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To Hell and Back - Hellgate: London Review

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January 16, 2008 2:05:37 PM

Review written by Travis Meacham.

The creators of Diablo and Diablo II return to the action RPG arena with Hellgate: London, the first offering from their new development company Flagship Studios. With Diablo III nowhere in sight is Hellgate a worthy alternative?

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/01/16/hellgate_london_review/
January 16, 2008 2:56:33 PM

Quote:
With Diablo III nowhere in sight is Hellgate a worthy alternative?
No. Worst $50 I ever spent. I would have rather had the $50 stolen from me, that way I would have never had to purchase the game and suffer through the number, boring levels and bugs that plague the game.

Quote:
If the gameplay is good enough, boring levels and creature sameness can be forgiven but Hellgate further taxes the player with enough bugs and instability to turn even the most patient gamers into raving lunatics.
QFT +1.

Quote:
Hellgate is a game about gear, and while playing as the Evoker, I was dismantling or selling over 90% of the gear that dropped because I either couldn't use it or it wasn't an upgrade. ... Hellgate has a lot of gear, but I found all of it to be pretty disappointing.
Yes, they do have terrible loot. They didn't even impliment sets, and to my knowledge they still haven't. They're also working on an expansion (something about Stonehenge iirc) they need to focus on making the game not crap. If you put a stick (Expansion) in crap (HG:L), it's still crap... it just has a stick in it.

Quote:
What I Didn't Like: Client instability, managing inventory, the glut of worthless items, lack of quest variety, lack of monster variety, lack of level variety, the Evoker class as a whole, weak storytelling, no option to respec, repetitive combat, the terrible chat window and poor single-player support.


I feel the same way about the storytelling. Something is wrong with a game when a main character dies and you just don't care... Also, in the beta people complained about the lack of story to no end, and what was their answer to this? Put a 30 second video of a book turning pages while a guy reads a last-minute, thrown-together storyline. Outside of that 30 second seperator between Acts... there is no development of a story whatsoever. It's just "I saw some demon down by the sewer, go clean em out and I'll give you a green item that's absolutely worthless". LAME!

Oh well, I'll shut up now. Good review. :) 
January 16, 2008 3:34:03 PM

I played the demo, I absolutely hated it, the only good game so far from ex-blizzard employees that is good is guild wars hahaha. I convinced other people to stay away, my boss was gonna get it (he actually sorta liked the demo wtf).

Blizzard is working on a new mmo right now, we'll haft to see if it's a diablo mmo or a completely new title.
Related resources
January 16, 2008 3:49:54 PM

blizzard is working on a new mmo now? probably to counter guild wars 2.i hope its world of starcraft...only 2 blizzard games i liked were starcraft(greatest game ever) and diablo2. I tried sooo many times to download hellgate london but it didnt work, the game looks pretty medicore and lots of shinyness.
January 16, 2008 4:03:39 PM

Quote:
blizzard is working on a new mmo now?
They are, but to my knowledge they haven't announced what it will be. Whatever it is, it needs to break out of the stupid medieval fantasy stuff. It's ok, it works, but face it... it's starting to get boring. (I agree with the Starcraft part)
January 16, 2008 4:47:47 PM

I've never played this game, but from the review it sounds terrible. I'm just wondering how a game that is that bad get a 4/10 rating. Seriously, with 5 being an average / decent game shouldn't this be getting around a 2 maybe 2.5?
January 16, 2008 4:58:53 PM

The problem was that they hyped this game sooooo bad, and if you pre-ordered (and participated in the beta) you would see how little the game changed from beta -> release. Seriously, all they did was fix some crash bugs (obviously only like 3 out of the 1,000's that exist), and insert a 30 second cut-scene between Acts. (and just added the final 2 acts which is basically the first 3 repeated) THAT'S IT!

If this was your first time playing the game (not being in beta) then this game would get a 2-4, I would think. If you played beta you would want to give this a 1 or 0 because you realize that your beta test didn't fix or resolve any issues, it was a marketing gimmick to get more pre-orders. /rant off

*phew*
January 16, 2008 6:35:31 PM

yup game was that bad.

i played the engineer pet class guy. and you could equip the 'pet' with a weapon. no matter what weapon you put in the pet, the pet would 'eat' it. so even the very rare weapons that you'd give to it to make it more powerful would go buy buy. not sure if they ever fixed that.

but i am surprised at no mention of the $10 a month fee. unless they ditched that.
January 16, 2008 6:41:26 PM

Quote:
but i am surprised at no mention of the $10 a month fee. unless they ditched that.

It's optional. You only have to pay it if you wanted the monthly updated content.
January 16, 2008 8:32:56 PM

Thanks for telling it like it is Travis, I wholeheartedly agree with you. To think that for awhile, they had almost all of the major online and magazine publications hypnotized into thinking it was going to be a top notch game. Roper should crawl back to Blizzard and beg for his job back.
January 16, 2008 9:33:08 PM

I was part of the Alpha. I agree wholeheartedly (mostly) with the review, and the funny thing is, that i was bitching and moaning about all of these shortcommings in the forums (that FSS was a part of) and the hilarious thing is, everyone was yelling at me about it. They were like, why don't you be constructive and your ideas suck and nobodys going to listen to you.

They were right about nobody listening to me. And this is what they get. A horrible game that could have been 10x better. I told them they needed to delay the release because they still had 9 months worth of work to do, 2 months before release. And now here Hellgate is, getting a 4/10. It does suck. I tried to explain that to them before they tried making money on it, but nobody listened. And now i'm laughing at all those people who thought i was just some idiot.
January 16, 2008 10:21:59 PM

I don't think they had a choice about release date. They just ran out of cash. I was part of the alpha/beta too, and did my share of complaining on the forums. I don't think us alpha/beta testers were any smarter than FSS staff. We all knew the game was buggy, but FSS probably just didn't have the option to postpone release. It's sad, but sometimes that's how the market works.

