Painkiller was released April 12, 2004 by Dreamcatcher Interactive. The game was developed by People Can Fly of Poland. Painkiller is a first person shooter.

This game uses disc checks and Securom, Macromedia, Starforce, Tagès and other protection systems are being rejected by Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 for security reasons (KB3086255).

The game is inspired by such classic titles as Quake and Doom, with the emphasis on killing large numbers of monsters.

The game is divided into five chapters, each about eight levels long. Painkiller does have a plot, which isn’t evident and doesn’t unfold at all during the actual levels, but it’s presented in fairly unimpressive and surprisingly drawn-out cut-scenes in between the game’s chapters.

Painkiller’s two-dozen single-player levels offer no nonsense. Each level is self-contained and starts you off with full health and a limited amount of ammunition.

There are only five weapons in Painkiller, although each one has a completely different alternate firing mode, and each one is useful, so it’s really closer to 10. For example, one of the weapons is both a rocket launcher and a chain gun, thus making it quite possibly the most versatile and powerful gun in first-person-shooter history.

Despite the straightforwardness of the core action, the game’s bosses are all quite tricky and are difficult to defeat. Not only are they big and scary, but you’ll need to find their weak points, which isn’t easy. The bosses are impressively huge and really aren’t as unfair to fight as they might initially seem, so they make for great set pieces in between multiple levels of manic action.

The default difficulty setting is actually on the easy side for veteran first-person-shooter players, who certainly are among the game’s target audience, so they should cut straight to the more-challenging settings. Also, the game drops you back to the level-select menu in between each scenario, as if to invite you to take a breather rather than letting you dive right into the next fight. It’s not really a bad thing, but it’s a little disruptive.

As you go along in the campaign, there are green wisp’s where the some of the killed enemies souls glow. Walking over them collects them as part of the game. Each level takes maybe 10-20 minutes to play depending on difficulty etc. The game also has numerous save points making it easier to play, every red wisp is an automatic save.


The Painkiller Black Edition includes the Battle out of Hell Expansion (November 22, 2004) on the DVD. The original CD expansion was shipped on 2 CDs.


Several patches are available for Painkiller. The first one is the large 1.61 update with is 388 MB followed by 1.62 which is another 108 MB and finally the 1.64 patch is a more modest 6.34 MB. The updates must be installed in order. The DVD does not include these updates and the publisher has long ago removed the web site. This game is now on Steam which has all of the updates.