Painkiller Battle out of Hell Review

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Graphics: 8.5
Sound : 8.0
Gameplay : 9.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 8.5
Review by Kurt Knudsen
Painkiller set a great mood and offered excellent gameplay. With this expansion pack we see more of the same but in a completely different light. It is probably the best expansion pack to any game. It’s delightfully twisted, I love it.

You start at an orphanage in purgatory. The villains are specific to the level so you never see the same guy twice. In the orphanage you can see little boys run at you even if you blow their legs off. Resilient little suckers I tell ya. The whole orphanage scene is one of the scariest moments in gaming that I’ve encountered, the haunted house in Vampire The Masquerade probably tops them all. Fear not the entire game doesn’t revolve around the whole scary mood ala Doom 3. It goes from one place to another and you meet quite interesting opponents.

Graphics:

Graphically the game is the same. It offers amazing visuals with killer performance. You get a whole new set of badass weapons and some really interesting levels. The models still look amazing and the cut scenes are great.

The monsters in the game range from little boys and girls running toward you to zombie businessmen to scary clowns. They all fit the part and fit in well with the scenery. You wouldn’t expect to see a clown in the middle of a city would you?

I say this game is delightfully twisted because once you start playing it you can see how truly messed up this game is. Yet it is still fun to kill the onslaught of enemies. In a certain level you go to the middle of two very large buildings. Suddenly it starts raining bodies that scream on their way down and splatter as they hit the pavement. When you look up you see it isn’t raining bodies. They are actually jumping out of the building only to be reborn when they come crashing down.

The weapons have received a great upgrade and they still look badass. The detail on them is great and they look as one would expect them to. The scenery around you is as it was in the original game. Glum and despair reign supreme.

Overall the graphics are still great, even with the latest games like Half-Life 2 and Doom 3, Painkiller does a fantastic job at holding its own. The levels are very spooky and set the tone for the game very well. It’s unbelievable that the developers thought up some of this stuff, what imaginations.

Audio:

In the orphanage it would have done a great deal to the mood to have kids crying in the background or have some really eerie music playing. Nonetheless the audio suffices as you progress your way through this derelict level. When you come upon the little rascals it is then when the mood is set with the music pounding and the ambient noises coming from all corners.

The sound effects from the guns are as good as they were in the original, very well done and very realistic. Nothing sounds hollow or tinny as we’ve seen before in other games. Explosions are filled with the splatter of guts and blood as you blast your opponents with grenades and spikes. The sound from splattering your opponent with the steak driver is quite enjoyable.

Musically the game is great. The music plays very well in the background and fits the situation well. Music in games play a key part in setting the mood and if the music sucks you can pretty much kiss that mood goodbye. I love the rock music in the game. It really helps you get angry and bloodthirsty.

Gameplay:

The expansion pack comes with 10 levels. One is only playable on hard setting. The levels are great and are very fun to play. Each level comes with its own set of enemies and the last boss is truly a battle for your life.

The levels play as they did in the original. You move to one section and it closes you off and you must defeat the enemies to move on. This works really well and with the objective arrow you can easily hunt down the last demon so you can get back on course.

The new weapons really help a lot and they are perfect. My favorite is the multi steak driver. It shoots out about half a dozen spikes at a time. Its alternative mode sprays the land in front of you with about 8 grenades sending the enemies flying and gibing about. A few old weapons have returned to aid you in your quest for victory.

The AI in the game is the same. All they do is run toward you and attack you. Some get wise and hide behind things or get stuck but it really doesn’t matter, especially when you are fighting off 40 or so dead zombies. Your attention shifts from strategy to all out running and gunning. I must admit it is quite fun.

Conclusion:

The expansion pack is great. It’s probably one of the best expansion packs for any game released in 2004. If you own the original this is a must buy. You cannot go without this expansion. The levels are twisted and extremely fun. The game doesn’t take too long to complete but that’s not real problem.

The weapons are awesome as are the graphics. The enemies offer their own unique look and attacks based on the level at hand. The setting can go from creepy to just funny.

Kurt Knudsen
1/2/2005