User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 213 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 213

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  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 earned AAA status in gamers' minds shortly after release.
  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. 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. Expand
  3. May 8, 2011
    8
    Intelligent beautiful and bloody, hell...
  4. Oct 8, 2011
    9
    A game that isn't ashamed to be what it is. A really simple, over the top deathathon, with great and varied weapons. A flashback to the good old days, and I applaud it for that.
  5. Nov 23, 2010
    8
    There are already enough positive reviews here to already mirror what I am going to say. Another classic that somehow still has it's appeal to this day; the spiritual story, the mysteriously fantastical areas, the crazy enemies, special abilities, myriad of treasures or secret areas, and the crazy weapons. It's enough to make any lover of Quake or frantic shooters drool. I for one, don't think this game deserves such a high score like a 9 or a 10; but, it comes close to being a classic which will withstand the test of time! Expand
  6. Jan 16, 2011
    7
    It's a fairly fun game, though since it's basically a celebration of what gaming lost when it made the transition from the fast and competitive/challenging gameplay-centric Deathmatch to the slower, realistic plot-centric FPS games, it certainly doesn't innovate much. It's fairly fun, though the target audience will probably still prefer the original Quake.
  7. Jan 9, 2012
    9
    This is one of the two games that Yahtzee or Zero Punctuation likes over at the Escapists means it's actually good.

    To quote him "The story can go **** itself... (more problems with the game) ... But any criticism I find is immediatly squashed when I remember there is a gun that shoots Shurigans and Lightning.

    The way I felt about it.
  8. Sep 13, 2011
    8
    Fast paced, Voilent, and above all good mindless fun, I found myself yelling warcries at the enmies as they flew across my monitor like meat filled water balloons.
    Will not thrill you if you're looking for a story driven game, but it makes up for that by being just plain good.
    Given the choice get this and 'battle out of hell' but not any of the other expansions or additions as this is the
    best it gets. Expand
  9. Nov 6, 2011
    10
    Genial música, física muy buena. Me encanta ver como despedazo a los monstruos. Un buen surtido de armas, cada una con sus pros y contras. Jefes finales... cinematicas....Esta traducido a varios idiomas incluido las voces. Para mi es un FPS 10.
  10. Feb 3, 2013
    8
    If there is any Painkiller game in the series that holds its water, it is this one and the expansion Battle out of Hell. The original more or less gets the formula right with plenty of action, ambiance when not battling and massive bosses. Recommended if new to the series.
  11. May 10, 2012
    10
    Though it has its bugs and frustrations, I really can't say enough good things about Painkiller. At least the first two, and Overdose (included in Black Edition) is awfully cool too, but lacks some of the charm of the first. It's probably still my favorite after five years and countless other games. The fighting is insanely cool, though a bit repetitive. But mostly, its atmosphere and creep factor can't be beat. Incredible, awe-inspiring maps. Pretty darned creepy monsters. Finding secrets is quite an interesting challenge as well. It scares you. It thrills you. It awes you. Wish the subsequent sequels lived up to the original. But alas, Painkiller was a landmark - and still seminal and stand-alone in the horror world. Plenty of good sci fi games. Only one good horror one - and that's PK Expand
  12. Jan 18, 2012
    7
    Serious sam-like with less open spaces and less crowds of monsters. Great levels atmosphere (switching between medieval, cemetery, churches, city, Asylum, etc), great bestiary, hilarious physic engine (monster literaly flying when you shoot them), epic bosses. On the less shining side, the scenario and cut scene are so lame it's embarassing (but who cares in this type of game really), some really bad design at some point (you can't guess what to do without watching solution on the internet). All in all a really decent game, especially after work when you want some brainless entertainment. Expand
  13. Oct 10, 2013
    5
    Black Edition fun enough simplistic shooter with amazing level design and art work for its time. All in all a very solid game with hordes of enemies to blast and huge bosses to fight in massive levels.
  14. May 21, 2012
    10
    FPS the way it should be! At least according to old-school fans.... Considered by many to be more deserving of the name "Doom 3" than the actual one, this game takes everything that made up the classics, and pushes them to 11! ___Extremely vast choice of weapons, each of them more impressive and satisfying to use (that is, slaughter with).

    Also, impressive architecture, but just as the
    "no punctuation" review says, if you spend longer than 30 seconds without shooting, you're doing it wrong. Expand
  15. Nov 3, 2012
    7
    The story behind Painkiller is simple, it has a good dynamic soundtrack, many monsters and weapons, boss fights are good but soon you realize that strafe-jumping is the only way to play.
  16. Nov 29, 2012
    8
    Painkiller doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is- its a level based mob combat FPS in the spiritual vein of Doom or Serious Sam. The plot is incomprehensible- and what little sense it does make has little to do with the enemies and levels it throws at you.

    But as a pure mindless shooter it is an awful lot of fun. The levels are varied and well designed. The weapons are
    distinctive and well implemented- especially the eponymous Expand
  17. Dec 13, 2012
    6
    Over the top FPS in the style of DOOM. Don't bother with the sequels/expansions; this is the best one of the series. Crazy weapons (a gun that shoots shurikens AND lightning), great old-school level design that encourages exploration and rewards completionists, and some semblance of a plot to keep pushing you forward. There's a "black tarot" system where you unlock cards to give yourself active & passive powerups by performing certain tasks in levels. You equip these between maps and they give you unique boosts such as increasing your base health, faster movement speed, and temporary invincibility. Not many games can competently pull off the old school style of FPS and I think the is one of the better ones. Expand
  18. Mar 22, 2014
    7
    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 7.5/10

    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.
    Expand
  19. Jun 12, 2013
    9
    This is a great game. It has such good gameplay. It is more satisfying than any modern shooter like Call of duty or battlefield. This is the demonic love child of old school shooters like doom, quake and serious Sam, mixed with the graphics of 2004. Admittedly, I can't get past the first level of the demo, but I'm not that great at shooters, so don't think the game is too hard. If you liked games like serious Sam, you will love this game, The only complaints are the story is bad and, this isn't a complaint, I just think it's a bit difficult, but that's just me. A great game, and well worth your time and money. Expand
  20. Nov 1, 2013
    7
    Painkiller is a solid FPS game with one very simple premise: shoot, shoot and shoot. The game style is very basic as there are no keys, no real switches, or cut scenes in levels. You merely make your way through seemingly unconnected levels, killing every enemy in your sight. If you like endless shooting, the game does provide no-nonsense fun, but if you want a game with interesting characters and an intriguing plot I would suggest something like Half-Life. Expand
  21. Aug 4, 2013
    6
    Pucaj, rafalaj, udri... i to je to, monotono isuviĊĦe...................................................................................................
  22. Jul 14, 2013
    10
    The gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
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. You'll need a fairly souped up machine and graphics card to get the most out of Painkiller but if you have yearned for the return of games like "Serious Sam," "Doom" and the original "Quake" your next stop is Purgatory. Tell 'em I sent you.
  3. I love it. I became addicted to this game very quickly. My wife is starting to get jealous now.