Take Your Medicine – Painkiller: Hell & Damnation Out Now

And in the back, you'll see Ted. He drives the bus!

We live in strange times. Case in point: Painkiller: Hell & Damnation exists. For those keeping score, it’s a shiny new remake of a game that, itself, was basically a return to the twitchy, blink-and-you’ll-be-skewered-by-five-th0usand-rockets shooters of yore. Is it possible to be nostalgic for nostalgia? Because I believe that’s what The Farm 51 and Nordic Games are banking on here. But, as John pointed out, there’s something to be said for frantic skellington-blasting action – even if that thing is “Why do I like this so much?” If that’s the case, your tear-jerking quest of self-discovery begins now, as Hell & Damnation’s officially out. View a very emotionally confusing celebratory trailer after the break.

So that was… effective? I mean, I think I’m supposed to feel all happysad because of the juxtaposition between the music and hell devouring everything a man holds dear, but I’m not sure why they opted to take that route for, um, Painkiller.

Oh well. Based on what little I’ve played so far, the game itself is – for better or worse- a very faithful reproduction of People Can Fly’s gut-chopping, lightning-flinging opus. Or rather, the original and Battle out of Hell – arranged as a sort of greatest hits collection of levels. So if this fall’s surprisingly methodical selection of mega-hits (Dishonored, XCOM, etc) has left you hurting for some mindless violence, maybe Painkiller is just what the doctor ordered.


  1. godofdefeat says:

    This really is a year of good games.

  2. povu says:

    That’s certainly not the kind of music I was expecting after the previous trailer.

  3. qrter says:

    I have the original version, which still seems fine to me.

  4. Bhazor says:

    I might one of the rare people who prefers Painkiller over Serious Sam.

    The reason being simply that the weapons in Painkiller are so much more fun. I mean the equivalent of the games pistol is a crossbow that fires tree trunks and has an alternate fire mode that launches bouncing grenades.

    It also had some great level design including one level that seemed to be a diorama of the history of war.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I do too. It feels a bit more arcadey in a good way, and it feels like the player character can take a few more hits. Also, the basic weapon.

    • Necroscope says:

      Both of equal stature in my experience. Sam has the bowling ball weapon, always amuses me to flatten hordes of enemies with it, although admittedly it doesn’t ever reach the heights of Painkiller and it’s arsenal. One of the best of all shooters..
      Sam needs to get away from Egypt and Painkiller no more remakes or re-imaginings or dreadfully conceived expansions. Needs fresh impetus, yet retain the vitals.

  5. tobecooper says:

    A warning – I read this version is not a full remake but a selection of levels, which means your favorites may have not made it into this game. There’s no haunted house (!) no medieval town (!!) and no frozen-in-time battlefield !!! Damn them! And to hell with this Painkiller!

    • x1501 says:

      You’re right. The original had 24 levels; the expansion had 10. This “remake” of both the original game and the expansion only has 14 levels, and one of them is some bonus level seemingly full of game-breaking bugs. What the hell is going on here? I was mildly interested in this because of the co-op, but now I think I’ll pass.

    • kalirion says:

      Damn, thanks for the warning! Guess I’ll be avoiding this one like all the other post-Black Edition expansions.

    • Caiman says:

      Well, I was just about to head over to Steam to buy this game, and now I’ve read this. So much for that. Sorry, I’m not interested in a greatest hits selection, and not including the final level (one of the greatest final levels in any game, ever) makes me wonder whether the devs of this new version have any idea about what made Painkiller so memorable.

    • povu says:

      Wait what? I thought it was going to include all the levels. That kinda sucks. I guess I should’ve read the description on Steam better.

      Especially since the original Black Edition still looks just fine and can be picked up for 2.50 at the moment.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      They even have the gall to be charging $20 for it. Someone, somewhere, is going to think that’s a good deal.

    • Necroscope says:

      There is a haunted mansion, I know because I’ve entered it prior to commenting :)

  6. x3m157 says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think the eponymous song by Judas Priest is a much better soundtrack for this game.

  7. DickSocrates says:

    Was the original modded much?

  8. Rahdulf123 says:

    I really hope baldurk and crew do a LP just like they did with the original.

  9. MadTinkerer says:

    ” I mean, I think I’m supposed to feel all happysad because of the juxtaposition between the music and hell devouring everything a man holds dear, but I’m not sure why they opted to take that route for, um, Painkiller.”

    Reminds me of Meet The Pyro. I’ll be gleefully humming “Pain, pain pain.. killer! Painkiller kills the pain!” as I mow down the monsters…

  10. Jupiah says:

    I can’t believe they cut more than half the levels, including some of the very best, and they’re actually trying to spin that as “a modern remake of a classic”. Is that supposed to some kind of meta-commentary on how modern shooters usually have far less content (I.e. they are (mostly) all linear hallway-shooters without any of the level exploration or secrets to discover) then classic shooters usually had?

    I’ll probably still buy it anyway when it eventually goes on sale if only for the co-op, but they really should have seen all the hardcore fan backlash coming from a mile away. Would it really have been that much more work to HD-ify the rest of original+expansion’s levels? It would have actually been worth the 20$ asking price then.

  11. Text_Fish says:

    It’s a strange world, where something as unimportant as Painkiller can get a remake. The original was a complete and utter failure at recapturing Quake 1 era shooting, so even if this one’s successful at recapturing Painkiller 1 it’ll still essentially boil down to a wholly unsatisfying guff in the wind.

    Seriously, who invested money in to making this thing possible? It shouldn’t make me angry, but it does. There’s no justice in the world.