The battle between Heaven and Hell erupts on the PC with the new action shooter Painkiller.
Players take on the role of Daniel Garner, a man who dies and finds himself in limbo forced to fight the forces of evil to earn his redemption. Unsure of why he needs redemption, Daniel fights against over 50 species of evil across 24 levels to earn salvation.
Thankfully for players, Daniel has some powerful weapons at his disposal each with a powerful secondary fire mode. There is the default painkiller that can be used to unleash spinning blades of death that shred anything in their path or blast enemies with a powerful beam of energy. The shotgun is a solid weapon that will send enemies flying and the secondary fire mode offers a freeze ray that allows you to shatter enemies. The rocket launcher is a versatile weapon that doubles as a chain gun to blast or mow down enemies in mass. There is also an energy weapon that acts as a lightening gun in secondary fire mode. My favorite weapon is the stake gun that fires high velocity stakes into enemies that can stick them to the walls or blast them to pieces in the secondary fire grenade mode.
The controls of the game are easily set via the options screen and any player used to a 3D shooter will have no trouble setting up the controls. The enemy A.I. of the game is lacking as it follows the Serious Sam mentality of tossing many well-crafted creatures at you, but they charge are you blindly in a straight line and take little defensive precautions making them easy targets.
The graphics of the game are solid showing the incredible potential of the new game engine. With my 128 MB Geforce 4600 TI by Jaton, I was able to have high detail levels such as enemies flying across the room after getting to know my weapons up close. The textures and detail are also without comparisons as the detail and movement in the clothing and maps are amazing especially the mental asylum level and the iced bridge.
The audio portions of the game are good though the voice acting could use some spice as it fails to engage. Multiplay had some connection and lag issues, but they are said to be addressed in the pending 1.1 update and offer five different style of playing from the classic deathmatch and team deathmatch to the unique People Can Fly mode that can best be understood by playing. I also found the boss level monsters amazing as the size and complexity of the creatures is unlike anything ever created before and were deadly visual spectacles
The game does have a very high end setup and players will want to ensure they have at least 512 MB of system memory as tests with memory in the 386 MB range showed the game to run very slowly even on an 800X600 setting. The game also has a very long load time for levels. I enjoyed playing the game though I grew weary of endless waves of mindless enemies that poured themselves at me with no tactics. The only challenge was often could I fire fast enough to kill them and I often found myself wishing for more variety in my weapons Painkiller is a solid game with good gameplay experiences that will delight fans of 3D shooters especially for those with a high-end system that will allow them to enjoy the benefits of the new technology.
Gameplay 4
Graphics 4.5
Sound 4
Value 4
Rating M