Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell is the first official expansion pack for Painkiller, the first person horror shooter from developer People Can Fly and publisher Dreamcatcher. Picking up where the game's story left off, Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell features improved graphics, an additional single-player chapter with 10 levels, as well as new multiplayer modes, maps, models and weapons. It sounds promising, but is the expansion worth buying? I will try to answer the question in this review.
The story takes place directly after the events of Painkiller, where Daniel Garner (the hero of the story) has defeated Lucifer - only to find that Alastor has taken over Hell's army and is looking for a way to attack Heaven. Daniel decides he must go back to stop Alastor and the game begins...I won't spoil the ending for you, but I will tell you that it isn't conclusive and keeps the way open for a sequel.
Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell features 10 entirely new visually stunning single player levels, dozen brand new monsters to defeat, two new weapons - each with Dual unique fire modes like a flamethrower/semi-machine gun and bolt rifle (fires 5 bolts simultaneously)/ multiple grenade launcher, 2 new multiplayer modes, including a "hellish mutation" of Capture the Flag and Last Man Standing, 6 New Multi-player maps and map editing/modding redesign toolkit.
Gameplay remains unchanged (the card system, secret areas, goals for each level, gold...), just expanded with more of the intense, perversity and twisted levels I liked in the original game. All the levels look really good, with complex character models, great lighting effects, pretty textures, and solid physics. Each of the new levels has a number of new enemies that don't appear in the original game, from possessed children, killer clowns, "sexy" nurses with deadly needles to undersea sirens with rotten skeletal tails, etc. Of course there are also a few huge boss creatures to take out.
Probably the most notable levels are the orphanage, modern post apocalyptic city, the WWII-era zombie-infested Leningrad and the amusement park. The amusement park reminded me some old B-grade horror flick (Killer Klowns from Outer Space). In this park the rides are fun, but the clowns, marionettes and other inhabitants aren't very friendly :) This level finishes with an utterly insane roller-coaster where you ride throughout the entire park, shooting badies as they go. Needless to say it's a lot of fun and a surprising contrast from the rest of the levels.
Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell also brings new multiplayer modes and maps to the table. There is now a Capture the Flag mode where you attempt to steal and return the opposing team's skull and a Last Man Standing mode where players have a limited number of lives, and the last one surviving wins. Of course, the game supports all the modes from the original game as well.
Although this expansion is quite small it is well worth getting as it adds a great continuation to the first game. This is a must buy ($20) for anyone that owns original Painkiller and liked it as much as I did. For those folks that have never tried Painkiller I highly recommend you grab a demo and give it a try.
Minimum: 1.5GHz processor, 384MB RAM, 64 MB DirectX 8.1 card with
hardware T&L support (NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS or better), DirectX 8.1b soundcard,
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM 8X speed, 2.6 GB free HDD space (for Painkiller + Expansion)
Recommended: 2.4 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 128 MB* DirectX 9 card (NVIDIA
GeForce FX 5700 or better) , DirectX 8.1b soundcard, CD-ROM/DVD-ROM 8X speed,
2.6 GB free HDD space (for Painkiller + Expansion)
*256 MB of video RAM is strongly suggested for all graphics options being turned
Required for multiplayer: 1 Painkiller: Battle out of Hell disc per
player per computer, Internet (2-16 players): 56Kbps or faster Internet
connection, with high-speed broadband strongly recommended, Local Network (2-16
players): TCP/IP compliant LAN
Note: You must have Painkiller installed in order to install this