Hellgate is a fast paced hack and slash action role-playing game set in post-apocalyptic London. Explore procedurally generated dungeons, collecting weapons and armor to kill demons in a variety of ways. Although largely a single player experience you can team up with other players to defeat monsters or PvP.
|Publisher: T3Fun (HanbitSoft)
Type: Hack and slash MMORPG
PvP: Duels/Flagged Open-World
Release Date: October 31, 2007
Shut Down Date: December 31, 2015
Pros: +Fast Paced Combat. +Constant Loot. +Diverse Classes.
Cons: -Colorless Environments. -Repetitive Quests. -Underwhelming Weaponry.
Hellgate is a post-apocalyptic hack and slash RPG developed by Flagship studios. Combat is fast paced and extremely diverse, with the option to pick from several unique skill trees combined with a ton of randomly generated item drops. Whether you want to play a first person shooter or a third person action RPG you can pick from classes like the sly Blademaster to the enigmatic Engineer to overcome a nearly unlimited amount of demons from hell. Explore procedurally generated dungeons, never seeing the same environment more than once. Will you survive the demon-infested world? Hellgate unfortunately never managed to maintain a large enough playerbase to keep the game alive. HanbitSoft shut the game down (for a second time) on December 31, 2015.
Hellgate Key Features:
- Class Variety - Three factions and six classes complete with respective skill trees.
- Custom Playstyle - play the game either as third person hack and slash or first person shooter.
- Lively Combat - Fast paced combat and waves of enemies keep you on your toes.
- High Loot Drops - Frequent and numerous amounts of loot leads to constant gear cycling.
- Procedural World - Random dungeons and item drops mean never playing the same way twice.
Hellgate Featured Video
Guardian – Front line defensive warrior encourages the classic sword and shield fighting technique.
Blademaster – A dual-wielding menace focused on dealing large amounts of damage.
Marksmen – The standard soldier relying on ranged weaponry and dealing large amounts of constant damage.
Engineer – Able to use standard weapons but focuses instead on a versatile skill set like drones and robots.
Summoner – A spellcaster able to draw forth elemental and demonic spirits to battle for tem.
Evoker – Pure deadly energy fighting with lighting, fire, spirit and even vampirism.
By, Charlie Perez
A world of devastation, destroyed by frenzied demons, is on the brink of total collapse and it’s up to you to save it. Pick from several classes with varied ways to eradicate the home destroying demons. Along the way, explore what’s left of civilization and learn of the struggle and sacrifice of humanity's remaining few people.
Don’t Go Breaking My City
Those pesky demons destroyed the previously beautiful London, and what remains is only death and destruction. Tall buildings and once bustling streets are now desolate, devoid of any sentient life and a grim reminder of what was. While thematically correct, there is unfortunately nothing interesting to see, no breathtaking sights, no sweeping landscapes, only muddy and gray textures as far as the eye can see. The level-building is randomly generated which makes exploring painfully dull as you’ll see the same few objects/blocks of environment repeat itself. Area rotation, however, cycles fast enough to avoid seeing too much of the same areas—locations like an abandoned train station and hell itself help to freshen the experience.
Character modeling on the other hand is sharp and constantly changing due to new gear. From deadly swords and military-grade guns to unbreakable shields and impenetrable armor make every character unique and in constant flux. All of this looks great in action as the animations are smooth. This is especially noticeable on the Blademaster, akin to a traditional dancer this duel-wielder holds his swords with such grace and swings with only enough force to kill, but not enough to waste energy. Steps taken are always carefully calculated and never missteps. The animations make watching the character a visual treat.
Seek and Destroy
The main story quest is nothing extraordinary, but in these types of RPG games exploring the side-quests are where the world building comes in. One quest in particular starts soon after beginning the game. The player can do a series of missions for a little kid aptly named “Wart”; Wart asks you to hunt down a monster and retrieve a prosthetic leg. When you enter the designated area your first instinct is to look around for a dropped leg laying on the ground, the funny thing is the leg is physically inside a monster you need to kill. While the game doesn’t go into detail at all, or even mention it, it’s assumed the monster ate the leg and you pull it out, a gross mental image that makes you think what the sequence of events was to lose the leg. Wart then goes on to talk about his father and his story. Mini asides may not matter much in the overall story arc, but they definitely help to flesh out the background of the people in the world, and there are a lot of side missions to do.
