Game: Painkiller: Hell & Damnation – The Clock Strikes Meat Night DLC
Developer: The Farm 51
Publisher: Nordic Games
Available on: Windows PC Only (at the time of writing)
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, a game that we reviewed not too long ago, is a game that people either love or hate. Some may look at the game’s contentment with staying firmly in the “old school shooter” genre as an excuse to just pass it by for the latest Call of Duty game, while others relish in the ability to keep playing the style of shooter that they grew up playing, only with sexy new graphics and abilities that we would never have seen “back in the day”. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no doubt that Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, developed by The Farm 51 and published by Nordic Games, is here to stay, with the promises of quite a few pieces of DLC down the road.
The first offering of single player DLC from the developers is the excellently named ‘The Clock Strikes Meat Night’. This DLC lets the player loose, yet again, as Daniel Garner, the guy whose job it is to bring back the souls of those condemned to eternity in Hell. This time, however, you’ll have more places to play in thanks to the addition of three new levels, a few more enemy types and a couple of more weapons.
Actually, to be absolutely honest, saying that you’re getting three new single-player levels is taking a little bit of a creative license with the details of the DLC. What you’re actually getting is one semi-new (read: remade) single-player level and two others that are extended versions of levels you’ll have already played in the original game. The expanded levels, Asylum and Bridge, have had entire new areas added to them, extending their gameplay quite a substantial amount and, despite the fact that buying DLC which just gives you bigger versions of levels you’ve already played may sound a little bit like a waste of money, the additions to these levels are actually quite impressive. New enemy types litter the new areas, and you’ll have fun putting various numbers of holes in them, but once you’ve figured out how to take them down, having the same enemy come at you over and over again does get a little but grating. Still, that’s the way of the “old school shooter” that the developers behind Painkiller: Hell & Damnation so clearly love, so if that’s right up your alley too, then why not?
The remade level, Town, has had everything about it completely refurbished. The new enemies in the level take different paths from the enemies in the previous version of the game, so if you think that you know where everything is going to spawn from, and exactly how to take them down, then you better think again. You can even take advantage of the new power-up in Daniel’s arsenal too, which allows Daniel to duel-wield any of the weapons that he currently has his hands on. You know how awesome it is to pin enemies to the walls using the stake gun? Just imaging how much better it is when you’re duel-wielding the iconic weapon. These power-ups – which look like horned skulls situated at various points in the levels – are few and far between, but when you do see them and manage to pick them up without being killed, you can be sure you’re in for an intense and mesmerising couple of seconds.
VERDICT: There are quite a few new additions to Painkiller: Hell & Damnation with The Clock Strikes Meat Night, but nothing that’s going to change anyone’s minds about the polarising shooter. If you’re a fan of the Painkiller games, specifically the latest reboot of the franchise, then you’re more than likely going to jump at the chance to play more of the game. If you’re on the other end of the love it/hate it scale, then you’re unlikely to have your feelings altered by what, at a passing glance, seems like a mediocre attempt at single-player DLC. As far as DLC goes – and ignoring which game it’s for – you’re getting about as much content as you would expect: a couple of hours of gameplay, some additional weapons and enemy types and some new power-ups. It would have been better if the single-player content wasn’t just rehashed and remade versions of previously-existing levels, but hopefully the developers will see this as a momentary lapse in judgement and give the fans something a little bit more substantial in the future.