When I took my first look at Hellgate: London, I was pretty intrigued to know more about the PC title that looked like an FPS but was really an RPG. And there are certainly a lot of action-based scenarios and cool looking characters in the demo to warrant said reaction.
The key point of difference in Hellgate: London is the class system which we’ll get to a little later. At the basis of the game though, it’s really just like any other RPG out there. Eventually, you will end up leveling a character to say level 50 (which is the current level cap at the time of writing) and then you’ll decide to maybe invest your time in a clan or perhaps spend time doing other things in the game that are available to you such as crafting or whatever takes your fancy.
That’s where the character creation and classes really make a difference in this game. What I enjoyed most about Hellgate: London was the mixture of classes without too much of an emphasis on race.
Most of the other MMORPG’s out there (WoW, EQ etc) all deal with racial differences and classes, which are, for the most part, based on the legendary DND prototype that spawned a thousand RPG’s. Forget all of that. Hellgate: London doesn’t care about race. As the name suggests, Hellgate: London is really all about the human race battling with demons and an ancient, evil magic called ‘The Shadow’.
Although the multiplayer game play is great, the single player campaign is still fun to play and you might want to give it a bash if you’re a newbie to RPG’s or if you want to familiarise yourself with the story line (it really doesn’t matter that much but the option is there). The cut scenes explain a lot about the
background behind Hellgate: London so you can pretty much dive right into the multiplayer once you’ve reached that point.
But if single player is your thing, you’ll find the story won’t really satisfy and the action sequences are the one solid thing that shines through. Again, we refer you back to the multiplayer, where you’ll get to make your own path and get as much of the action as you want.
The class system in Hellgate: London is one of the best aspects of the game. The reason for this is primarily because you can play a magic user (or Summoner/Evoker) and shoot things at the same time! If you’re the type of gamer who always wanted to mix a bit of arcane knowledge with weapons, in Hellgate: London you get the opportunity to simply go wild with this!
The classes are split into magic users, engineers (like a techie person) and weapon masters. You can choose to be a Summoner but you will have the ability to also wield weapons — yes even if you’re a caster! This is great news. Now, casters don’t always have to be the useless ‘cloth wearer’ casting spells in the background whilst the hack-and-slasher types take all the glory up front in the fray of battle.
The NPC’s in the game are entertaining and responsive. If you’re of the female persuasion you should visit Murmur often, he’s one of the cutest looking NPC’s I’ve seen in a while in a game ;) Graphically, the game really does look good depending on your hardware and I didn’t encounter any buggy code or glitches. One of the most outstanding parts of this game resides in the soundtrack. Legendary game composer Sascha Dikiciyan (also known as Sonic Mayhem) does an outstanding job on the soundtrack, adding to the game an almost surreal and sometimes netherworld atmosphere to the game play. Nice graphics and great sound means it’s almost half way there to actually being a good game to play.
The only negative for Hellgate: London relates to the instanced dungeons and the repetitive maps. You’ll find that as you’re leveling up, the dungeons are all the same and very rarely change. Whether or not this is something that will be rectified in the future is anyone’s guess but it really does detract a lot from the enjoyment and adventure of the game as a whole.