Slashing or shooting through hundreds of enemies feels fast, fluid, and one even begins to wonder if you are the monster and not the demons. To start with there are two distinct ways to play in this MMORPG: typical third person, and a fairly rare first person mode. Granted you can only enter first person with a gun it’s still incredibly interesting and a bit shocking to be able to have such different styles of play in one game. Generally you have swords, shields, guns, and a special weapon called a Grappler. Most of the weapons are unfortunately bland but the Grappler is a bit more interesting. This silly looking weapon shoots out and latches on to an enemy and pulls them towards you, similar to Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, sans the “Get over here!” It’s not a desirable weapon for casual play, but it’s so dumb in practice one finds themselves using it to have a laugh at the pseudo zombie fishing taking place.
In addition to picking from six classes you can also specialize in three distinct ability trees with one passive skill tree each. For example, the engineer can have drones and robots, or the Blademaster can be a knight and duelist. You can put all your points into one tree or spread it out. Put a few skill points into each and see what you like then commit to one tree for maximum efficiency. While the amount of skills are limited in general, the core gameplay is all you need to mow through waves of demon spawn.
Exploring areas, as mentioned before, are a two-fold mess of nothing to see and, even worse, nothing to do or obtain. Going into every corner of the map doesn’t yield anything and is super disappointing. More often than not it’s better to rush to whatever objective or kill count you need. Also poorly done is the quest system, nearly every objective is, kill 25 monsters then a big dude. The combat is good enough to carry such blandness in objective design, but doesn’t totally make up for it.
All the Loot!
Upon killing enemies, bosses in particular, you recieve a huge amount of loot. Managing your items feels great. Your inventory is a callback to much older titles with its charming pseudo Tetris-fit everything in the best way possible. Armor, for example, takes up large blocks of space where as a sword will take up a thin column of space. Standard to Diablo-like games, the equipment collected usually needs to be inspected with a special item to discern special stats. You are unable to equip them until then but if the core stats on the piece aren’t good enough you can break it down for parts which can be used for building new items. This is annoying early on as you won’t have the necessary amount of analyzes to discern special stats, but quickly becomes a game of stat maximizing from each encounter. The constant cycling of new loot then inspecting and equipping or breaking down becomes an addictive mini-game in itself.
Final Verdict - Great
This hack and slash MMORPG focuses on fast and rewarding combat with a well realized theme, but because of the lifelessness other aesthetics fall, such as environmental and enemy design. Questing quickly becomes boring and exploring doesn’t yield anything tangible, but ever seeking treasure hunters have a lot of items to find, build, and upgrade. Even a decade ago it’s evident the future members of Blizzard knew what they were doing in creating Hellgate, an almost masterpiece in role-playing.
Hellgate System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP
Video Card: Direct X 9.0 with 256MB Ram
Hard Disk Space: 8G
Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7
CPU: Multi Core 2GHz and above
Video Card: Direct X 9.0 with 256MB Ram+
Hard Disk Space: 8G
Hellgate Online Music & Soundtrack
Hellgate Online Additional Information
Developer: Flagship Studios
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games, Electronic Arts, HanbitSoft, T3 Fun
Composer: Cris Velasco
North America: October 31, 2007
Asia: November 2, 2007
Australia: November 1, 2007
South Korea: February 22, 2008
Shut Down Date: December 31, 2015
Development History / Background:
Hellgate was developed by California based video game company Flagship Studios. In 2008 Flagship studios was seized due to filing bankruptcy and used as collateral for funding received from Comerica Bank. Development of the game halted, however, US/EU server support continued to be provided by Namco Bandai Games until January 31, 2009. HanbitSoft opted to pick the game up and redevelop it as Hellgate London: Resurrection. Originally only live in Korea as of June 2011, T3 Fun published the game as free to play in America soon after.