Hellgate London Demo Impressions

Just tested out Hellgate London Demo and I have mixed impressions and thoughts for the game. This article you are currently reading is somewhat a review of the demo and what I think and expect for the full release that will be happening later in the year. Some basic background information about Hellgate London; it is a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and somewhat have an action based battle system. Therefore, there will not be any click and then wait for your character to finish the opponent. You have the strike with strategy and timing is required for you to escape from enemy’s attack. That is rather brief so here is a quote about the storyline and features of the game:

It’s 2038, and London lies in ruins…
From Flagship Studios – creators of the award-winning Diablo® series and the fathers of the action role playing genre – comes HellGate: London, the next benchmark in the evolution of the RPG genre.

Combining the depth of traditional RPGs with the frenetic, visceral feel of first-person shooters, HellGate: London offers infinite replayability with dynamically created levels, monsters, items and events that gives each player their own unique hack-and-slash experience.

A post-apocalyptic London has been overrun by hordes of terrifying demons, leaving the city desolate and scorched by hellfire. Those who were unlucky enough to survive now gather in the only sanctuary left, the Underground, banding together in order to gain a foothold against the minions of darkness and ultimately save the bloodline of humanity.

It is no surprise that these sole survivors come from three of society’s most elite factions, each of whom are masters of a robust number of skills and weapons essential to demon-thrashing.

The Templar, a secret society preserving the rites of the original Knights Templar, mix futuristic technology with ancient artifacts to create powerful weapons and armor perfect for short-ranged and melee attacks.

The Cabalists are students of the dark arts and edges of science which often leaves them standing right on the line between good and evil. Their mystifying spells make them suited for mid-range combat.

The Hunters are mysterious, highly trained ex-military operatives who lay waste to their foes with hyper-advanced weapons that blend theoretical science and the latest in technology – and their bullets can come from almost any distance.

HellGate: London delivers an amazing gaming experience to PC gamers of all types – delivering the eye-popping DX10 visuals demanded by the hardcore, and scaling to ensure the masses of casual RPG players can still get the best performance on older PCs.

Key Features

  • The RPG Authority – Flagship Studios was founded by the core creators of Diablo, one of the biggest PC gaming franchises in history with over 13 million units sold worldwide – they are the first, last and only voice in the world of action RPGs.
  • Beyond RPG – Experience new layers to the traditional hack-and-slash forumla by experiencing the action RPG from the first-person perspective and through nontraditional character classes and playstyles.
  • Have it your way – Three unique factions with their own visual and gameplay style, offering something for every type of gamer, whether they prefer the longer-range blasts of the Hunter or want to get up close and personal with the Templar.
  • Infinite Replayability – Dynamically generated levels, chance events and massive quantities of randomly created items makes for infinite replayability — no two experiences will ever be the same and every game will be it’s own unique event.
  • Mad Skills – Each faction has two character classes that contain a wide variety of skills and spells that are fully customizable.
  • London Calling – Explore post-apocalyptic London, even darker and gloomier than usual. From shattered cathedrals and landmarks to the ancient ruins buried beneath the shell of a once-great city, players will need to scour all of London in search of the unknown.
  • Misery Loves Company – Don’t be a glory hog – fight online. Gather with friends or recruit strangers in Underground stations and venture out into mean streets of London together to erase the Demonic threat.
  • Hell Never Looked Better – HellGate: London features all of the latest next-generation technology to deliver a true, DX10 experience, while being fully scalable for optimal performance on older PCs.” Taken from hellgate london’s official site
hellgateDemo_sp_dx9_x86 2007-10-23 16-29-36-43.jpg
Welcome to Londo… well London in ruins that is.

With all that said, here is my review and impressions on the demo

Demo Review and Impressions

What gave me the strongest impression is the battle system. I would say that it is unique and fun and it is one of the first to be seen in a MMORPG game. With such battle system based a lot on the player’s own skill, gameplay is enhanced and much more competitive. I always wanted a MMORPG to have such a battle system and Hellgate London sure fits the bill. However, there are no blocking etc and combat is rather basic. Click to attack, hotkeys to use skills and that is about it. Still, since it is a system whereby you can almost attack anytime and anywhere you want, PVP ought to be much more fun as it enables the player to get really involved in the combat and the game. Also, you can jump and hide at strategic points and strike opponents down without the need of getting hurt. Fantastic, especially for people using ranged weapons (First person shooter mode is activated in that case). How is it going to work out for the Multiplayer part? That I have no idea but if it will work out right or not but if it do, it definitely make the game a must for hardcore MMORPG addicts (to experience a completely new experience). However, if the game lags, the battle system will become terrible. Let us all hope that when the full game comes out and with the massive amount of players in each server, the game will not lag else leading to poor gameplay experience.

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Empty… for now.

The menus are sleek and presentation is cool. I really like how the creators make players interact with items and people. It is something like holding down left click and then shifting your mouse to the different bubbles which holds different options. Inventory is kind of confusing and equipping weapons and armor at first would seem really difficult. You will have no idea if the item would do you better or worst. However, with much time spent, this presentation style can be easily followed without much trouble. Normal MMORPG elements such as leveling, skills and quests are all present in the game. So far in the demo quests met are rather ordinary. Quests such as kill a specific number of monsters or retrieving an item after killing a monster.

hellgateDemo_sp_dx9_x86 2007-10-23 16-27-45-80.jpg
Female marksman. Character creation process.

Graphic wise is average. Neither DX10 present in the demo nor do I have the correct equipments to run so, thus I am unable to give my verdict on the full potential on the graphics. For now, it seems to be alright for me. The demonic and chaotic feel is there, just not too extreme or overwhelming. Animations seems to be fine, however I kind of dislike the way the character attacks sideways or so. The attacking animations seem to be a frame of its own, meaning it does not continue from the previous animation. Thus it looks kind of weird for me when my playing is slashing the different monsters. Putting that aside, skill effects and the blood from monsters gushing out seems to be satisfying for the majority of me.

hellgateDemo_sp_dx9_x86 2007-10-23 16-31-19-48.jpg
So much to learn so little experience and skill points.

The component I felt that requires the most improvement is the sound and music of the game. Boring and uninteresting describes what you hear in the current demo. I felt that the music needs to be changed or if not improved else the atmospheres cannot express itself to its fullest to players. Perhaps in the full game they could try a few variations of each particular monster’s death. Currently, if you kill the same monster again consecutively, the sound of their deaths will just keep repeating. If done for long, it becomes irritating and annoying (For me that is). Voice acting is alright, not too spectacular nor disgusting. Overall, the sound requires the most improvement.

Expectations and Conclusions

I really hope the game turns out well when it is released. No lag, just pure fun entertainment. It is something new for a MMORPG and the concept behind the battle system definitely is outstanding. I always felt that demos do not show the full potential of the full game. And for now, Hellgate London demo is already above average, what more the full game? Something new and exciting for MMORPG fans for now before the release of the much anticipated Age of Conan and Pirates of Burning Sea. Those stated above are my impressions and personal opinion on the demo, how about yours? Comments anyone?

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