Painkiller PC

Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 62
  2. Negative: 1 out of 62
  1. A good choice for folks who want to wind down at the end of the day with a fast-paced diversion that requires absolutely no brainpower to master and enjoy.
  2. It's about being scared out of your wits one minute and then bellowing with laughter at something gruesomely humorous the next.
  3. 70
    Rather than presenting us with individually challenging enemies, Painkiller opts to throw dozens of enemies at you at a time. On the other hand, since Painkiller focuses just on twitch play, it's free of the distraction of puzzles, plot and, for the most part, personality.
  4. The Painkiller soundtrack doesn’t exist. It is a heavily repetitious heavy metal lick that repeats itself way too much.
  5. As a celebration of the FPS genre's base instincts, Painkiller crosses the finishing line in first place; anything more than that and it doesn't even make it out of the blocks. [June 2004, p.100]
  6. We were massively disappointed by the comical AI, which definitely has a substantial impact on the game – Serious Sam has shown that run-and-gun games can be fun, but this seriously detracts from the overall experience.
  7. Even with it's absolutely gorgeous maps and great physics this game lacks any type of real challenge in the story. It is a straight out FPS with only mindless monsters to kill over and over again.
  8. If you're looking for a sparklingly attractive shooter with a side order of slinky physics, this delivers the goods. But it's about as average as FPS gaming gets. [June 2004, p.105]
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 247 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 76
  2. Negative: 11 out of 76
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    10
    Bloody massacre coupled with unusual weapons. One of the first big titles with Havok physics.
    This is most unexpected game which rightfully
    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
    7
    A rather unusual mix of horror and fast action gameplay, Painkiller is gory and atmospheric, but really all it is is just action. TheA 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. BitBurn
    Apr 15, 2004
    8
    It's aiight... Reminds me of Quake 1 but with much better graphics! I dig it...