Gamebytes and Bots
Gamebytes and Bots
Date Played Aug 2010
Note: You must own the original Painkiller to play this expansion.

Although Painkiller Battle out of Hell (BOOH) follows the same general pattern and game play as Painkiller, upon the opening cut scene you will immediately notice the poorer quality of graphics. Daniel and Eve no longer look quite like the Daniel and Eve we came to know. As one of the truly outstanding features of Painkiller is its environments, this badly crafted introduction had my heart sinking wondering if this was going to be a very cut-rate expansion.

In the end, it was not as bad as I expected, but it does differ from the original in certain ways. Where the expansive surroundings of the original give you a sense of freedom, Battle out of Hell does the opposite. You are mostly working in cramped tight spaces full of obstacles. Although the graphics were not as bad as I feared, there was a certain inconsistency to the levels with some showing better than others.


Other than the initial and concluding cut scenes, it's also disappointing that there's little continuation of the story and as you move from level to level there is also very little sense of being in hellish places. The requirements for obtaining the tarot cards are also ridiculously hard, although I don't know if this was a result of my playing on nightmare mode. For instance, the first level requires you to take zero damage. In many instances, the only way to survive let alone meet these requirements was to quicksave every two seconds and I don't really hold with this method being used to replace good tactical measures. The long load times also make this a particularly painful process as well.

There is a hint of strategy involved in this game, but not to any great degree. There is also more painkiller jumping and secret finding within the levels. The bosses are totally unremarkable and quite a departure from the original, but the hordes of demons are more difficult to kill. One kind of enemy can kill you simply by stabbing itself and the Leningrad soldiers have a deadly aim with their grenades - sometimes ridiculously so.

Although this all may sound somewhat negative, I can't say it was a bad game because it wasn't. It may be a consequence of my moving straight from playing Painkiller into Battle out of Hell that made it hard not to notice how it wasn't quite in the same league in some ways. It does have its moments, though, and the roller coaster ride in the Loony Park level is simply amazing. At no time are the graphics ever as bad again as the game's introduction would suggest. They just lack consistency.

For actual gameplay, it plays exactly as Painkiller with a few new weapons thrown in. This full size expansion came packaged with my Painkiller Black Edition, but if asked if I would buy this expansion, I would say yes. I don't think it received much attention however, and it was hard to find background and support material for the PC. This may be a result of timing as it came up against releases of the more remarkable FPS' Far Cry, Half-Life 2 and Halo 2. However, in retrospect, which is what this site is about, Battle Out of Hell is just a nice bonus that now comes bundled with Painkiller Black. On the plus side, keeping the same settings as Painkiller, there were no technical issues.

I haven't played the sequels, but apparently there is no further sign of Daniel till Painkiller Redemption. In Overdose and Resurrection, you take on different characters. Painkiller Wars is a version of both Painkiller and Battle Out of Hell remixed for the Xbox edition released in 2006. Also, all other Painkiller games had different developers.

Note: There is some confusion between Painkiller Gold and Painkiller Black. The only difference is in the media it was released on. Eg: CD or DVD.

Note: Links in the sidebar may take you to Painkiller Black/Gold as the expansion is now packaged with the main game. However, some links are specifically for Battle out of Hell. For eg; other reviews and some walkthroughs.

UPDATE Oct 2015: In Oct 2012, Nordic Games released a remake, developed by The Farm 51, called Painkiller Hell and Damnation. (Remake) Not all of the levels Levels were included and it received less than stellar reviews. Since then, some missing and some new levels have been added in the form of DLC?
Game Issues Experienced
None with these same settings as the main game.
  • Make sure antivirus and firewall are off.
  • Delete unnecessary saved games - Important !
  • Set affinity to one core - Important !
    For instructions on how to set the affinity go here
  • Turn off bloom
  • Force vsync off
  • Try disabling character shadows, dynamic lighting
  • If computer has been on for awhile, restart
    Note: on load you will be asked to install gamespy, which is now defunct. Just say no. If this becomes irritating, apparently you can delete the VDF file in the Painkiller root directory.
UPDATE Oct 2015: I haven't tried running this game in 5 years. Users in the Steam forums suggest the following option Steam Community
Development Note
Painkiller was developed by the Polish Studio People Can Fly and upon release received good reviews and several awards. This game was their first, followed by The expansion Battle Out of Hell and a port to Xbox called Painkiller: Hell Wars. They were then hired by Epic Games to create additional PC content for Gears of War, which led to co-development on Gears of War 2.

In 2007, Epic Games acquired the majority of shares in People Can Fly and and at that time, the founder left to create a team called The Astronauts to work on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The Studio was renamed Epic Games Poland in 2013. During their partnership with Epic, they co-developed Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgement and Fortnite with the release date still pending as of late 2015.

In June 2014, it was announced that People Can Fly had once again become independent and although no longer owned by Epic Games, would continue to partner with them. People Can Fly retained ownership of Bulletstorm and many are hopeful that a sequel might figure into their plans.
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Other games in series: Painkiller Black
All other Painkiller games have different developers
Painkiller : Overdose, Resurrection, Redemption,
Recurring Evil
Remake - Painkiller: Hell and Damnation
  • Genre: First-person Shooter
  • Developer(s): People Can Fly
  • Publisher(s): DreamCatcher Interactive
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox (as Hell Wars)
  • Release: Apr 2004
  • Mode(s): Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Media: Download, CD, DVD
  • DLC Available: No
  • OS: Windows98SE/ME/ XP/2000
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 3 1.5Ghz or AMD Athlon
  • RAM: 384MB
  • Hard Drive: 1.2GB free space
  • Video: DirectX 8.1, 64MB GeForce FX/ATI 9600 or compatible
  • Sound: DirectX 8.1bcompatible
  • Shader Model:
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM: Steam. Gog Drm-free
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Official Modding Tools
To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
  • Version: Steam Black Edition v1.64
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • CPU: Athlon 64x2 4200+ 2200MHz
  • Ram: 1GB
  • Disk Drive: DVD/CD
  • Video: ATI Radeon 4830
  • Shader Model: 4.1
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
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