bit-gamer.net

Games I Own: Painkiller

Posted on 11th Oct 2011 at 07:30 by Joe Martin with 31 comments

Joe Martin
Painkiller is a game about frenzy, about being 'in the zone' and about bunny-hopping at 100 miles an hour around gothic castles packed with skeletons and cackling witches. It's a game about violence and speed; the satisfying buzz of a well-executed headshot performed from the hip.

Or, to put it another way, it's a game about 'THUNK!' That's the noise it makes when you fire half a pool-cue across the map and it lands, pinning your enemy's collapsed body to the floor.

THUNK!

Painkiller is not a game about religion or story. The few cut-scenes and bits of exposition it contains appear to have been crudely cobbled together in Poser, using curiously static sets and bland, turgid character models. 'Wooden', that's the word for it.

So, while there's hypothetically a plot about Daniel, who dies and finds himself in purgatory with a quest to kill Satan's armies, it's mostly a load of guff. It's just about the violence; the THUNK! of it.

Games I Own: Painkiller

Once you realise that, it makes overlooking the confusingly myriad selection of level settings less of a big deal. Painkiller jumps you from derelict mental asylums to palatial opera houses, from cable cars over snowy chasms to medieval villages. Your enemies are World War II soldiers, witches on broomsticks and demonic samurai. Attempting to link these ideas together rationally defies sense; just give in to the THUNK! of it.

Or ZAP! of it, for that matter. That's the sound it makes when you electrically charge a throwing star and punch it into the ground at the feet of your enemies. Depending on how many foes are standing around at the time it's either a single ZAP! or a ripple of them. Either way, it ends in the hiss of smoke as it steams from enemy corpses.

THUNK! ZAP-zap-ZAP! Hissssss. These are the simple joys of Painkiller - and this is a game that's constructed only from simple joys. Whereas most games have room for some level of deeper analysis - what was the level designer trying to communicate with the placement of this texture? - Painkiller resists this trend. It has no deeper message to communicate, merely the solid THUNK! and ratatat zap-ZAP! of the core action - because that's all it needs to shine.

Number of Times Completed: Once. Currently replaying.

Random Trivia: Like Half-Life 2 and Crysis 2, Painkiller fell foul of code leaks ahead of release. A full multiplayer alpha was leaked on the Internet four months ahead of launch - the source was never found.

31 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
GravitySmacked 11th October 2011, 08:46 Quote
Loved that game; the stake gun is one of the best FPS weapons ever created.
von_stylon 11th October 2011, 08:47 Quote
One of my all time fav's and battle out of hell was just as good.
Vetalar 11th October 2011, 09:04 Quote
played first time in parallel with first farcry (4 CDs for sure...) VERY different games. but both good as hell :)
feathers 11th October 2011, 09:54 Quote
The semi naked angel was hot. The game was great and the level with the monastery was breathtaking.

Analyse my wooden characterness.
Ayrto 11th October 2011, 10:01 Quote
Had it on pre order way back.

Pretty good game for its day, with a great mix of enemies and huge level bosses.

How could anyone not like a game with enemies called Sado Commandos? Kitted out in S &M gear complete with gimp masks and chokers in their mouths they dual wield submachine guns. ..So Joe tells me

joking - about him telling me, tho the Sado Commandos part is true.
[ZiiP] NaloaC 11th October 2011, 10:05 Quote
Painkiller was an excellent game and the tarot cards made some of the challenges that bit more worthwhile. Killing the hammer weilding daemon in less than 90 seconds was impossible without one or two of them. Loved it, might re-install it actually.
Parge 11th October 2011, 10:08 Quote
I just picked it up in the Steam sale! It still makes me panic!
Tsung 11th October 2011, 10:43 Quote
"They don't make FPS's like this anymore."

I feel the action FPS (Quake 3, Painkiller, UT ) are all but dead, with the preference for realism / achievements / unlocking guns / 1 shot kills / "hardcode modes" / Vehicles / camping / over long cut scenes..

Stick me in an arena, spawn a load of weapons, give us a load of players and lets fight.
phinix 11th October 2011, 10:44 Quote
Good old Polish game:)
K404 11th October 2011, 10:55 Quote
I hated Painkiller. No plot + samey.

Didn't finish it.
Kúsař 11th October 2011, 11:05 Quote
Just for fun - if you finish the game on the hardest difficulty you'll see the "true" ending.
veato 11th October 2011, 11:07 Quote
My brother got it free with a GFX card way back when. I played it and found it a little bit boring to be honest.
Pete J 11th October 2011, 11:07 Quote
Painkiller is awesome. End of.
Paulg1971 11th October 2011, 11:34 Quote
Might have a blast at it this weekend(if my wife give me a spare half hour,bloody DIY
kenco_uk 11th October 2011, 11:41 Quote
I never got round to playing this. I played the demo and thought it was pretty damn good fun. I think the more recent example of this type of game is Bulletstorm, which tbh was a good blast from start to finish - some of the set pieces were amazing.
Bauul 11th October 2011, 12:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I think the more recent example of this type of game is Bulletstorm, which tbh was a good blast from start to finish - some of the set pieces were amazing.

Unsurprising given they were both made by People Can Fly!

Great little game, I even enjoyed the story. Although the penultimate boss bugged out on me and I missed four fiths of the battle. Didn't realise until months later replaying it.