Hellgate provokes a lot of sentiments, mostly because people expected A LOT from it, and it failed to deliver. On the other hand, it delivered enough that you could see there was a seed of greatness, D2-style, buried in there somewhere amidst all the crud.

I agree that some person(s) on the design team needs to be fired. There were some terrible design decisions made. I won't talk about the bugs, since that's been adequately covered in the review. I'll start by saying the game doesn't justify its name. There is nothing hellish about it, there's nothing in there that deserves the game's "M" rating. Tilesets are drab, monsters are drab. Characters look good, or could have looked good, but memory problems mean that you see only the low texture versions, and those are horrible. The music and sound is so-so. 10 years after the original Diablo, it can't even match the original's atmosphere. The original Diablo in its dated 640x480 res had 10x the atmosphere of this game, it really made you feel like you were exploring hell. Hellgate? Not so much.

The randomization was a poor choice. It was done for replayability, but there is more replayability in doing the same well-designed level 50 times than in doing 50 repeats of the same drab tunnels that sometimes twist left instead of right due to randomization. Moreover, I think it was fluff like that which kept the programmers busy when they could have been fixing bugs or putting in stuff that mattered.

The game tries to be too many things to too many people. It has first and third person view. It has a skill system like traditional RPGs, but it also has FPS style targeting crosshairs. It ends up disappointing fans of both genres. FPS people rightly claim that it's a dumbed down FPS with no headshots, endless ammo, etc. RPG people complain that the skills are too generic, the whole skill system is not well thought out. There is little synergy between many skills and it doesn't lend itself to the broad range of variations you had in D2/LoD, where you could build 8 different kinds of paladin and they all felt different when playing them.

The game seems to think it's an MMO (or so Bill Roper says) but it lacks most MMO features, such as end game content, a mail system, auction house, etc. There's still no way to transfer items to your own alts without begging someone else to hold them for you. This kind of situation is intolerable.

To be fair, the game does have a basic gameplay style that will appeal to many action-RPG fans. Most of the stuff that is wrong can be fixed, and if it is, there is a pretty darn good game hiding underneath. However, with its less-than-stellar launch and the multitude of bugs, the big question is whether enough people will stick around and keep funding progress.
January 16, 2008 10:28:00 PM

i suppose after giving it enough time it'll be as stellar as D2 as become. D2 wasn't as great as it is at the beginning either, but it wasn't as bad as HGL starts off.
January 16, 2008 10:41:56 PM

One thing I will add to my post above is that I have lost faith in Bill Roper. I loved D2/LoD and always assumed that Bill Roper was behind those games, and therefore knew what he was doing.

But then I read an interview where he said (to the effect): "we wanted to make a game where you could pick any skills at random and still end up with a character that was viable and fun. We wanted to build a skill set where you could experiment all you wanted because you couldn't make mistakes."

In my opinion, someone who can say that does not understand the RPG genre. The most fundamental and important thing in an RPG is the skill set, and you can't just cobble it together out of a number of random skills that look "fun".

The very base of replayability is the skill set. After you have beaten the game, the only reason to re-roll is to repeat the game for a significantly different experience. The "significant difference" comes from how carefully the skill set has been designed. You can't do this when skills are random. They have to be carefully chosen, and they have to mesh together with selective synergies so it's possible to make several builds within a class that feel unique and different. You can't do this if you remove the possibility for mistakes. If you dumb down the game to the point where everything is the same and your skill choices make no difference to the outcome, you have reduced the game to a single boring sameness where you can level through half the game without investing a single skill point, and where a new weapon provides 10x the bang than the skill points. This is what is happening in Hellgate now. It was even worse in the beta, so I guess FSS is coming to its senses.

I think some of the best ideas that made D2/LoD probably came from some unknown programming grunt and management just took the credit. Too bad Roper didn't bring that guy with him when he started FSS.
January 17, 2008 3:31:14 AM

I won the game at a competition 3 Months ago! I have not played the game yet!

Why?

It wont patch at all!

You cant download the patch at all!

Have downloaded the MP patch probably 10 times and in South Africa bandwidth is very expensive.

I should be able to sue EA for releasing a game in such a state!
January 17, 2008 7:27:15 AM

OK, Travis M. I read your review, I played Hellgate London, Diablo 2, all the games you play, I am alot like you, I like a good game and play them to have fun.

Let me go point by point on your ridiculous review.

#1 Get a real computer I guess? Hellgate has not crashed 1 freaking time for me, it patches fine, plays perfectly. I mean the way you talked in your silly review, I should not have been able to get passed any quests hardly because I would go back to the beginning. Lol to you? Not 1 crash, and I play with several friends over ventrillo, and they don't crash either? Must be your computer, which is ironic since your at Tom's and your supposed to have "working" computers to do your job. Pretty funny. Why doesn't mine crash?
#2 This game is way better than diablo 2 from a design perspective. Just the fact you can play it first person adds a totally new dimension to the game that puts it above Diablo games. Not only that, the game doesn't have the lame quirks diablo had, and is much more diverse in the way you can play the game.
#3 4/10? 4 out of 10? I think your way out of line. I think the crashes from your junk computer killed this review, because you just got overly frustrated from it. If it didn't crash like mine, and you were the slight bit rational, it would be at least 8/10 as its far above the quality of the average game out there that is released, far above.
#4 cinematics? You cried that you saw a war happen and you wanted to be in it? Dude, your such a hypocrite there! You ever play Starcraft, War3, etc, and they have the movies during the game with all the little wars, etc and then you start back on the SAME OLD GENERIC type of level, with the same basic strategy on every level? But of course, that game is a 9.5/10 with you right? In other words, the Cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with a game review, only the PLAY OF THE GAME DOES. I mean you would think this is like a "basic" of basic reviewing principle of any fair minded reviewer. Your just off your rocker. "the game's movies didn't live up to where it placed me when I started the mission, so the game sucks" Man, your insane.
#5 the level designs were repetitive? Then you compare it to Diablo 2 in the same paragraph? And the LEVELS ON DIABLO WERE ANY DIFFERENT? LOL Diablo was super repetitive! So is alot of games. Hellgate London has more different level designs than your fanboy game, Team Fortress 2, and that game doesn't suck, its a great game!.

