Painkiller: Resurrection is based on a story game, compared to the other Painkiller games. The game's basic gameplay is similar to that of the original Painkiller: the player has to face off numerous enemies and defeat them, moving from one location to another. All the weapons, as before, have alternative fire regimes. The slight difference in gameplay is this: the levels are large, with various paths and sections, which require the player to explore the environments between battles. Sometimes, minor objectives are given to player to accomplish. The main gameplay difference from the original game, is that the player most of the time can freely access the whole map, without waiting in one particular closed place, until all of the monsters will spawn; this enables a somewhat freedom of movement feeling and confusion as well, as often it will be unclear where to proceed next. This drastic change of gameplay is a questionable feature, because certain spawn and waypoint related bugs will appear due to that. The majority of enemies and all the original weapons are presented, and there is one new type of monster included. The game features some new additional gameplay elements not seen in original or its other expansions. This includes:
Only six levels (and 7th hidden level)
New protagonist with new phrases.
2 new weapons (one of which was not made available until a later patch).
Voice of an ally, Elyahim, accompanies the player through his journey, giving advice and objectives.
The cutscenes are presented as a comic book similar in style to Max Payne.
The story begins outside of the events depicted in other games and stars new protagonist: William "Bill" Sherman. Blown to pieces by his own C4 payload, with which he wanted to eliminate a group of mobsters. The fact that he also accidentally blew up a bus full of innocent civilians has given rise to an all new problem - Hell doesn't exactly have any issues with claiming his soul. Now Bill's in purgatory and he's caught the eye of one of the Elyahim, the female spirits who guide the souls of men through purgatory. Guided by the Elyahim's voice, Bill, like Daniel Garner, is sent through this unholy realm to save his soul by destroying evil beings. After he defeats Aamon, a monstrous dog demon, a greater demon appears, revealing himself to be Astaroth, one of the generals of Lucifer. He asks Bill to join him, but Bill rejects. Surprisingly, Astaroth leaves Bill to continue his fight. After defeating a powerful spider-like demon, an angel, Ramiel, appears, asking Bill to continue his fighting and clean the purgatory in exchange for a chance to return to life. Later, after more fighting through demons, Bill is greeted by Elyahim in person. She explains that Ramiel betrayed the Heaven and now he and Astaroth are planning to conquer the purgatory, so it could become their dominion. As Hell and Heaven are weakened, they would be able to claim all the new souls coming to the afterlife and soon become the most prominent force in the world. However, to do so, they needed Bill to eliminate the majority of demons, so none of them would reveal to Hell Astaroth's true motives. Now, Bill has to battle both of them at the same time. He kills Astaroth and wounds Ramiel, who begs him to spare his life. In exchange, Ramiel will return Bill back to Earth. From this points, the three endings are possible.
Good ending: Ramiel fulfills his promises and sends Bill back to life. Bill arrives a night before the incident happened. He takes the C4 off the car and throws it to the sea. Bill smiles, being happy for the first time. He decides to never return to killing again, understanding that the sole meaning of life is the life itself.
Bad ending: Ramiel fulfills his promises and sends Bill back to life. But it is all a trick, as Bill is sent to the exact moment he committed his greatest sin and died. Bill, again, tries to save the bus... but is killed again, this time being sent to Hell forever.
Neutral ending: Ramiel awaits Bill to agree to be sent back to life, but Elyahim appears. She warns Bill that the angel cannot be trusted as he has become corrupted. From her, Bill receives a holy sword: the only weapon with which a mortal could kill an angel. Bill strikes Ramiel and kills him. From now on, he is awarded by the heavens to be the ruler of the realm of purgatory.