First Look: Painkiller Hell and Damnation Beta

Many years ago a company called People Can Fly made one of my favourite games ever. It was called Painkiller and told the story of some bloke killing things…Honestly, this is the only game where I can say the story doesn’t matter. It was fun, fast flowing with solid combat and varied enemies. Then, last year, Nordic games announced that they were doing a reboot, sequel thing.



The thing about the original Painkiller was it came at a time when Doom and Quake were on their way out and the rubbish games like Halo and later Call of Duty started making an appearance. The so called realistic shooters. Painkiller’s philosophy was that sacrificing realism for fun was worth it and I found myself agree completely.

I know it’s not very realistic when I could run out into a group of ten enemies and come out with nothing more than a chipped nail, but it was fun. A word most youths don’t understand now-a-days with all the realism clogging up the fun gears.

The disappointing thing is, this new reboot doesn’t seem to have changed much. The full game will be released on 31st October (Haloween. I see what you did there Nordic) so I will be doing a full review when it comes out but I played the beta for about an hour so thought I would give my opinion on it.

The beta featured a couple of levels from the original game. That was the first disappointment. The hilarious Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw once said that a reboot or sequel should jump off from the original, explore new ideas and boot out the ones that didn’t work. The new Painkiller appears to do neither. The soul collecting aspect is still annoying, it takes a good minute or two for souls to leave your dead enemies and, while just throwing enemies at us worked brilliantly for the first game, the somehow seemed to have ballsed that up too.

I was swamped by about fifty enemies and I took them all out using the Painkiller weapon (A melee, spinning saw type device) and still came out with nine tenths health. There’s not being realistic and there’s just being too easy, Nordic.

I didn’t see any cutscenes in the beta (Not that I was looking too hard) but I’m sure there will be. I can see them trying to force the storyline down our throats when really, no one gives a crap. But who knows, maybe they’ll make the story make sense.

It looks the same game as Painkiller, just not as good. I’m hoping that they would have changed things for release, but I doubt it. I wouldn’t get my hopes up about this game if I were you. If you played the original Painkiller it will seem lacklustre and if you didn’t, you’re probably more interested in Call of Duty number two billion.