This type of ridiculous 4/10 review from an obvious quality game like this makes you look really bad. Its not even objective, you just whine and hate, and find every little flaw in it, the glass is half empty the entire time.

Next time, load it up on a good computer, so you can enjoy yourself, maybe you overclocked your junk too high, which is my suspicion, which is why it crashed all the time. Some overclockers live in a fantasy land, maybe you, thinking their 4 GHZ system is stable because it could run Pi or whatever for 24 hours. Then you play games that generate alot more heat because of the video card going to 90 C or something, and crash your supposed stable system.

lastly, everytime I load hellgate, and log on, and there is a patch, it automatically patches, and works FLAWLESSLY.

People, this guy Travis M. is a laugh, and a joke, and this review makes him look really bad. People that have this game on solid computers know better.

LOL again, so funny.

LAAkuma
January 17, 2008 10:28:49 AM

it's indeed a sucky game, and it's an insult to compare it in any way to the diablo series..
I for one would wish they would make a new expansion for d2 or a new d3, with the isometric view. aka keepin it simple...
Games have become too much fosued on the latest uber 3d graphics rather then the actual gameplay...none of these new games can hold a candle to d2, not even wow..i mean, the game is kinda "designed" to get you addicted to it and to suck money outta your pocket...

even now when i think back to my diablo2 time...i start to remember how much time i spent carefully planning my character...and deleting lvl 90 chars just because i misplaced an skillpoint accidentally..

i was really hoping hellgate would be as half as good as diablo...but..nah.
January 17, 2008 10:38:59 AM

LAAkuma said:
OK, Travis M. I read your review, I played Hellgate London, Diablo 2, all the games you play, I am alot like you, I like a good game and play them to have fun.

Let me go point by point on your ridiculous review.

#1 Get a real computer I guess? Hellgate has not crashed 1 freaking time for me, it patches fine, plays perfectly. I mean the way you talked in your silly review, I should not have been able to get passed any quests hardly because I would go back to the beginning. Lol to you? Not 1 crash, and I play with several friends over ventrillo, and they don't crash either? Must be your computer, which is ironic since your at Tom's and your supposed to have "working" computers to do your job. Pretty funny. Why doesn't mine crash?
#2 This game is way better than diablo 2 from a design perspective. Just the fact you can play it first person adds a totally new dimension to the game that puts it above Diablo games. Not only that, the game doesn't have the lame quirks diablo had, and is much more diverse in the way you can play the game.
#3 4/10? 4 out of 10? I think your way out of line. I think the crashes from your junk computer killed this review, because you just got overly frustrated from it. If it didn't crash like mine, and you were the slight bit rational, it would be at least 8/10 as its far above the quality of the average game out there that is released, far above.
#4 cinematics? You cried that you saw a war happen and you wanted to be in it? Dude, your such a hypocrite there! You ever play Starcraft, War3, etc, and they have the movies during the game with all the little wars, etc and then you start back on the SAME OLD GENERIC type of level, with the same basic strategy on every level? But of course, that game is a 9.5/10 with you right? In other words, the Cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with a game review, only the PLAY OF THE GAME DOES. I mean you would think this is like a "basic" of basic reviewing principle of any fair minded reviewer. Your just off your rocker. "the game's movies didn't live up to where it placed me when I started the mission, so the game sucks" Man, your insane.
#5 the level designs were repetitive? Then you compare it to Diablo 2 in the same paragraph? And the LEVELS ON DIABLO WERE ANY DIFFERENT? LOL Diablo was super repetitive! So is alot of games. Hellgate London has more different level designs than your fanboy game, Team Fortress 2, and that game doesn't suck, its a great game!.

This type of ridiculous 4/10 review from an obvious quality game like this makes you look really bad. Its not even objective, you just whine and hate, and find every little flaw in it, the glass is half empty the entire time.

Next time, load it up on a good computer, so you can enjoy yourself, maybe you overclocked your junk too high, which is my suspicion, which is why it crashed all the time. Some overclockers live in a fantasy land, maybe you, thinking their 4 GHZ system is stable because it could run Pi or whatever for 24 hours. Then you play games that generate alot more heat because of the video card going to 90 C or something, and crash your supposed stable system.

lastly, everytime I load hellgate, and log on, and there is a patch, it automatically patches, and works FLAWLESSLY.

People, this guy Travis M. is a laugh, and a joke, and this review makes him look really bad. People that have this game on solid computers know better.

LOL again, so funny.

LAAkuma


1-reread the review
2-look at his pc specs
3-understand his point of view
4-don't fixate on one reviewer's score
January 17, 2008 11:39:47 AM

I was in the MP beta and i can agree it was very buggy, however allot of the bugs have been fixed, at least for me.

Ive not had the memory leak for a while now on the MP client, I played the game only on the MP client because i move allot and use multiple computers and having a character you can access anywhere is nice. In the MP The game is saved all the time, i never lose gear for quiting in the middle of battle.

From what it seems the MP client is more stable then the SP one. I never played it on the SP client and my experience seems to be better because of it.
January 17, 2008 12:36:03 PM

Quote:
OK, Travis M. I read your review, I played Hellgate London, Diablo 2, all the games you play, I am alot like you, I like a good game and play them to have fun.

Let me go point by point on your ridiculous review.

