Hellgate Banished To MMO Hell


Or heaven, if you’re one of the 12 people who liked it. We kind of lost track of what was going on with Flagship’s flagship game after their messy demise, but looks like it managed to squeeze out a few more months of half-life. That’s all over come next February though, when the gate to hell will be permanently sealed.

Hellgate has apparently been in the hands of Namco Bandai since Flagship sunk, but they’ve told Gamespot that the servers are shutting down come Jan 31st. It’s free to play for existing players until then. Sad? Not especially: it’s a game that should have been better, but it is a shame Flagship didn’t get a second crack at the whip. Cutsey free-to-play Diablolike Mythos could have worked out well for them, but, this many months along, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to survive its creators implosion in any form.

45 Comments

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Any news on mythos? Thats a game thats interesting to me.

    Zing!

  2. Nimic says:

    I wouldn’t call it a good game, but me and my cousin got a few fun hours out of it playing cooperatively. The gameplay was repetitive, and there were a lot of bugs, but it was still fun. For a while, anyway.

  3. Jacques says:

    Well, that was a waste of my lifetime subscription.

  4. Sheepye says:

    Are we on the peak of an MMO reccession? Has the guilds’ policies of lending exp at an inflated rate backfired? Was this due to players becoming enburdened with unearned stat points they couldn’t invest properly? Will we the gamer have to pour our exp into the Switzerland based banks of Sims games in order to avert the crisis?

    Ah well, guess I’ll have to revert to real life and battling Middle men in suits and tramps around London with my pen of +3 intellect.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Pray for edit: mean, i’m sure its changed hands. So surely it could dodge this no?

  6. ChaosSmurf says:

    Mythos was a lot of fun for a bit (COWBOY HAT GREMLIN DUAL WIELD PISTOLS) but got boring reasonably quickly.

    Hellgate should have been so much better and Flagship paid the price – now the game is too. On a side note, my god was the demo of Hellgate bad. I literally ctrl-alt-delete process ended it about 20 seconds in because it was so bad >.>

  7. Cataclysm says:

    So, the game I bought, is now, worthless? The game itself cannot be played without the Hellgate servers, so I may aswell throw away the game?

    Its fun to an extent. It feels like a TEKKEN-ORPG-WITHGUNS.

  8. Cataclysm says:

    They should launch a patch that allows you to host your own server. Similar to Freelancer server hosting.

  9. Tei says:

    Hellgate is a game that is exactly online and offline, so you can still playing. I even recomend it as a singleplayer diablo-ske game.
    :-I

  10. Jacques says:

    Cataclysm, you can still play the SP game.

  11. Downloads_Plz says:

    So an MMO that went on sale for $50 less than a year ago and offered a life-time subscription mode for $150 is now completely closing up shop without even as little as an apology.

    Wow that reeks of bullshit.

  12. Brian says:

    I bought Hellgate at launch was was furious with the condition it was in. Hardly beta, nevermind gold. I involved the Better Business Bureau to demand a refund but Flagship totally gave me the runaround, insisting that it was not their game (?!?!) and that I needed to take it up with EA.

    Just for kicks I tried the game a few months later and was astounded that it gave me a good 30 hours of mindless fun. As of about July it had turned into the game I’d hoped it’d be at launch.

    I’m sorry to see it go but hardly surprised. Shame on Roper for allowing his game to be released in such a state, but kudos to him for blowing his pension to get his people paid for their last weeks of work.

  13. frymaster says:

    I only ever played it offline, and thought it was OK :E
    @Jacques: yes, but if people could host servers then there could still be substantially-bulky multiplayer online action

  14. Sheepye says:

    I saw this for £10 today. I can’t remember the demo exactly, I remember I felt it was a bit bland at the time but with so so so so many options for crafting. With the servers shutting down would you still reccomend me splashing out a throwaway £10 on this game? Or has it not improved enough since launch to warrant my interest?

  15. Amake says:

    Weird. Judging by the comments here it seems like everyone and their mother know that the game has a single player mode except those who bought it.

  16. Harlequin says:

    Without sounding a like a complete stooge, I still can’t help wanting to say, “I told you so.” When this game launched I remember being lambasted by fanboys as I commented on the lifetime subscription being a bad idea.

    I recall having MMO “archivists” tell me with their geek-speak that it would be cosmically impossible for a game to go belly-up within a year of its launch and how the content supplied by FSS would surely account for the $150 dollar investment.

    In short, I was the one called foolish for not offering $150 to FSS on top of the $60 I already shelled out for the joke of a Collector’s Edition.

    I had followed this games development since day one and had nothing but hopes and well-wishing for FSS. Then I played the fruits of their labor and my opinion very quickly shifted.

