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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Awesome. Violent. Ominous. Best horror Shooter since Quake.

Author: mikehouston2000 from Canada
4 July 2005

The music & the atmosphere are perfect. It has a good metal sound track, I usually turn the music off, but in this game, it adds to the enjoyment. You're going to spend some time looking around at all the scenery. The graphics are stunning and the demons are awesome! Everything blends together just right. Best game I have played in a long time. My only complaint is the jumping, it's a little tricky to maneuver ledges and things like that, but nothing that will take away from the enjoyment. This is easily a game you could play again and again. I bought it for $20 new, worth every penny & more. Play this game in the dark.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Surgeon General's Warning: Painkiller will significantly increase your heartrate and numb your brain!

Author: Spartan_234 from United States
26 September 2006

First-person shooters have gone through a lot of changes over the past decade. As a result, many gamers consider it a necessity for a modern first-person shooter to have a compelling storyline, realistic gameplay, and tactical combat elements. But when I go back in time to play classic shooters like Doom and Quake, and find them to be just as fun as they ever were, I realize that there's nothing wrong with releasing a throwback shooter in this age. Painkiller is such a throwback shooter. With lightning-fast action, creepy atmosphere and enemies, straightforward but very interesting and varied levels, over-the-top blood and gore, and tremendously satisfying weapons, Painkiller proves to be a perfect alternative to Mountain Dew.

You play as Daniel Garner, a regular guy who gets killed with his wife in a horrible car accident. While your wife spends her afterlife in Heaven, you're trapped in a place between Heaven and Hell called Purgatory, making you wonder why your soul isn't "pure". During a war between Heaven and Hell, you're offered to kill Satan and his minions to spend the rest of your afterlife in Heaven. If you're familiar to first-person shooters, you know what that means...lock, load, and kick some demonic butt! You'll travel through interesting and varied levels like a graveyard, cathedral, prison, military base, an orphanage filled with evil children (my favorite), and more! The enemy variety is equally excellent. Instead of the generic demons that you find in other games that take place in Hell, you get to fight against Nazi zombies, knights, escaped prisoners, prison guards with Tasers, among others. The nearly endless variety in Painkiller, along with the simple gameplay, is what keeps you addicted to the game from beginning to end.

The simple gameplay is mind-numbing, but in a good way. You don't worry about frustrating puzzles or keycard hunts; all you do is kill anything that moves while avoiding getting killed by them. Every single shot from your weapons is utterly satisfying. The primary fire and alt-fire attacks on each weapon are so completely different that you can consider each weapon "two guns in one". For instance, your shotgun's alt-fire freezes your opponents, the nailgun's alt-fire electrocutes your opponents (similar to the Lightning Gun from Quake), the stakegun comes equipped with a grenade launcher, the rocket launcher comes equipped with a chaingun, etc. Enemies drop souls that you can pick up, and every 66 souls you pick up, you turn into an invincible demon that can instantly blow his enemies up. What's more fun than that? Not much, really!

Just because Painkiller's gameplay is a throwback to the good old days doesn't mean that its graphics and sound are. On both the PC and Xbox, Painkiller delivers incredibly detailed environments with plenty of enemies on the screen at once -- all at a silky-smooth framerate. The heavy-metal soundtrack really gets your blood pumping, and the voice acting in the cutscenes is quite decent. Havok-powered physics also allow you to push objects around and destroy parts of the environment, adding a bit of realism to the battles.

Parents, if you do not like your children literally blowing enemies into pieces while watching their body parts flopping around like ragdolls, then don't allow your children to play this game. There's also a character in the cutscenes who uses her long hair to cover her breasts. But if you can handle the game's content, then you're almost guaranteed to have a blood-pumping ride. A definite 10 / 10 to this one!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Painkiller is not made for the intellectually unchallenged.

Author: Simon Blain from Canada
22 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With that out of the way, let me tell you: I LOVE this game! I read an earlier comment about how Will Rock was better than this and that it doesn't come any close to ID Software's titles and also about graphical bugs... I don't agree with that person at all.

Although I haven't played Will Rock, I'm rather convinced it's not any better than this, judging from reviews I've read all over the internet.

If there's a game that reminds you of what "quake-like" used to mean, it definitely is Painkiller. Although I disagree it is a horror-shooter, I have to say some of its levels are well-made in the horror area. Only, there's no tension to make you feel like you could get killed on the next step you take.

To be frank, Painkiller just makes gunning things down even more enjoyable. I think it's safe to say that the makers of the game were totally uninterested in the story aspect of it. The story is crap, so what? 90% of the game revolves around shooting and blowing things up. If you find the graphics of this game are bland, you need to get a reality check. I saw that this game's gore level was judged as significantly less than Half-Life 2's by an earlier review. I snickered. To say that, one must just not have played the game.

Anyways, I based my rating upon these criterias: Graphics: The game is pretty good in architecture overall. Instead of making a uniform aspect of corridors, it actually put some make-up on the claustrophobic feel of things. I was impressed. Nothing complex but it's still pretty to look at.

Gameplay: Repetitive gunplay. MASSES to lay to waste. Guns of destruction and a rotor-blade that hacks through enemies like your lawnmower would? Hell yeah! Puzzles: Yeah, the game spawns some kind of puzzle thing about grabbing items or completing goals to get cards... I sure don't care about that.

Storyline: If this game hadn't been so entertaining, this would have probably been my biggest gripe. Once I'd watched the cutscenes for the first time, I never watched them again. The story is as important to the fun as your butt is from a nebula.

Overall: Solid game! Skip the cutscenes. Just skip them.

