Hellgate: The Returnening: The Open Beta

It's like 2007 all over again

As the less forgetful among you will recall, the guns’n’demons MMO is being resurrected despite a broadly unhappy reception and an early demise, with Korean dev T3 transplanting a free to play heart into it. While a select few have been allowed in previously, the unwashed masses (hullo!) will also get to peer suspiciously at it in just six days’ time, when the open beta lands. It brings with it brand new modes for Hellgate’s below-London adventuring. One of them, you may be unsurprised to hear, involves zombies.

Anyway, this open beta sounds a bit like one of those betas that’s actually a launch. Damn you Google, you ruined the word ‘beta’ forever.

The open beta will be open to folk in Europe and North America initially. By which they may just mean ‘the game will launch in Europe and North America on June 30.’ Either way, you can play it then and see what’s changed and what hasn’t.

Here’s the breakdown of the new modes, by the way:

Duel Area allows players to participate in a player-vs.-player mode. Players may opt to modify game settings and other battle rules while choosing from four possible areas: Abandoned Passage, Black Wall Way, Forgotten Grave, and Passage of Hallucination. In the Duel Area, players enter Death Match mode and must kill members of the opposing team. To aid combatants in the frenzy, Recovery Crystals are available near each team’s base, allowing players to recover HP, MP and shields. The winning team will get PvP points, which may be used to purchase accessories, pets and other items in-game. PvP updates will be posted on Hellgate’s website, where weekly top ten players will be rewarded.

Despite its name, the Cow Room won’t involve our milk-making friends. Instead, it will be crawling with a team of zombies – normal zombies and mummified. While the zombies may appear weak, players must remain vigilant and slay the Cow Room boss and his zombie cronies, all while avoiding a vision-reducing Sandstorm. But in order to enter the Cow Room, players first need to complete a special recipe to create a key. Players that can handle the madness have a chance to gain the newest and rarest Hellgate item drops.

Hmm. Is that the real reason Zombie Cow changed their name?

There’ll also be some manner of virtual currency-winning competition for those who want to get a head start on levelling/buying their way to better loot. To sign up for the open beta, and download the client in readiness, head over here.


  1. Hoaxfish says:

    But will the tube-drivers be on strike?

  2. Jacques says:

    No mention of the god-awful new trailer? Featuring a chick in a bra? :(

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      It’s the 80’s all over again!

    • Felixader says:

      Yeah this killed any thougth about trying this (and other MMOs that feature a design like this [as in MOST of them if not all]) in an instant.

      I just fucking hate this kind of exploitation and am really tired of it to a point where it keeps me from buying certain games even if otherwise new and great simply cause it tells me of a certain attitude to certain points of Visual and gamedesign that i don’t want to support.
      This is also the main reason why i don’t support CoD althougth i could imagin having the one or other fun moment trough playing the Singleplayer.

  3. Tei says:

    I am downloading the client at 1.2 MB/s. I think I love the internets.

    ARGGH.. is corrupt :-( *sadface*

  4. James says:

    Having actually liked the original, I joined the limited beta whatever. It was a train wreck. At least the terrible, terrible dialogue was comical. To a point.

    I award this effort no stars.

    • Theodoric says:

      I liked the original game as well, which is why I’m staying as far away from this version as is possible.

    • Jacques says:

      You mean you don’t like how Hanbitsoft have managed to translate the English into Engrish?

    • James says:

      I can’t even call it Engrish, really. At times I wondered if anyone had ever (in the history of our species) tried to put nouns, adjectives and verbs together in that manner.

      It was a bold experiment, executed with style and irreverence, but I’m afraid it was not enough to fill the gaping hole that is the rest of the game.

    • arccos says:

      That was so jarring when I was playing, it was rather comical. Especially because what they added was supposed to be something of a tutorial, but it ended up more confusing then adding nothing at all.

      For some reason, they tried to make the parts they added sound light and cute. It failed, and had idiotic jokes that don’t even make sense.

    • Jacques says:

      Congratulations, you’ve killed one hundred undeads.

    • Negativeland says:

      I don’t get why Hanbitsoft is even bothering to do this. They must know that the game had bad press in it’s first incarnation, so trying to half-ass it, like they’re apparently doing with the localization, won’t cut it. At least they should know…

    • karry says:

      “At least the terrible, terrible dialogue was comical. To a point.”

