I remember it like it was yesterday: my first encounter with
Painkiller was in a demo version of a game I installed from a CD that
came with PC Play magazine at the time. The first thing I did in the game was
driving the enemy into the wall with a stake. Until then, I had never seen
anything more violent in a video game.
This first-person shooter first appeared on PC on this day 18 years ago. The game was developed by the Polish studio People Can Fly, which later merged with Epic Games and disconnected, and although they made a single-player campaign with Painkiller to remember, the game became famous for its multiplayer and was a notable esports title for a while.
Painkiller, in the role of the late Daniel Garner, sent us to purgatory to
stop the war between hell and heaven. We had the task of killing all the
demons through different periods, and we didn’t need any further explanation.
Following the example of Doom and Serious Sam, Painkiller was a
fast, kill-all shooter, and the attempt at innovation had in mind the
so-called tarot cards that briefly give the player various skills or bonuses,
such as moving in slow motion.
Although the era of linear shooters in 2004 was coming to an end, Painkiller
was very well received. This can be seen in the amount of expansion that the
game received. There were five of them in total, and the last one came out
eight years after the game itself came out. Admittedly, it was only the
Battle Out of Hell expansion that was game-related while the others
could be played independently of the original and were done by other producers
At the end of 2012, a kind of remake of Painkiller Hell & Damnation followed, which added a cooperative mode to the game, and in 2013 the game first appeared on consoles, albeit - the seventh generation (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3).
The rights to the Painkiller series are today owned by the German-Austrian company Deep Silver, which is under Koch Media. The rights to the series were won by barter - Red Faction and Painkiller went in one direction, and Risen and Sacred in the other. A new Painkiller game is currently under development, directed by a team credited with the World War Z game.