E3 06: Painkiller Hell Wars Preshow Impressions

Hell Wars is back at E3, for the second year running. Here are our impressions.


Followers of GameSpot's Electronic Entertainment Expo coverage from 2005 will recall that Painkiller: Hell Wars was featured by Dreamcatcher at last year's show. Although at that time the game was planned for a release in the fall of 2005, its rough edges apparently warranted a delay...or a few delays. While an Xbox port of the original PC Painkiller game by developer People Can Fly was originally planned for the summer of 2004, it was eventually redesigned to incorporate elements from the PC expansion pack, Battle out of Hell, and was bumped back to the fall of 2005. After missing March and April release dates, Painkiller: Hell Wars for the Xbox now appears set to be released at the end of May.

We can all hope that this is the last E3 that Painkiller: Hell Wars is featured at. For those of you who haven't been following the game, Hell Wars is something of an amalgamation of the original Painkiller game, the multiplayer portion of the game (which was added as a patch to the PC version), and the Battle out of Hell expansion. While some of the insane physics effects of the original game have been toned down for the Xbox version of the game, it still looks like the core gameplay will come through intact, complete with enemies that disintegrate when shot with your array of powerful weapons and huge boss enemies that tower over you and shake the entire arena that you fight in when they take a step.

We're hoping that the numerous delays gave Dreamcatcher and People Can Fly time to polish up the game from its rough appearance at E3 of 2005, but you'll want to wait for our full review of the game before making any final judgements on it.

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