    It sucks that people are out of work, but on the other hand I think it shows that gamers aren’t going to put up with shlock games. Despite all the hype that surrouned this game, the end result was nowhere near what it should have been and the sales and subscriptons were proof of that.

    Oh well, at least people who enjoyed the game can still play SP game, which is a slightly better fate than that of other MMO’s which were lost completely.

  17. Cataclysm says:

    Ah yes, my bad, totally forgot about that.

    Though I put quite a bit of time into my online characters, it seems a shame.

    I can’t even play it on LAN.

    It was fun for a “I wanna jump in, kick the poop out of some demons and then log out” kinda game.

  18. x25killa says:

    Well, that was a waste of space on PCGamer magazine for the review of Hellgate.

  19. thefanciestofpants says:

    Thought the servers were down already, to be honest.

    Dug this out again recently to see if it was as bad as I remembered.. Shame, really. It just fails to capture the Diablo vibe for me. I should LOVE slaughtering enemies by the cubic-assload, a tightly-packed clump of monster-meat should make me cackle with glee, but in Hellgate it felt like a chore. The abilities and weapons lack any semblance of oomph.

    The lack of LAN capability really crippled it too. No one likes being forced to interact with randoms when they don’t have too.. ‘specially not in a diablo-a-like.

  20. thefanciestofpants says:

    My kingdom for an edit button;

    One last thing. No Oceanic servers(at release, at least). What the hell. 600+ ping just isn’t acceptable for a game like this. I gave it about 10 minutes online before quitting and firing up singleplayer instead. Boo, hiss.

  21. Harlequin says:

    @ thefanciestofpants

    You make a good point that I agree with. In theory, I should have *loved* HG:L based on the notion that it would allow me to slaughter demons and zombies wholesale. Yet, somehow it failed to make this an enjoyable activity.

    I admit that I had modest hopes that Namco/Bandai would have given the game to someone who could have turned it around, but that’s pretty much fallen into the realm of impossibility at this point.

  22. Nameykins says:

    I had decent fun with single player, never even bothered with the MMORPG aspects.

    The game kind of felt like it had all the chore of Diablo 2, but none of the addictiveness. I did enjoy shooting undead and demons early on, the weapons were kind of cool and some areas were pretty awesome. But after you reached the midpoint or so, all the monsters and areas stop start repeating themselves with new skins and the weapon kill speed dropds dramatically. The item system neve felt as intuitive and addictive as Diablo’s, so monsters dropping loot was never very exiting. Back then I think uniques didn’t function at all. I could og on and on about this.

    Alot of great concepts, but bad execution and presentation.

  23. unclelou says:

    A crying shame. I must have been one of the relatively few people who really loved the game – even subscribed for a while to support it. It got me into “the zone” almost as good as Diablo did.

    In a way, the game was a dream come true to me. A modernised Diablo if you played a melee class, and Doom with modern graphics, skilltrees and loot if you played one of the ranged classes. If they had published an addon once a year, with different cities, my need for other games would have significantly declined.

    The subscriber model was silly though, it never ever was the kind of game people would pay a subscription fo, month after month. With a model based on expansion packs, it could have survived I reckon.

  24. unclelou says:

    Oh, and another shame is that there won’t even be a patch for the single-player that adds Stonehenge, because there simpy isn’t anyone left who could do it.

  25. RichPowers says:

    Whenever the “analysts” talk about how subscription-based MMOs are the future, I’m reminded of how many of them have spectacularly failed or, at best, eked along in obscurity.

    I’m convinced there exists a group of MMO nomads who try every new MMO, eventually abandoning them once they realize a critical mass of players will never come. Derek Smart, of 3000AD fame, has an MMO deathwatch thread that he updates:

    link to forums.avault.com

  26. gaz says:

    this review is proof positive that i have less in common with the editorial staff at RPS than I do with the masses of console-focused retards that inhabit my country.

  27. Foosnark says:

    I was never a subscriber, but I liked single-player. I didn’t adore it like I did Diablo II, but it was enjoyable.

    I regret nothing.

  28. MetalCircus says:

    Such a shame really – Hellgate was aweful but Mythos could have been a lot of fun, and considering it was free was probably a very good thing. Oh well.

  29. qrter says:

    this review is proof positive that i have less in common with the editorial staff at RPS than I do with the masses of console-focused retards that inhabit my country.

    Review?

  30. Noc says:

    this review is proof positive that i have less in common with the editorial staff at RPS than I do with the masses of console-focused retards that inhabit my country.

    Maybe he’s lost?

    Also, what a shame.

  31. Nick says:

    Derek Smart isn’t in much of a position to comment on failure of any kind.

