A Revival of Post-apocalyptic London

Zyngor | Monday, August 17, 2015
This post is my 8th contribution to the Blaugust madness, welcome to day 17 all!

I think it's safe to say we've all had our share of peer pressure. Whether it involves dressing up in the latest defected jean style or jumping off a bridge into water 'cause your friend's mom said to, we're constantly under scrutiny to become robots and return back in time to either kill or save a Connor..or both.

So the other night I was doing my usual perusal of the Twittersphere when I saw a familiar screenshot pop up from Belghast. Apparently, every other game server in existence was down, and as such he was playing the forgotten Hellgate London, through the F2P Korean servers.

At a glance, Hellgate London is an action RPG released in 2007 by Flagship Studios, a company that included several of the Diablo & Diablo II developers (Blizzard North). However, they ran into financial troubles, and the studio had to close a year after release. The game has since been picked up first by Namco, and later HanbitSoft, and can currently be played as a F2P multiplayer experience here.

I picked up a used boxed copy of the original at a game store years back during my college days, because it was cheap and the box art looked cool. The story utilizes elements of Templar/Freemason attempting to hold back the forces of Hell, and some enemies (including the main foe, Sydonai) definitely feel a bit Lovecraftian. The cross-genre of a action shooter & RPG appeals to my nature, and so I embarked on my journey into post-apocalyptic London.

Because it hadn't received any developer love in a long time, I more recently found this fan-made Hellgate Revival mod, which really just serves as a small patch to update some things here and there (changes available through that link). Yes, I need that expanded inventory. These guys made Diablo games - I know I'm gunna have gobs of loot raining all about these desecrated lands.

Controls are WASD & mouse, as you'd expect of a shooter, and equally plays fast-paced. There are a multitude of classes, which basically boils down to sword-toting warriors/defenders, gun-wielding blasters/support, and magic-entrusted folk ready to summon or light the field ablaze. Combat is simple, as it should be - see something, hack or shoot it 'til it drops dead, and hopefully leaves you with some loot or coin. The game offers both a regular and nightmare mode you can play afterward (just like how the Diablo games worked).

There are a variety of enemy types, though you'll eventually see the same types appear (they are mostly randomly chosen as to which types will appear on any given level). You, the hero, basically travel underground through sewer pipes to reach each area of the game, so I suppose it's refreshing to get some air and murder the minions of evil, after likely dousing yourself in human and monster filth.

You'll face some interesting bosses, including a post-apocalyptic Gene Simmons
The well-cultured folk will probably recognize station stops and some area names, as they echo actual London stops. Bosses are a good time, and although (for the most part) they won't require highly specialized tactics to defeat (usually there may be one extra step to defeat), they provide some nice unique models, and a cavalcade of loot.

Item deconstruction and crafting is another interesting aspect of the game. The game doesn't include a large-scale crafting system like some RPG's, but simplifies it to an easy level of either selling or deconstructing un-needed equipment. Should you decide to decon, the item will be broken down to various base materials that can then be used to quickly craft others from one NPC. You can also visit various machines to upgrade and add additional modifiers to existing weapons and armor.

Perfect for making s'more dead monsters.
The game may have its share of existing bugs and quirks, like the occasional crash and some outdated models, but I feel it still holds up as an enjoyable action RPG, and should provide hours of hack & slash entertainment. I have only played the game via Flagship's single-player, and have not played the short-lived expansion (Stonehenge, I think it was) or via any of the multiplayer offerings. My main is a Marksman, and I just recently hit level 50 (this mod offers a cap of 55, up from the normal 50).

You can download and try out HambitSoft's Hellgate London on their servers here, or you might be able to find a copy of the game at a used game store yourself.

Have you played Hellgate London. If not, what action RPGs interest you? Share below!


  1. Oh! You have a Like button I can press. :D

    1. I think I put that in at some point after reading some post or something of yours that mentioned that all blogs should include an option to simply "like" something, should the reader enjoy it, but have nothing to say. Either way, good times!

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