From Hell: The Hellgate Mini-Movie

By Alec Meer on May 24th, 2011 at 9:58 am.

Hope it still looks like our four year old screenshots, or there'll be some kind of egg on my some kind of face

‘Tis a strange thing, to be posting a trailer for a game which came out four years ago, and died in the interim. Much-maligned MMO Hellgate: London is due for a free to play relaunch as simply ‘Hellgate’ later this year, at the hands of Korean rights-holders Hanbitsoft. It’s apparently attempting to shrug off its embarrassing legacy and reposition itself as Serious Business, as the below 12 bloomin’ minutes of pre-rendered, scene-setting hyper-earnestness reveal…

“They are hope, the opposite of evil.” Alright, stop your noble belly-aching and show us the beast-slaying already.

Someone’s sure put a hell of a lot of effort/money into this short movie and the background narrative. Let’s hope the same’s true of the relaunched game itself, eh?

(Via GameFront).

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47 Comments »

  1. Dan Twomey says:

    Wasn’t this the trailer for the original release?

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    • Flobulon says:

      Is that like a skyscraper with a rocket engine? Weird.
      (I’m referring to a spam message in case it’s deleted and I look mental)

    • Felixader says:

      @Dan Twomey: Yes they are.

    • del says:

      It’s all the promo trailers put together with some extra (not so good) footage. The original trailers were amazing and I even enjoyed the game; it just wasn’t… quite right. Couldn’t put my finger on just one thing. I’d love to say repetitive but Diablo 2 is incredibly repetitive and it hit the right spot. Not epic enough, not satisfyingly meaty with regards to combat, especially for the melee weapons but also for the guns.

      Maybe that’s it summed up – it never had the impact I wanted it to in any way. Shame.

    • bob_d says:

      I saw the description, and my first thought (having worked with Hanbitsoft) was, “Wow, I didn’t think they had the expertise or money to produce a quality FMV.” Then I saw the recycled videos and realized I was right. Ah, the infamous videos that Flagship spent millions of dollars to have made for them.

  2. Fathom says:

    Yeah, this was the original trailer.

  3. BathroomCitizen says:

    The middle part, where there’s the old guy and Jessica, is the original trailer… the rest I think it’s new stuff?

    • Negativeland says:

      Looks to be maybe 2 minutes of new stuff. Looks like the old bits contain the full intro-movie for the game too.

      Also, please don’t be crippled with micro-transactions, please don’t be crippled with micro-transactions, please don’t be crippled with micro-transactions…

  4. Ross Mills says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest is FMVs from later in the game, or add-ons. Anyone play enough to confirm?

    • Matt says:

      It’s all a bunch of mashed up promos and game cinematics and a couple of in-engine flybys.

  5. gwathdring says:

    Years of gaming, and I still don’t understand why they try taking armored and scantily clad women part of the same outfit design and somehow think it looks cohesive. I get it, scantily clad women aren’t going to leave games any time soon … but who the hell runs into battle thinking “I can do this in my skivvies. But I might need my pauldrons?” That’s like running into battle wearing a one-cup bra, a vertically split half of a steel breast plate, a left Chuck Taylor and a right Heavy Titanium Greaves of Resiliance +5. And of course, that almost describes some of the upper level Guildwars fighter armor. To be fair, some of it was just as revealing/non-sensically split in half on the men, and there were full covering armors for females.

    But again, who the hell runs into battle thinking “I need this chest plate, but not to protect my sternum, just the ribs?” Or “I feel like the left side is going to be absorbing all of the bullets today, bring me my half-chest plate?”

    • Rii says:

      “I feel like the left side is going to be absorbing all of the bullets today, bring me my half-chest plate?”

      Well you could plan on facing your enemy side-on. Your broader point is well taken, though.

    • gwathdring says:

      “Attention! Faaaaaaace left! Prepare lances! Steady …. Grapevine! One, two, three, grapevine, one two three. To victory!”

      Their coat of arms is a crab.

    • rivalin says:

      Who the hell runs into medieval style armoured melee with a lady….OH NO I DIDN’T!

      Or is lack of realism not ok when it makes women sex objects, but is ok when it promotes unrealistic gender equality?

