#TBT Hellgate: London

hellgate box art


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!



One thought on “#TBT Hellgate: London

  1. Enjoyed this quite a bit since it echoed a lot of my feelings on HG:L (though I’d say it’s more in line with Shadowrun instead of WoD)

    When I initially played the game I opted for a Cabalist (Evoker I believe) which had a cadre of spells, which looked interesting, but failed to have many meaningful choice of actions to perform. The most effective strat from dealing with mobs was simply kiting them and laying out the occasional spell to kill them off. Not very fun to play.

    Later I took a BladeMaster hoping that the more aggressive play style would be more interesting to play. But a slow feeling of progression and the path crippling bugs were enough to give up on the game.

    After all there was WoW, and TF2 to play.

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