It also wins the award for "best depiction of Hell" in the final level.
LennyRhys 11th October 2011, 12:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsung
"They don't make FPS's like this anymore."

I feel the action FPS (Quake 3, Painkiller, UT ) are all but dead, with the preference for realism / achievements / unlocking guns / 1 shot kills / "hardcode modes" / Vehicles / camping / over long cut scenes..

Stick me in an arena, spawn a load of weapons, give us a load of players and lets fight.

This is precisely why I like HL2DM so much - one arena, some players, and fight.

I'm going to give the Painkiller SP demo a bash. :)
CardJoe 11th October 2011, 12:39 Quote
[QUOTE=Bauul]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk

It also wins the award for "best depiction of Hell" in the final level.

So bloody clever.
steveo_mcg 11th October 2011, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is precisely why I like HL2DM so much - one arena, some players, and fight.

I'm going to give the Painkiller SP demo a bash. :)

True but in HL2DM you can chuck a toilet at your mate which elevates it beyond simple arena DM's!
Crunch77 11th October 2011, 13:10 Quote
Got it for next to nothing on gog.com. Haven't gotten around to installing it yet, but this article just gave me the motivation. :)
Denis_iii 11th October 2011, 13:48 Quote
I miss games like Painkiller, just true FPS.

Castle Wolfenstein, Doom 1/2, Quake, Q3A, Rise of the Triad, DN3D, Unreal, Painkiller.....still waiting on new games of the same ilk.

Guess the only one would be Serious Sam as DNF and Rage have gone console FPS clone IMO?
Fizzban 11th October 2011, 16:28 Quote
Oh this game gets the adrenaline flowing. Not much in the way of story, but the pace is frantic and induced much swearing and sweating.
Eiffie 11th October 2011, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsung
"They don't make FPS's like this anymore."

I feel the action FPS (Quake 3, Painkiller, UT ) are all but dead, with the preference for realism / achievements / unlocking guns / 1 shot kills / "hardcode modes" / Vehicles / camping / over long cut scenes..

Stick me in an arena, spawn a load of weapons, give us a load of players and lets fight.

You might want to play Resistance 3, it brings back health packs and the giant backpack-O-guns and their tons of fun to use. Online isn't so solid but there is a lot of good meat on the bones of that game. It does feature some newer features like sprinting and perks for online play but it does feel more like a game made in the 90's.
Elton 11th October 2011, 18:46 Quote
Just like Serious Sam this one is just placed in hell. It's a fantastic romp in adrenaline even if the story is paper thin.
bigD69 11th October 2011, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsung
"They don't make FPS's like this anymore."

I feel the action FPS (Quake 3, Painkiller, UT ) are all but dead, with the preference for realism / achievements / unlocking guns / 1 shot kills / "hardcode modes" / Vehicles / camping / over long cut scenes..

Stick me in an arena, spawn a load of weapons, give us a load of players and lets fight.

I gotta agree with that.... Painkiller was a great game....First game I played online was Quake 2, deathmatch was just so much fun, team games were good too...I even got dual ISDN put in to get a better ping on the DM servers...used to cost me a fortune cos we still had to pay for the phone time back then! LOL
Nowadays the games just don't seem quite as much fun as just spawning into an arena with like 20 other players and a bunch of guns and just fragging the hell out of each other! :-)
phinix 11th October 2011, 23:49 Quote
Fantastic game, great graphics (on that time of course), great heavy metal music, lots of creatures to kill.
I remember that level were you had to kill lots of nurses - sexy monsters with huge syrenges in their hands:)

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/127571-painkiller-battle-out-of-hell-windows-screenshot-deadly-nurse.jpg
Bauul 12th October 2011, 14:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phinix
Fantastic game, great graphics (on that time of course), great heavy metal music, lots of creatures to kill.
I remember that level were you had to kill lots of nurses - sexy monsters with huge syrenges in their hands:)

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/127571-painkiller-battle-out-of-hell-windows-screenshot-deadly-nurse.jpg

Wasn't all the music done by Zakk Wylde? I seem the recall the credits song was an Ozzy effort.
Krikkit 12th October 2011, 16:46 Quote
Only £3.95 at Zavvi! Significantly cheaper than Steam. :)

I never played it, but the stake gun sounds like it needs to be used... :D
Alperian 12th October 2011, 20:45 Quote
It was excellent. I didn't know that it created a fuss.
Xunsu 16th October 2011, 16:45 Quote
its a awsome game, reviews hit it quite badly as well scored quite low which was odd as for the time the graphics was some of the best and my god it ran sooo smooth and the sound track. how could you not love a simple first person, I would perfer to play it than COD imo
_Metal_Guitar_ 17th October 2011, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Quote:
Originally Posted by phinix
Fantastic game, great graphics (on that time of course), great heavy metal music, lots of creatures to kill.
I remember that level were you had to kill lots of nurses - sexy monsters with huge syrenges in their hands:)

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/127571-painkiller-battle-out-of-hell-windows-screenshot-deadly-nurse.jpg

Wasn't all the music done by Zakk Wylde? I seem the recall the credits song was an Ozzy effort.

I never played this! But game music by Zakk Wylde? This is the world I want to live in!
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums
The Talos Principle Review

The Talos Principle Review

16th December 2014

The Crew Review

The Crew Review

10th December 2014