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Most competitive and challenging fast paced shooter since Quake days

Author: artasscorp1984 from Lithuania
12 June 2013

A truly great fast paced first person shooter is the kind of game, that delivers a well paced and balanced game-play, is fast and has advanced movement techniques to master, is challenging in the sense that it delivers specific game challenges, those require the player to play better, faster, more precise, more careful in order to acquire specific rewards, has great replay-ability, is technically sound in graphics and in-game sounds, has a "free exploration" type level design, has a variety of useful guns and many enemies, and most important - is professionally competitive in the arts of professional 1 vs 1 gaming.

Painkiller delivers all that with mighty blow, and has not been bested yet! For example games like Bulletstorm or Hard Reset have many similar traits like Painkiller, but they lack the pure movement speed, don't have any advanced movement techniques, have too many invisible walls and don't offer the challenge of exploration for secrets and shortcuts like Painkiller does.

Painkiller is very fast - something that was missed in many single player games since the release of Return To Castle Wolfenstein. You can execute all sorts of difficult movement techniques.

1) The most important and quite most easy is bunny-hoping - it's not the same as strafing.. While you keep jumping forward, you gain speed and momentum. Once you reach the max speed, you will have the momentum to do difficult trick-jumps, those looked impossible from the first glance. Having mastered this, you will be able to jump over the walls and objects, keep momentum while doing 90 and 180 degree turns without loosing speed and similar stuff. Mastering this will allow you to deal with monsters more efficiently, access secret areas or shortcuts.

2) Second important technique is air control - once you have the max momentum, you can perform a jump around the corner in a hyperbola like pattern. Or you can use air control to land from high altitude down with amazing precision.

3) The third technique is wall climbing - you can climb the walls in this game, which would be impossible to climb in any other first person shooter games. This is most due to the fact that the game is unlimited in frames per second, and that in turn helps havoc physics to achieve it's goals.

4) The fourth notable technique is painkiller jumping - using you mêlée weapon you launch yourself gains gravity to access important places. This crucial for getting secrets and passing through shortcuts.

The graphics are very well done - even by 2013 standards the game looks neat.

But even better achieved than the graphics, i think, is the quality soundtrack of the game, which consists of the ambient music and the battle music. The ambient piece fits to the level design without annoying the player and repeating itself too many times. The ambient music is so good, that without it a major part of level depth and design would be lost! Together with architecture of the levels it creates the atmosphere, needed for level admiration and exploration. The battle music is what it is - once the monsters will spawn, heavy metal riffs will kick in to "pace" the battle and make you shoot in anger. Battle and ambient music are an option that can be disabled.

The weapons are a the key factor to game's success. Every weapon has a primary attack and an alternative attack. You get 5 weapons in the game, and then realize that there are 10 actually! The best about Painkiller weapons is that they deliver incredible satisfaction and do not feel as dull an ordinary as in Doom 3. When combining a primary and secondary attack you get a combo attack, that takes the best of each mode to it's most lethal damage!

Painkiller offers specific challenges: you can finish each level with the 5 stars rating - meaning you have to make something known as a perfect score, known in Quake games. Since every slain monster drops a spirit, you can make a spirit run, or you can make a gold-rush run, and try to acquire as much gold as possible. Gold is needed to buy tarot cards.. Of course an ordinary level speed-run or boss level time attack is the most popular challenge. You can make a tarot card unlocking challenge - one of the most obvious - just do what is told at the beginning of the level statistics and have that done in the end of the game. For example finish one level using a stake-gun only or finish another level without grabbing an armor..

The detail and accuracy in the level design is especially gorgeous. Looking at the levels like the Cathedral, Opera House or Palace you will appreciate the finest level design seen from the times of Serious Sam. The most amazing thing about the levels, which most of you don't even realize is that many of the them represent real world entities! There is an actual same looking Asylum somewhere in the US, same style Cemetery also in the US, same looking Train Station located in Austria...

All the levels are filled with monsters, and each level has it's unique distinctive monster list. For example you will only find Lepper Monks in levels like Town and Castle. So there is a certain sense of style that each level must have it's own kind of monsters.. And the bosses of this game are some of the biggest seen in any game so far. And all of are very challenging!

Painkiller is made for those who just want to kill in the most satisfactory ways possible, for those who like to master their skill in competitive gaming. It is an excellent game for people who like the many challenges this game offers

Painkiller is a must own for Quake and Serious Sam fans!

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0 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Complete garbage

Author: Hoi Toet from Netherlands
3 June 2008

Painkiller is one of those games that are so horribly bad that you get that feeling as if it was developed by a few bored students to kill some spare time. And that scenario fits very well with this game...

This game is meant to be some kind of Quake-tribute or something like that, but it doesn't even come close to anything ID Software ever did. Cheap high-resolution graphics are meant to hide away the cheapness of this game, but fail as soon as you press the buttons on your keyboard. Let me state that this game has one of the worst controls I have ever witnessed for a shooter... Nothing seems to be corresponding properly to your actions.

Does anyone remember that also mediocre game Will Rock? This looks frighteningly the same, and if I didn't know better I would have thought this product was from the same developers (with the only difference being that Will Rock is still 10 times better then this junk).

This game is also as stable as a elephant standing on a golfball; I changed the resolution, the game crashed. Any time after that, the screen doesn't show up at all and you are forced to reinstall the entire damn game. And for all those who think of this to be a horror-game, think again. Yeah there is blood involved, but nothing you haven't seen before. I would say that even Half-Life 2 has more gore involved then Painkiller, which is quite pathetic for a self-proclaimed 'horrorshooter' like Painkiller.

I would not suggest buying this game, or even downloading it as it would still be a waste of harddrive-space. Save your money and effort and wait for something that is worth it instead of this fake import-crap.

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