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Default Hellgate London - Review @ GameBanshee

January 22nd, 2008, 18:10
A detailed review of Hellgate: London can be found at GameBanshee, with considerable criticism for the campaign although other aspects fair better. The score is 8.2/10, which seems generous for the text:
Hellgate: London is an action role-playing game from Flagship Studios, which, if you believe their press releases, is “the first, last and only voice in the world of action RPGs.” Flagship Studios gets to say things like this because they’re made up of a lot of the people who developed Diablo II for Blizzard Entertainment, including Bill Roper, who was the Senior Producer, and David Brevik, who was the Project Lead.

The problem that Flagship faces in claiming to be a creative force is that even when Diablo II came out four years after the original Diablo, there were almost no other competitors, and so everything they did with Diablo II felt new and original. But these days there are action role-playing games all over the place, and it’s a much tougher genre in which to stand out. And sadly, Hellgate: London does not stand out. Other than the setting, which I’ll admit is kind of fun, it doesn’t really do anything that players haven’t seen dozens of times before. That doesn’t make Hellgate: London a worthless game to play, but it certainly makes it disappointing.
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January 22nd, 2008, 18:10
The setting isn't that much "fun" imho and is one of the games problems rather than bonuses, but each to their own I suppose.
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January 22nd, 2008, 19:09
Ya I agree, the random levels repeat themselves too often. The story doesn't grab you in any way, and so eventually all you're doing is grinding for gear. Game is a solid 6.5/10 imo heh
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January 22nd, 2008, 19:27
I dunno … I thought that the core setting - post-apoc London with many familiar sites in ruins - was pretty cool. Not 'carry a game' cool, but not bad.

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January 22nd, 2008, 21:06
*shrug* I actually find this game to be very enjoyable and addictive. Granted the game was buggy, but the devs have been working extremely hard to improve the game since day 1.
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January 22nd, 2008, 23:09
Originally Posted by Melvil View Post
Ya I agree, the random levels repeat themselves too often. The story doesn't grab you in any way, and so eventually all you're doing is grinding for gear. Game is a solid 6.5/10 imo heh
Funny that's about the same score I'd give it. Shame, because I think there is a lot of potential here and it just doesn't come across well. Some great work in the graphics dep. though. I have too many problems with their network as well; getting dropped at a station node when its 3 levels full of monsters and you have to restart is just meh.
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January 23rd, 2008, 02:52
I will just add that the new patch 1.0 has cleaned the game up a lot.
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January 23rd, 2008, 03:31
Originally Posted by woges View Post
I will just add that the new patch 1.0 has cleaned the game up a lot.
They definitely have constantly been improving the game.

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January 23rd, 2008, 07:26
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I dunno … I thought that the core setting - post-apoc London with many familiar sites in ruins - was pretty cool. Not 'carry a game' cool, but not bad.
I thought so as well with much anticipation. Running through "levels" skinned to look like London did not meet my expectations.

In Diablo, Hell felt like Hell. At least for me.

Liberty Island in Deus Ex was a good example of making a place feel like the real thing or the small towns in many adventure games like Gabriel Knight and Syberia.

I think I was expecting too much.
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January 23rd, 2008, 10:05
I enjoyed playing through it, it certainly has the classic addicitive loot-and-level-up gameplay of Diablo 2, so if that's the type of game you expect - it's a winner. However, if you expect it to be an RPG, you'll get dissappointed.

It's time to face the truth folks - all that time spent in Diablo 2 was due to addictive gameplay, not brilliant atmosphere, characters or story.
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January 23rd, 2008, 11:10
This is why I never played much D2 and really preferred Diablo, where the atmosphere was fantastic.

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January 23rd, 2008, 11:20
Originally Posted by Reyla View Post
I think I was expecting too much.
Possibly - I found that in small chunks in the midst of the winter release maelstrom it was pretty solid fun … but nothing that sustains that well. The shooter-like feel I actually like, but that is me.

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January 23rd, 2008, 21:10
It's nice to see an in-depth detailed review like this. I was really surprised he gives it an 8.2, since the tone of the review is far more negative than that. As for me, I played through the demo twice with 2 different classes, was thoroughly unimpressed, and have no expectation of buying this game, never mind subscribing. If it ever hits bargain bins in the under $20 range, I might consider it, but that's not likely soon.

Based on the lousy writing & atmosphere I saw, no amount of patching & tweaking is likely to substantially improve the experience. I play primarily solo, so campaign quality is vital to me. There are much better item grinding games out there, particularly MMOs.
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January 24th, 2008, 06:12
I play primarily solo, so campaign quality is vital to me. There are much better item grinding games out there, particularly MMOs.
This sums it up well for me too as well as what Dhurin said. Diablo was MMO B.C. and it was a fun solo game. The Flagship devs put too much emphasis on the MMO aspect and the single player game, writing and such, suffered.

I get my item hunting-level grinding fix from Everquest. For a few dollars more I can explore:

Total Items: 62,932
Total Quests: 4,055
Total NPCs: 26,379
Total Recipes: 10,090
Zones: 475
Factions: 498

(Shamelessly copied from Allakhazam)
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January 24th, 2008, 06:39
I have absoluttely no idea what people talk about when they mention "writing" in this context. I have yet to see a hack'n slash game that has any writing worth mentioning - don't even think about mentioning Diablo as an example, with the main quest being "enter this insanely deep dungeon that leads to Hell and kill Diablo".

As I've said previously - it's a hack'n slash game, if you expect anything else you'll be dissappointed. If you're after addictive gameplay with loads of looting and levelling, you'll be satisfied.

There's no real need to mention the likes of WoW or EQ here either, considering the levelling/questing/looting is of a completely different nature (it takes a large amount of time to get anywhere in MMOs - in hack'n slash games you get a dozen levels and 50 new items in a single day of playing). I'm not saying that type of playing is "better" in any way, I'm just saying that's how hack'n slash games work, and that is exactly what you get when buying one. Some people like it, some people don't, it's a matter of taste.
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January 24th, 2008, 14:37
Aye Maylander, but they still want to charge like EQ and WoW.

The problem I have with HG:L is it's claustrophobic feel. The levels (for the most part) are so corridor even compared to Diablo 2 and the static railway stations just seem so soulless. However, after 1.0 the game is a much more pleasant game to play due to; technical, visual and bug fixes. There's a lot of skills and classes as well and I think it's a game that could grow on me with time.
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January 25th, 2008, 06:35
I had two major problems with this game:

A. Titan Quest w/ Expansion is a much better hack n slash item gathering game. The class structure and skills are very well done and you can play online, for free. Playing Hellgate just made me want to play Titan Quest again, or…

B. Guild wars with three content updates costs you roughly 200 bucks, but you get 3 good story based rpg's with well designed coop mode, a high level expansion, great pvp (with variety), 100% awesome class/skill system that is totally customizable, and just basically everything Hellgate: London doesn't do that well and wants to charge you to experience.

Obviously NCSoft backs up Arena.net, but man, Guild Wars is so silky smooth and provides hours of online enjoyment, for free (minus box costs )

There you have it, my beef
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January 25th, 2008, 17:35
The main reason why I like hellgate london is the shooting. You can shoot like in regular FPS games. Infact its the only "mmog" which has that.

Regular fps games are often too like simple corridor shooters. Plot development and enviroment is less detailed in hellgate but it has som rpg elements to try cover that cap.

If youre looking for a fantasy hack'n'slash from hellgate then you might wanna try out somthing else. There are many much better sword&sorcery games out there. This game is for those who fancy boomsticks and chainsaws imho.
Last edited by zakhal; January 25th, 2008 at 17:43.
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