"Hellgate: London" Now In Stores

Hellgate images
Namco Bandai Games
Back in the good ol' days of the mid-'90s, console gaming entered its sophomore stages, with the introduction of Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's N64, to name a few. Among the ranks, however, PC gaming was no less the better, with a seemingly thriving gaming software base. Titles like "Doom" (I and II), "Warcraft," "Duke Nuke'em," and "Castle Wolfenstein" produced by top notch companies gave gamers a more advanced level of gaming experience.

One of those companies, Flagship Studios is continuing that trend by releasing this Halloween an action-RPG PC game titled "Hellgate: London." According to a press release, "Hellgate: London" is Flagship Studios' premier title heralded by the core team that created the blockbuster "Diablo" franchise. Flagship Studios CEO Bill Roper, Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer and David Brevik made up what was previously known as Blizzard North and were extremely involved with the development of "Warcraft," "Starcraft" and "World of Warcraft."

With well over a decade of synergy, the core members of Flagship Studios have some high expectations to meet as consumers have begun to expect nothing but the best from any titles presented by them.

In the press release, Roper said, "Halloween was the perfect fit as it ensures that Hellgate: London will have an appropriate amount of beta testing, while also being an incredibly fun time to unleash the game." Taking more time to perfect a title is typically a good thing but how well it does is totally dependant on consumer reception.

"Hellgate: London" is a pretty ambitious game. It's a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) with first person shooter (fps) elements sprinkled about. The game takes place in jolly ol' London about 37 years in the future and the city has been invaded by demons. It seems like London has been the target for extreme non-humanlike activity lately. With movies such as "28 Days Later" and games like "Resistance: Fall of Man," it's no wonder London is getting a bad rep. Tying in some historic content with the Freemasons, the Knight's Templar, the Crusades, etc., "Hellgate: London" evolves beyond the standard hack and slash, and is instead cultivated in historical content that helps reinforce the story line.

The story dictates that in the not so distant future, earthlings become whores of technology, relying less on human instincts, and spiritual teachings. So folklore, religious forebodings, etc. become annoying flies and are vastly ignored by the population. Due to this inevitable truth, events of a particular evil nature begin to unfold and London becomes the harbinger of sorrow for the entire world, harvesting a gate to hell.

Demons of all types wreak unspeakable havoc on the world, eliminating all of earth's technologically advanced weaponry, leaving armies completely decimated. However, all hope is not lost, as old relics foretold in biblical documents become Earth's saving grace.

As such, three factions survive this horrid holocaust: the Templar, Cabalists and Hunters.

The Templar faction stems from the secret society linked to the Knights Templar and are quite adept at short-range combat and melee attacks.

The Cabalists are students of the dark arts and science. Why does it always seem like magic and science are almost always linked together? Well there's no question about that combination here as the Cabalists leave nothing to chance and are well equipped with spells and hyper-powerful items that are almost evil in nature and most effective for mid-range combat.

Lastly we've got the Hunters. These folks are a bit on edge. Take a highly trained military operative who can thrive in the most inhuman conditions and put 'em on crack, and you've got a Hunter. They take no prisoners and make no excuses for their harshness. Using theoretical science and technology, these Hunters kick major butt and can be very effective at long range.

Having abandoned complete reliance on advanced technology, humans now turn to ancient arts, crafting weapons of old. Enriched with mystical strength, they become the only things that can harm these demonic creatures. The weapons are plentiful although some, like the Tempest Rifle, seem rather lame. Once fired it splits up into small white sparkling balls of electric current. It's somewhat similar to the shotgun in that it's most effective at close range.

There are plenty of bad guys to take down as well and they all vary in strengths and weaknesses. The enemy AI (Artificial Intelligence) is quite impressive. They really do pay attention to your play style.

"Bioshock" by 2K, "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars" by Id, and Bungie's infamous "Halo 3", are changing lives and breaking records as we speak. However, "Hellgate: London" for your PC can definitely stand up in this crowd of excellence. Therefore, we at Gamecore are really looking forward to getting more hands-on time with this title come this Halloween. It's safe to say that your PC wont get too much rest this holiday season with games like "Hellgate: London" coming to the market.