#1 Get a real computer I guess? Hellgate has not crashed 1 freaking time for me, it patches fine, plays perfectly. I mean the way you talked in your silly review, I should not have been able to get passed any quests hardly because I would go back to the beginning. Lol to you? Not 1 crash, and I play with several friends over ventrillo, and they don't crash either? Must be your computer, which is ironic since your at Tom's and your supposed to have "working" computers to do your job. Pretty funny. Why doesn't mine crash?
#2 This game is way better than diablo 2 from a design perspective. Just the fact you can play it first person adds a totally new dimension to the game that puts it above Diablo games. Not only that, the game doesn't have the lame quirks diablo had, and is much more diverse in the way you can play the game.
#3 4/10? 4 out of 10? I think your way out of line. I think the crashes from your junk computer killed this review, because you just got overly frustrated from it. If it didn't crash like mine, and you were the slight bit rational, it would be at least 8/10 as its far above the quality of the average game out there that is released, far above.
#4 cinematics? You cried that you saw a war happen and you wanted to be in it? Dude, your such a hypocrite there! You ever play Starcraft, War3, etc, and they have the movies during the game with all the little wars, etc and then you start back on the SAME OLD GENERIC type of level, with the same basic strategy on every level? But of course, that game is a 9.5/10 with you right? In other words, the Cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with a game review, only the PLAY OF THE GAME DOES. I mean you would think this is like a "basic" of basic reviewing principle of any fair minded reviewer. Your just off your rocker. "the game's movies didn't live up to where it placed me when I started the mission, so the game sucks" Man, your insane.
#5 the level designs were repetitive? Then you compare it to Diablo 2 in the same paragraph? And the LEVELS ON DIABLO WERE ANY DIFFERENT? LOL Diablo was super repetitive! So is alot of games. Hellgate London has more different level designs than your fanboy game, Team Fortress 2, and that game doesn't suck, its a great game!.

This type of ridiculous 4/10 review from an obvious quality game like this makes you look really bad. Its not even objective, you just whine and hate, and find every little flaw in it, the glass is half empty the entire time.

Next time, load it up on a good computer, so you can enjoy yourself, maybe you overclocked your junk too high, which is my suspicion, which is why it crashed all the time. Some overclockers live in a fantasy land, maybe you, thinking their 4 GHZ system is stable because it could run Pi or whatever for 24 hours. Then you play games that generate alot more heat because of the video card going to 90 C or something, and crash your supposed stable system.

lastly, everytime I load hellgate, and log on, and there is a patch, it automatically patches, and works FLAWLESSLY.

People, this guy Travis M. is a laugh, and a joke, and this review makes him look really bad. People that have this game on solid computers know better.

LOL again, so funny.

LAAkuma


1. This game at release crashed more than a blind asian women driving in the rain. It was terrible and it took them about 3 months to get someone hired to begin fixing this memory leaks and the constant stream of "Server Errors" that would force to you re-run and entire level. (You're in Act III, almost to the last boss. You've just went through 3 other boring, repetitive zones... SERVER ERROR! Now you have to go back and re-complete all three previous boring levels just to get back where you were and have the crash happen again.) Also, if you bother to read, he used the Single Player client. You use the online client as you say you play with your friends. I'm going to say the game was not stable for quite some time, be it sinlge or multiplayer. As I said above, they had to hire someone specifically to patch all your mem leaks / errors.

2. No, its not. First person does not add a new dimension of game play. It's just third person except your character model is replaced with the model of your weapon. You can't make headshots or achieve faster kills in first person mode, it's just there to try and satisfy the people from the FPS genre, and it failed miserably.

3. 4/10 was being generous. This game was rushed out to release and the devs were all warned repeatedly in the alpha/beta forums. All the stuff that the game is lacking - yeah, that's the stuff we've commented on and told them: "Hey this needs to be fixed." Only to receive no developer responses (or probably views for that matter). LOL. This is not worthy of an 8/10, it is far below the standard for the average game... If you want something quality, go play CoH, CoD4, Bioshock, GoW, etc.

4. The whole game doesn't feel "hellish" as others have stated. The cinematic are the only thing that give any kind of notion that the world has been taken over by some evil force and they you're all for out numbered. It provides a feeling of hopelessness and action that is never present in the game. Oh, look... 4 dumb crawlers that are throwing fireballs at walls. Scary! ... please.

5. One Act in D2 used more tilesets than were present in the entire HG:L game. When Acts 1-3 look exactly the same... that's just sad. At least in D2 you go from Plains > Desert > Jungle > Hell > Winter Place. It's at least someone dynamic. HG:L is always a variation of a sewer or city street.
January 17, 2008 1:42:59 PM

I personally went through what Travis did concerning the crashing. I had to run though 3 zones to make it before the game would crash. Of course this was within the first week of the game launch, although I was in the multiplayer so seems both clients were affected. Travis when did you play the game? If it was when the game came out, why did the review take so long because the stability problems have been fixed(for me at least).
January 17, 2008 3:14:30 PM

LAAkuma said:
OK, Travis M. I read your review, I played Hellgate London, Diablo 2, all the games you play, I am alot like you, I like a good game and play them to have fun.

Let me go point by point on your ridiculous review.

#1 Get a real computer I guess? Hellgate has not crashed 1 freaking time for me, it patches fine, plays perfectly. I mean the way you talked in your silly review, I should not have been able to get passed any quests hardly because I would go back to the beginning. Lol to you? Not 1 crash, and I play with several friends over ventrillo, and they don't crash either? Must be your computer, which is ironic since your at Tom's and your supposed to have "working" computers to do your job. Pretty funny. Why doesn't mine crash?
#2 This game is way better than diablo 2 from a design perspective. Just the fact you can play it first person adds a totally new dimension to the game that puts it above Diablo games. Not only that, the game doesn't have the lame quirks diablo had, and is much more diverse in the way you can play the game.
#3 4/10? 4 out of 10? I think your way out of line. I think the crashes from your junk computer killed this review, because you just got overly frustrated from it. If it didn't crash like mine, and you were the slight bit rational, it would be at least 8/10 as its far above the quality of the average game out there that is released, far above.
#4 cinematics? You cried that you saw a war happen and you wanted to be in it? Dude, your such a hypocrite there! You ever play Starcraft, War3, etc, and they have the movies during the game with all the little wars, etc and then you start back on the SAME OLD GENERIC type of level, with the same basic strategy on every level? But of course, that game is a 9.5/10 with you right? In other words, the Cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with a game review, only the PLAY OF THE GAME DOES. I mean you would think this is like a "basic" of basic reviewing principle of any fair minded reviewer. Your just off your rocker. "the game's movies didn't live up to where it placed me when I started the mission, so the game sucks" Man, your insane.
#5 the level designs were repetitive? Then you compare it to Diablo 2 in the same paragraph? And the LEVELS ON DIABLO WERE ANY DIFFERENT? LOL Diablo was super repetitive! So is alot of games. Hellgate London has more different level designs than your fanboy game, Team Fortress 2, and that game doesn't suck, its a great game!.

