Despite the interesting premise and a cool opening cutscene, the rest of Hellgate: London is decidedly light on plot and heavy on the action. It’s not like Diablo II, where the quests you undertook had a direct effect on the story; in Hellgate: London, quests often seem closer to an MMORPG grindfest – fetch this, kill x number of these beasts and so on. It’s really disappointing, and makes you feel like someone decided at some point in the game’s development that they wanted it to be an MMORPG, but didn’t quite get there. The game also uses randomised instances for its levels, which is kind of confusing given the London setting. It’s okay for multiplayer games, but proves to be a bit of an annoyance in single player – particularly in the fetch quests, where an item you could be looking for may end up just being in the first room, without any fighting required to get it. After a couple of hours of grinding through the same monsters, these levels become really monotonous.
…Hellgate: London showed an awful lot of promise but has really failed to deliver. There’s plenty of content in the game, but it fails to remain interesting beyond the five hour mark. The developer then has the audacity to lock away parts of the multiplayer game with a subscription fee that nobody will think is worthwhile. Melee combat feels clunky, while the first person shooter component just lacks the oomph of other games on the market. The graphics look dated and the audio has been really neglected. Worst of all, the game is really buggy – players who buy the game will have to sit through at least an hour of downloading updates before they can even hop online. Flagship has brought all of the right elements of an RPG to the table, but they’ve failed to put them together in an exciting way. Some RPG fans will cherish Hellgate: London, but the rest of us will look at it with sad eyes and wonder what could have been.