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YMMV: Painkiller
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Apparently, Belial is a half-angel/half-demon who likes to wisecrack at his enemies.
  • Anti-Climax Boss - Once you realize what you're supposed to do to kill him, Lucifer turns out to be a pathetically easy Puzzle Boss who can be killed in just a few seconds.
    • Glass Cannon: Despite being killable in just a few seconds with just 2 shots, Lucifer's attacks do massive damage and he can kill you in just a couple hits if you don't know what you're supposed to do to harm him.
  • Catharsis Factor - As Yahtzee said, "the best way to blow off steam is to blow off someone's nadgers".
  • Colbert Bump - After Yahtzee professed love for the game, downloads on Steam skyrocketed - the Steam advert for the game even quoted Yahtzee's review, using the Zero Punctuation logo as a kind of Yahtzee Seal of Approval.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome - In the last boss fight, you fight Lucifer in the middle of a NUCLEAR EXPLOSION.
  • Demonic Spiders - Two most notable examples: the electricians in the Studios level from Overdose. Skulls (skull-headed punks with shotguns) from the original game are also very painful to deal with.
    • Make that three, with the voodoo priests in the penultimate level of Battle Out of Hell being worse since they're unfreezable.
  • First Installment Wins
  • Game Breaker - With the right combination of cards, you can have the approximate equivalent of a Demon Morph at your disposal, to be used whenever you need. Three times.
    • It gets better: in Battle out of Hell, with the right combination of cards, you can have the actual demon morph on steroids whenever you need it. Three times.
  • Goddamned Bats - Bones (three-foot-tall, armless skeletons) are fast, hard to hit, and leech souls from your Demon Morph bar when they get close.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks - Resurrection: Six levels for thirty dollars does not make a good value.
  • Most Wonderful Sound - Every single time the exit portal opens at the end of each level.
  • Nightmare Fuel - The aforementioned Asylum and Orphanage. We cannot stress this enough. It's like Shalebridge Cradle lite.
    • To give you a good idea about how frakking scary the Asylum is, one half of the enemies are zombies without hands or feet that leap at you from across the room if you don't kill them fast enough, the other half are giant, screaming, glowing Frankenstein things that pop out randomly from doorways and rooms, and an extra 1% are ghosts that phase in and out of walls at random and are invincible. Keep in mind the level's challenge is to only use the Painkiller, either forcing you to launch it and lose any melee options for a good amount of time, or charging up and slicing said horrifying monstrosities up...for a better idea see these two videos.
      • Those Frankenstein things are actually straitjacketed patients undergoing pretty extreme electric shock therapy. And the noise they make is muffled screaming. Yeah.
  • Nightmare Retardant
    • Animal Farm in Overdose. So it's a creepy farm-cum-slaughterhouse, sure...but then you're attacked by suicide-bombing demon chickens, cyborg cows in bondage gear, reanimated butchers with sawblades and cow heads hanging on their neck, and find bloody scribbles on the walls reading "please i'll be a vegetarian" and "i'll join PETA"...and THEN the level segues into a fast food restaurant named Last Food with a host of clowns attacking you. And this was supposed to be scary?
    • To a lesser extent, Looney Park in Battle Out Of Hell. It has the same ridiculous clowns as Animal Farm (though the change of setting makes them less ridiculous), and the overly "gruesome" amusement park rides are too audacious to be scary. The poisonous human-popcorn hybrid monsters and tedious Tarot Card challenge don't help.
  • Scrappy Level - Every individual release so far seems to have one:
    • The original Painkiller has Snowy Bridge for its sudden Difficulty Spike and forced sniping sections (in a game with no real sniping weapon), and the Docks for enemies that shoot fast-moving, hard-to-see projectiles in tight alleyways and several spots with hefty, unavoidable fall damage.
      • In Trauma mode, the penultimate level Forest is also this because of the lack of health pickups and the "No black tarot cards" (that means no silver or gold cards) card condition.
    • Underworld in Battle Out Of Hell, for its rail shooter section, combined with the extremely difficult card condition (kill every enemy in the level), which becomes Unwinnable if the player misses a single enemy during the rail segment. Since the very beginning and end of the section leave no room for error, you can expect to replay this segment at least ten times.
    • Dead Marsh in Overdose, for its near-impossible melee-only card condition (in a level filled with insta-death pits, flying monsters and tentacles that can hurt you even before its animation plays out).
      • LPer Null Set called the penultimate level Air Combat "the biggest bullshit level in the entire goddamn game." mostly because of the Rocketeers that have hitscan machine guns along with firing up to six missiles at once and shoot fire out of their asses in an area-of-effect if you're too close; need this editor mention they come in packs? Don't forget the chopper women later in the level that are way faster than the other melee enemies; can't kill them quickly enough? They'll shave off a good chunk of your health if they ram you.
  • Sequelitis: Most of the games since the original, see Tough Act to Follow. The HD remake of the original is shaping up to be a subversion.
  • That One Level - Leningrad. Squads upon squads of Dirty Communist zombies, all of whom have hitscan weapons and deadly accuracy. And if they're not zombies, they're tanks (plural), which can almost take *more* damage as they can give back out. And that's not even counting the airstrikes the Elite Mooks can call in...
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks - Virtually everything in Resurrection is copied and pasted from Painkiller, Battle Out Of Hell and Overdose, except for one new enemy type (available in three sizes!) and one new weapon (essentially the Bolt Gun from Battle Out Of Hell with a reskin). At least the guys who made Overdose were creative enough to make some new enemies and remodel the guns...
    • And then in Redemption, all the levels in the game are just multiplayer levels from the original Painkiller, with tons of monsters added.
  • Tough Act to Follow - The entire series has been getting worse and worse, as each of the differing developers that followed after People Can Fly are ignoring (or simply not understanding) the subtleties and blatancies that made the original Painkiller so good. As a Game Spot review for Resurrection puts it:
    "While the original game is still a treat for old-school shooter fans who won't let go of DOOM, all of the expansions and stand-alone add-ons have been pretty much atrocious. Let's hope that Painkiller: Resurrection is the last nail in the coffin."
    • Many players felt that even the first expansion, Battle Out of Hell, which was also developed by the original developers, wasn't quite up to par with the original game's material, mostly because the expansion pack consisted entirely of levels and weapons that were previously cut from the original game due to time constraints or quality control. To put things into perspective, People Can Fly spent almost three years working on Painkiller alone, and Battle Out of Hell was released six months later.

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