| |

Painkiller: Overdose Review

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Developer: Mindware Publisher: DreamCatcher Games
Release Date: October 23, 2007 Also On: None

It is hard to believe 2004 was just four years ago. It was a time of transition. For handhelds, the Nintendo DS was introduced to replace the Game Boy Advance. Xbox 360 was being prepared for its launch just a year later. And on the PC, Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 are the games that could largely be credited as being the first true “next-gen” games. Somewhere in this mix Painkiller found itself. It was well-received, getting an 8.4 out of 10 from Game Freaks 365.

You play as Belial, a son of Heaven and Hell. With a human torso, piercings, tattoos, horns and long nails, this guy is not someone you want to mess with (or offspring). This half-angel, half-demon throws out one-liners like they are nothing and it can get quite annoying. Overall, I do not really like this new main character for the franchise. Someone should start a “draft Daniel Garner” movement to bring back the old wife-dies-in-a-car-crash-and-I-go-to-purgatory star.

Of course Painkiller has never been a game about plot or characters. This is a classic old-fashioned first-person shooter, akin to the old Doom games, Serious Sam and Duke Nukem. As such, you will not find yourself solving mysteries or puzzles, teaming up with a squad of comrades, driving Warthogs or searching for random items to move the plot forward (which is essentially non-existent here). Instead you will shoot enemies. Lots of them.

That is where things go wrong. Even though this game is as fast-paced as it was before, there really are not enough interesting weapons and levels to keep you entertained for long. There are only 3 chapters across 17 levels and 8 total weapons. That was quite disappointing for me, as a couple of them are just throw-aways that you will hate to ever use. One of his weapons of choice, is actually some kind of head that shoots out a laser. It is quite ineffective and makes the game feel very cheesy. Why not just a standard set of weapons?

I found myself running out of ammo a lot early on in the game, which was extremely frustrating. If you can imagine running around with a useless laser-firing skull, looking for ammo while avoiding enemies, that’s exactly what the first few levels feel like. Eventually you will get the hang of things, but another problem I had with the game was how, despite the variety of levels, nothing reminds me of what Purgatory would be like. If ancient Rome, Egypt and Japan are models of it, then I would be quite shocked. Then again, I’ve never been there.

When it is all said and done, Painkiller: Overdose is a game that fails to impress on any level. The load times are long, the voice-acting and music are hardly worth noting, the enemies are mindless and the weapon selection, while featuring some neat weapons, is nothing all that spectacular overall. I was hoping for a loyal follow-up to the first two Painkiller shooters, but what I got was a bastardized version. Even for fans of the franchise, I would suggest to stay away from this one.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 3
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 5.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide