Painkiller: Hell & Damnation

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation review

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation review

Do not exceed the stated dose.

Hell, by Painkiller's estimation, is other people running endlessly towards you. Mad axe-monks, skeletal WW1 soldiers in gas masks, children splayed in two by shotgun blasts and men eternally trapped in their duvet covers come laundry day: all desperate for a meet and greet with hero Daniel Garner's whirring blade.

Hell & Damnation is a modern reincarnation of what Polish developer People Can Fly, now responsible for Gears of War: Judgment, ushered onto our mortal plane back in 2004. Theirs was a deranged shooter that saw Serious Sam infused with equal parts of Hieronymus Bosch and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Lunatic fire-and-forget gameplay, back-flipping hoodlums, goliath bosses and some astoundingly beautiful panoramas of the underworld all conspired to create a game that was, arguably, a more direct successor to Doom than the (then forthcoming) Doom 3.

Opinion was split over the relative charms of that first Painkiller (your correspondent sometimes felt quite alone in his worship of the stake-gun) but a loyal fanbase and the longevity granted by back-to-basics twitch multiplayer gave it an extended lifespan. If a pact was signed to keep the Painkiller brand alive, however, it must have been a little Faustian. It's been roughly abused by a range of different developers in the likes of Overdose, Resurrection, Redemption and Recurring Evil - so, this Halloween, The Farm 51's Painkiller: Hell & Damnation is out to right former wrongs with an Unreal Engine cover version.

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