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Hellgate: London is a fantasy action role playing game set in the city of London. With that said, not much of the scenery in the game reflects the City at all; only the names of Tube stations are used and most, if not all, of the Tube stations look nothing like they do in real life.
As of early 2009 the online multiplayer servers were shut down, meaning only the single player version is available.
A PvP mode was available when the online servers were running.
As with all role playing games there are multiple 'classes' which players can select to be their 'hero', from physical weapon wielding warriors to ranged magic users and ballistic experts. The choice will inevitably effect which weapons and armour can be used throughout the game. While your character gains experience and levels you are able to customise their traits and skills to match your gameplay, however sticking within the suggested path for your class is always advised.
The 'maps' or levels in the game are reasonably similar with very little variation in scenery, making each new area different in appearance but always somewhat familiar. The same can be said for the enemies.
The weapons used in the game vary in their 'powers' giving bonuses to the attack powers, such as poison or fire damage and their base statistics are driven from the character's attributes. Items in game run on a random system which means looting enemies will nearly always result in a different result. Many of these items can then be modified and/or upgraded via an NPC at one of the 'peace zones'.
There has been talk for quite some time of a re-release of the game by a new developer as Hellgate: Ressuruection, however news on this is very limited. Rumour has it that there will be some new activity in Q3 of 2010.
If you enjoy Diablo 2 this is a nice fix to your action/RPG needs whilst awaiting the 3rd.
I bought this game on the advice of a friend as I was tired of playing Diablo 2 all the time and as much as it is a great game, I needed something different. I'm still in two minds of whether I like or love this game. As a gamer I'm very fussy - I like my RPGs to have an isometric view, to be fast paced and plenty to do besides just the main quests. I like lots of items to choose from and I like to play one of two different characters - either a stealthy hit and run sort, or some sort of summoning type. My favourite games include (as you may have already guessed) Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, and Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. This game has elements of both of those games, with a little Quake/Doom thrown in. Still while playing it's as though I'm waiting for something more to happen, it doesn't quite hit the spot.
I haven't got the best computer in the world, but I can play most if not all modern games if I turn the all the graphics options to low or switch them off entirely. Something I dislike in modern games is that the developers try and make them too real and that detracts from the gameplay when scenes load slowly, jump around, or lag so badly that you get killed over and over. Thankfully in Hellgate: London you can turn the graphics to their lowest setting and it does improve gameplay a lot, but this is one area I feel the game is let down. On the other hand the movie elements that explain the story line are beautifully rendered. The movie clips are clearly separate from the game area which means the designers can use different techniques to make them shine. I have played some games where the movies make use of the game environment and there have been times where the camera will be spinning around an out of control character, it's painful to watch and I usually skip past them. As for sounds, environmentally they are pretty good but what I find annoying is that when an NPC speaks the speech and the script don't match up and as the script is the bit with the information it can be hard to concentrate on it.
The simple concept of the game is to kill things. As the game progresses, the monsters get harder, the equipment gets beafier and your skills get more impressive. If you don't like killing lots and lots of monsters then this game is not for you! Before you start, you are presented with the character creation screen, where you can choose a name for your character and it's appearance, and also choose which character class you would like to play. The class decides what sort of skills you can have during the game, as well as the sorts of items you can equip and your attributes (life, mana/power, strength, accuracy and so on). I like the addition of skills in the game as it can really make the character your own, unlike most First-Person-Shooters such as Doom or Quake.
You begin the game in an alleyway after seeing a movie of your life story - you are the granddaughter of a man who died fighting demons from hell so that you could flea to safety, finally growing up to also fight demons. For those of us not born to this life of violence, there is a tutorial which gives the basics on movement, skills and quests. To summarise, you use the mouse to look around and either the WASD or arrow keys to move. Alt disengages the mouse pointer so that you can click on icons on your HUD, however most screens can be brought up with a corresponding keyboard shortcut. I found the tutorial to be a bit laboured and sometimes I found I had to prompt it to give me any information about what I was doing, obviously not ideal for a beginner to this genre. However I do feel the situation that you start in doesn't overwhelm, even if you prefer learning the game without the tutorial.
Once you have gotten into the game, you will see the areas falling behind you quite quickly - it seems as though you never spend too long in one place. Somehow this doesn't tally with the quality of items found in these areas, I don't know whether it's just me being lucky but I seem to find good equipment early in a section and then stick with it right up until the end when I move on. As to equipment there really is a plethora of weapons and armour for all of the classes. In each base that you come to there is a merchant to buy your loot and sell you new equipment, and some of the equipment can be upgraded or augmented, increasing the ways in which you can customise your character and play in a way that you find most comfortable.
A great falling down point for this game is that it was originally intended as both a single and multiplayer game, in a similar way to Diablo 2. However the developers decided that to stop people creating private servers and stealing away their paying customers, they would not include any other way to connect except to corporate servers hosted by themselves. After the company went bust the servers went down, and the game became completely single player, that is until someone releases an unofficial patch that fixes this problem.
To really summarise my thoughts on this game, as I've said before I'm still waiting for something to "happen", but as games go it is pretty playable and quite absorbing. It's just not quite game of the year material that it was dubbed as on it's release. Because of it's relative age (the gaming industry moves very fast!) it is on sale at Amazon for only £5.35 - I doubt you could find it cheaper on Ebay, but I'm sure after saying that, someone will prove me wrong!
Hellgate London is a cross between a first person shooter and a role playing game. It reminds me quite a lot of Oblivion: Elder Scrolls (but unfortunately not as good). Nevertheless, I think it's still worth a look.
The basic story is that London has been taken over by demons and you are among a small number of survivers living underground and here and there. You progress from one location to another, slaying various demon-like monsters along the way and completing quests.
I found the gameplay to be pretty addictive - mainly because you end up collecting a lot of items as you progress and this brought out the hoarder in me. The upgrade system in the game is quite similar to other games in that you have a skill tree which you upgrade as you advance in experience and levels, thus unlocking new skills. Although not a novel idea, it's implemented well within the game.
On the negative side, the gameplay does get very repetitive. It becomes just another hack and slash type game with enemies getting more and more similar. This is fine to begin with, but after even only a few hours play, you're looking for something a bit deeper.
Coupled with this is the fact that a lot of the quests are quite dull and involve killing these creatures. Thus, you get a lot kill x number of x monster. You do this and then get some form of reward. It's just the same sort of thing that you get in any RPG game nowadays and is a little world of warcraft like (except you don't even have the online community to make you feel like you're maybe not actually wasting your life and time...!).
There seems to be quite a lot of bugs in the game too. There have been a few instances where I've got stuck in a spot because the layout has been poorly laided out and lapses in the visuals.
Still, the core story is pretty good, and it's weirdly nice to see London all smashed up. I find it's a good game to dip in and out of.
Hellgate: London is the first original title from premier developer Flagship Studios, whose team hails from such blockbusters as the Diablo, StarCraft, and WarCraft series. Set in the near future, Hellgate: London introduces a world devastated by a demon invasion. Players are thrust into a desolate city scorched by hellfire where the survivors meld science and sorcery to gain a foothold against the minions of darkness and save the bloodline of humanity.