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Eregore
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Heretic or Hexen? Which one do you prefer, and why? I'm trying to decide which one to try out. Oh, and don't say Doom, that's not part of the question. :p

Old Post 10-12-12 22:49 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Hexen's gameplay is too puzzle oriented for my tastes. Heretic's more of a Doom clone.

Old Post 10-12-12 22:52 #
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Springy
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I personally preferred Hexen as I prefer hub's over just a normal map set. I also prefer the weapons and enemies in Hexen in comparison to Heretic but that's my personal opinion, I would just say get both as they're both good game's.

Old Post 10-12-12 22:55 #
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Cacatou
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Very difficult. I used to prefer Hexen but the lack of levels other than Deathkings loses it a few points. Heretic is awesome but it's gameplay is sometimes a bit dull. So Hexen narrowly beats out Heretic but I honestly prefer both of them to Doom despite the fact that I play Doom way more due to the huge amount of levels.

Old Post 10-12-12 22:55 #
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fraggle
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Heretic to me is like a Dungeons and Dragons Doom TC. It feels like a quick and dirty reskinning job rather than a properly thought out game. There are some parts of the game that are fun but overall it comes across to me as rather disappointing.

Hexen by comparison is more like a properly thought out game - there's a proper story and a coherent design. I guess what I'd say is that Hexen has an "atmosphere" to it that Heretic seems to be lacking. You just have to start the first level to see it: you start off in a thunderstorm, leaves from dead trees blowing in the wind, an owl hooting in the distance. A mysterious building with stained glass windows, a door that opens as it swings open, and stairs that lead up to a strange magical column of red smoke surrounded by bars.

Sure, in practise these are simple technical tricks and you could argue that they're fairly inconsequential to the actual gameplay. But my point is that they demonstrate an attention to detail - a coherency that makes it a game in its own right rather than just a reskin.

Old Post 10-12-12 23:06 #
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vinnie245
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Definitely Hexen, it actually feels like it's own game with an unique style and atmosphere.
The puzzles aren't even that difficult once you know the layout of all the maps and combat has been vastly improved thanks to this awesome mod which you should download if your gonna play hexen.
http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33766

Old Post 10-12-12 23:28 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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fraggle said:
Hexen by comparison is more like a properly thought out game - there's a proper story and a coherent design. I guess what I'd say is that Hexen has an "atmosphere" to it that Heretic seems to be lacking. You just have to start the first level to see it: you start off in a thunderstorm, leaves from dead trees blowing in the wind, an owl hooting in the distance. A mysterious building with stained glass windows, a door that opens as it swings open, and stairs that lead up to a strange magical column of red smoke surrounded by bars.

Sure, in practise these are simple technical tricks and you could argue that they're fairly inconsequential to the actual gameplay. But my point is that they demonstrate an attention to detail - a coherency that makes it a game in its own right rather than just a reskin.


Definitely agreed if we're judging the games based on atmosphere alone. I actually hadn't played Hexen at all until a few years ago, and I was still impressed by some of those effects. Hexen also has much better textures (or colors, in the case of reused textures) and graphics overall. Heretic looks like a cartoon fantasy game with reskinned Doom weapons, whereas Hexen takes itself more seriously.

Which just makes it more disappointing that its gameplay doesn't do it for me. I start off super excited in Winnowing Hall, start getting bogged down in Seven Portals, and completely lose interest in the next hub. More weapons or the ability to change your player class between hubs probably would've helped.

Old Post 10-13-12 01:04 #
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Jimi
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I like Heretic gameplay more. Hexen should have had a bit more weapons or alternate attacks for each weapon, and that mace should have had something to make it different from the fighter punch...

Mace of Contrition name sounds like it should have stunned the enemies for a longer time, or to make them attack player's enemies for a short time, or to make them run away for a moment. And to make things even sillier, the Serpent Staff is found kinda late compared to how the other two characters find their second weapon.

Mmm.. and I also hated the mage's Frost Shards, his first weapon was much better, just line up the enemies and shoot them for a while and they all die at the same time... But with the frost shards, you get one of them frozen and then frozen thing is there and later attacks with the weapon don't destroy the frozen thing...

Well, Hexen's levels, textures, decoration things and ambient sounds are nice though, more variety there than in Heretic. Would have been nice if the Shadow Of the Serpent Riders "addon" would have added some of these stuffs into Heretic, and perhaps then it could have been a 3 episode addon, instead of the 2 episodes plus 3 levels. Did it come after or before Hexen?

Old Post 10-13-12 01:04 #
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Avoozl
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Hexen because I'd rather use both melee and projectile weapons in a medieval setting rather than just projectile weapons and because the game wasn't much of a Doom clone as Heretic was, I like being able to travel between hubs and I like the puzzles.

