Hellgate: London Beta Impressions

Likes

  • Lots of action — Fighting is satisfying.
  • Great graphics — Despite my hardware’s age what I see of the graphics does not detract from my game experience.

Dislikes

  • Storyline was not compelling enough — This the deal breaker for me. The sense of urgency in Hellgate: London felt contrived. Players are dropped into the story. I didn’t feel any affinity for my character or for the London that Flagship studios created.
  • Inflexible skill trees — You can’t even pay money to re-allocate your Skill points. I understand that this is the same as it was in Diablo, but you know I’ve never played Diablo. Am I spoiled by Guild Wars‘s flexibility in this respect? Probably.

Conclusion

If you enjoy action, Hellgate: London is probably worth investigating. Hellgate: London is great for those who want FPS-lite, since the gun-wielding Classes are less demanding to play than in full-on FPS games. Anyone who loved Diablo will probably find Hellgate: London enjoyable. If you don’t need to feel strongly attached to your characters, to the story, or to the location, Hellgate: London is probably worth a look, too.

I stress that I played the beta version for a total of about five hours. There were no cinematic cut scenes in the beta. Flagship Studios reports that they will be adding a lot of content on the October 31 release date, so take the information in this post with a grain of salt. It’s possible that the added content in the full version may make the game more immersive for me, but what I’ve played of it isn’t enough to convince me to buy it.

  2 comments for “Hellgate: London Beta Impressions

  1. 24 October 2007 at 09:32

    I think what it boils down to is: if you like Diablo, you’ll probably like HGL. If you don’t, you won’t for the most part. I agree that the story in the beta, so far, isn’t compelling.

    I do think they’ll be adding and strengthening the story as the release happens. A lot of (most) betas seem to take out the story segments so as to keep spoilers out of the net.

    That said, I’m not really sure how much story there will be in the final game. I know they’ve mentioned cinematic events that seem to bridge the Acts and that there is a beginning and opening cutscene to bookend the story…

    But, I think the majority of the story is going to be given via interactions with the quest NPCs, instead of the story-centered nature of Guild Wars (even though the stories in Guild Wars have ranged from terrible to okay).

    I also agree that the flexibility present in Guild Wars colors a lot of other games and expectations. I have no problem with static skill trees (GW is the exception in that rule) and I know they are looking into adding the ability to respec your class. But the flexibilty of changing skills inside towns ala Guild Wars won’t be here.

    I’m still on the fence about it, leaning towards wanting to play it, but I’ve put in a lot more hours…agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, though.

  2. 24 October 2007 at 22:45

    I’m interested in reading the reviews of the full version because if the content adds depth, I am prepared to reconsider.

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