Painkiller is a first person shooter released on April 12th, 2004. The game was developed by People Can Fly and published by DreamCatcher interactive. The story follows Daniel Garner, who was killed in a car crash while driving his wife Catherine to a restaurant to celebrate her birthday. In a strange turn of events, Daniel can’t enter heaven or hell because of something in his past. He meets an angel named Samael and tells him in order to get to heaven; Daniel has to kill four of Lucifer’s generals in order to stop a war between heaven and hell.
Graphics-Scenery wise, there’s a LOT of variation, including castles, fortresses, etc. and all look good. The enemies were also well done, and the environments are fitting. While on topic, there is quite a variety of enemies between chapters, and each enemy fits their level pretty well (for the most part).
Sound-The soundtrack for this game is also well done, and each level has at least two different songs; one for combat, and one for exploration, and both aren’t overused (but some levels have the same combat song or exploration). The voice acting is decent, and each voice suits their respected actors well.
Gameplay-This is something of a mixed bag. While the game does pay homage to classic shooters like Quake and Doom, at the same time, suffers from variety. All you do is move to section, kill monsters, grab souls (and gold), find secrets, and move on. And that’s it! There’s no puzzle solving whatsoever. Combat is solid, but shallow. The weapons aren’t original (except for the painkiller), but they (vaguely) make up for it by having each weapon have a primary and secondary function. The most original idea (in a way) is that if you meet certain requirements in a level, you get to unlock tarot cards, which can be used in levels to give you a boost for a short period of time.
Title-While not one of the most unusual titles, Painkiller does rank up there with “titles that really don’t relate to the game whatsoever”.
Overall-If you enjoy mindlessly shooting monsters, Painkiller is your game. Just don’t expect depth with this game, you won’t get it.
Make sure to check out more of Ken’s work by visiting his website.