Following in the steps of the popular FPS Painkiller is not an easy task. Thankfully, the add on pack for the game does not try to reinvent the wheel but fine tunes the game as it delivers more great action.
Players continue as Daniel Garner who battles the forces of Satan in Purgatory in an effort to find redemption. Building upon the original with 10 levels the Battle Out of Hell and after his Battle with Satan in the first Game, Daniel still has some work left to do as he battles various minions of hell.
rigged rides and numerous baddies to spill. Thankfully for players, Daniel has some powerful weapons at his disposal each with a powerful secondary fire mode. There is the default painkiller that can be used to unleash spinning blades of death that shred anything in their path or blast enemies with a powerful beam of energy. The shotgun is a solid weapon that will send enemies flying and the secondary fire mode offers a freeze ray that allows you to shatter enemies. The rocket launcher is a versatile weapon that doubles as a chain gun to blast or mow down enemies in mass. There is also an energy weapon that acts as a lightening gun in secondary fire mode. My favorite weapon is the stake gun that fires high velocity stakes into enemies that can stick them to the walls or blast them to pieces in the secondary fire grenade mode.
The mayhem of the first game is not only intact but has become even more twisted thanks in part to some amazing locations such as an abandoned dorm complete with ghostly and deadly children that resemble schoolboys. There are also my favorite, the suicidal yuppie zombies who make you laugh while they repulse and scare you.
Like the original, the expansion keeps the fine tradition of great level designs and monsters that are unique and appropriate to the level. All that was missing from my battle with the school kids was the childs choir doing Pink Floyds The Wall in the background. If you think that shooting ghostly kids is disturbing, just wait until one of the screaming ones explodes in your vicinity and you will soon find that you need all of the ammo and weapons you can muster.
All of your favorite weapons from the original game are back and this time they are enhanced by the inclusion of a sniper rifle and a machine gun that has a very nasty flamethrower as a secondary fire function.
The sniper rifle doubles as a long range stake gun as its projectiles pin enemies to the wall. If you are twisted, try running up to the pinned bad guy and finishing it off close range with your stake gun while it is still twitching.
As mentioned before level design is amazing for the game as I would be hard pressed to find anyone who would not enjoy the off kilter carnival with its buzz saw fixed rides and deadly occupants.
The graphics of the game are solid showing the incredible potential of the new game engine. on a 256 MB Geforce 4 video card by Microstar. The Water and Flame effects are suburb and have been upgraded from the original. The audio portions of the game are good though the voice acting could use some spice as it fails to engage. The game does also include more multiplay mayhem and some great new gaming maps that will delight players. My only real issue was that as in the original game, the enemy A.I. of the game is lacking as it follows the Serious Sam mentality of tossing many well-crafted creatures at you, but they charge are you blindly in a straight line and take little defensive precautions making them easy targets.
That being said, especially with its great value price, Battle Out of Hell is not only a great time but is the best expansion pack of 2004 and a must own.
Gareth Von Kallenbach
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