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Painkiller SP demo impressions
(hx) 01:57 AM CET - Feb,18 2004

GGMania has posted a brief preview of Painkiller, with more impressions of playing the single player demo of the upcoming first-person horror shooter from People Can Fly (ex-members of Lemon Interactive) and Dreamcatcher Interactive. We also grabbed 25 new screenshots from the demo.

Painkiller is a first-person horror shooter, designed to satisfy the gamer's hunger for intense, fast-paced action. You play as Daniel Garner, a seemingly regular guy who as just been killed in a horrific car accident. Trapped in a dark and unwelcoming world between heaven and hell, you struggling to uncover the reasons why you've been denied entry into heaven. Awaiting your purification, you must fight through a seemingly endless number of demon soldiers as you to attempt to stop an imminent unholy war. In other words, you are Painkiller, a mercenary for hire, charged with cleaning out nests of the undead. In the game it means you have to shoot everything that moves.

As I mentioned in last year's preview (based on the beta), Painkiller reminds me of the good DOOM days in terms of playability and atmosphere. Yeah, It feels very old school just like DOOM, Quake, Blood mixed with Serious Sam-like "intense" gameplay - you will be constantly outnumbered, fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds. If it moves, shoot it and if it still moves stake it to a wall! Oh yeah, I love games like that. However, if you are looking for an in-depth storyline will have to look somewhere else :)

As you probably noticed, the single player demo contains three levels in Purgatory: the atmospheric Oriental Castle, the witch-infested medieval town level, and a huge boss fight. Three of the game's five dual-mode weapons are included, including the signature stake gun. The demo is not only very playable, it still looks damn impressive! Painkiller has excellent graphics (Havok 2.0 physics engine), sound, music and absolutely brilliant atmosphere. There are some huge scary parts in it, as, the first map when that witch flies over with her broomstick, and hear her scream.

Honestly, I've had more fun with Painkiller demo than I've had with any other FPS game as of recent, with the exception of Call of Duty. Of course, the demo is not without flaws. The jumping action needs to be tweaked a bit and weapons could be more powerful/faster. None of these problems are huge and People Can Fly has plenty of time to go bug hunting, polishing and fixing before its scheduled release date. I'm really looking forward to playing the full version. The game is targeted to hit US shelves in April 2004.

System requirements(demo): Pentium III/AMD 1.5 GHz (2.4GHz recommended), 384MB RAM, 3D accelerator 64 MB (128MB recommended) DirectX 8.1 card with hardware T&L (NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS or better), DirectX 8.1b soundcard.


genre: horror FPS
release: 2004/04
developer: People Can Fly
the game is similar to: DOOM, Quake, Blood, Serious Sam
publisher: Dreamcatcher Interactive


last 10 comments:

xxxxposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 02:36
I think it's the most original game so far.. not necessarily from just a shoot and kill, but themewise. Use of graphics such as ragdoll physics, pegging people to a wall, pretty original and well done. It's not something everyone will like maybe, but i find it a nice change. It reminds me of an old game around time of shadow warrior, blood something.. can't recall. gfx and sound are on par for this game for sure. A mp game would be funny as hell and i'd really like to see the netcode.

posted - Feb, 18 2004 - 06:11
just another no-brain shooter imho :)

bloodukposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 09:54
Very nice looking game great graphics and brilliant weapon ideas ragdoll effets are sweet too. BUT I really dont think this game appeals to me i understand that its a mindless fps with lost of enemies but sometimes i think the respawning is just a little too much. People say now Great game awsome blah blah but imagine say 13 levels or how ever many in it with constant respawning enemies time after time, Will you say the game was great? or will you say it got bored after X amount of levels? . The demo is a nice tease but personally i got my fill with the demo dont need a full game there was that many enemies in the demo i started to get tired and hoped it would end.

Questionposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 10:00
You could pin people to walls in NOLF2 with arrows. Not with ragdoll physics involved, but yeah.

ahhhhhhhhhposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 13:58
1. This arrow is very slow to reload and it's annoying to hell. 2. Whoa, enemy's movements are so dull in little segmented stages, even considering the fact that they are zombie. Not much fun after playing UT2004 demo. 3. It won't be much nicer in the retail version.

Stifenposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 14:05
This is awesome, and seems flawless to P4 2.8 GHZ, 640MB RDRAM with a Geforce 4 Ti 4600, but one thing I notice in the game is I got ramdomly hang, I believe this is one of the bugs that need attention before it reach the shelves. All I can say is this will be the great challenger to incoming Doom3 and Half-life 2.

stumpusposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 15:08
XXXX you hit the nail on the head! Blood1/2 had the same humour that PainKiller has. It's incompairable to NOLF2, a TOTALY different game altogether; a spy with a crossbow as opposed to a guy that fires wooden shafts into the undead and can pin them to the GROUND as well as fire them into the hanging corpses or the COOL witches flying through the air. NO game has ever gone that far!! What the hell has UT2004 got to do with this????????? You guys are soooo out of touch! LOL compairing rag-doll physics WTF!!! There is a bloody clever game here. Considering this is Dreamcatcher Interactive's *FIRST* game, i would say you guys have been sanitised by the $hit out there and quality no longer hit's you between the eye's. Besides it's on pre-order in the UK for £22.49 at Amazon and £24.99 GAME etc. Compare that to $hit like 6hours of MP2 with the same-old-enter-a-room-kill-baddies scenario........YaaaaaWWWNNNNN

xxxxposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 15:19
ya ut2k4 has totally bored me. To me it's nothing but an addon for ut2k4 with vehicles and a extra game type. I find the game play of ut2k4 a little more than repetitive and is again not a game for an individual. It's a game for clans, it's a game for voice chat weaklings. It's just nothing new. I was attracked to PainKiller because in the vast sea of repeats this one is original, emmersing and pleasing to the eye and ears. ya, and the witch is pretty f'ing cool too. can't wait to see what's in store for the retail version, they sold me. i like eyecandy and i like originality, something lots of game makers gave up.

callumposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 17:23
really this game is going to rule. Half-life 2 will be better but this game is awesome dude ragdoll effects make me wanna complain to make the bodies stay i just wanna shoot em around and stick them to walls and fire stake after stake into their floppy bodies. god never had such fun since i complained to Gabe Newell about HL2.

Knightlyposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 20:45
Good looking for sure. Fun to play very much so. Original not in the slightest. This sort of game has been done hundreds of time and many games in 2004 will have these effects but with gameplay to this is a fun game but halflife 2 or doom 3 it ain.t

sposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 21:20
dunno bout u guyz but i got tired of just killing those guys...but its gonna be really good when it releases no doubt.

xxxxposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 21:38
Knightly, can you list those games, to me ur talking from ur a$$. i buy games bigtime, tell me one game even from 2003 that had these characteristics in a game. thanks. please don't say NOLF2 cuz graphically and environmentally wise it ain't even close, plus the deaths were scripted. i like dumbass responses like that, "been done hundreds of times". to S or SA.. ya and where's the difference in offing the computer in every other game that all wear the same uniform and have the same guns? i fail to see your point.

blablaposted - Feb, 18 2004 - 23:17
I think it is an exellent demo for the havok 2 engine. A full game? i don't think so. The first level seemed very cool but the second level was Will Rock all over again.....(shutters at the thought of having to play Will Rock over again). Is it a game or just a shooting gallery? A multiplayer mode would be kinda cool.

JWPposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 01:30
What the hell is everyone complaining about. Christ, this game is so cool. Want more depth of game play just simply try something else. Want to take out your frustrations or had a bad day, play this and have fun. One of the best demos to date, period!

PainMillerposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 01:42
The game won't appeal do everybody. The developers missions statement even said that it's for people who want just some good shooting action like Doom or Serious Sam with a new theme with killer graphics. Get in go crazy, release some tension, get out. I have to say that the demo was WAY better than I was expecting. I thought it would be another low budget crap game, but the graphics, physics, and feel are on the right track. I was having a good time after I found out I could use a four foot stake to stick monsters against the walls! I can't remember doing that in other FPS's. Will consider a purchase.

Knightlyposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 07:53
My point is simple xxxxxxxx doom run around kill everything duke nuken run round kill everything these are about 10 years old. fast forward seriouse sam 1/2 run around kill everything painkiller run around kill everything. Sure it looks better and the engine physics are cooler but the game is in no way Original.

Max Payneposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 08:50
What's wrong with running around killing everything? That's as realistic as reali life. no problems!

Knightlyposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 08:57
I never said there was a problem with it, or that it diden,t look good, or that it won,t be a good game but xxxxx said it was original wich its not.

angelostefanoposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 12:27
its all done before, nothing new and r efreshing. but it"s a great game!!!!

xxxxposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 15:39
ya but you're supposed to list hundreds Knightly like your post said. afraid i don't agree with you at all(a shame, hehe). all fps games are run and kill everything, that's a empty statement. this game is a refreshing change from all these lame "I can make a AK and M16 game"...snore, that Old West game looks pretty cool too..i think this game is going to do well, lots of people are sick of war games..way way way way overdone..i'm literally sick of seeing AK's and M16, gimme something new!!!!

xxxxposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 16:08
SS was good but it's just lame(finished 1&2), i wasn't impressed with it and only had fun online..nice game and all but very little thought behind it and weapons were gayness. but i like ss... Doom is like 10+ years ago as is Duke Nukem and if u have to scrape the bottom of the barrel and use this? u really have no point. u also forgot Shadow Warrior. Painkiller has a lot of elements that u will only see in HL2 and other games using new engines..kills me their ragdoll stuff totally makes Ut2kx look sick..

callumposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 16:35
does anyone like the nvidia screen at the begining the one with the skull guy with the mace lol it is kind of funny. Wish the arrow actually hit him in the balls HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No really i find it funny i hope half life 2 has a funny nvidia (proberly an ATI one) screen

xxxxposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 16:43
actually i don't think hl2 will have it, or will have something different since the game is really being made for both cards now.. not just ati. guess u will read that closer to release.

callumposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 17:07
your right it won't but i hope the bodies will stay in hl2 so i can shoot 'em around. This graphics card war is cool. I bet ATI payed Valve a thousand pounds so they say half life 2 plays best on ati. also have you noticed if you get an ati bundle you get a half life 2 voucher (game) with it. I preordered it on september the 19th lol i was looking forward to it on 30th sept then it got delayed to 3oth nov then april now its coming out sometime in summer. Sniff it might not come out. BOOHOO

callumposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 17:20
this is my hl2 song (to the tune of food glorious food) Is it worth waiting for if we live to 1004 all we ever get is delaaayys, every day we email valve will they change the relase date still we get the same old dellayys theres not a leak not a source we can find can we use kazza to get a russian leak, but theres nothing to stop us from going mad i just take a crowbar and what i do you imagine..... Half life 2 will you ever come out, while im not in the mood keep searching on kazaa, can't wait till it comes out in summer or spring. Keep searching in google. Half life 2 screenshots and movies filling our heads up, with awe just picture a copy of half life 2 oh half life 2 half life 2 (keep on going 2) lol does anyone like it?

xxxxposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 19:01
bodies stay in virtually every game, it's simply knowing the variable to change in the cfg files...

Frankposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 20:02
Is everyone posting here in the age group of 10-15 or what? Yeah, the game had nice graphics and the gameplay did have some fun elements, but yes, this game is by no means original. Almost instantly I was reminded of Serious Sam. Personally, I like depth to a game, not just some crazy click madness. Comparing this game to Doom3 or HL2 is just retarded. If you play shooters for the satiscation of the kill, this game is for you, if like me you like to explore, think and be taken in by an atmosphere, then maybe not. I got bored pretty quickly with all the respawning baddies. As far as I see it, these games are good, keeps the stupid PK'ing immature kids out of games like RVS.

Knightlyposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 22:35
And your whole argument xxxx-xxxx is that looks nice haven’t seen that engine before and that’s new must be the best game that’s been made get real. The point is doom did do this 10 years ago not on this engine but was better done then and was really new. Even id don’t want to make there new d3 the same as the old one painkiller is an old game done on new technology. Again that’s not bad but it’s not as you put it original and buying as many games as you do you should no this. As for naming hundreds wile possible would be about as much fun as playing painkiller for a week.

jesusposted - Feb, 19 2004 - 22:40
to be honest, A) I think ur 10-15, B) U never played SS C) Have ur head up ur ass and finally D) Ur the immature kid and probably an ahole in RVS. But this is just a stupid analysis like urs.. Tell ya what xxx@ccc.com, go explore ur toilette ur brain obviously fell out when u $hit. Muahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Tomposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 02:16
This game is nothing like Doom. Not even close! If anything, this game has a feel 'kind of' like Quake2 and I say that because of the eerie calm, dark/lighting and noises, aside from that, imo there is no comparison and those I said are bleak. The only thing Doom I could say you could scrape for a comparison, would be the big guy at the end and actually, I like it, it's a nice change from the repeat games out there. Developers have truly lost the meaning of imagination. How many war based games do we need? What I would like to see next is System Shock 3 taking advantage of graphics like this! But I'll be buying this, it looks like it has some good potential for entertainment value in the MP field! I'm still laughing at the arrow/spearing people, wish I could spear a few here. =p

Jamesposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 03:34
The 10 minutes of it I can play I like but it locks up like a mofo even with the recomended drivers and direct X versions. I usually do not buy games when their official demos will not run on my system even if it looks cool.

Tomposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 04:55
Go their site, click community and click forums. Post about it. It's worth it.

axemurdererposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 11:00
not a blood or a doom, but ok. i would like to see much more violence (loved sof2/postal 2 hehe, boom) but wtf - those damn kids are always a target for publishers so they usually dont go the hard way but its look ok. not eerie enough, but ok... oT: whats with that americans always posting their nonsense blabber all over the place? this aint ut2k4 and never will be so shut the fuck up! morons

geeh@2dfd.deposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 12:22
Reminded me of the game heretic ( doom clone by Ravensoft). kickass back then .. 386 period .. not many fpshooters around ... now the market is flooded with shooters. after the intense gameplay of bf1942 most fps fail .. wave after wave of mindless killing might attract to the new players around ... but after 15 years of fps games ... hell no .. the graphixs kickass .. but gameplay still rulez . and this game bares no gameplay .. shooter is good .. but there tons of better shooters around with better gameplay .. and this is why if doom3 does not deliver a kickass single play expierence the game will die as fast as this one ,.

callumposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 12:44
i want the bodies to stay. I looked in the cfg files and nothing said bodiesstay: "false".

Gl@ekenposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 13:55
It all reminded me very much of Quake 1. The alternate fire grenade launcher on the Stake gun is virutally identicle to the grenade launcher in Quake 1. Good fun but definitly repeating an old well worn formula.

stumpusposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 15:14
The bodies probably wont be config'd to stay because as we all know, ragdoll eats CPU time, and those bodies will have serious poly counts because of the physics engine. The guys who don't see it as 'original' are purely sanitised by FPS of today. I for one have played a few games with ragdoll physics, but none of them have *remotely* portrayed correct impact and reaction points on the body as PK has. Raven Shield was pretty poor. Anyway,it's a bloody good game that is coming out for a £22/£25 in the UK -at that price it's more bloody fun that Serious Sam EVER was! That was a technology demo if ever there was one!! (it proved it looked good whilst throwing hundreds of monsters at you without slowdown etc) PK will have a THEMED story which runs through the game, eventualy concluding with meeting Lucifer at the end. For those that can't read manuals etc......the story behind PK is that a Guys was killed in a car crash and he's denied the right to go to heaven and he must find out why. Regardless, someone remind me what the storyline to Serious Sam was again? ROFL! Doom is the friggin' KING of FPS! -the guys here that mention Doom with contempt, weren't even out of diapers whe it was released!! For those old enough to have played Doom and be working when it was released, it was the FATHER of ALL FPS that we have today -don't you friggin' forget it children! ROFLMAO!!!

xxxxposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 16:21
I'm 37 stumpus, how old are you? talking about diapers. Doom was a 'ok' game(imo heavily overrated, anything related to Carmack usually is). I had more enjoyment of the games that followed. I was more interested in games like Duke3d & Rise of the Triad, way more thought out games, sure they followed Doom but were still way more addictive. Online in LANs was serious kickass fun. I found a lot of kids were still into Doom while I left it behind..Doom2 was better but not much again I was playing other games with more thought out design.

Zeusposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 16:58
"I was more interested in games like Duke3d & Rise of the Triad, way more thought out games, sure they followed Doom but were still way more addictive." haha ok sure, you are 37? sounds more like really in diapers, i cant take anyone serious who says Rise of the Triad was a good and addictive game, only "addictive" about it was the violence, the game itself sucked bad.

stumpusposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 17:43
xxxx i'm the ripe ol' age of 40! ROTT was a bloody clever game, the god mode in that was hilarious -so was dog mode. Zeus, ROTT was probably *way,way* over your head. The level design ie; watching German soldiers walk into the revolving blades or be launched into the air,hidden doors, the guy with the rocket launcher wheelchair,drunken missiles etc,etc were nothing short of hilarious! It WAS AN 18 certificate. Wolfenstein 3D did the same. Don't try to be all "politicaly correct" Zeus that's bollocks and you know it. With a post like that i suppose you don't venture past 'The Sims' then? Since your non-violence stance leaves VERY LITTLE to buy games-wise, since nearly every game i can think of ships with some form of killing in it. Duke 3D probably was the first game to have 'blood' that ran down walls? I'm sure it was. Again very clever level design and of course Dukes one-liners were hilarious! My fav was when he told one of the bosses he was going to 'rip off his head and $hit down his neck' Off course Ken Silverman did a brill job with the engine and editor - i spent many a long hour building levels with that. I have over 200+ games for the PC, i kept all my oldies -even have classics like Sam&Max,Full Throttle and Day of The Tentacle ROFL!! I wish Dev's would go back to clever level design? Too many resort to linear un-openable doors etc. PK will be fun purely because of the cheap price and originality

xxxxposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 18:01
ROTD was great fun and even more fun in lan parties. the there was shadow warrior, blood etc.. doom was something we finished, played on a lan and moved on to newer and better things. duke3d we probably played the longest. u guys hype over doom etc, to me that just shows your real age. anyone from that time when it was released will say it was an 'alright' game.. you guys talk like the cheap gaming magazines..doom and doom2 were nothing really in the end, it's what they spawned that makes doom and doom2 so noticed. overhyped by magazines and the youngsters who swallowed it all down.

xxxxposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 18:06
thanks stumpus.

stumpusposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 18:18
LOL i played Duke3D,Doom to DEATH on Kali on a 14.4Kb conncetion! Blood1 was as probably near to PK as i can compair. Remember kicking the heads about! or setting them on fire with the flare gun? Ah yes! Shadow Warrior, again NOTHING realy like that came along. Famous Lo Wang; Switch to nuclear mode on the rocket launcher, then Lo cut's in "'tis a good day to die" ROFL I don't realy agree about Doom :P but then i downloaded every mod and editor that was ever made for it. It was the first *true* game that inspired modding and -for it's time- was pretty scary with it's flashing lights and cacodemons! Even to this day, people are still making OpenGL,XP compatibility modes for it and it still has a HUGE following. it will always have a soft spot for me ;) Still have the original box and manual and of course 3 floppies Ahhh....those were the day's. Cheers XXXX

