Painkiller Hell & Damnation PS3 preview – endless streams of beasts

Painkiller Hell & Damnation PS3 screens

We’re guessing Satan never read Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. If he had, the eternal conflict between good and his forces of evil might not be such an attritional grind. Does the Dark Lord have no remorse for all the fatherless demon sprogs and widowed harridans resulting from the billions of troops he throws your way? War really is hell.

Painkiller Hell & Damnation PS3 preview

It’s a one-man war, waged by everyman Daniel Garner, who finds himself trapped in purgatory. The kind of war that was once routinely waged by Duke Nukem, Serious Sam and Doom’s unnamed space marine in the years before set-pieces and cinematics, and as such there’s a retro charm to Hell & Damnation’s simple gothic levels and the hundreds of enemies running towards you.

Painkiller Hell & Damnation PS3 previewAs Nordic Games Reinhard Pollice  states, “There are a lot of shooters on PlayStation, but none with the old-school, run- and-gun feel of Painkiller. Usually a shooter incorporates taking cover, regenerating health, cut-scenes and all this bullsh*t. For us it’s not about that – the action brings the fun.”

It’s a retro charm that probably comes easy when you’re a remake of a 2004 shooter, although Polish studio The Farm 51 has jazzed up the graphics, chucked in co-op and competitive multiplayer modes, and built a new narrative around the kind of theatres, train stations, cathedrals and graveyards you could swear you purged of demons sometime in the late ’90s. You’ll need to do a lot of shooting, almost always while running backwards, and quite possibly doing panicky jumps, to purge them again.

There’s a hole in the shooter market for the self-confessed mindless fun of Painkiller – a hole Bulletstorm kicked a steel-toed boot through in 2011. Hell & Damnation isn’t funny like People Can Fly’s shooter, though, and its settings don’t artfully distract you from repetition quite as well as a shooter with 200+ enemies per level should. But with Unreal Tournament 3-style zippy movement, silly weapons, huge bosses and a co-op buddy to tackle the hordes of evil with, Painkiller might yet find its niche on PS3.

Painkiller Hell & Damnation will be out Jan 22, 2013.

Painkiller Hell & Damnation PS3 preview