Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Namco Hellgate: London
- Class variety is interesting, loot drops will keep obsessive gamers occupied
- Randomised levels, endless combat and quest repetition, locked progression choices, lack of atmosphere
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.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
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.
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.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 5 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
Latest News Articles
- In Pictures: Gfinity Elite Series Australia Season 1 Grand Finals
- Burgers By Josh team up with Blizzard on Battle For Azeroth-themed burgers
- Far Cry 5 goes to Mars on July 17
- Phantom Doctrine gets a release date and launch trailer
- Australian developer launches bid to become first blockchain-powered eSport with Gods Unchained
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?