I’m actually quite fond of HD re-releases, particularly for PS2-era games. 3D games age quickly, and without anti-aliasing, even the most attractive games from last gen tend to look a bit grotty on modern televisions. With the exception of Konami’s half-assed efforts – which are an affront to the classic games they purport to preserve – HD collections are usually a sound purchase.
Then there’s these PC re-releases and remakes. Most recently Painkiller and Doom 3 have been unearthed, smeared with makeup and dumped onto unsuspecting gamers. Both releases are bad – they not only fail to improve on the original titles, they’re actuallyworse. Doom 3 doesn’t really matter; It was a terrible game back in 2004, and it’s still a terrible game no matter how much motion blur you slap on top of it or how much you reduce the Field of View to emulate that playing-through-a-telescope COD experience. Painkiller Hell & Damnation, on the other hand, is a massive disappointment. The game looks a little better thanks to the UE3 engine, but almost every other change to the established formula makes the game worse. The FOV has been reduced (tolerable in Doom, unforgivable in a game that relies on positional awareness) and it’s now difficult to tell if you’re being hit and from where. Enemies have been sped up, turning bunny hopping from a neat extra to a necessity. The worst part is that it costs $20 and includes only 14 levels. Painkiller: Black Edition comes with none of the previous caveats, costs $9.99 and comes with around 34 levels. Taken on its own merits, Painkiller Hell & Damnation is alright at best, but taken for what it is – a remake of one of the shining examples of its genre – it’s soulless, money-hungry, insulting nonsense. The game deserves better than this – customers deserve better than this. If and when Med-Art adds the missing levels (for free, try to DLC that shit and I will vomit fire, I promise) and fixes the games’ issues, it’ll be worth a purchase; in the meantime I’d suggest you avoid it.