    • gwathdring says:

      Here at least, I’m not even talking about women as sex objects. I’m just talking about inconsistency of purpose within a single suit of combat attire. Like half a chest plate. Or fancy high tech armor with an open mid-riff. It’s not about “realism.” It’s about plausibility. Make up all the technologies, magical powers, and social structures you want. I just appreciate attention to detail and internal consistency. Assuming we aren’t talking about Fallout 3/mad max style raiders who are all about charging into battle dressed weirdly either out of genuine insanity or to unbalance the enemy. Someone billed as the serious, templar type wearing serious, templar type armor (notice I didn’t mention the high-heeled boots) probably shouldn’t have large amounts of bare skin exposed (in this video, the large amounts of bare skin were reserved for the magic user, not the seriously armored templar types … so there’s an in-world plausible answer for that). The spandex/close-fitting-and-thin-but-high-tech-and-better-than-it-looks-armor covering the female templars ass, and Jessica’s grizzled guardian grandpa/dad character’s midriff … that’s a little weird.

    • Rii says:

      “Or is lack of realism not ok when it makes women sex objects, but is ok when it promotes unrealistic gender equality?”

      Exactly so. Lack of realism per se isn’t a problem, if it were we’d be complaining about a great many other things. If we take realism as the baseline, deviations from that occur and are justified upon various grounds, some noble and some ignoble. Allowing the player to survive more than a single stab wound because dying from a single blow isn’t fun is an example of the former. Differentially dressing females so as to appeal to the base instincts of males sans any context for that decision save the adage that ‘sex sells’ is an example of the latter.

    • gwathdring says:

      Rii may have put it better than I did. I don’t do succinct well.

    • gwathdring says:

      A slight tangent related to the “So it’s ok to be unrealistic about gender roles, but not about body image?” argument. This had nothing to do with my original post, but it’s something I’m interested in.

      I don’t think realism and social politics in gaming are an all or nothing affair. There’s nothing wrong with inventing an alternate world with a new geopolitic, especially not when well explained (if explained through clumsy narration and blatant exposition instead of example and immersion IT CAN DIE BY FIRE). I don’t want to watch documentaries all day.

      I also don’t think it is either healthy or necessary to repeat the mistakes of the real world in all of our fantasies unless those mistakes are somehow important to the game, movie or what-have-you. If it’s just a game about shooting aliens without social backdrop or commentary, there is no reason to portray women or minorities as disadvantaged in the game for the sake of “realism;” I also don’t see why excluding that element of society somehow obligates the game to include unrealistically proportioned character models. There’s no inherent connection between those two elements of a game.

      Moving on, a lot of games decide to make gender purely cosmetic. That’s fine. But I think that meta-game factors like portrayal of male and female bodies should then be similar (to be fair, male bodies are often is similarly stereotyped, if not similarly sexualized and fetishized in games that don’t try to make gender matter directly).

      Finally, fiction is rather important to games. They are so often fantasies of one form or another. As such, plausibility is usually more important than realism in making a game world feel alive and intuitive. I find your statement interesting because it points out the problem with simultaneously portraying men as straight-up heroes and women as heroes and sex objects. Doing this makes the equality between male and female characters a little odd and makes the world a little less intuitive. That is , for me, a much bigger issue than either the armor or the social politics being “unrealistic:” the jarring sense of something not fitting properly.

  6. tomeoftom says:

    I thought Geoffrey Rush was the opposite of evil?

  7. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    This is a sloppy cut-and-paste job of various old footage. There’s not a single new shot in it barring those revealing the current developers at the start.

    • dskzero says:

      Exactly. This isn’t new footage. I understand Hellgate wasn’t a particulary popular game, but at least do your research before claiming that lots of money were blown on this. That actually looks like a fan made trailer (a 12 minutes trailer without any gameplay footage? That’s pretty much an amateurs move)

  8. Narretz says:

    I looks a lot like cut scenes from the original stitchted together. Just one point: Why would they show London in the end, if it’s now just Hellgate? (Implying that they changed the setting)

    • Dominic White says:

      By the time it finally went down, the game had actually expanded a bit beyond London. There was a whole Stonehenge region, and the Abyss (a new netherworld dimension) as well. If they’ve expanded beyond that, then having London in the title limits them a bit.

