Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell Hands-On

This exciting expansion for People Can Fly's shooter will add zombie Germans, zombie Russians, and even some zombie tanks, among other things.


DreamCatcher Interactive is on hand in London to show off Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell, the expansion to Painkiller, and if you thought that the action in Painkiller couldn't get even more frenetic, then wait until you see Battle Out of Hell. The DreamCatcher representatives let the gameplay speak for itself as they loaded up the expansion and gave us a glimpse into what's in store for us.

If you played the original game, then you know that it ended with hero Daniel Garner still trapped in hell and looking for a way to rejoin his wife in heaven. Polish developer People Can Fly is working on the expansion, and it looks like the programmers have figured out how to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the game's engine. We were given a demo of one of the expansion's levels, which is set in the hellish version of Stalingrad, the epic World War II battle where hundreds of thousands of Germans and Russians died. But in this version of Stalingrad, you're caught between zombie Germans and zombie Russians doomed to fight the battle for eternity, and it makes for some really intense gameplay. As we watched, squads of zombie Germans charged, then exploded or caught on fire when cut down by the chaingun. And if the flaming Germans and exploding buildings aren't enough, things really get insane when the zombie tanks show up on the scene. That's right, zombie tanks. Needless to say, we were very impressed with the sheer amount of action packed in this level, and we're told it gets even better. People Can Fly figures that if you managed to beat the original Painkiller, then you're probably ready for a bigger challenge, so the expansion will feature tougher enemies. For instance, now even the most basic of enemy soldiers can toss grenades at you.

As with the original game, People Can Fly is paying a large amount of attention to making sure each of the 10 levels in the expansion are unique. So the artists aren't recycling anything; if a texture is used in one level, it won't be used in any others. And as good as the Stalingrad level looked, it represented only one level, with the other nine remaining a secret for now.

Though Battle Out of the Hell features fewer levels than the original Painkiller, we're told that the new levels are bigger, so we can expect the same amount of gameplay. In addition to the 10 new levels, there will be two new weapons, though only the submachine gun/flamethrower combination weapon was revealed to us. There will also be two new multiplayer modes, though once again we were told of only one of them, which is a variant of capture the flag.

Battle Out of Hell is looking very good, and our short time with the expansion left us wanting more. The good news is that we can expect the expansion to ship in time for Christmas.

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