This type of ridiculous 4/10 review from an obvious quality game like this makes you look really bad. Its not even objective, you just whine and hate, and find every little flaw in it, the glass is half empty the entire time.

Next time, load it up on a good computer, so you can enjoy yourself, maybe you overclocked your junk too high, which is my suspicion, which is why it crashed all the time. Some overclockers live in a fantasy land, maybe you, thinking their 4 GHZ system is stable because it could run Pi or whatever for 24 hours. Then you play games that generate alot more heat because of the video card going to 90 C or something, and crash your supposed stable system.

lastly, everytime I load hellgate, and log on, and there is a patch, it automatically patches, and works FLAWLESSLY.

People, this guy Travis M. is a laugh, and a joke, and this review makes him look really bad. People that have this game on solid computers know better.

LOL again, so funny.

LAAkuma


Normally, I don't get into the habit of fighting my editors' battles on the forums, but I couldn't help myself this time -- I hate when people carry their argument to irrational lengths and begin to infer and assume things about author's experiences and then start writing "quotes" of what they think the author is feeling or what his system is running. I'll just stick with the "junk computer" part of the argument and let Travis and other folks here deal with the rest of your post. I take issue with your glib comment about Tom's not having quality computers to test games. If Travis' system is good enough to run Crysis (and it is), then it should be good enough to run Hellgate (and it is). Furthermore, when you patrol the official Hellgate forum and fans forums and read post after post about crashes and bugs, especially for the single player mode, then would you say all of those gamers have crap computers, too? Just because you and your friends didn't have any problems, then that means the problems don't exist? Instead of being negative, why don't you tell us what your system specs are and maybe try to help people fix the problems they're having with Hellgate? It is, after all, a discussion forum.

I guess you caught me on a bad morning, Laakuma. Don't take it personally -- and please, don't make it personal next time. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to overclock my new PC...




January 17, 2008 4:22:11 PM

LAAkuma,

If you and your friends are playing that means you're using the multiplayer client. I stated in the review that the multiplayer client is much more stable than the single-player but that doesn't mean that we just ignore the single-player and review the multiplayer only. I'd be obliged to argue more of your points but frankly we've seen an overwhelming stream of support from the Hellgate fans about this review which leads me to believe that... well... that you're just wrong.
January 17, 2008 5:08:22 PM

Travis: I appreciate your honesty when you published this review. Actually, I had ask some time ago if you guys could review this game and you (or one of your editors) agreed to review the game. So thanks again.

Laakuma: Multiplayer patch is better than single player...I'll assume you played the game in multiplayer since you play with friend on Ventrillo, which explains you not having issues. Travis mentioned SINGLE PLAYER issues were horrible...not as much as the multiplayer. Furthermore, the review is not based entirely on the crashes. It's based on the poor delivery of many aspects and did not deliver even on basic expectations.***Edited - Travis already covered that part***

As for the score being 4/10. Well I'll have to agree, unfortunately. I got this game as a gift. Then looked into it and saw the creators of Diablo I & II were involved in making the game, now under Flagship Studios, and figured it would probably have this Diablo feel to it such as leveling, the good old necromancer type characters, etc. After trying the game both in SP and MP mode, I have to say it was the most disapointing game I have ever tried. Not because of the hype but because I feel sorry for Flagship studios who ended up publishing a very poor product. I was hoping for the next-gen Blizzard but perhaps my expectations were to high.

It may seem childish but most people don't want to read the story while in a blits of action going around them, they want to hear it. Voice would have been the least to do when interacting with characters and if necessary, subtitles to be available. The mission were absolutely redundent and pointless to the storyline. Now, people like Laakuma might argue that the game still has some good to it which I can kind'of support... but if you start comparing this game to other games in the same genre, it fails on multiple levels.

To be fair, I will admit that I am a PC Shooter type player. However, i've played Oblivion which may be single player but has this first person/third person feel, and enjoyed every moment of it. Mostly, I was (and still am) a BIG fan of Diablo II. I don't think Diablo II can be beaten as a game in this genre, especially if Flagship can't come even close to it. Ironic really.

This game might have gotten a pass grade if the game came out with the latest patch and if it was released in 2004 or earlier.
January 17, 2008 6:12:43 PM

Travis, I've been telling you for months that it's time to upgrade from your 486 processor and Diamond Stealth VLB video card. Get with the times!

In all seriousness, I can vouch that the staff here all has great equipment, with the exception of Kevin Parrish, as he's just doing console stuff for now. We're all geeks, we know how to build PCs, we like to build the best machines we can, and we push games to their limits.
January 17, 2008 7:08:49 PM

Its not personal, I like both the guys from Tom's, I watch all their videos, and I think they are normal people.

I just can't fathom the game not being above average. I play so many games, and this game without the bugs your saying, is above average no question.

I started playing it like Dec 20.

#1 I beat the single player mode, worked flawlessly.
#2 I beam all 3 modes of multiplayer, with different characters, worked great.

My friends don't complain about the crashes, and it works great for them, they like the game too. They are all Diablo 2 and WOW fans. I am not a wow fan, but diablo 2 was cool, like this game is.

I completely disagree with the first person shooter vs third peson, and that hellgate failed miserably. The purpose of first person shooter mode is to emerse yourself in the environment more, NOT to get headshots like quake. lol. It succeeds at that.

I just feel like the reviewer nit picked the game apart, and just missed the quality of it. Maybe if he played it now, he might feel different. Its very stable for me and everyone I know.