      So its the same as original then ? Will there still be traders who sound positively retarded, and quest givers with the dumbest assignment text completely ruining the atmosphere of hell forces invasion ?

    • James says:

      Karry, my internet friend…I’m not going to argue that the original was full of great dialogue. We both know better. There were bits here and there that were fine, and many more that probably were not fine.

      Still, I’m not sure you understand how much worse this is. It is a lot worse, very much worse. Worsest, even.

    • terazeal says:

      Yeah, the generic and poorly written dialogue was just about the worst part of the closed beta. It’s probably what they’ve been spending most of the inter-beta period on seeing as the rest of the game was rather good.

      In the original game, the more odd bits of dialogue at least made perfect sense when you realized that most everyone had gone insane from facing the demons and losing everything they had.

  5. Batolemaeus says:

    It keeps telling me my name was unavailable, although I’ve tried completely random combinations.

  6. Azradesh says:

    It was never an MMO, although it may be one now. It was just a very poor Diablo-a-like.

    • James says:

      I think it was an MMO, actually. I’m just going by the literal definition, so maybe I missed something and you can explain things for me.

    • Azradesh says:

      I bought the game at release (silly me).
      Firstly you could play the whole game with no net connection, secondly there was nothing “massive” about the multiplayer.
      You can call it an “MO” if you like. :P

    • James says:

      Maybe I will, Professor Poopypants!

      Massive is subjective. As for the offline play, think of it as an option…or, remember it that way.

    • Zelius says:

      I think the word “Massive” used to imply thousands of players in the same world. However, nowadays it seems common to use it when talking about 100 players. Maybe even less, in some cases.

  7. Negativeland says:

    If anyone’s feeling nostalgic, I’d suggest trying the Hellgate Revival fan mod. Of course it’s single player only, but at least no one’s trying to nickel & dime you to death.

  8. Jumwa says:

    The exceedingly dated graphics of this game totally turned me off. There was like no texturing on of the environment, I felt like I was taking a step back to play a nostalgia title without any nostalgia.

    Call me shallow I guess.

    • Jacques says:

      It’s even more jarring considering that they’re worse now than they were at launch.

    • Jumwa says:

      That explains a lot then, because these graphics would not have been acceptable back when it launched either, that’s how dated and terrible they look.

  9. Daiv says:

    Silly. Beta doesn’t mean “launch”. It means “broken launch we warned you about”. If they call it a beta nobody gets to criticise it for absolutely no quality control. In extreme cases it can also mean “launch of product that is incomplete, inoperative, or non-existent”.

    • Jacques says:

      Which is funny considering it should be essentially the same code as the game that’s currently running in Japan and Korea, except translated back to the original language the game came in.

  10. unlimitedgiants says:

    Hellgate returning is like hearing about your favorite band getting back together … with none of the original members.

  11. Neurotic says:

    Star Wars Galaxies shutting down! :O link to massively.joystiq.com

  12. terazeal says:

    By the way, to anyone interested, it turns out that the game isn’t actually going to be free-to-play. There’s a sort of in-game item shop that accepts only real money and has available things that ressurect you where you stand when you die, unlock mod slots on weapons, and etcetera.

    • Mayjori says:

      …… thats what free-to-play games are (not that im agreeing with the whole model, Im VERY much against it)….

      or was this a joke?

  13. Grot_Punter says:

    I like how all the British in London apparently died in the initial attack on the Hellgate. Now London is just filled with Cyberpunk Japanese people.

    Also, why in the bloody hell was there a Tori gate on the character creation screen!? (Because this sad sad revival is built upon the corpse of Hellgate: Tokyo.)

  14. FuzzieBoy says:

    I’m trying it, it’s free, and looks like it could be a laugh if your not expecting something of brilliant quality, and believe me, after playing many badly translated grindfests, my expectations aren’t too high! The only thing I am hoping is any good, is the combat. As it is meant to be a hack and slash game, the combat is the main point for me. I don’t care about the story in these games, Diablo 2 is great, but it’s story is pretty shallow

  15. AgamemnonV2 says:

    Fool me once.

  16. Superbest says:

    Metro 2033 already did everything that SP Hellgate tried to do. The MP Hellgate would have been new for its time, years ago, but it turned out awful. Now a Korean MMO churner wants to make it their flavor of the month grindfest? Oh it’s the worst kind of free to play, too?

    Lovely. I guess, on the bright side, the original dev managed to make some money on their failed IP.

  17. aircool says:

    So ronery…