Hellgate: London Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

Release date:
Flagship Studios
First-Person Shooter

Hellgate: London

Update: Finally, the heroes failed to save the world in time!

Preview by (Email)
May 27th 2006

The Basics: London, 2038, the city lies in ruin and the fate of the world beyond her borders is largely unknown. Now from the ashes those who failed to save the day mount a desperate struggle to hold the last line. Under an ever gray sky these warriors decide to take the battle through the Hellgates dotting the city and into the face of their enemies directly.

Flagship Studios may be brand new, but the team behind the demons has been working together for over a decade. Built on exciting next-gen buzzwords like "random level generation," "first-person action," and "unique item drops" Hellgate: London bears all the hallmarks of its unique heritage… the former brain collective behind Blizzard's Diablo franchise.

What do we think? You know what words we love hear at E3 but rarely get to? "You can keep playing…" Usually you walk away from a game because the developer has run through their demonstration, or because you need to wash the terrible flavor of your mouth. Never before have we played a demo so fiercely that our hands began to hurt, and never before has a Got-Next staffer gone down to mere "gamer cramps."

But, this was no mere "game," this was Hellgate: London the "spiritual sequel" to Diablo. We would have continued to play for another hour if not for a pressing appointment. Thankfully, we did have this appointment because if it was up to the gurus from Flagship we would sent our first staff member home with severe wrist injuries. That's how hard we were being rocked by the game.

Its one thing to say that if you liked Diablo you're going to like this game, but this isn't your daddy's 2D isometric scrolling mouse-click battles. Yes, it's mainly presented in the first-person but this isn't Doom with magic either. In the future humans find that machine guns are surprisingly ineffective against demonic hordes. Instead, think of the guns in HGL as spell delivery systems. Here accuracy isn't as important as in a game like Counter-Strike because almost all of the weapons deal out splash damage.

Guns can be upgraded with new ammo containers, new firing effects, and even ancient magical relics. However, none of these nifty facts is anywhere as slick as player's dual wielding any combination of the one-hand weapons. This means slow firing pistols can be combined with mini-machine guns that spew out zombie melting acid. Different weapon sets can be cued up for on-the-fly combination changing, but grin-inducing is the fact that swords can be wielded in one hand with a gun in the other.

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