Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 62
  2. Negative: 1 out of 62
  1. Hugely repetitive action game. Hugely repetitive action game. Hugely repetitive (you get the idea).
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 77
  2. Negative: 11 out of 77
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    Bloody massacre coupled with unusual weapons. One of the first big titles with Havok physics.
    This is most unexpected game which rightfully
    earned AAA status in gamers' minds shortly after release. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2011
    A rather unusual mix of horror and fast action gameplay, Painkiller is gory and atmospheric, but really all it is is just action. The Purgatory setting and in fact the idea of fighting demons is very great. However the idea itself simply is not enough. It requires the correct execution and a plot, and that was where Painkiller fell down. Still though, as an FPS game, it is forgiveable if it has a weak story, which is why I still found the game fun. Painkiller features a big variety of areas, but I felt that only about half of them were breathtaking, whilst the other half were boring. Areas such as Asylum and Town were fantastic due to being incredibly atmospheric and actually scary in a very twisted way. Likewise there were areas which simply had beautiful locations and were a pleasure to travel through, areas such as Train Station, Military Base, The Palace and City on Water. However most of the other maps were rather repetitive and boring. The game allows the player to use 5 weapons, but each one of these weapons has 2 very different modes of fire, so in a way the game has 10 different weapons. The weapons are very original and enjoyable to use. This was perhaps the strongest aspect of the game. The enemies, well they were nothing special. Although most were demons in various disguises, it was uninteresting how at times they just looked like people, for example in the level Docks, which was perhaps one of the worst stages in the game. The boss fights were terrible. It was impossible to know what the hell you were supposed to do to defeat most of them. For one of them you had to attack the boss' hammer rather than him. How would you know to do that? You wouldn't. The final boss fight was a huge disappointment too and really ruined the game for me. Just terrible. Lastly the cinematics and cut scenes in between some of the missions were pretty good, although I wish some of those characters were developed in greater depth. Painkiller has some really great features and it has some very strong weaknesses. If only Painkiller didn't have some of these weaknesses, it could've been a fantastic game. But for now I think a score of 7 is appropriate. I can't give it any more than that. Full Review »
  3. Mar 22, 2014
    I deliberated for ages about whether to buy this.

    I wondered if it would look old. However it looks fine and the gameplay is great. Score

    The video options have the 1920x1080 resolution settings, which was a good start. I was disappointed that the opening cutscenes froze. I hit ctr-alt-del and 'start task manger', then clicked the icon on the task bar. This unfroze it, but brought it to the main menu, so I could play on.

    Other cut scenes froze too, but I was able to get past them with this 'fix'. This brought the game back up and running. Ctr-alt-del also cleared a graphical glitch I met. These bugs aside the game is fine.

    The weapons rock. The atmosphere in fairly unique, and this sets it aside from many games. It has a demonic feel to many of the enemies. To be honest a couple of the levels were boring and a very few maps were quite plain. However it's strengths lay in its otherworld persona.

    Really though it doesn't look too bad at all. I mean it's not the Crysis 3 engine, but for a ten year old game it's brilliant - no question. [Release date April 12, 2004.] I added 32x anti-aliasing in the nvidia control panel so all the lines are straight, with no jagged edges.

    The game itself opened well, then soon I thought 'hmm a little mindless', then it got going. It feels more like getting from A-B than just mindless areas of enemies. I mean there is a flow and a progression. Getting some of the secrets is fun, some are just way too tricky to spend ages trying to get.

    Overall - so glad I bought it. Great stuff.

    N.B. Bug right at the end after I killed the last boss. Can't finish it. Hope this doesn't affect Battle Out of Hell. Without the bugs - easy 9/10.
    Full Review »