Review by Gorvir

Reviewed: 04/18/04

One of the Best FPS Games in a long time.

Painkiller is one of those rare games that comes along once in a while. Despite the funny name, it's a superbly made game.

Graphics: 10
The Graphics are superb. Everything is well textured and animated and I have seen no glitches, aside from the occasional spazzing dead monster, but that happens sometimes with ragdoll physics. The physics are one of the cooler aspects of this game, though only when combined with the weapons. Shoot a monster in the chest with a stake and it will fly backwards. If it hits a wall, it will stick there and dangle. Shoot it in the face and the same will happen, but its head will be still, just like you would expect. It all works out perfectly to create an awesome experience.

Sound: 10
The Music is great and the sound effects all fit quite well. I heard no glitches anywhere in the game and the ambient noises I heard everywhere added some great effects, especially in the last level. The high quality sounds add a lot of atmosphere. Another thing to note is that much like in Serious Sam, the music changes during fights (when monsters are near). It adds a nice effect. There is a large variety of both battle and non-battle music, so you don't end up getting tired or annoyed of the music very easily.

Gameplay: 10
This is where the game shines most. A lot of people are going to complain when they see that the game only has 5 weapons. There's no need for more. This game has five of the best and most well thought out weapons you'll find in a FPS game. Each weapon has two modes of fire and you can do combos with them. For instance: the Painkiller can either make its blade spin or it can shoot out and stab enemies, then be pulled back. If you spin the blade and fire it, it will continue to spin as it flies and cut enemies to pieces as it goes. This is only one of the many things you can do with the guns in this game, and they can even vary from monster to monster. The enemies are all unique, with their own attacks, behaviors and looks. In fact, there are so many enemies in the game that very few of them carry over between the 24 levels of the game. Impressive since there's usually a good variety of monsters per each level. The levels are well thought out and you never feel like you're in the same place as before. There's everything from military bases, to graveyards to a snowy bridge, to a waterfront town.

Stability: 10
This was a great relief. As I played through the whole game, I encountered zero glitches. No errors, no crashes, nothing. The game ran perfectly. Very low system requierments for a modern FPS as well (1.2 GB install space compared to UT2K4's 5.5 GB for instance). This made the game much more enjoyable as I didn't have to contend with incompatibilities, slowdown or losing any of my progress from crashes. The only things that could be complained about would be considered nitpicking (long install time etc.), so I won't go through them. There really weren't any issues here.

Overall, this was a masterfully made game. The gameplay is fast, fun, and varied, with an overall polish that made it shine in every area. Any flaws in this game are hard to find, and even those are completely overshadowed by the rest of it all.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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