Hellgate: London Demo
Genre combinations can be a real success, especially when the story and the gameplay pitch in to create a unique experience that cannot be matched by anything else. On the other hand, they can also turn out quite badly, because it is very easy to lose track of what's important and too many elements interfere with each other, resulting in confusing and badly implemented mechanics.
The Earth falls prey to a demonic invasion
Hellgate: London is one of these experiments and it tries to blend the FPS genre with RPG elements, in order to create a unique experience and let you decide how to approach the story. Speaking of which, the events take place in a post-apocalyptic world, riddled with demons and various other spawns from hell that have taken over the Earth in the mean time. However, the action takes place in London, as the name clearly states, which means that you'll get to explore a broken down metropolis and shoot your way through its streets.
Before you start, you are required to create a character, by choosing the desired class and the general physical characteristics, such as face shape, hair color and a lot of other such small things. The class, however, dictates the gameplay style and the way you advance through the game, so you should make sure that you enjoy it before you move on. After you create the character and enter the game, you are greeted by a classic first-person perspective, which barely resembles anything RPG-related.
Gain levels and improve your skills
However, things become much clearer as you begin shooting things, because you immediately start gaining experience and some mobs even drop items for you to equip. Hence, you even have an inventory, where you get to try out new armors and guns, as well as view how your character looks with the equipment on. As you level up, you can choose new abilities from the available skill tree, as well as increase your accuracy, strength and various other attributes that are available.
Unfortunately, it all goes downhill relatively fast, because there are many design flaws and weird gameplay choices that quickly make it very difficult for you to enjoy the game. First, the guns require no bullets and they do not need to be recharged, which means that you get to keep shooting at all times and not have to worry about the ammo. In addition, skills like accuracy barely have an impact on the actual gameplay, since you have to manually aim the weapons anyway. Moreover, the game is extremely linear for an open-world RPG, especially when you consider the possibilities of a crowded city such as London.
An unpolished gem that needed a lot more work
In the end, Hellgate: London had a lot of good ideas, but they all got lost in the development phase and those who made it got so distorted that they barely matter anyway. Thus, although you can certainly have a few hours of fun with it, the frustration kicks on very quickly and there's not good reason to endure it, since not even the story line is worth the effort.