Over Halloween, Flagship Studios (renegades from software publishing company Blizzard who made the incredibly addictive Diablo II computer game) released Hellgate:London to the US and UK markets. You are in a future London ravaged by demons, zombies and other such vileness with a rag-tag band of humans (stuck to navigating/living within the London Underground’s bombed out remains) who can wield magic and heavy weaponry and are aiming to take the battle to our new evil overlords. The game features impressive lighting effects, multiple character classes which actually play differently, and an amazing random dungeon generator which makes virtually every level you play different from the last, ensuring quite a large amount of replayability.
It’s also just as addictive as Diablo II.
It has that feeling you receive when you only want one more chip, one more serving of stuffing or just one more piece of fudge. You tell yourself you will only play until the next level/upgrade/unlock and then you are suddenly rationalizing with yourself how 2 hours of sleep really is enough the day before you have a test because the test is fleeting but this is saving the world!
However, all great addictions have a few side effects, and in Hellgate:London’s, it is crashes. Lots of crashes. Lots and lots of crashes. You will be running along defending all that is good in the world and suddenly your character freezes, in mid-stride, while the sound loops endlessly through your speakers. The only escape is to restart the computer. You are teased with this addictive confection of a game until it randomly decides to stop working, melts all over your hands and not in your mouth, and then you have to hard reboot your computer to get anything running again.
So with this terrible problem, why are people still playing it and why is it the most popular game currently in the US?