Not too many people liked Hellgate: London, the 2007 action MMO created by Flagship Studios. In fact, I can’t really say that I liked it too well as a game myself. But the setting and the story and the imagery still stick with me to this day. I think about it sometimes as a possible setting for a role-playing campaign (it actually reminds me a lot of the World of Darkness game setting, particularly Mage: The Awakening and, of course, Demon: The Fallen) and the three book series of novels by Mel Odom based on the game are fantastic.
The game is a lot like Diablo (which is unsurprising as the development team was lead by some former Blizzard employees who had worked on that series) only set in a cyberpunk future in which practitioners of the Old Magic join forces with engineers and weapons experts to fight against an invading force of demons. The heroes operate out of the London Underground as the surface world is slowly being terraformed (if that is even the right word… hellformed?) into an environment more suited to the demons.
Unfortunately, the game was super buggy upon initial release (the game was rushed out the door even though the development team knew it wasn’t ready because the budget had run out) and fans felt burned and let down by all the pre-release hype.
Besides, this was the era when World of Warcraft was considered unkillable. I know that in my household many other MMOs were tried on and then discarded in favor of WoW.
The game world was shut down in January of 2009 but shambled along zombie-like as expansions like Hellgate: Tokyo and Hellgate: Global were shopped around in North America (they are back down now but still running in Korea). And now developer T3Fun is looking to use Steam Greenlight to try to resurrect the brand. Which is great! Because the brand is cool as hell! But it remains to be seen if consumers who felt burned by the initial release will give it another chance.
Did any of you out there play Hellgate: London? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments!