Heaven’s Hitman Hurtin’ The Unholy – Painkiller: Hell & Damnation (Review) Xbox 360

Heaven’s Hitman Hurtin’ The Unholy – Painkiller: Hell & Damnation (Review) Xbox 360
Review Score:

For someone such as myself who really appreciates a good nod to throwback classics from the days of yore, naturally I was mighty excited to sink my gaming claws into the 360 version of “Painkiller: Hell & Damnation” by The Farm 51 and Nordic Games GmbH. And I’ll tell you – what an action-packed thrill ride thriller this title turned out to be.

P: H&D is actually based on the first “Painkiller” game that was released for the PC (by developer People Can Fly and publisher DreamCatcher Interactive) back in 2004. And those who are unfamiliar with the storyline, the plot more or less goes along like this: You get to play as Purgatory’s protagonist, Daniel Garner, who has accepted the task to fight off dark, demonic forces that are fighting over the fates of souls that are imprisoned still in Purgatory.

Daniel’s reward is to reunite with his beloved wife Catherine, who is in Heaven.  Does it sound like it’s fairly easy?  No.  Does it sound like it’s nostalgic fun?  Oh absolutely. While not of the groundbreaking variety, P: H&D’s graphics make for a nice facelift from the original since they’re powered by Unreal Engine 3.  However, the game’s background environments are pretty much just redone from the original title ( plus its expansion, “Battle Out Of Hell”).

There’s definitely a dark, sinister (and a bit barren) look to P: H&D; you can almost smell the evil coming from it.  The sounds aren’t extraordinary, but there’s still plenty to keep your eardrums occupied, complete with convincing voice-overs in the cinema sequences and rockin’ music while you’re in combat against those forces of evil.

The control schematics are perfect for the 360 controller with none of the buttons having multiple functions to confuse novice FPS-ers. The lightning-fast ability to switch between primary and secondary weapons on the fly is a plus. If I were to have any actual beef with the game, it would be just the simple fact that P: H&D’s visuals clearly show their age.  The game just looks dated, and poor Daniel looks like the hands of time haven’t been entirely kind to him over the span of a decade.

And with the transition to the newest round of consoles, I expected things to look even more polished.  But P: H&D is still a guaranteed good time of classic nostalgia that will have you gladly beating the hell out of Hell.

Sean Boley
XBox 360
Developer: The Farm 51
Publisher: Nordic Games GmbH
Price: $29.99

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