Namco Hellgate: London

Namco Hellgate: London
  • Namco Hellgate: London
  • Namco Hellgate: London
  • Namco Hellgate: London
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Class variety is interesting, loot drops will keep obsessive gamers occupied

Cons

  • Randomised levels, endless combat and quest repetition, locked progression choices, lack of atmosphere

Bottom Line

Hellgate: London does offer some simple-minded entertainment, but it falls well short of its lofty goals, a fact that is made all the more galling when you consider the fact that the developer, Flagship Studios, was founded by two of Diablo's creators. You might get sucked into the online world of competing slayers and level grinding for a while, but the tedium will kill you far quicker than any member of Hell's vast army.

Would you buy this?

Portals to hell are opening all over the place, and demons are roaming free in such numbers that the land teeters on the edge of the abyss. Sound familiar? It should -- it's the same basic premise that set the amazing Diablo series rolling.

Bill Roper responds to Hellgate critics

"Yes, changing character dialogue was definitely in response to people saying "this is too wacky and out of place" and "it feels too goofy".

What's unfortunate about Hellgate is that it's neither as fun nor as memorable as its spiritual predecessor.

Dark pedigree

Hellgate starts off well, with a character creation system that exposes six unique classes, but once you actually hop into the game, the game's faults become immediately apparent. For instance, once you make a decision in the skill tree, you're stuck with that choice forever, which is an anachronistic design decision that effectively kills the possibility of experimentation. Also, the available quests are boring, unimaginative and worst of all, repetitive. Having an NPC task you with killing 10, and only 10, demons in a specific area doesn't make any sense even in a virtual world.

It's a (pre)fabulous life

The game also suffers from a lack of tension and atmosphere; unlike the two Diablo games, Hellgate has no personality. The world looks sterile and prefabricated, probably because it is prefabricated, with environments slapped together literally at random. While in theory this might imbue a game with infinite replayability, in practice -- at least as presented here -- it leads to worlds that lack the cunning creativity that a human designer might have come up with. Think of it this way: a cat walking across a piano might compose something new each time, but would you rather listen to that or the work of Beethoven?

The banality of evil

Working in Hellgate's favour, however, is that the six classes complement each other so well in multiplayer. Gathering five friends, permanent or temporary, into a single band of brothers is definitely the way to go, leading as it does to a fast-paced stomp through any environment, and an unrelenting display of trippy pyrotechnics.

It also incorporates some interesting ideas -- loot that drops separately for every player in a party, a weapon modification and upgrade system that turns even useless items into collectible trinkets, and a context-sensitive shift button that puts active skills within easy reach -- but every single play session, regardless of whether it's solo or with friends, will invariably boil down to holding the attack button and heading off on yet another "kill x to get y" quest.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?