Parents' Guide to

Painkiller: Hell Wars

By Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Disturbing, disjointed, and dull -- adults.

Game Xbox 2006
Painkiller: Hell Wars Poster Image

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Painkiller hearkens back to classic first-person-shooter games in which players had two goals: run and gun. In small doses, this old-school violence -- like blasting hell's minions to a pounding heavy metal soundtrack -- can be exciting. But extend those doses past 10 or 15 minutes, and Hell Wars becomes one dull slog through purgatory.

Not all action games need tight stories, but the levels in Painkiller feel particularly disjointed -- and disturbing. Players blow knife-wielding children apart in a haunted orphanage, move on to electrocute evil nurses in a haunted laboratory, and then zip off to incinerate zombies in a parking garage. Mostly, though, gamers will find Painkiller too simple. Much of the game's action involves fighting the same enemies as they reappear in an area over and over until Daniel has killed enough for a door to open.

Game Details

  • Platform: Xbox
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Dreamcatcher
  • Release date: August 14, 2006
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Intense Violence
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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