Last edited by Avoozl on 10-13-12 at 02:40

Old Post 10-13-12 02:27 #
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hex11
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I played a lot more of Heretic, mostly because I tend to get confused in Hexen and wander around looking for a key or switch that might not even be in the current map. The never-ending random encounters end up making that more frustrating, so I've only ever played though the entire game a few times.

There's also Blasphemer, which is sort of in between the two in terms of atmosphere. It's (almost) all projectile weapons, but the textures and flats are darker.

Old Post 10-13-12 04:03 #
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Eregore
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Follow up question: Which one would be best for creating stand alone pistol start (or gauntlet start, or whatever the fuck start) levels? Basically, which one is more Doom mapper friendly? Remember that new textures and music can be added in, I believe. The reason I ask is because most of my Doom II WADs end up looking like 3D D&D. I figure I might as well make the switch to a truly fantasy format, but to which one?!

Old Post 10-13-12 05:01 #
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PRIMEVAL
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I love both games. Hexen has the best atmosphere while Heretic has gameplay I'm more used to and prefer. Hexen's puzzles tend to burn me out, though. That first map, though... definitely awesome.

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Old Post 10-13-12 06:44 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Eregore said:
Follow up question: Which one would be best for creating stand alone pistol start (or gauntlet start, or whatever the fuck start) levels? Basically, which one is more Doom mapper friendly? Remember that new textures and music can be added in, I believe. The reason I ask is because most of my Doom II WADs end up looking like 3D D&D. I figure I might as well make the switch to a truly fantasy format, but to which one?!

Old Post 10-13-12 06:59 #
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Gez
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Personally, I prefer Heretic; as Hexen's gameplay tend to be slow and tedious and the environments are often all so drab, all brown and grey with some golden bronze here and there as the only colorful touch. The stained glass windows can even be shattered to punish them for daring to have colors.

Heretic offers faster-paced action, and more visually contrasted environments. I don't agree with those who think Heretic would have been better with less colors.

Hexen definitely brought up a lot more to the scene, though, with a better map format (small set of parameterized line types vs. huge set of rigid line types; thing specials, TID, scripting, etc.) and the ANIMDEFS and MAPINFO lumps are definitely great boons.

If you're aiming at making vanilla mods, Hexen is probably the better choice for this reason.

Old Post 10-13-12 10:03 #
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SFoZ911
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From my point of view, both of them are very good. Personally I prefer heretic over hexen because of a more simple, fun and fast gameplay. but i played and finished hexen and the expansion pack and I really enjoyed the puzzles and the atmosphere so for me they are equal.

Old Post 10-13-12 11:18 #
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Khorus
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Stri.. oh. Heretic for gameplay I suppose, but hard to beat Hexen's atmosphere.

Old Post 10-13-12 12:18 #
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david-arquette
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Hexen by default really. Haven't played much of Heretic at all.

Old Post 10-13-12 16:43 #
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ComicMischief
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Eregore said:
Follow up question: Which one would be best for creating stand alone pistol start (or gauntlet start, or whatever the fuck start) levels? Basically, which one is more Doom mapper friendly?


Heretic on both counts. Ignoring which is considered to be the better game, and answering your questions; it's no contest.

Hexen is more designed for continuous play (with its hub system, inventory et al) whereas a Heretic levelset could possibly support 'wand starts' better.

As for Doom mapper friendly, Heretic again. As fraggle mentioned, it's not much more than a re-skin (vaguely-different monsters/weapons and some different sector specials, that's your lot) so the skills are transferable. With Hexen it's a case of different THING flags, linedef specials, ACS...

Sounds like you want to make a Heretic mod. Which I know I'd be game for. :)

Old Post 10-13-12 17:01 #
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Snakes
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While I prefer Heretic, they're both extremely enjoyable games and affordable, so it's really worth just purchasing both of them. I'd recommend playing them in order, but it isn't necessary.

Heretic is easier to mod for, as it's almost identical to Doom (though there are a few more capabilities), whereas Hexen format takes a bit of getting used to. Once you do, though, it becomes an extremely flexible option. So yeah... play them both.

Old Post 10-13-12 19:27 #
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ReX
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fraggle said:
....you start off in a thunderstorm, leaves from dead trees blowing in the wind, an owl hooting in the distance. A mysterious building with stained glass windows, a door that opens as it swings open, and stairs that lead up to a strange magical column of red smoke surrounded by bars.
Pure poetry. And that, precisely, is what drew me into the game. Like Blood by Monolith, HeXen oozes atmosphere. Plus, with its hub system and the many player classes from which to choose, it offered a style of FPS gameplay not seen before (not to mention replayability).

