Painkiller: Resurrection Demo. No, Really.

By Kieron Gillen on October 30th, 2009 at 11:50 am.

Man, that's not a very good screenshot. I'll tell you why, but it'll bore you. Okay - I'll tell you anyway. Basically, gamespress watermarks its shots, charging you to download them without them. Which is fine. I tried to download one, but the actual system is broken. I go to the actual site, and all of the shots are terrible without any actual enemies in shot - impressive marketing fail, randomly. So I have to go to gamespress and crop a relatively interesting bit of the image out to use. So now you know. Happy now? HAPPY?
After the furore last time when they released a version of the demo which wasn’t a version of the demo, a proper 1.2 Gig demo thingy is available. As the video which follows shows, it remains very much Painkiller. Watching it myself, I’m reminded of exactly how much I didn’t like the original and how constantly amazed I am when people can’t tell the difference between it and Serious Sam. Also, how a review of it of mine had its score bumped up without anyone asking me about it. But hey! My name wasn’t on it, so at least there’s no blood on my hands.

Actually, while we’re talking shooters, I’ve got a Q&A lined up with the Serious Sam chaps. Anyone got any questions to ask about the forthcoming reboot? WE ARE YOUR VOICE. USE US TO SPEAK.

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44 Comments »

  1. Sporknight says:

    It looks like the same game? I suppose if I played the original and then went right to the demo I might notice a difference, but really, I can’t tell by just the trailer…

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      It is the same game. It’s what they called mission pack back in there quake1 days. An expansion. Also, it’s not the same team– it’s a horrible c-team (check out project anderson and the legacy of cthulhu) like all the ones jowood got on speed-dial.

    • Carra says:

      It does feel like the original one. Same enemies (monks in capes). Same location (cathedral).

      Seeing how I payed less then €5 on gog.com I don’t see why I should pay more for an expansion. Let alone how they can turn this into profit.

  2. PHeMoX says:

    “Also, how a review of it of mine had its score bumped up without anyone asking me about it. But hey! ”

    Wot??? Why?

    Also, games like Painkiller will probably stick to the winning formula… somehow seems to make sense too.

  3. AndrewC says:

    Are they the same guys who made the original Serious Sam? Ask them how it feels to be making the same game a decade later. I don’t mean this in the sense of career development, but in the sense of Serious Sam being so very silly and a very young man’s game and I wonder how developers relate to it now they are not very young men. Which leads on to wondering about what is an ‘old man’s game’, what with even the earliest of early game adopters still not quite ancient yet.

    But if that’s too fluffy ask them about normal maps or something.

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      No, team behind original Painkiller were “People can Fly” from Czech republic (now devoured by Epic) and Serious Sam was developed by “CroTeam” from Croatia.

    • Lukasz says:

      People Can fly is a polish company not czech.

    • AndrewC says:

      Also they’re goldfish, with waterproof keyboards.

      Forgive my original lack of clarity – I was ignoring the Piankiller game and just talking about Serious Sam.

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      Ups… sorry, I’m not as smart as I appear to be it seems :)

  4. Smokingkipper says:

    Serious Sam with moody lighting? I can see this getting slated, which would be strange when you look at what Torchlight has done, and the reception it has received.

    I guess the appeal of these things is in the Co-op.

  5. megaman says:

    The last “Homegrown” Painkiller demo I tried was awful. I played and loved the original Painkiller, but the start of the demo annoyed me such much I rage-quit after 15 minutes, and on the second try I rage-deleted the demo after another 20 minutes.

    You can’t just walk up some tiny paths, you have to spam jump because it’s so steep and stair-y, same for crossing a bridge or going over some rocks. The paths are so small you can’t outmaneuver the enemies (which was part of the fun in the original). It was a chore of try, reload, try again, repeat to cross the chasm using the wood board bridge. And, most frustrating, if you walk too far ahead without triggering something the enemies will spawn right next to you, and right out of nowhere you get bombed to hell by those bomb-barrel carriers. That event pushed me over the border both times.

    Maybe it’s only the first level, but if the entire game is as fun as this they’ll have to do without me.

  6. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I bought the Painkiller ultimate all the bits and pieces edition in a Steam sale a while ago and haven't really played much of it. Not really my sort of thing, but I did like Serious Sam which I guess proves it just had something about it that made it work.

    Could you ask the (former) Croteam what is their philosophy on drug use as it relates to artistic endeavour?

