The game Diablo has become so ubiquitous that you can almost consider it a genre onto its own - the fantasy hack and slash game. Go, kill things, level up, get gear. Wash, rinse, repeat.
It's proven to be a very durable model. People like to level up! They like to get shiny new things!
Hellgate: London follows that formula for the most part. It's not a third-person game as Diablo was, but rather a first-person shooter. It has fantasy elements but is more sci-fi.
The basic premise is simple: 20 years from now, demons invade, starting in London. Twenty years after that, the tattered remnants of humanity are fighting to retake London. You pick one of six classes - two in each of three factions - to fight your battles.
As you do so, you'll level up. Play through the single-player campaign, and you should be around level 30 - this will probably take 40-50 hours. Play more, and you can get up to level 50. But keep in mind - once you get your skills, you can NOT respec them!
But you don't have to play all by yourself. Groups of five to six can play together, though more than that can get a bit overwhelming right now. They are planning down the road "raid levels." There's no friendly fire, but there will be PvP arenas, as well as downloadable content.
So, I had to ask: "Give me a moment that made you say, despite all the time you've already spent on this game, WOW, this is cool!" I thought it was funny - he gave me an example from earlier in the show. Standing in the warp-in area, talking to someone else playing with him, he wasn't paying close attention. A leper came by, noticed him and jumped through the window right onto his face, scaring him.
It wasn't scripted and had never happened before - it was a combination of the spawning mechanics of the game and the artificial intelligence of the creatures.
But, consider it a warning: Be on your guard in the ruins of London. And don't look too hard at those big floating demon things. Their Lovecraftian tentacles and blimp-like size might have an adverse effect on your sanity ...
Hellgate: London will be out - later. At least late summer.