Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell
Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell

Posted by SadExchange
12/30/2004
Released on: 12/1/2004
Developed by: People Can Fly
Published by: DreamCatcher Interactive

Starting where Painkiller left off it's intensity to the extreme with this enhanced expansion of PCF's old-school FPS.

Score

8.71

Back in April, Daniel Garner was involved in a car accident with his wife in which they both ended up dying. From the outskirts of Heaven, he was given a choice to help Heaven out and take out the army that Lucifer was amassing throughout Hell to take over Heaven or spend eternity with his wife, not knowing if that eternity would last because of Lucifer. Well, Daniel chose the former and notoriously battled his way deep down into the confines of Hell with the company of Eve herself, traveling through memorable stages battling hundreds upon hundreds of foul demons to finally get to the ruler of Hell himself, Lucifer. With a shotgun in his hand and a smirk on his face, Daniel brutally murdered the Lord of Hell only to find out that Lucifer's lead general in-command, Alastor, was wanting to take command of the armies of Hell and overthrow Heaven. Daniel seemed to play into his little plan. So, the player was left off with a cutscene of Daniel down in the deepest pits of Hell battling off the demons that seemed never ending in the blazing terrain. Does that set a scene for an expansion or what? Released on December 1, 2004, the developers of People Can Fly show us what a man out for vengeance with nothing to lose will do to be with the woman he loves. What do you do if you're deep in Hell with enemies surrounding your every exit? You ask yourself, "What would Daniel Garner do?" and then you proceed to whip out any gun you have and start shooting to battle out of Hell.

Without giving away too much of the story, but you have to admit the title speaks for itself, the expansion takes off exactly where the first game left off following the cutscene of Daniel being hounded by every foul demon imaginable. Heaven's going to call on your services once again to break up the amassing army that Alastor is building up, and while you're doing that, you'll of course want to find your way out of the. As the lone gunman for Heaven, you'll be sent through ten different stages, one only playable through Nightmare mode, and during these stages, you'll see sights such as a haunted orphanage, a crazy twisted park, a enormous coliseum, and many other demon-filled levels as you go the only way you can, up. The original Painkiller had some decent level design coming from new developers and Battle Out of Hell (BOoH) picks up where Painkiller left out. The haunted orphanage, which some will say the concept was borrowed from Thief: Deadly Shadows, pays homage to all those un-baptized kids who were demented every way possible during their short lives. You'll deal with children who set themselves on fire and come running at you with knives. You must give the kids some credit, anyone who lights themselves on fire and then comes after you, that's determination, but it doesn't end there. These kids will still come after you after you blow their head off. Lucifer would have been proud. Add some fireball wielding nuns and cooks with huge axes that'll cleave your head clean from your shoulders and you have your excitement for the night.

Even though the first few levels are new and innovative, the rest of the game shows sign of "fill." It seems as if the developers couldn't figure out anything new to do for the level design later on in the levels such as the cool things they did for the first few levels, thus, the player begins to witness a few ideas that seem rehashed or recycled from other levels. Although this doesn't take away from the intensity of the game, because that's what this game's all about, it may detract some players from playing through again, thus limiting the replayability on the single player levels, but there's always multiplayer which People Can Fly (PCF) have so graciously added two more types of multiplayer games including a Capture the Flag game and a Last Man Standing style game. Both add something new to the multiplayer and are fun to play for a quick fix against others online. And although the expansions only 10 levels long, you won't burst through it too fast because of the necessity of having to kill over a thousand demons while finding hidden items on your way out of Hell. And for your effort, the developers added two weapons that add so much more to the game, without disrupting the balance of the weapons.

The first gun is a sub-machinegun which packs a pretty strong punch compared to the machinegun in the original Painkiller. The player will notice a difference of the rate of fire between clips. The alternative fire for this weapon is a flamethrower which will definitely become useful in tight corridors throughout Hell's depths. And if that isn't enough, you have a more powerful boltgun, which is able to fire five bolts at a time over a longer distance. The alternative gun for this weapon is called "heater.' This little toy releases about ten little destructible grenades for your enemies to wander into at inopportune times. Throughout the levels, you'll find that you have use for each weapon and its alternative fire whether it's the situation or simply because you're simply out of ammo. These weapons have also been made available in the original Painkiller. Coming up out of Hell, ammo seems a little scarcer than it did than when you were going down the first time. Strange.

The graphics have been improved since the original game also. Adding more details to the Havok Engine, PCF added features including Dynamic lights, bloom, shadows, and a feature called "warp effects" which activates heat and haze distortion effects. These features are also incorporated into the original game which is nice touch because it does add a lot to the feel and atmosphere of the game, so players will be inclined to play through the original Painkiller again. It almost seems as if the graphics engine has had a overhaul and you'll appreciate the new features that the developers have provided. New music has also been added to the expansion and it was done quite well. Whether you're fighting off a horde of enemies or just traversing through the bubbling lake outside the haunted orphanage, the music will give the game more atmosphere. What's a game without cheesy carnival music to blow clown's heads off too right? Much like the original Painkiller, the cutscenes are done well except one feature, the lip movement. You'll understand why I'm picky about this feature when you try this game out. Nothing horrible, but with other games being able to lip-synch every vocal movement nowadays, I just expected more.

Overall, the new features including the two styles of multiplayer, the 2 weapons with alternative firing modes, and the graphics additions are a great reason to the revisit the original Painkiller, but you also have 10 more levels of pure intensity with your back to the wall, emptying all ammo from you many guns, dispersing the armies of demons in your final attempt to rid Heaven's threat of an attack. Are you up to the challenge?
Gameplay9.00
Graphics9.00
Sound8.00
Story/Plot9.00
Replay Value8.00
Stability9.00
Multiplayer9.00
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