His points don't really kill a game, they are very small points, such as the movie scene, then your in the alley alone, but he didnt think that EVERY game is like that!

Also on the item drops. You do know, that you don't have to pick it up if you don't want to, simply look at it on the ground, and if its got a red X through it, you can't use it, so don't pick it up, and if you want to look at it, press F and pick it up. Perhaps the reviewer did not know this. Because if he did know this, his negative point about the too much item is no longer a mute point.

besides, I never heard anyone in wow, or diablo complaining about so much loot. Ever. Thats funny to me. TOO MUCH LOOT!! Game sucks! haha.

My system is:

Crossfire 3750 overclocked watercooled
Maximus Formula Se NB watercooled
E6750 overclocked to 3.6 GHZ watercooled
Cosmos 1000 case
Coolermaster Truepower 750
WD Raptor 150
Vista 64 bit
4 Gigs of Crucial Ballistix tracer 1066 @ 450 MHZx8

I built all my friends computers as well, and they have generally the same computer as me, except they all have 8800GT video cards instead of the crossfire. Which is what I should have got, but I wanted to test them out.

Thanks guys, but please, give Hellgate another try, maybe it patched now and works good, its a fun game over Ventrillo with your friends, alot of strategy to it that makes it play like a good RPG, in first person shooter mode, a UNIQUE combination.

LAAkuma
January 17, 2008 7:25:19 PM

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/hellgatelo...

apprently, the reviews got higher the later in time it was patched, I apparently started playing it after a couple patches. The 40 ratings, were made RIGHT WHEN it came out, where it was apparently too buggy. I didn't play it then, so I don't know.

My point is, what would the game be rated with NO CRASHES. Its totally apparent, the 40 ratings there were 100% due to bugs, and crashes, and pure frustration. After all, if you can't even achieve objectives, the game sucks, for sure.

When it doesn't crash, respected reviewers across the globe gave it 70-90 scores, as it deserves.

Try it on another computer.

LAAkuma
January 17, 2008 8:33:34 PM

4/10! 4/10! A review that dropped below 7/10, I don't believe it! I've never seen a game rated so bad :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

:trophy: to Travis for breaking tradition and not saying "the game sucks" and then giving it a 7 ;) 

I thought the same about the demo: boring, buggy, useless equipment, forever doing miniquests for wooden legs and crap. I didn't have crashes, but I did hit demons with my sword from 20m away.
January 17, 2008 9:08:03 PM

Laakuma,

I am not so sure whether you are an employee from FSS or you just want to show case your computer or your skill or you just want to insult other people? How old are you?

1. Get a real computer? Are you kidding here? Your computer doesn't crash doesn't mean that most computers don't. I have 3 very good computers in my house, they rarely crash with any game, but Hellgate is simply the most buggy game I ever play.

2. Read the reviewer's opinion again. They are valid points. And the first-person shooting perspective? It's a fake implementation if you ever play counter strike.

3. I agree with you that 4/10 is a bit too harsh but it's his personal opinion.

4. You insulted the reviewer but your comment "Cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with a game review, only the PLAY OF THE GAME DOES" shows that you are stupid. To many people, cinematics is part of the game.

5. Have you played the game? And have you played Diablo? Are you insane? Look at the level designs, they have only a few different designs and they just recycle those levels for each mission. Compare to Diablo, at least, in Diablo, each levels in Act IV is different from Act V.
Anonymous
January 17, 2008 9:43:58 PM

Hellgate london is such a joke of a game the entire basis is BACKPEDAL WHILE SHOOTING/CASTING, this game was terrible since alpha and the crashes have been ridiculous until the latest patch. The storyline is garbage the loot is terrible, its a completely unpolished game. When lak says he never had any crashes he must have been playing for only a few weeks now because playing that game in dx10 was just ASKING for a crash. The game is just so incredibly repetitive there doesnt feel like there is any character growth because the skills are so **** and you completely rely on repetitive uninteresting gear. Its just a mindless wanna be hack n slash with the worst FPS implementation ive ever seen and requires absolutely ZERO skill to play. Anyone who loves this game obviously doesnt know what a good game is.
Anonymous
January 17, 2008 9:47:33 PM

LAAkuma said:
http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/hellgatelo...

apprently, the reviews got higher the later in time it was patched, I apparently started playing it after a couple patches. The 40 ratings, were made RIGHT WHEN it came out, where it was apparently too buggy. I didn't play it then, so I don't know.

My point is, what would the game be rated with NO CRASHES. Its totally apparent, the 40 ratings there were 100% due to bugs, and crashes, and pure frustration. After all, if you can't even achieve objectives, the game sucks, for sure.

When it doesn't crash, respected reviewers across the globe gave it 70-90 scores, as it deserves.

Try it on another computer.

LAAkuma

90???!!! LOL for real, whoever did that should be fired and blacklisted. Its such a bad game and is all over THE WORST GAMES OF THE YEAR everywhere you look. Apparently the gigantic part of the gaming community that thought this game was garbage is completely off base while you obviously know where the good **** is at.

edit - you AND your 3 friends.
January 18, 2008 5:03:09 AM

I think the best game I played this year is Team Fortress 2 and COD4. I think the mistake reviewers are making is that they always compare a game X years old to the game they are reviewing. What they don't understand is that newer games that are similar are NEVER as fun because the new car smell has worn off. you get it?

Expectations are too high, and totally unrealistic.
January 18, 2008 1:48:39 PM

I can understand and also agree with most of the points in the review. Still, my friends and I are having an absolute BLAST playing Hellgate. Go figure??? lol
January 18, 2008 2:04:02 PM

Quote:
Expectations are too high, and totally unrealistic.
It's better to have high expectations than just accept whatever crap they slop into your lap.

If no one criticized games, there would never be innovation or improvements. (EA needs to be boycotted since they're name is synonymous with "Rushed-Sh*& Games" - Seriously, go get a thesaurus and look it up.) If you enjoy playing rushed, unpolished games. More power to you, it just means you'll have more fun and get a lot more out of most game releases.

