Painkiller: Hell Wars in limbo

[UPDATE] DreamCatcher is "extending the development time" of Xbox port of demonic PC game; new release date set for Q3 of this year.

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Xbox fans hoping this bit of news would be a "Painkiller: Hell Wars goes gold!" announcement will be sorely disappointed. The game's publisher, DreamCatcher Interactive, today revealed that the game is not going to make its previously announced street date of June 6.

The game apparently needs a bit more work under the hood, and DreamCatcher was careful not to use the "D-word." In a statement, the company says it is "extending the development time" for the game, "in order to ensure that the game meets the high standards of its predecessor."

DreamCatcher's Global Product Marketing Manager Byron Gaum promises the extra time will help the game achieve its potential. "Too often, titles are rushed to market that fall short. DreamCatcher is committed to making Painkiller: Hell Wars a must have title for the Xbox..."

"Extending the development time" is no strange phrase to fans who have been waiting for the Xbox version of Painkiller. The game was expected to hit Microsoft's current-generation console in 2004, but has been repeatedly pushed back.

The original PC version of Painkiller was a surprise hit when it was released in April 2004. Hell Wars combines the original title, tweaks and additions included in the various patches, and aspects of the Battle out of Hell PC expansion. The main premise is the same: Players start out the game as the recently deceased Daniel Garner, who must fight the demons in Hell as they invade Purgatory.

Painkiller: Hell Wars is rated M for Mature and will retail for $29.99. For more information, check out GameSpot's coverage of the Xbox version or read a review of the PC version.

[UPDATE] Though no new release date was announced in today's statement, a rep from DreamCatcher contacted GameSpot News and said Painkiller: Hell Wars is now scheduled for release in Q3 of this year.

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