xxxxposted - Feb, 20 2004 - 19:30
agree stumpus on Blood1. that same kind of atmosphere is in Painkiller. hilarious, we should compare boxes and see who has the better condition box. i still got my Duke3D mouse pad, never used. doom is/was an ok game, just hate when people try to compare it to PainKiller, they are completely different games, minus the big bad guy at the end. as to Kali, shit ya, remember using that! was great, i still got my receipt for registering.. ahahaha

joeyposted - Feb, 21 2004 - 03:57
has anyone figured out a way to make this demo multiplayer? There are a lot of settings for MP in one of the files, but I don't know the console command to start a server.

Vinceposted - Feb, 21 2004 - 16:19
Hey, did you know that you can do COMBO HITS on the corpses to et money? Load your first weapon and keep hitting the body while it's still in the air: money falls. Nice atmosphere, nice graphics, nice controls, nice physics, no story. Good old days of doom and qake are back my friends!

Gohan & Gokuposted - Feb, 21 2004 - 16:33
WOW! never see a game like this before looks pretty promissing overall.

ewposted - Feb, 21 2004 - 16:46
My impression - its alright. I think it was worth the download, but I doubt I'd buy the game UNLESS there are a number of MODs available.

klklklposted - Feb, 21 2004 - 19:38
couldnt even get it to run lol,.,.,.my spc's of my system are way better Then needed

Dougposted - Feb, 23 2004 - 13:57
Reminds me of Clive Barker's Undying - which may actually surpass this game overall in terms of storyline, atmospheric sound, and versatility. If you've never played Clive Barker's Undying, I urge you to try it. It still meets today's standards of hardcore gaming, and I'm pretty sure it's dirt cheap. Check it out!

Dougposted - Feb, 23 2004 - 14:00
Oh yeah, and it BARELY ran on my somewhat outdated 500MHz, Nvidia GeForce2 MX 64MB at the lowest settings. Very slow, but looks cool. Looking forward to updating my system around the time Half-Life 2 comes out. I'll have some fun catching up to do then :)

Dougposted - Feb, 23 2004 - 14:06
In response to Stumpus, nobody mentioned Max Payne 2. I thought that had pretty nice ragdoll physics. Of course we know that was a cool series. It's nice to see developers getting ballsier and making this kind of horrific hardcore though. Keep up the mayhem! Peace on earth!

Rob Filthposted - Mar, 02 2004 - 10:51
I thought this game isn't anything original reminding me a lot of serious sam but with updated graphics and physics with a quake/doomish feel too. The first level looks very nice indeed however,the second one wasn't so good,it lacked the dark ambience of the first and the enemies weren't as interesting and the final boss level was totally serious sam abiet updated. The gameplay ain't revolutionary and the game is a total no-brainer,however after an endless glut of endless WW2 or terrorist/counterterrorist FPS's in recent years which have all gotten so mind numbingly boring this demo made a welcome change as unoriginal in content although it was.I hope there are a lot more horror or sci-fi based shooters soon cos I for one am sick to the back teeth of WW2 and counterterrorist based shooters now-they've all gotten so damn boring.

Knightlyposted - Mar, 03 2004 - 20:03
Totally agree wish id have put it like that.

DDposted - Mar, 14 2004 - 04:10
this demo was awesome - ive played it like a madman and still not found all the secrets. Thats what ive been missing in other games - the good old search for secrets on levels. The gfx, the control, the physics - are topnotch. I totally love People Can Fly's idea of using the Havoc engine in multiplayer to get your opponent airborne before you can hurt him, haha. Im so totally there.

Ritoposted - Apr, 05 2004 - 23:18
nice one real "old scool" style, kinda like it... and best thing: runs great on my AMD 1.3 Ghz, GF3 ;)

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