    I don't really care, I've just always wanted to ask that question in context (I also need to find a way to use the phrases "Ok – we'll take over from here" and "My God man, you're meddling with forces you cannot possibly comprehend!" in context).

  7. Eplekongen says:

    Looks like an expansion

  8. diebroken says:

    Argh, not another game to play (and buy) – too many now. I’m still saving up to get one of these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/shops/storefront/index.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=A1F83G8C2ARO7P&sellerID=AIXBVON84COL

  9. Cooper says:

    My main question about Serious Sam is whether they’re gonna be able to avoid the next encounter feeling quite as ‘console-y’ as Serious Sam2 did. I have a big, soft, squishy place in my heart for the Serious Sam series, but the second very much did feel like I was playing a FPS designed to be played with a joypad. This upsets me, as the arcade shooting in the first two games is absolutely perfect.

  10. Spd from Russia says:

    for mindless fun shooting there is Borderlands now!

  11. Ffitz says:

    Ask them about how kittens have influenced their philosophy of gaming.

  12. Gutter says:

    It gets on my nerve as well when Painkiller is compared to Serious Sam. I played trough both game numerous times, and I never felt cornered in Painkiller like I did in Serious Sam.

  13. timmy says:

    How can anyone like Serious Sam so much but not like painkiller?

    Painkiller had some of the best level design in any FPS out there, it’s very atmospheric and features a nice arsenal of kickass weapons. Serious Sam looked like a kid’s game compared to it.

    • diebroken says:

      Dunno, I like both because they’re fun to play. =]

    • bill says:

      Painkiller had great level variety. but the level layout wasn’t very good. The levels didn’t play very well, and the pacing was poor.

      Serious sam had repetitive level looks, but they were better paced and played better.

      The most extreme example would be the final level of painkiller. One of the most original, beautiful and awesomely atmospheric levels of any fps…. yet no interesting gameplay.

      just goes to show, there’s more to making a good level than making it look nice. But serious sam’s gameplay + painkiller’s settings/weapons would rock.

  14. mbp says:

    Painkiller … meh.

    Sam however … I replayed the original Serious Sam campaign only a couple of months back and I can vouch for the fact that Sam still Rocks. Amazingly I even managed to hook up with people online for some co-op.

  15. Demikaze says:

    That’s a great alt-text on that image. :)

  16. Mr. Versipellis says:

    Ugh… The graphics for the characters look like 2003!
    Must say it doesn’t look great…

  17. Ian says:

    Is that the longest alt-text ever?

  18. Demiath says:

    Like Kieron Gillen, I’m amazed when people can’t tell the difference between Painkiller and Serious Sam. Unlike mr Gillen, however, I’m appalled by it because I believe the stylized, brainless stupidity of Painkiller makes it an infinitely more enjoyable and engaging experience than the finicky and rigidly mathematical grind which is Serious Sam…

  19. Jazmeister says:

    “Also, how a review of it of mine had its score bumped up without anyone asking me about it.”

    …that doesn’t really happen, does it?

    D:

  20. Digit says:

    I have a question for the SS guys:

    Is SS3 going to be anything like SS2? My earnest hope is no. SS1st/2nd Encounters were very tight shooters, with open arenas and the real challenge came from the way that they mixed the AI – I really felt that was totally devoid in SS2, so I am very earnest to know if they thought that and if they are making SS3 in the same vein as 1st/2nd or SS2. Ta.

  21. subedii says:

    Out of curiosity, why’d you go so far out of your way to get the screenshot when it’s their fault for not doing a good job at marketing? It’s not like you have to compensate on their behalf or anything.

  22. Gemski says:

    This isn’t Painkiller. Here’s a good summary of all the issues along with videos: http://bit.ly/4uHP55

    Checking the Steam / Jowood forums would show you how much of a mess this release has been. It’s lose/lose for both the customers and developers. Looks like the publisher just forced a release date on these guys.

    The game launched a few days ago with missing features, constant multiplayer crashing, and a lack of content. I believe it ended up with 1 new weapon, 1 new monster, and only 7 levels.

  23. OldManTick says:

    I have to agree with the posters that Painkiller and Serious Sam are different. i liked the first 2 Painkillers, the 3rd one I did not care for. Serious Sam was a grind compared to Painkiller, a grind with design by Peter Max. painkiller was generally pretty creepy and rewarded skulking around which I enjoy.

    very different games

  24. Kareem says:

    So did anyone actually play the demo?

