My Wife Hates Hellgate London

Posted On: December 9, 2007
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Comments: 2 Responses

When I read the previews of this game from various magazines such as Playworks, Gameaxis and gaming sites like Gamespot, it got me pretty interested. A game from the makers of Diablo II? A successor to that fantastic game? Loot fest?! Unlimited ammo? I gotta have a look! But being someone with limited resources in the “Vitamin M” department, I waited for the reviews from Gamespot. That’s when the decision became slightly more complicated, because it only received a 7.0 from Gamespot, and the many reviews from other players were mixed. Very mixed reactions, in fact.

*some Murmurs and mumblings in the background*

There were many complaints of bugs, and it was quite clear that the game was rushed out of the test labs in a hurry, probably pressured by the publisher. Duh… deadlines we are all too familiar with. Very quickly, I read about patches in the works, about buggy quests, “special features” that were not supposed to be in the game, about the game being repetitive and about players having a completely different expectation of what type of game it was supposed to be. It was all too mind-boggling, and I put aside the decision to make the purchase.

Then I read this review by my buddy Wilfrid Wong of Hellgate London. He seemed to enjoy the game, although he did warn me about the bugs as well. And since I had realised Gamespot’s reviews can sometimes be inaccurate (9.0 for C&C3? WTF…), I took the plunge one fine day and tried saving London, to test my might against the demons.

I chose to play as a Marksman class because the gameplay resembles closest to an FPS (First-Person-Shooter for the uninitiated). I’m sharp, I move fast, I blow things up. Just shoot anything that moves. Never mind about the story line, because I seldom paid any attention to what those NPCs had to say. One day, I do hope developers will make NPCs more interactive and more integral to the entire story. For now, they are just quest givers, traders and decorations in the virtual world. The concept is very much like Diablo II – very much a mindless hack-and-slash adventure, where collecting loot and progressing your character is the main concern of the gamer. As such, the gameplay can be rather repetitive, the graphics get old quickly because it is all grey and dark in post-Hell London. But somehow, I found myself going into that instance just one more time… always wondering what loot will drop next, and always trying to complete the icon mini-games because of the loot drops upon completion.

*I hear footsteps… maybe some impatient tappings of the feet*

Fun as it can be, however, I cannot recommend it for everyone. The Asian server is behind the US servers in terms of patches, and the current state of the game contains quite a number of irritating bugs that detract from the overall experience. A number of features in the game are not well documented, such as the Achievement Points (AP) and the mini-games. To date, I have no idea what APs are used for. Completing quests gives you faction points, but facton points do not seem to provide any in-game advantages. What’s that? You cannot respec your build even if you have the Palladium to pay for it? For those players looking for a pure RPG or MMORPG, look somewhere else. Those looking for a pure FPS, go play Crysis. What the game does allow you to do is to go into it and play for a short while, get those tension and aggression out of your system, and come back later for more when you feel like it. I feel that the best feature Hellgate London provides is multiplayer cooperative gameplay, which unfortunately is hampered on the Asian server by the slow implementation of patches.

*I swear I heard something… something about the dishes…*

For those interested, if you’re playing the game, look out for this dangerous (both to the demons and to fellow-party members) fella in-game. But no worries, there are very little chances of anyone doing a Leroy Jenkins here.

Darkspore the Marksman in Hellgate London

*Wait… you mean that’s not the mobs in the game? Gulp…*

If you’re wondering about the title, let’s just say wife aggro is not a pretty sight 🙁