“Heaven’s got a new Hitman”
Back in 2001,people had got tired of first person shooters (F.P.S for short) and started to uninstall quake3 arena and unreal tournament wondering if they would ever lay their hands on a shooter again. And then came a game that took the entire gaming community by the scruff of their collar and forced them to take notice. Coming from the stables of a hitherto unknown developer, Serious Sam presented gamers with the classic “i- got- a- big-friggin-gun- and- i am -not- afraid- to- use- it!!!” game play. The simple formula which Blood had started and left off mid-way was taken up by croteam with huge, gorgeous levels and hundreds of enemies on the screen at once ! .With no drop in frame rates! No game developer had attempted this before. And thus started the era of F.P.T.S or First person twitch shooters….
Close to the heels of serious sam came others like Nitro family, Will rock and others. Some persisted, some faded away. But no sir, not painkiller! Published by Dreamcatcher and developed by People can fly, Painkiller lets you play as heaven’s own henchman. You play as jack garret, a normal guy whose life turns topsy-turvy when he and his wife are killed in a horrific car accident. Jacks wife, being a nice lady makes a bee-way for heaven while our hero who neglected paying taxes and pretended not knowing what charity was finds himself stuck in purgatory. Now the only way to redemption is by eliminating Lucifer’s 4 generals who are planning a rebellion against the lord himself! Can’t blame them though. Last time I heard there are no women in hell. Jokes apart, why god would require the services of a mortal beats me silly but who cares for a storyline in a first person shooter??
Moving on to the game play part, painkiller is somewhat linear where you move onto next sections by killing all the enemies in an area. Special mention must be made of the primary weapon though. Aptly named painkiller, it is a rotating-spike-thing with a harpoon as alternate fire.(Kind of like scorpion’s “Get over here!!” snake in mortal kombat).Think of the sadistic opportunities in store: Draw your enemies closer by the alternate fire and chop em away! Rest are the usual assortment of shotguns, gatling guns etc. Also there is a berserk mode which gets activated when u collect 100 souls. The screen shifts into a nice motion blur with your enemies in alarming shades of red. You are invincible and your foes resemble sitting dodos.
The game is not that difficult with enemies merely charging at you in overwhelming numbers. One of the enemies is a hag who walks around and blinds you temporarily if you get too close. The boss battles are a totally different ball game though. They are huge and I mean really huge! They will blow you to smithereens if you charge at them guns blazing trying to impersonate rambo. Eliminating these leviathans requires a good deal of strategy and expects you to exploit your environment.
The graphics do justice to the directx9 platform with some neat physics. Enemies will recoil depending on where you hit them. Shoot them in the torso with a shotgun and they will be blown away splattering blood all over the place. Wait a sec. Minions of hell have blood in their veins too? Duh, whatever. The sound is top-notch and the music switches to a funky rock beat when enemies come up and close. And one more thing. There is a system of tarot cards in place as well. Simply put, these are bonuses like extra endurance you can activate before setting out on a mission. Though difficult to obtain these are necessary evils and should not be missed.
The verdict? Fans of Serious Sam would like this game. Others would too if they can avoid playing it for long stretches cause it gets rapidly monotonous. Happy playing folks! Time to kick Lucifer’s butt!