Painkiller: Overdose

If there’s one thing I can appreciate, it’s a game that tries to get back to its roots. That’s what the Painkiller series has done, wihtout question. It takes the tried and true Doom-esque fast paced shoot ’em up and incorporates it into a modern first person shooter. What we get are mindless games that take no time to learn and are fun for hours on end. This time, in stead of Daniel Garner battleing his way out of purgatory, you play a half demon half angel called Belial. Other than that, the gameplay is basically the same if you’ve played the previous games. Enter a place, there’s suddenly no way back, and now the only way out is to kill all the bad guys. All of the weapons mirror that of the previous games as well, however with some visual changes. For example, the shotgun has been replaced with the bonegun, and the stakegun with a crossbow. You’ll be using only a hand full of guns and some other unusual weapons like a demon’s head and some sort of special broken sword. Each of these weapons has a second and sometimes a third mode of fire (my fav is the chaingun/rocket launcher combo). In addition to that, as in the previous games, each enemy that you defeat will leave a soul behind. Once you’ve collected 100 of them you will turn into a full on demon and everything you touch dies instantly. So, despite being a different character, you’re still in purgatory. Since there is some question to what that’s actually like, the game developers once again took it as a chance to put whatever they thought would look cool in the game: from a burning Rome to living forests, castles, industrial parks, and even a space station. Graphically speaking, everything looks great. The levels have plenty of breakable objects and detail, but are never too big, if there is such a thing. The characters are all different this time around and overall, fairly creepy. One thing I loved about the other Painkiller games was the boss fights. Bosses are easily fifty to a hundred times bigger than you, if not more. Bringing down one of these guys makes you really feel like you’ve accomplished something. Accompanying the graphics is a decent orchestral score mixed with some techno that gets the job done as far as getting your blood pumping goes.
After it’s all said and done, I can appreciate this kind of game. With all the old school craziness, there’s some replay value as well, like earning power boosting tarot cards for beating levels while meeting certain criteria. Cheats are plentiful too, and games like this beg you to play them with as many as you can. If you haven’t played the first couple games for the PC, do so, there’s also an Xbox version, Hell Wars, that combines the first game with it’s expansion. All are great games if you don’t want to think when you’re playing. It’s fast, good looking action all wrapped up in nice little boxes.

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