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Painkiller - A first look PC CD-ROM

Published by DreamCatcher Games
Developed by People Can Fly
ETA: Spring '04 (PC), Summer '04 (Xbox)

With the constant delays that Doom III and Half-Life 2 have had, and their inevitable shift to 2004, it's probably easy to forget that other promising FPS titles are set to arrive this year. One such title is Painkiller that is set to arrive for both Xbox and PC. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on an early version of the game that hints at what is to come. We've had a look at the few levels that are on offer and it's fair to say that Painkiller certainly looks promising.

Painkiller will be a 16+ PEGI rated game, and with good reason as the game is something of a horror FPS. The first look version we reviewed (not a preview version we might add as these won't be available until sometime this month) has all the hallmarks of games such as Doom and Quake. The action is frenzied and you'll need to be constantly moving and using all your strafing techniques that you learned whilst playing the id Software classics.

The game engine does look impressive and the animations (ragdoll physics too) and the gameplay physics really make for an exciting time. You'll be pleased to know that rocket jumps are possible too. It fully captures the full throttle, adrenaline pumping action of the Quake series and games such as Serious Sam. You'll be welcomed by constant swarms of enemies and end of level bosses that will keep you on your toes. Even though it wasn't even a preview version that we looked at, the game does look impressive. The game uses a proprietary 3D Pain Engine which claims to have 100 times the amount of polygons that other games have. We obviously can't vouch for that but it does look very good and performs wonderfully well.

The games central character is Daniel Garner. Daniel is killed in a gruesome car accident and becomes trapped in a unsettling world between heaven and hell. Whilst there you'll have to take on hordes of demonic enemies as you seek to prevent an imminent unholy war. The first single player level is situated in the cemetery and right from the off the atmosphere is tense and gripping. The multiplayer side of the game also looks like it's going to be very popular for those Quake fans out there. The classic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch are present as well as People Can Fly, Voosh, and The Light Bearer modes. Offline or online Painkiller certainly is looking like it's one to watch out for.



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