Guess what’s back from the gates of hell. Yes, it is Hellgate: London, the cult classic from 2007! Hellgate: London is an action RPG much like its inspiration, the Diablo series. Set in the near future city of London where demons roam the earth, players take on the role of a survivor out to fight the spawns of hell and ensure the survival of humanity.
Diablo But With Guns
Hellgate: London takes its cues from the action RPGs of old. The user interface is quite reminiscent of Diablo which is not too surprising given that some of the original development team members worked on the series. Featuring hack and slash gameplay, players can gain loot and experience that scales with the level of the enemies encountered. As with any other action RPG, Hellgate: London takes players into a variety of environments. There are, of course, dungeons which are occupied by various demonic entities, cathedrals, urban areas, and the London Underground which acts as a safe zone, among others.
It won’t be an RPG without classes to choose from and Hellgate: London allows you to choose from among six: the Blademaster (melee), the Guardian (melee), Summoner (magic), Evoker (magic), Marksman (ranged), and the Engineer (ranged). Unlike most action RPGs prior to Hellgate, the game allows for a first-person view should a player choose a ranged class. The other classes are restricted to a third person point of view.
There are NPCs (non-playable characters) which the player can interact with. They can grant quests to the player or serve as merchants with which the player can trade goods with. Looting is the name of the game here, with enemies dropping loot for the player to collect and use against future minions of hell.
To Hell and Back Again
Hellgate’s original developers dropped support for the game a few years back. Having been acquired by the Korean Hanbitsoft, it languished for a while in Steam Greenlight hell (no pun intended) before being finally placed for sale on Steam.
The rerelease saw a number of content pushed through. Prior to this Steam release a module called Hellgate: Tokyo was in development which was then included with this release. There are also a number of quests incorporated into the game with around 60 for the main storyline and an additional 300-odd side missions. The graphics seem pretty standard and not that pretty especially since many other hi-fidelity games have come out since the original Hellgate. It is certainly workable but not really pushing the boundaries of gaming technology. However, while the game may be good enough in terms of gameplay, there have been a number of bugs that have been reported since the release. There have been low framerate bugs and other game-breaking issues. Only time will tell if the current developers are actually going to develop the fixes.