In this game you are Daniel Gerner, a man that once lead a carefree existence in the world of the living. However, after a fiery car crash killed not just you but your wife as well you are left floating somewhere in between heaven and hell without your wife, who for some reason was let in heaven and you were not. Instead you are trapped in limbo having to defend yourself from demons and other monsters who want to take your soul and bring it to hell. Then comes an offer you can’t pass up.
Sammael, a representative from heaven, offers you the chance to clear your soul of anything that is keeping you out of heaven. In exchange, you must kill the generals of Lucifer’s army’s and stop them from starting a war with heaven. So let’s see, all I have to do is kill this big freakin’ demons and I get to go to heaven with my wife? Sure, why not, how hard could it be? What a dumb question…
Your goal throughout the game is to simply kill anything and everything that gets in your way and trust me lots of things will get in your way. You start off with something called, oddly enough, the Painkiller. This toy has two features. First it acts as a spinning blade so you can slice and dice badies till their ain’t nothing left. The alternate attack is a bladed warhead that launches forward and rips through anyone in its path. If it lodges in a wall it emits a powerful (and deadly) beam of light that will destroy anyone close to it.
Shortly after that you get your hands on the shotgun, which I found to be the most useful weapon in the game. It also has a secondary feature called the freezer. Pull the left trigger and you get a burst of liquid nitrogen that freezes any enemy it touches for about 5 seconds allowing you a very easy kill. Very handy when fighting bigger, tougher opponents (trust me, I know).
Next up is the stakegun/grenade launcher. When I picked this up I thought I was playing a vampire game simply because that is what this weapon brings to mind. The primary fire is a very big stake that lodges itself in an enemy and usually kills them in one shot. Other times it blows an enemy apart. This weapon also has a grenade launcher built in which comes in handy when fighting large amounts of demons. One well placed grenade takes care of any issues you might have.
Next is the rocket launcher/chaingun, this puppy is powerful. The primary weapon is the rocket launcher while the secondary is the chaingun. Wonderful toy for ripping enemy’s to shreds and useful against big enemies as well. Last is the SMG/flamethrower. This interesting combo is the last weapon you get. One other weapon is the electrodriver which shoots both throwing stars and bolts of electricity. It can come in handy in some of the boss fights, especially if you run out of ammo with the shotgun. I found it to be somewhat useful but not nearly as much as I think the developer’s meant it to be. The shotgun and rocket launcher/chaingun pretty much got me through anything I had to fight. The only time I switched to other weapons was when I ran out of ammo.
Game play is fun and fast paced but it lacks something that I can’t put my finger on. Most of the time you’ll find yourself running around trying to kill all the enemies swarming at you from different directions. While fun, this does get repetitive. The boss battles range from easy to mega hard. Sometimes while fighting the bosses its hard to figure out exactly what it is you need to do to kill them, much less hurt them. In one you have to shoot the bosses hammer, in another you have to shoot gas pockets. How annoying is that?
There are a few unlockables hiding here or there in the levels. There are things called Black Tarot Cards that you can unlock by completing levels in a certain way such as only using the stakegun. These are supposed to give you certain abilities or weaken the enemies but I found no use for them. What good are they if you can beat the game without them?
Graphics are pretty good, not outstanding by any means, but still pretty good. I was actually fairly impressed with some of the battle scenes later on in the game as far as realism is concerned. The cut scenes on the other hand are outstanding, if only the game play graphics were as good as the cut scenes.
The HUD is fairly simple and easy to understand. On the top of the screen you have three indicators. First on the left is your body count (kills) followed by your direction arrow (tells you were to go) then your soul count (keeps track of souls you’ve collected). The more souls you collect the closer you get to demon mode which makes you super powerful and allows you to kill pretty much anything in your path. This is very helpful late in the game.
On the bottom of the HUD on the left is your health indicator, this number can be as high as 250 depending on the powerup’s you find in the level. The same goes with the number below it, your armor level. On the right side of the HUD is your primary ammo counter and under that is your secondary ammo counter. This keeps track of ammo for both parts of each weapon since each weapon has two ways to fire.
This game is good but I feel like it could be so much more. With a few tweaks here or there this game could easily have been a major player on the Xbox Console. However I’m afraid this game leaves me wanting something more, so I’m gonna go play Halo for awhile. Rent this one kids, it’s worth the game time just not worth owning.