For the rest of us, there needs to be some standard or inkling that the developers really put their heart and soul into the game... This one just feels like the devs didn't care. It's the same 5-10 monsters, the same 5-6 level designs (maybe you get an extra chest and an extra hallway in one level, woohoo!), and there isn't any character development and a sad excuse of a storyline. I felt like I was grinding in EQ the whole time I quested, except it was even less fun. (If that is even possible)
January 19, 2008 1:04:59 AM

Some commentary about our experience with the game:

We actually have two copies of the game. The deluxe edition, bought at launch. And the other copy that Travis has.

We tried this on five different computers. Travis's review machine, one medium-high spec gaming pc, two high spec gaming pcs, and a laptop.

We tried both single and multiplayer mode.

The game, at last check, still has a memory leak. Which is a significant improvement, as the version at launch caused the RAM state LEDs to light up like an epileptic Christmas tree, while doing nothing more than standing in a subway tunnel.

The review was based on the version in January.

If we had reviewed it before December 20, when one of the most critical patches was released, I'm not sure what Travis would have given it, but I would have ranked it as one of the most broken games of the year, I think it would go

1.Deal or no deal DS, (The DS version was far more broken than the other versions)
2.Hour of Victory 360,
3.Ninjabread man/ Anubis II Wii
4. Hellgate London.

The most interesting bug that Shelton found while playing this game was an anti aliasing transparency thing that caused something that we call "Chuck Norris Mode" that caused everything on the character to become transparent, but biceps and beard. We have pictures of that somewhere. I might dig them up.

I ask this question: If the game was not as buggy and unstable, what rating does it deserve?

I actually saw enough of it that looked interesting, that I intend to look at it again, perhaps in 6 months, after they've had a chance to work out the bugs.

It's stuff like this that makes me want to give some sort of score, rating, ect for game stability/ completeness. You occasionally hear people talk about a game crashing in a review, but it's pretty rare. And it's not a whole lot of information.
January 19, 2008 2:53:03 AM

Wow I wonder why a game that the reviewers game 4/10 is so loved by so many people. I mean the game is so much fun to play with your friends, and I see more people in the stations all the time, its crowded.


I mean you got caught making a negative point that you really went off on, that has nothing, whatsoever to do with gameplay at all, whatsoever, and you guys were so high and mighty you cant admit you were wrong.

Give it a 4/10 for the right reasons, but don't drag in lame "cinematics didn't match where you expected to start" nonsense.

This is a multiplayer game as well as single, and I hate to ring your bell, but people don't play it to watch the movies in between acts. lol.

I guarantee if this game was not buggy to the people that had that problem, it would get double the rating. Its very fun to play when it works apparently.

All the review shows to me, and many others, is the lack of maturity and "OMG" high school banter factor the reviewers really have. They need to be objective, professional and grow up.

When you review a game with power like this site has, you better be objective, because your affecting many, many people who's livelihoods depend on the sales of the game.

So leave out the nonsense that has no place in a review and stick with the things that matter.

Your points:

1) stability
2) gameplay/fun factor
3) design
4) graphics
5) lasting enjoyment

Are all part of a review. The game would score high in many of those, and low in others. Well, most people know that, because all across the web the game gets an average 7/10 or so rating.

Too many items. LOL I mean damn, are you sure your a gamer? you sure you play RPG's? LOL
Cinematics? LOL! I really LOL when I read that. Who the hell buys a game becuase of that? People buy a game because its fun and they like the gameplay. LOL. Damn.

I know the reviewer feels noob, he knows no review should have those nonsensical points in them, he knows it. But he won't man up and admit it.

I dont expect him to admit he was wrong on those 2 points, but I know, that he knows hes wrong.

LAAkuma
January 19, 2008 3:30:23 AM

rgeist554 said:
(EA needs to be boycotted since they're name is synonymous with "Rushed-Sh*& Games")


C'mon now, BF2 ran stellar without so much as a single issue when released after 6 months of patching.


January 19, 2008 4:43:04 AM

They have rush games. They have to. It costs so many millions of dollars to make 1 game, if they don't come out with it, it kills them.

So they patch it as it goes along. Thats how it is. If it didn't cost so many millions of dollars to make 1 game, then I think a boycott is great.

But we need to support the companies who make the games. More the better.

LAAkuma
January 19, 2008 11:21:17 AM

Wouldn't they make more if they waited a few months to get it right, release it and be able to keep it a the $40-50 usual release price range longer than having to discount it in a month or two do to bad word of mouth? Generally speaking, I wait a few months before buying a PC game for that very reason.
January 19, 2008 4:35:58 PM

LAAkuma said:
Wow I wonder why a game that the reviewers game 4/10 is so loved by so many people. I mean the game is so much fun to play with your friends, and I see more people in the stations all the time, its crowded.


I mean you got caught making a negative point that you really went off on, that has nothing, whatsoever to do with gameplay at all, whatsoever, and you guys were so high and mighty you cant admit you were wrong.

Give it a 4/10 for the right reasons, but don't drag in lame "cinematics didn't match where you expected to start" nonsense.

This is a multiplayer game as well as single, and I hate to ring your bell, but people don't play it to watch the movies in between acts. lol.

I guarantee if this game was not buggy to the people that had that problem, it would get double the rating. Its very fun to play when it works apparently.

All the review shows to me, and many others, is the lack of maturity and "OMG" high school banter factor the reviewers really have. They need to be objective, professional and grow up.

When you review a game with power like this site has, you better be objective, because your affecting many, many people who's livelihoods depend on the sales of the game.

So leave out the nonsense that has no place in a review and stick with the things that matter.

Your points:

1) stability
2) gameplay/fun factor
3) design
4) graphics
5) lasting enjoyment

Are all part of a review. The game would score high in many of those, and low in others. Well, most people know that, because all across the web the game gets an average 7/10 or so rating.

