Hellgate London upon its original release in 2007 was a post-apocalyptic themed MMOTPS with a paid subscription. Long story short it flopped pretty quickly. Not because it was a bad game but because it was filled with game breaking bugs and glitches. These were patched up as time went on but it was too late as the developers of the title, Flagship Studios filed for bankruptcy and the game was shut down.
Since then a new developing team HanbitSoft have re-developed it as Hellgate London: Resurrection under the publisher T3Fun and made it free to play. The game is already live in Korea but the American version just recently went into its open beta phase. There’s just one major problem so far. The game is still so horribly bug ridden I have no idea how it is still in this state after going through closed beta testing.
It’s normal for some people to have game breaking issues sometimes even after the game is launched but the kind of issues popping up are ones that almost everyone is having. The time it takes to load the game once you’ve selected your character is about five minutes. Sometimes the game will crash for one out of five common reasons after that five minutes has passed or even before you load the game. The options button on the launcher causes it to straight up crash. Using portals will sometimes cause you to crash and there are issues with inventory expansions or mail disappearing. These are the kinds of issues I would expect from a game that is new, not one that has been released twice and is up and running already in another country. The kind of issues or bugs you should find in an open beta of an MMO should be minor at most like balance issues, places where characters and NPCs get stuck or AI not working properly. An open beta should also have more than one server, which HGL does not have. Their one server usually has such a full load that playing is near impossible because of the massive lag involved. With most games I could easily venture onto their support forum and find a temporary fix for some issues, but I found literally nothing to help me with the issues I’ve had with this game so far. I’ve experienced just about every bug I’ve seen reported on the forum at different and random times. Hopefully this won’t be an issue in the future. The other large downside
Now despite all these issues I still enjoy the game itself. The original developers from Flagship are ex-Blizzard employees that worked on the Diablo series and HGL reflects that. The RPG mechanics are pretty much directly copied from Diablo II and in some areas improved. You could describe it as a third person version of Diablo II with a futuristic setting. This is a good thing since the RPG and game mechanics of Diablo II were great and I also love third person shooters.
How much you’ll enjoy this game is mostly dependent on what kind of class you play since the different weapons and combat styles play differently. If you find a class you enjoy and you liked the loot collecting gameplay of Diablo 2 then you’ll enjoy HGL. Although you can’t progress into the third act without buying a pass (so it isn’t exactly a true F2P game) it’s only five dollars and the gameplay really starts to ramp up in difficulty beyond that point. The different instances can be repetitive like any other close quarters tunnel based instance in an MMO but they have a lot of variable design to them involving different elevations, curves, sewers etc. Sometimes you’ll find yourself out in the open taking part in full on battles between hordes of enemies and NPC friendlies. The arsenal of weapons is vast both statistically and in terms of functionality or what they shoot. Although you may run into some issues, it’s still worth checking out. It isn’t like Borderlands where every weapon is just one of the same five types of weapons but with a different skin and different statistics or buffs.
Pros: Great shoot & loot gameplay, good storyline and setting, broad arsenal of weapons, flexible character control
Cons: Regular lag due to poor servers, low amount of players, limited experience without using cash shop