When Painkiller Hell & Damnation released in October 2012 players were promised a steady stream of downloadable content. Developers, The Farm 51, have kept their promise and are back with the fifth content pack for the game which is called Heaven’s Above. We’ve been playing through it to see if it’s worth your time.
In the downloadable content so far we’ve had new maps for single, co-op and multiplayer. These have also brought new enemies, weapons and tarot cards which have helped keep the game feeling fresh. The Heaven’s Above DLC pack brings a new experience to Painkiller players by switching the viewpoint for the first time.
Instead of keeping the usual first person camera the Heaven’s Above DLC pack presents the action from above. The result of this is a game that feels more like an action-RPG such as Diablo or Torchlight than a first person shooter. At first it feels very cool but we got bored with it quite fast.
Viewing the action from above takes a little getting used to and it also seems to make things a little more difficult. This is partly due to the speed of the game which is as fast as ever. When running forward your character seems to get a little too close to the edge of the screen which makes it harder than it needs to be. This is most problematic when moving upwards as the user interface sits top and middle of the screen.
None of the content is lost by changing your viewpoint and there are as many monsters as ever. Probably by being able to see more of what is around yourself it feels easier than ever to get overwhelmed by the relentless hordes. Despite these issues it’s surprising just how well it does work from above and if anything the game seems to look nicer than ever.
There are five campaign maps to play with this DLC – Graveyard, Town, Babel, Angkor and Pentagon. All of these maps are playable in both co-op and single player. In addition to the new perspective the game features new power-ups and environmental weapons which include a howitzer gun. The pack also brings with it new Steam achievements and a new large Stone Golem enemy.
It’s nice to see the developers trying something different and the Heaven’s Above DLC does succeed in bringing a fresh experience to Painkiller players. The pack is fun while it lasts but it’s a rather expensive change to the game which is always going to be best when played from the first person.
The Heaven’s Above DLC is available now for £8.99 via Steam.