Too many items. LOL I mean damn, are you sure your a gamer? you sure you play RPG's? LOL
Cinematics? LOL! I really LOL when I read that. Who the hell buys a game becuase of that? People buy a game because its fun and they like the gameplay. LOL. Damn.

I know the reviewer feels noob, he knows no review should have those nonsensical points in them, he knows it. But he won't man up and admit it.

I dont expect him to admit he was wrong on those 2 points, but I know, that he knows hes wrong.

LAAkuma


Clearly, I'm not getting through to Laakuma. I asked him to not to make this personal, and what do you know? He's right back at it, calling my reviewer a "noob" while simultaneously arguing that we write like high schoolers and need to grow up. Brilliant commentary, if you ask me...

January 19, 2008 9:45:34 PM

At least he didn't resort to mother insults...
January 19, 2008 10:28:51 PM

I said he probably feels noob for the precise points I made.

Again, cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with gameplay. You know you can't argue it, because if you did, I will bring up a ton of top tier games with no cimematics and destroy your weak criticism of hell gate.

Of course, you can't argue that fact, so you just try and redirect and make fun of me.

We all understand.

So more attacks? Or are you ready to admit cinematics mean nothing to gameplay and don't belong in a review.

If you dont understand why, ask me, and I will tell you. Well, why wait, I will tell you, since you don't understand basic game fundamentals.

#1 In order for something to be counted in a review, you have to be actually "playing" or "controlling" the experience. Since your watching a short clip with no control, and your not playing, it means nothing. Countless games have no movies built into them. And the biggest game of all time, in history doesn't either. Multiplayer games often don't.

Now you know, and for further reviews you will have no excuse to put in such ridiculous downsides to a game.

Ok, carry on, anything to avoid arguing reality, back to bashing me.
January 19, 2008 10:37:12 PM

Also, Mr. Rob Wright, I have to say, you can't read bro. You are saying something I never said?

I said keep it professional and mature IN THE REVIEW. ? LOL.

This is a forum NOT a review. If I think I am dealing with a whacked out left wing liberal emotional thinking person from LA who can't tell the difference from facts and emotional thoughts, I call it like I see it. That review was so emotional, and so far removed from objective, its way way off the chart. If you can't see that, and compare it to other professional reviews around the globe then I can't help you at all.

Another typical tactic of real emotional thinkers is that they can't argue the points, or defend them, they just re-direct the argument to anything else to avoid being wrong.

Its typical. Now I see the next step is banning me, since super uber emotional reviewers like that won't be able to back up their points and as a last resort take the reigns of power and stifle free thought before their agenda is exposed.

That next? Its kind of making me laugh. I still want to know how cinematics have anything to do with gameplay? Since your not playing at all during them, thus its not "GAME-play" notice the key word game. haha
January 19, 2008 11:52:07 PM

LAAkuma said:
I said he probably feels noob for the precise points I made.

Again, cinematics have nothing whatsoever to do with gameplay. You know you can't argue it, because if you did, I will bring up a ton of top tier games with no cimematics and destroy your weak criticism of hell gate.

Of course, you can't argue that fact, so you just try and redirect and make fun of me.

We all understand.

So more attacks? Or are you ready to admit cinematics mean nothing to gameplay and don't belong in a review.

If you dont understand why, ask me, and I will tell you. Well, why wait, I will tell you, since you don't understand basic game fundamentals.

#1 In order for something to be counted in a review, you have to be actually "playing" or "controlling" the experience. Since your watching a short clip with no control, and your not playing, it means nothing. Countless games have no movies built into them. And the biggest game of all time, in history doesn't either. Multiplayer games often don't.

Now you know, and for further reviews you will have no excuse to put in such ridiculous downsides to a game.

Ok, carry on, anything to avoid arguing reality, back to bashing me.



You can argue that cinematics shouldn't be part of a game review because they don't affect gameplay. If that's your view, hey, fine. You only want game reviews to analyze what players can control. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I disagree, and so does Travis. In fact, I think a lot of people would disagree with you. Cut scenes and cinematics can be frivolous, of course, but they often provide important narrative details and connect the dots between the story and the action of a game. If you eliminated the cut scenes of, say, Resident Evil 4 for example, the game would be a mess.

Plus, if you want reviews to discount uncontrollable factors like cinematic cut scenes, then what about the game's music? Or better yet, the graphics? Not all games have adjustable settings for graphics. I guess I'm just trying to understand your thinking on this.

And thanks for calling me a whacked out, uber emotional LA liberal. It had my liberal friends absolutely cracking up.
January 19, 2008 11:57:15 PM

I knew you would get a laugh out of the LA lib thing. It was funny. lol I dont know what you are. Just saying trhe review was highly emotional. Highly. We both live in LA, we can joke about it.

I agree with your response, thank you.

LAAkuma
January 20, 2008 5:40:02 AM

Reviews are opinionated. The game is a POS, get over it.
January 20, 2008 5:57:09 AM

Why is it a POS? Besides the crashing? Why? so far I get that:
1) too much loot.
2) crashing
3) cinematics
4) level repetitiveness

Got any more platitudes to spit out randomizer? Is your next post "it sucks"? Are you from LA too? lol

LAAkuma
January 20, 2008 7:12:26 AM

No I'm from a much better country. Poor graphics IMO, shocking hit detection (as I said before, I hit a guy 20m away with a sword), lack of skill required for the sword guys, just keep clicking as they run at you and you will hit them. It's a game you play when you:

1) Haven't slept for weeks and can hardly keep your eyes open (don't need to see to play).
2) Need to justify buying a new mouse by destroying your left mouse button.
3) Are angry.
4) Have loads of money to justify spending on it.
5) Got bored of playing WoW.
January 20, 2008 7:23:34 AM

Poor graphics? And then a list of 5 more platitudes.

Thank you for living in the US, I appreciate it.
January 20, 2008 9:04:54 AM

Well platitude pretty much sums up the game. There isn't anything worth saying about it. And I'm happy that I made you happy thinking I live in the US, I guess I'm not the only blind person on here.
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