The once-thriving metropolis of London lies broken and devastated. Ash falls like grimy snow, drifting from the rolling smoke clouds that rise from fires that still smoulder around the city's great monuments. The terrified remnants of humanity huddle in the relative safety of the Underground, only venturing out to the streets in times of dire need, while above ground an ancient and terrible evil has taken grip of what was once the capital of an empire.
We know what you're thinking - and the answer is yes, this is a description of what's going to happen if the Tories get their clown-shoed demon in buffoon's clothing into City Hall in the next election. Mark our words. Conveniently, though, it's also the hugely atmospheric and evocative setting for Hellgate: London - a game whose value as a comedy allegory for London's mayoral election is only slightly diminished by the fact that we doubt its Californian developers could pick Boris Johnson out of a line-up of orang-utans. Never mind, eh?
There aren't very many games that we'd describe as arriving "laden with expectation", but Hellgate certainly fits the profile. Whereas many games are the overburdened of hype, a substance manufactured largely by the efforts of marketing and PR wizards, Hellgate comes with a helping of genuine expectation - a sentiment arising from the sense that the planets really ought to have aligned to make this game great.