May 30, 2005

How about them ultraviolent eastern Europeans

Painkiller actually has a funny moment: the level where the requirement to earn the powerup tarot card is to kill all the zombie villagers using the stake-launcher exclusively. Cue simultaneously hilarious and nailbiting action as you endure its slow reload time while they pull out their own guts and throw them at you, inflicting deadly, um, squish damage or something.

The biggest letdown is when you realize there isn't going to be another moment like that again in the rest of the game, and that it's all about more and badder monsters from that point on. They don't even bother to announce the rest of the guns with any fanfare, and the shotgun remains the most satisfying weapon throughout.

Still, interesting how it recalls the days of Doom when there were still remnants of arcade æsthetics hanging around — in that respect, it's got far more replay value in terms of going back to improve your high score. Shame about that early peak, though.