Painkiller PC

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 248

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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 ifA 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
  2. TheGeek
    Apr 19, 2004
    6
    Yes, the game is fun, but what about the damned technical problems?! I can't even start the game! There millions of problems, just log on to the Dreamcatcher forums and you'll see...
  3. Graham
    Aug 5, 2004
    6
    I really really tried to like it!!!! But failed. Point, shoot, point, shoot, point, shoot... ok it's not quite that dull, but it's just not captivating enough. Horror effects are good, but they don't carry it. There are better shooters out there - Call of Duty, whilst short, is just awesome, UT2004 is the best multiplayer online game, Far Cry gives you a new outdoor I really really tried to like it!!!! But failed. Point, shoot, point, shoot, point, shoot... ok it's not quite that dull, but it's just not captivating enough. Horror effects are good, but they don't carry it. There are better shooters out there - Call of Duty, whilst short, is just awesome, UT2004 is the best multiplayer online game, Far Cry gives you a new outdoor dimension. Painkiller unfortunately feels like a pretty version of the original Doom. You'll probably not get past the first handful of levels before you get really bored. Sorry! Expand
  4. EricE.
    Jan 18, 2008
    5
    *Warning I only played the DEMO* What I played of the demo was quite dumb. You walked into a room. The doors behind you closed. The doors in front of you closed. Then wave after wave of mobs came at you. When you killed them all then the doors opened and you went into the next room and did the same thing. Was really disappointed and definitely will not be buying it. Even though it is *Warning I only played the DEMO* What I played of the demo was quite dumb. You walked into a room. The doors behind you closed. The doors in front of you closed. Then wave after wave of mobs came at you. When you killed them all then the doors opened and you went into the next room and did the same thing. Was really disappointed and definitely will not be buying it. Even though it is several years old it is still a very pretty game. The monsters were pretty cool looking. Just got boring after awhile. In one level it told me I had killed 353/353 mobs. Nearly four hundred mobs in one level. If you enjoy just masses of mobs coming at you with not much else to do then this game is for you. Personally I prefer a little bit of a story line and a few less mobs which are more strategically placed. Expand
  5. ChrisS.
    Aug 16, 2004
    7
    Painkiller has beautifully rendered environments, wonderful sound and music, its gory, fast paced and best of all requires absolutely no expenditure of mental energy. In fact, the hardest part was getting it to run in the first place. A problem solved after downloading and installing a third-party no-cd patch.
  6. PatC.
    Oct 30, 2007
    5
    Mindless violence sure, but Serious Sam did it better, and everyone else did it more fun. This is just lazy, with boring graphics, lousy boss fights, piss-poor enemy layouts (they're just scattered, instead of being planned like the Sam series), and a totally non-existent story. Save your money and your time and go get a Croteam game and have fun.
  7. KaneC.
    Feb 3, 2007
    7
    Good game, yah sure it gets a lil repetitive, but the ambient sounds are the shit, and the guns are cool. the gameplay is pretty fun and multiplayer is fun 2.
  8. Si
    Apr 18, 2004
    5
    Jaw dropping graphics and....... well, i cant really think of anything else to add, shame really.
  9. 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.
  10. 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), someSerious 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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 yourselfOver 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
  13. 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
    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
  14. 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 interestingPainkiller 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
  15. May 24, 2015
    5
    I recently got it on GoG and honestly I still can't understand why this game came out to be so successful and grew to be considered a "classic".
    The art design, sound assets and weapons are pretty neat, true, but the actual gameplay is just boring. I played it for the first time back in 2006 or so (I really don't remember, I'm sure I still have CDs put somewhere amogn my old things,
    I recently got it on GoG and honestly I still can't understand why this game came out to be so successful and grew to be considered a "classic".
    The art design, sound assets and weapons are pretty neat, true, but the actual gameplay is just boring. I played it for the first time back in 2006 or so (I really don't remember, I'm sure I still have CDs put somewhere amogn my old things, though) and ditched it after the first boss (necrogiant). How bad that fight was, oh my. I get it, bosses in this game were collosal at the time this game came out. They were impressive, true. But did gameplay really benefit from that? I would say: no, not at all. It still just a huge arena with a boss that has a di**y set of moves (the necrogiant's tornado boiled its fight to being lucky with your positioning while the boss casts the tornado - more often than not it will be put right where you stand, killing you instantly). It's managable, of course, the fight itself is not hard, but the succes boils down how lucky you are.

    But that would be a minor disadvantage. The biggest problem in the vanilla PK are levels. It doesn't matter the game has wonderful weapons, interesting enemies and shooting itself feels ok, while it all happens in a boring mostly square-shaped arenas with little to no secrets at all. I'm half through the game now (I'm determined to finish it at last), and there is no alternative to "kill everything in a square room - process further to the next room". Serious Sam series at least varied your environments you fight in, mixing open arenas that have little to no environmental design with actual levels that consist from more that 2 corridors.

    Yeah, you have some gimmicks like cards, that help you a lot during boss fights, but they're not something I would call revolutionary or game changing. They're basically achievements with gameplay benefits.

    It's just a sub-par shooter. Still a real shooter, much, much more fun and demanding than your typical modern warfare BS, but a sub-par shooter nonetheless. The first add-on is better in level design aspect, it's a whole better game than the vanilla, but it's still nothing to write home about.

    Why was it so successful? Why is is considered a classic? It didn't bring anything new to the genre (its physics were quickly beaten up by HL2), it just recycled ages old schema and put it into mediocre frames.
    Expand
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.