    • bob_d says:

      They didn’t change the setting – besides the Stonehenge expansion content, they’ve added (or are in the process of adding) a Tokyo expansion to the end of the game.

  9. Rii says:

    Speaking of old footage, I recall there was a spiffy CGI trailer for this game released rather early in the piece. Some chick with a sword vs. a dragon or whatever in a large cavern. Upon defeating it, she steps out against the skyline revealing London in ruins. Anyone got a link to it?

    • Buzko says:

      I think the bit you’re looking for is from around 9:04 til the end. Like others, I remember thinking that game would have been awesome.

  10. StranaMente says:

    So, what’s next? Tabula rasa?
    Anyway, I have to admit this trailer raised some interest (probably because I didn’t see the game when it came out)

  11. jezcentral says:

    Ooh, I remember the original trailers. My God, they were for an incredible game. I just wish they’d released that, instead of the third-person-Doom-alike we ended up with.
    To be fair, it passed the time, but it really was a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Once I’d walked away from it, I couldn’t believe I’d spent so much time playing it.

  12. Grinterloper says:

    I would take this more seriously if they hadn’t spliced the awesome Blur studios stuff for the original release with what looks like laughable wank fantasies brought to you by an anime obsessed teenager with a copy of poser.

    • Matt says:

      Uh, actually that’s all Blur work there (except the floating book and the in-level stuff).

  13. Jacques says:

    They really need to start releasing some good gameplay footage, rather than rehashing old cinematics.

  14. Lobotomist says:

    Its collection of old promotional footage for original HGL.
    So much potential wasted…ah…

    The re release is basically the same game with item shop slapped on and made more Asian appealing.

    Same like Mythos

  15. Oozo says:

    As long as it has Bill Roper singing “Deo gratias”, I’m fine with it.

  16. trjp says:

    Just to have a moan – it’s not an MMO – just as Guild Wars isn’t.
    It has shared ‘lobbies’ and instanced gameplay for solo/teamplay. There’s no persistance to the world (just your character) and no way for ‘massive’ numbers of players to share anything.
    If it’s an MMO – so was Diablo2

    • bob_d says:

      What? You mean 5 people isn’t “massive”? Well, the lobby is in-game so that makes it an MMO, surely? Right? Eh, ok, it doesn’t.

  17. VA1N says:

    If they changed the name of the game to Hellgate then they did a horrible job with this movie because the very last thing you see is the Hellgate: “London” logo. You would have thought they would have taken it out.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, you would’ve thought, wouldn’t you? Too bad Hanbitsoft doesn’t give a damn about quality. (See also: Mythos)

    • bob_d says:

      There’s the Stonehenge and Hanbitsoft-made Tokyo expansion content, but it still starts in, and mostly takes places in, London.

  18. Felixader says:

    Sees female “armor”.

    Yeah go fuck yourself.

    Seriously this is such an offputing stupid and lazy design choice, i am so fucking tired of it.

    • Grygus says:

      To be fair, it was a decision made in ~2006, perhaps before you were tired of it!

  19. Vexing Vision says:

    I’m one of the few people who really enjoyed Hellgate. At least until 90% of the game, after which it become sucky McSucky-town with unfinished and badly implemented multiplayer arenas.

    Only that multiplayer never really worked.

    Still, the game was a lot of fun to me – and if it only had LAN, I would still be playing it.

  20. Jacques says:

    Is there any reason why they put the ending cinematic of HG: L at the start of this trailer? Are they trying to ruin the storyline for people?

    • Dominic White says:

      The entire re-launch seems spectacularly half-assed. Don’t have high hopes for this, sadly. I’d be surprised if they even included all the content up to the Abyss patch.

    • bob_d says:

      The original Abyss stuff was mostly broken/unfinished, so only some of that content made its way into the game in different forms, but the stuff before that should be there, and some new content as well.

  21. patton says:

    I really can’t muster any intrest in this. I played the game in both singleplayer and multiplayer, and I never really liked the gameplay. Shooting mechanics were horrible,humour was lackluster,dialogue box spewed only small portion of the dialogue at a time, the game lacked information on several features, and you couldn’t change character talents at all, so you had to resort to trial and error in the beginning.
    I really don’t see this making any profit.