Painkiller was an FPS hit on release back in 2004, which was followed up by the favourably received Battle Out Of Hell expansion in December of the same year. All was looking good for the promising new franchise, until it took a 3 year hiatus and decided to come back with the abysmal 2007 release, Painkiller: Overdose.
Developers “The Farm 51” are making an effort to bring the ageing splatterfest back into the public eye with Painkiller: Hell and Damnation – an up to date remake of the original outing. A modern remake of an old classic? Painkiller: Hell and Damnation. HD. Clever. The game, which is now in a closed beta state, is much more impressive than their wordplay.
The beta currently features the full first level, the Graveyard, and it’s quite the treat for fans of the older, more over-the-top shooters of the nineties and early noughties, like Unreal and Doom.
As a remake, it doesn’t really stray from the formula established in the original Painkiller. You star as Daniel (the protagonist), who is thrust into a series of linked arenas and has to butcher all comers with a delicious smorgasbord of weapons, laying waste to the denizens of Purgatory and Hell. Thankfully, Farm 51 don’t seem to be repeating the mistakes of Overdose by making plot a priority – the beta doesn’t currently contain any cutscenes or exposition at all. With any other game this would be a mark against it, but Painkiller is about splattering various undead and demons apart. On that front, it delivers.