  32. AsubstanceD says:

    I think Hellgate London is the best example of game journalists not doing their jobs when previewing. You would’ve thought that they would have pointed out the glaring issues in the presentation of the game and its design, but instead we always got excited reviews. I am sad to see it go, but to be honest it never was what it should have been anyway. Sorry to you guys who shelled out.

  33. Lim-Dul says:

    Wow! So the business model of having subscription-based multiplayer features in an overhyped average game didn’t work out? What a shocker!
    In other news: Steam more popular than Games for Windows Live (Is the former actually popular at all? Has it been used anywhere except for Halo 2 and Shadowrun?).

  34. Shadowmancer says:

    I liked this game, never bothered to go online but single player was fine the game was what I wanted and as a single player wow clone without monthly fees to pay the man, its a shame that bugs did let the game down.

  35. unclelou says:

    Oh, and my rant of the day: Mythos was nice, but really, really totally unspectacular in every imaginable way. That people actually preferred it over Hellgate, which tried (and in may ways succesfully, at least in my opinion) to move the genre in a different direction, away from direct Diablo clones, always irritated me a bit.

    Maybe there just isn’t any room for a game like Hellgate. I’ve seen similar criticisms levelled at Too Human. I’ve mostly read complaints that it’s not like Devil May Cry, or not like a “proper FPS” game. It’s as if the change of perspective has made people forget that it’s an action-RPG, and they expected something entirely different.

  36. unclelou says:

    Or maybe I am just totally crazy. I’ve recently bought Sacred 2, which the German press (and gamers) have been creaming themselves over, and I find it spectacularly terrible. ;)

    These double-posts are becoming a bad habit of mine.

  37. malkav11 says:

    Hellgate was never an MMO. It’s understandable how people could be fooled into thinking it was, with the subscription model and some of the ways the Flagship folks talked about it, but it wasn’t. It’s a Diablo successor with official-server-only multiplayer, a move which was bad to start with and worse now that Flagship’s folded and the inheritors aren’t going to run the servers anymore.

    Which is a pity. I think the game as it stands is okay (I was willing to drop $10 on it, and did) but a mere shadow of what it could have been with more time and attention. Something more like what was originally promised. As it is, I think Titan Quest is still the best Diablo we’re going to get until Diablo III rolls along.

  38. I don't understand this comment system says:

    unclelou:
    The reason people didn’t like hellgate wasn’t because it was progressive, it was because it felt incomplete. Flagship took their time selecting the ingredients and doing all the prep work but then served their pie half baked.

    Now you could argue that ambitious games often don’t get the polish that ones traveling a more established road get and I would agree. But Flagship essentially caved in to their publishers and delivered a half finished game. Even as the game stands now, after about a years worth a patches, the game still feels like it needs some serious work. The skills and depth simply aren’t there.

    That being said, I am sorry to see the servers go and $20 investment go with it. It would be really cool if they put out some software so people could host their own servers, but who am I kidding, they are not going to that.

  39. Harlequin says:

    I just had a belated thought. Even though I was utterly disappointed with the game, I can’t even use my stinking exclusive dye kit that I got from pre-ordering since it can only be accessed through your online account :/

    The whole “color your armor” thing was one of those dumb little things that I thought was a nice touch. To me, little customization options do count for something. Pity, I really liked the way that color scheme looked and would have used it if I ever opted to play SP mode.

  40. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    Derek Smart isn’t in much of a position to comment on failure of any kind.

    Oh, come now. Derek Smart was perfecting “EPIC FAIL” ten years before the rest of the Internet caught on to the meme. He was just ahead of his time!

    (Side note: I was personally flamed by Smart on comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic ten years ago. I feel strongly that this should be a Steam Achievement.)

  41. Hmm-hmm says:

    I actually saw this game in a store which got me to wondering whether I ought to tell the store’s personell they’re selling a game which won’t have all of its’ functions available.

    That said, I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by the game. I may even buy it for the single player version.

  42. aldo_14 says:

    (Side note: I was personally flamed by Smart on comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic ten years ago. I feel strongly that this should be a Steam Achievement.)

    I was also personally flamed by Derek Smart, on a Freespace modding forum. Apparently he is an ‘alpha male’ and ‘pack leader’, and we’re all jealous of him.

    On subject – the failure (ciritically) of Hellgate was possibly the most disappointing thing for me last year; the idea behind it was ace.

  43. BarkingDog says:

    @ Lim-Dul: You mean the latter :P
    And, I paid £100 or however much it was to be a sub player for life, imagining that I would love the game and it would go FOREVER, and that I would consequently make a vast saving over my WoW sub. So, obviously, Hellgate’s consequent failure was my fault: I apologise.

  44. Lim-Dul says:

    Indeed I meant latter. ^^

  45. Heliocentric says:

    link to eurogamer.net

    Hellgate back from the gates of hell.