Standard Doom-style thrills
If hi-octane first-person bullet fests like Painkiller or even good old Doom are your bag, then you might be tempted to check out Hellforces to give you your next fix. Unfortunately, it's far from great and provides only limited old-school shooting thrills that will only keep you happy for a while. Perhaps the most interesting parts are the game's background and story, which tell a dark tale that mixes sci-fi and horror and which takes place in a future where a failed experiment with alternate power sources has unleashed a demonic plague of zombies and demons. Apparently, the only one able to stop this plague is a bartender named Steve (they are known for their undead-slaying skills) and who must then make his way through a series of familiar looking levels, slaying enemies as he goes. The environments are generally quite linear so don't encourage exploration but there are a few interesting ones like temples and labs thrown in amongst the more familiar city street levels and which help to maintain interest. You've got an impressive arsenal of over twenty weapons to help you out, while there's also a few handy gadgets like night vision and movement sensors to even the odds a little. While everything sounds good on paper, Hellforces is let down by a number of flaws. Although the range of guns is great, they all handle extremely poorly, while enemy AI is almost non-existent and level design is for the most part fairly bad, with confusing layouts and uninteresting visuals, which are lacking in detail but which are unattractively coarse. Gameplay is clearly quite simple and despite the large levels, gets repetitive quickly thanks to the lack of depth or any innovations that would have helped the game stand out. Ultimately, it's an undemanding shooter so if you want to just blast away at things, it serves the purpose, but its lack of depth soon becomes apparent.