multiplayer levels from original game are used and all this is called "new 6 levels".

Guess there is no surprise that this is the same 2004 engine.

Gameplay formula is like this:

  • You start in a multiplayer map, in a specific section of it, to be specific to the first level - in the megahealt/silver armor room of the map DM_Cursed.
  • Once you move FW, the doors to the next section lock-up, leaving you in that specific place; monsters start to spawn.
  • Lots of monsters will spawn - you will notice that the monsters will keep spawning in huge groups, surrounding you and leaving no room to evade, and they will spawn for a very long time!
  • You have killed many monsters already, but for some reason they just keep spawning in the same area, and despite the fact, that so many minutes have passed already, everything repeats the same again and again - you are still surrounded in that confined place with monstes just spawning..
  • After a very long time bashing lots your foes, you can proceed to the next area, in which the same formula of the first section will reappear.

Basically, there is no freedom of movement, like in real multiplayer maps, where you can go where you want; also the monsters will spawn in such huge quantities, that there won’t be enough space or ammo to counter them all. Not only lots of monsters will spawn - they will keep spawning for a very long time. There are items to collect by the way, as well as secret places, but that is just it.

Is there something else worth telling about this "game"?

Yes - there are 1000 times better mods for other "real games", that this standalone expansion pack. This Painkiller Redemption thing, if it had been made as a free mod, it would not even be in the mediocre list of mods, but as it is released as a real game, it deserves to be forgotten as soon as possible and written as one of the worst sequels to any game of all time.

Painkiller Recurring Evil - 3/10 (bad)

Painkiller Recurring Evil experience was like trying to squeeze the juice out of the molded rotten lemon, that has been left for dead for over 8 years.

Introduction and story: another shitface joins the ranks of the damned to slay the same old demons. The story is more pointless than the existance of the game itself.

Gameplay: nothing has changed, except now there is a bad taste in your mouth from the bad design of monster choises and bad spawnplaces. Monster selection so often has nothing to do with the level design, with the exception of the first level. Shooting really gets tiresome when your gameplay gets repetitive and monster spawn timings and quantity are unbalanced. Weapons are the same, you move the same way. Monsters are mixed from all the previosuly seen games.

Level design: level desing is left to be desired. Levels feel like inspired from the previous games, yet are made so much worse. Since there are only 5 levels in the whole game, i might as well compare them. The first level Abbey is like a mix of Cathedral from original Painkiller and Cathedrale from Resurrection, but it is definitely more related to the second variant and it looks the most ugly of them all - there is no admiration to behold like in the original Cathedral. Then we have some Highway level, that is a very cheap pretender of the Dead City level from Battle out of Hell, but significaly more linear and boring, which is insane, because Dead City was a poorly designed level already. Third we go to some Warehouse, which does not particulary strike resemblance to anything, but it feels too crowded and unatmospheric. The only nice thing there were the pipes... After that we get to revisit an extension of Cemetery, named Greveyard, which might as well be the best looking level, as it is featured in the daylight, and with that it barely falls into decency. Finaly we go to Angkor, a level with too many invisible walls and linearity with no style. There are no boss levels, as the final boss is included in the same Angkor level, which is exceptionally cheap and destroys the Painkiller boss formula so well established before where every boss had its own level.

Soundtrack: by far the worst soundtrack in the whole Painkiller franchise. The music in every level sounds the same. It is the most cheap-ass, soul-less trash metal gridning mucic you can imagine. And why the fuck does it have to be metal in every level? As a metal music soundtrack, this comes nowhere close to the memorable riffs of the original Painkiller.

Sound: you can hear some new effects, some gun sounds are different, but worst of all is your character, that does not know who he is - Belial from Overdose or mister Shitface from Resurrection. His constant changing of voices, and the repeats of moaning, itching and blabering get on the nerves pretty soon. In other words this game has the worst sound design in the Painkiller series.

Graphics: some new effects have been added, but that does not change anything. It is pointless to talk about Painkiller graphics in a shit game like this when we have Crysis 2 to behold...

Final words: it is another very disapointing expansion that can be easily skipped. It is a game of 5 levels, and each of them feels like molded from the worst parts and ideas of Battle out of Hell and Overdose combined. If this game had been made in 2005, and had additional 5 levels, despite how cheap it feels, it probably could have goten a 5 out of 10, but as it stands now, with a whole 5 levels in 2012, this is 3 out of 10 at best.

About this site

Painkiller is a first-person shooter video game released on April 12, 2004. It was developed by Polish game studio People Can Fly and published by DreamCatcher Interactive.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!