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E3 2009: Painkiller Resurrection hands-on impressions


We have a very soft spot for Painkiller. The 2004 released first person shooter from developer People Can Fly had some crazy weapons, weird creatures, truly massive bot battles and some unique level design. In short it was everything we wanted in a FPS game.

Publisher Dreamcatcher released an expansion pack for the original game from People Can Fly and in 2007 released Painkiller Overdose (created by another developer, Mindware Studios). Now they head back to the chaos once again with Painkiller Resurrection, this time developed by Homegrown Games. At E3 2009 we got a chance to play with an early version of the title.
So the story is . . . oh, who are we kidding here? We don't play a Painkiller game to experience the storyline. All we know is there's a lot of demons to shoot and we have some cool weapons to do them in with. In fact this game brings back some of the original Painkiller weapons that were left out in Painkiller: Overdose. That includes one of the best FPS weapons of all time, the stake gun. There's nothing like firing that puppy and watching a monk get stuck on a wall.

Yep, the monks with the battle axes from the original game are back but we have some new enemies to fight as well including some rampaging hulk like beasties that fire heat balls at you. Speaking of heat balls, the game uses a highly modified version of the original Painkiller engine. New features include more advanced lighting, watch effects and heat effects that come from the new monsters.

The level we got to play in was a typical Painkiller level; huge and multileveled . . . at least at first. Then the level started getting weird as we had to first descend through some truly dark caverns and then bunny hop up, and up, and up some more on the wildest staircase we have ever seen. It's clear that this game will be for the hard core FPS who wants to find and beat some challenges.

The game also comes with a full mulitplayer suite with new modes and levels and we were told that bots will be put into the game for the first time for some offline action. And if you want to play through the game with a buddy, the title will allow for two-player co-op support for the first time in a Painkiller title.

Our brief hands-on time with Painkiller Resurrection was a trip back in time but through a kind of alternate universe. It was fun, and sometimes a little frustrating, but overall we think this new installment will please the fans of the original Painkiller.It's due for release this fall.

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