  25. bhlaab says:

    Yeah I’ve got a question for the Serious Sam Q&A:

    It’s already Fall 2009. Is SSHD going to get an actual release date soon or can i just assume it’s moved to 2010

  26. SirKicksalot says:

    I played the demo, it fucking sucks. The original Painkiller was so, so much better!

  27. drewski says:

    *sigh*

    Alt-text never works for me on this site. Boo for that.

  28. M.P. says:

    When Painkiller first popped up it felt like an oasis of genuine PC-centric shootiness at a time when the whole industry was still reeling from the success of Halo and was trying to make FPSs as console-friendly as possible. Painkiller had fast movement, bunnyhopping, no autoaim, and a huge variety of kickass weapons, each of which really felt vastly different to use. That stake gun was a freaking masterpiece, the way the stake arced so you had to aim over your opponent, or the way some weapons forced you to lead your target due to their slow projectile speed. My point is that, in both its weapons and its movement, it was HARDCORE, and, for a good long while, it was flying the flag for competitive FPSs.

  29. malkav11 says:

    I think it’s very easy to see why people compare Serious Sam and Painkiller. They both feature similar sorts of fast-paced, hordes of enemies, many weapons shootery that hearkens back to the early days of FPS when this story business was a manual-based afterthought. Except, of course, that Painkiller decided to have a story for some reason.

    That said, I definitely preferred Painkiller, because of the crazy variety of awesomely atmospheric levels and enemies combined with some very powerful dual-function weaponry and ragdoll physics. Also, neat music. And the tarot card powerups.

    The Serious Sam games (first two, at least) seemed to have basically one level palette each. There might very well be better pacing or level design or whatever, and coop’s nice. But aesthetics do matter a fair bit to me when I’m doing relatively simplistic (if fast-paced) gameplay like running around and shooting things. I don’t dislike them, they just never grabbed me enough to play all the way through like I did Painkiller. The main game of Painkiller, anyway. By the time the first expansion came out I didn’t really have time to get into it, and although the first mission is (iirc) quite effectively creepy, it’s also a pain to play and that’s as far as I got. Overdose I have steered clear of.

  30. iQue says:

    I pre-ordered, and I’m seriously wondering if I actually got my money worth.

    Where to begin… it has a lot of potential. But it falls short on so many levels. The actual game is decent, I enjoyed playing through the SP story even if the AI was ridiculously stupid. MP is fun. The environments are varied and looks just you’d expect. The weapons are very satisfying to use as always. And as with earlier PK games there’s a lot of secret areas and thins to hunt for, and that is pretty much the only reason this game is even worth trying.

    However, it’s so buggy I don’t even know where to begin. Homegrown really shouldn’t have released this until next year at the earliest. Loading save games crash the game. Trying to connect to a MP game crashes the game. AI has no pathfinding abilities what so ever and will get stuck on gravel laying on the street. Bosses die before you even get a chance to fight them. Server browser displays servers from Painkiller Overdose. Clipping errors. Falling off the map when walking into a wall. You name it, it will make your game crash.

    Co-op, which was one of the selling points of the game (but not for me personally) is extremely poorly implemented. You basically have to launch your own dedicated server running a SP map and your friend will join through the server list or IP. Yet another unfinished feature.

    The devs are working on resolving the issues and seems to at least care. I feel bad for them having to release the game in this state! Hopefully they’ll at least get the game to a playable state.

    MP is probably the string point, fun game modes, awesome maps, best netcode of all the games in the series, and good old bunnyhopping madness. I love it!… but of course no one is playing, because everyone crashes all the time.

    So, unless you are financially independent this shouldn’t be your next game to buy. If the devs follow through with what they’re saying about support and patching, it might just be a good buy for 5€ in like a year from now. I DO NOT recommend ANYONE getting this game right now, even if it has its good moments.

    • iQue says:

      Nothing bad about the original Painkiller though, that game is truly awesome. Pick it up if you find it in a bargain bin somewhere. =)

  31. Max says:

    You best be joking about not being able to tell the difference between Serious Sam and Painkiller.

    The former is colorful, epic, and heaping spoonfuls of fun. The latter is grungy, repetitive, and most of the time extremely tedious.

  32. drel says:

    The games complete walkthrough can be found on http://forums.techarena.in/guides-tutorials/1292520.htm. Check out.