It's been about a week since I got a full release of Hellgate: London.
All this time I've been playing as a Marksman (Rogue-like character, but wields hi-tech ammunition).
Well, first of all as I expected, the game really gives that old familiar feeling that Diablo 1 gave me when I was consumed by it (literally ). There are subtypes of monsters with smarter behavior, different color and boosted stats, plus sometimes with a modified attack (but that's all diablo style too - remember glooms, familiars and blinks that had each their own set of special hardcoded feats?).
Just like in Diablo, there are 3 types of enemies: beasts (animals), necros (undead) and demons.
Levels are really generated randomly. That's the first time I've been able to witness that feature in 3D... But there are more hardcoded areas as compared to Diablo.
There are also different locations in the game. But there is no logical (linear) sequence in moving from one to another. In Diablo we move from Church to Catacombs after clearing the Church of all evil. Same with Catacombs, and so on. In Diablo there were only two missions where we travel from one dungeon set to another (to accomplish a mission). These two were Poisoned water supply (from cathedral to caves) and Lazarus (from hell to cathedral). Both were in SP mode. But in Hellgate we find such transaction portals everywhere. Reminded me of those red portals in D2 Act 5 where that could take you from snowy mountains of Harrogath to some fiery hell-like pits with a few champs to test your mettle in a limited space area. The same we see in HGL. But these areas are everywhere. But, back to levels... From what I remember, I recall travelling to some planar Hell place, being in sewers, cleansing the London underground, fighting demons in a moonlit canals of dried Thames river, testing my retreat skills on the snowy streets, fooling around in Templar Church, killing Imps in derelict warehouse areas, running from Fiend Masters in London Libraries, doing some quest tasks in Parks, journeying to Cathdrals (my favourite areas), some planar flesh-sphere places (looks like traveling through somebody's guts), dark basements and gloomy vaults. Maybe something else, but I haven't finished the game yet.
Leveling gives stats to distribute. 5 points. Sometimes quest rewards are these points, too. Skill tree is much like in D2. Intuitively comprehensible for people of IQ higher than room's temperature.
Weapons have levels from what I remember. And can be improved with socalled MODS. There are also some freakt devices that allow you to take those mods BACK from weapons (to insert better mods, presumably?). Damage types are physical, fire, lite, phase (magic) and toxic (poison). Doesn't that remind you D2 again? What differs is that the damage can be direct or splash. You can also wield two one-handed "damage dealers" with different damage type.
Of course, inevitable portals. And "personal relocation devices" (PRDs) do the same that TP scrolls do. And "Analyzers" do the same that ID scrolls do.
What is interesting is that armors have built-in DFE stuff, called Shields. There's the Armor Class (chance of avoiding the hits) and the Shields now (the amount of damage absorbed, in percentage). And now we have more (pleasant) headache: reaching the balance between the AC & Shields. That's the feature that I like very much. (But not very much since I introduced almost the same feature in "The Hell" mod long ago ) There is also a direct connection to the armor types: those that give more shields require more Stamina, those that give more AC require more Strength. I think it's pretty logical and sounds like this: ok buddy your choice: you either get hit often but not hard, or seldom but hard. Since Stamina also gives HitPoints, that seems logical enough.
Leveling speed reminds that of D2 also.
Maybe i should say more, because the above written is an incomplete review, but I don't remember anything else.
I only night add that this game is very much like D2 (gameplay) and also brings something new to RPG experience. But not much. However, I'm sure it's a wonderful game and definitely worth playing.
Oh, by the way, the game seems to be kinda raw yet, which is evidenced by some awful bugs in there. For example, I'm stuck with my level 21 Marksman because I cant pick up some quest item (train repair part). Maybe future releases will fix that, we'll see.
Finally, you can view some screens below to please your eye and maybe decide if it's worth that.