Sunday, June 15, 2008

PainKiller Gold Edition

Game Review:

Painkiller is a game that in my opinion took the First Person Shooter genre back to its roots. Action and violence are really the two main ingredients that started the FPS genre. You controlled a character that ran around and blew things up. Whether it was space aliens, demons or nazis you blew up in the game it was almost a given that it was violence for the sake of violence. But just as in every other genre there has to be room for improvement and growth. Soon it just wasn’t enough to blow things up and run around shoot demons anymore. There had to be puzzles, dialogue and limitless multiplayer options included in a FPS before anyone would take notice.

Painkiller is a combination of old with a heavy mixture of action & violence along with a whisking of new by including some incredible technology features in the game. As the saying goes “Everything old is new again” is rather fitting for Painkiller. The action of the old style FPS is evident but the technology of the physics engine and graphics thrust the game into the new school. If you’ve become jaded with the amount of FPS games being released that seem to require a master’s degree in puzzle solving then Painkiller is your game. However if you want a game that has some amazing graphics and technology behind it then Painkiller is still the game for you.

Now since this is a re-release of a game I will keep the duplication of information to a minimum. Check out GameZone’s review of Painkiller right here . The expansion pack Battle Out of Hell keeps the excitement going with even more levels and creatures. I felt the design of the levels in the expansion pack were much better than the levels in the original game. The first level in the expansion pack, an orphanage, had me creeping out. During the making of video for the game there was comment made about how no one should get offended or disgusted by the levels and designs since there are touches of humor in the game. Maybe they haven’t even played their own game or I’m becoming soft as I get older. With the original game and the expansion pack the gold edition offers over 30 different levels.

The biggest attention grabber of Painkiller has to be the graphics and the physics engine. The graphics are just unbelievable with wave after wave of enemies attacking you, incredibly detailed locations and bosses that fill almost the entire stage. But add to the graphics the incredible capabilities of the physics engine, Havok 2.0, and you get a game in which the stages seem to come alive. The Havok physics engine allows for creatures to fly across the room after being hit. Pieces of jars, barrels and other objects react almost naturally to weapon fire or damage generated by other objects. For those that have seen and played games using the Havok engine can appreciate it more than words can describe it. If you’ve never played a game that uses the Havok physics engine before then Painkiller is a great introduction to the spectacle created during the game. Even with the incredible graphics and physics engine there is a price to pay when it comes to performance. The game isn’t a graphically taxing as say Doom III might be but Painkiller still might be too much for their current graphics card. I had to turn down or off almost all of the built in graphical features in order to get the game to run smoothly on my machine. My fellow reviewer Tha Wiz couldn’t even get the expansion pack to run at a decent frame rate on his computer even after upgrading to a slightly more powerful graphics card.

The game itself is all about action and nothing else but action. It’s an almost endless wave of monsters that will come after you in the game. There are no puzzles to solve in the levels and the story line is only mentioned during cutscenes between the stages. This isn’t a thinking man’s FPS. This is a game that will wear your trigger finger out by forcing you to fire repeatedly. The game rarely gives you a moment to catch your breath which is simplicity of the game makes it shine. If you want another Half-Life or Deus Ex then stay far away. If you want a game that has roots to the original Doom then this is the game for you.

Painkiller Gold Edition is a great collection for gamers who’ve been waiting to take the plunge with Painkiller. Both the original game and the expansion pack are included along with some nice bonus material. If you already own the original game plus the expansion pack then there really isn’t much of a need to purchase the gold edition. For gamers that didn’t give Painkiller a glancing look when it was released before should definitely give the Gold Edition a once over and purchase. Remember my motto GameZone readers “Games are supposed to be fun.” Painkiller is a blast to play and sure was a lot of fun.



Anonymous said...

Games should not be stolen

Anon said...

Especially when the game comes from a country that is just getting into making great computer games (like the Witcher), read: Poland. Stealing is bad, m'kay?