It’s clear that by now almost every fan of first person shooters will have made their mind up about Painkiller Hell & Damnation. A relaunch of a classic shooter that’s been knocking about for some years now, always divides opinion, pretty much the archetype for the Marmite experience which I myself loved. Blowing up hordes of demons with a multitude of ridiculous weapons? Whats not to love!
Now Nordic Games and Farm 51 studios have released three separate DLC packs to bolster the experience for those that have blown the game wide open already. The first being The Clock Strikes Meat Night, an essentially single-player centered set of new experiences with a few game tweaks here and there. Next in line for some scrutiny is the rather aptly named Full Metal Rocket DLC which acts as the complete opposite to Meat Night, choosing to focus almost entirely on Painkiller’s rather hectic multiplayer mode.
Full Metal Rocket serves as possibly the most exciting for Xbox 360 owners because bundled in are some of the series’ most popular maps, rejigged in HD of course, which previously only PC owners could enjoy: Blink, Meatless, Mines and Prison.
Blink is a fairly expansive map, built around a self-contained village/church dedicated to the worship of demons. Blink balances tight hallways and tunnels with a number of open spaces which can become a prison once those gates fall and the horde come falling from the sky.
Meatless, which somehow manages to look like a mash-up between Alcatraz, an abandoned army base and a level from Tony Hawk: Lets Skate in Hell (that’s not a real game, please don’t sue me Tony!) offers nothing but wide open spaces with lots of vantage points laden throughout, in case you’re in the mood to ambush the leper hordes and demon kings that Painkiller can and will throw at you.
Mines is nothing but tight corners, long corridors and huge expansive/winding staircases meaning you’ll need to bring your A game in order to survive. One misstep and you’ll either fall to your doom or be crushed into the walls by the impending hordes of lepers and demons.
Prison, as the name suggests, allows you to wage war against the hordes in a typical prison setting. This map blends the best of both Blink and Meatless, offering plenty of wide open spaces and vantage points, with the twist that those high viewpoints are extremely claustrophobic walkways and balconies leaving you no chance of a quick escape if things get too messy. Things can and often will get ugly quickly if you don’t watch your back, front and sides.
While this selection of maps is a welcome addition, one of the bigger additions within Full Metal Rocket is the addition of single-player survival mode which includes leaderboard support (finally you can win those bragging rights). You’ll begin with limited ammo and for each successful round you survive the gods will reward you with access to weapon lockers and the chance to survive for that little bit longer, something that was sorely missed in the initial release.
Full Metal Rocket is a hard one to judge, although much of what is contained in the pack feels like something that should have been a part of the original release, it’s hard to argue with what is essentially a quality set of maps and a mode which fans of the game will find hours of fun in. On top of maps and modes you’ll find bundled in the DLC, there are also a couple of new multiplayer skins in the form of the SS Zombie and the Leper, the chance to play as a nazi demon wearing a Picklehaub is an ironic and fresh experience for those that love the ever popular Zombies mode from C.O.D, and lepers. Well, they look evil which should be enough.
Overall Full Metal Rocket is a nice package, offering players a brand new experience and the chance to play with some of the best maps that PC owners have been enjoying for some time now. If you’re mad about Painkiller and Multiplayer then it’s a must, it’s really that simple.