HeXen is not for everyone. Being heavily puzzle-based, the gameplay can occasionally get bogged down while the player searches for clues on how next to proceed. Furthermore, searching for those clues across a variety of maps in a hub can be a daunting task. But playing the game either with a written walkthrough or playing it for the second time can make it easier.

Heretic, I found, was much closer to DooM in terms of gameplay (probably why it has been referred to as a DooM clone), but set in a medieval environment. Perhaps for those reasons, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Back in the mid-1990s people were hungry for variations of DooM, and Heretic was one of many games that fed that appetite. In a sense, it was a "total conversion" for DooM, and it went over very well with fans of FPS shooters.


Eregore said:
Heretic or Hexen? Which one do you prefer, and why? I'm trying to decide which one to try out.
If you're interested in an epic-length adventure and have the patience for exploration, try HeXen. If you want your game in bite-size chunks, where each level is independent of the next, try Heretic.

Old Post 10-13-12 20:12 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Heretic. While I appreciate HeXen's hub system and advanced mapping format/scripting, the maps themselves just dragged on and on and often resulted in spending Christ knows how long hunting around for one poxy fucking switch/item without any real indication of where to actually look.

Heretic has its share of shortcomings (the enemies are barely a threat), but it doesn't stagnate nearly as much.

Old Post 10-13-12 22:22 #
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DeathevokatioN
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I love them both so I can't choose, both have great level design (and Heretic manages to pull off a ton of variation with it's limited texture set), both have a unique and special mystic atmosphere and their aesthetics and art directions are enough to make them distinguishable as different games to Doom. Heretic has faster gameplay and great punchy layouts, while Hexen has slower gameplay but with a class system and an awesome gloomy atmosphere and elaborate hubs which are refreshing whenever I get tired of the typical level structure.

And I prefer Heretic's level design to Doom's, but I'd say it's on par with Doom 2's level design.



I wish Prboom became compatible with Heretic so this spoiled brat could see it get some more demo attention. :)

Old Post 10-14-12 18:18 #
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printz
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Gez said:

Hexen definitely brought up a lot more to the scene, though, with a better map format (small set of parameterized line types vs. huge set of rigid line types; thing specials, TID, scripting, etc.) and the ANIMDEFS and MAPINFO lumps are definitely great boons.

I wonder how the modding scene would have evolved if there was no Hexen map format for ZDoom to implement. Would Randy have created one (possibly better) binary format anyway? Or would there be long inertia with the classic Doom format, waiting long before UDMF would come to deliver?

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Old Post 10-14-12 19:57 #
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Eregore
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So I bought the Heretic, Hexen, and Hexen II stream package. I was the most shocked to find that Heretic only had 99 textures, and quite a few of them were gimmicky one-use textures to boot! Anyways, they are both fun, though I am probably going to try my hand at designing a Heretic WAD first. It is the most similar to Doom. Hexen looks like it can actually do quite a few neat tricks that neither Doom nor Heretic have.

Old Post 10-15-12 18:51 #
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Quasar
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Eregore said:
So I bought the Heretic, Hexen, and Hexen II stream package. I was the most shocked to find that Heretic only had 99 textures, and quite a few of them were gimmicky one-use textures to boot! Anyways, they are both fun, though I am probably going to try my hand at designing a Heretic WAD first. It is the most similar to Doom. Hexen looks like it can actually do quite a few neat tricks that neither Doom nor Heretic have.

Heretic's limited texture set is the #1 gripe and moan of anybody who's ever mapped for it. That said, it can do a number of important themes:

  • Medieval Town
  • Castles / Stone Walls / Ramparts / Towers
  • Mossy swamp / forest
  • Volcanic rock / caves / lava
  • Water temple
  • Icy areas

The problem is, no matter what themes you choose, your map ends up looking like all the other Heretic maps in existence ;)

Old Post 10-15-12 19:00 #
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Khorus
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Quasar said:

Heretic's limited texture set is the #1 gripe and moan of anybody who's ever mapped for it. That said, it can do a number of important themes:

  • Medieval Town
  • Castles / Stone Walls / Ramparts / Towers
  • Mossy swamp / forest
  • Volcanic rock / caves / lava
  • Water temple
  • Icy areas

The problem is, no matter what themes you choose, your map ends up looking like all the other Heretic maps in existence ;)



I think Curse really pushed the boundaries of what people thought the stock textures could do.

Old Post 10-15-12 19:04 #
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Eregore
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Can't you just load new textures into Heretic using Slade 3 anyways?

Old Post 10-15-12 19:11 #
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Gez
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Eregore said:
Can't you just load new textures into Heretic using Slade 3 anyways?

Of course you can. Adding new textures has never been a problem in Doom. (Unless you want them to be animated or switches.)

Old Post 10-15-12 19:25 #
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hex11
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Even more shocking: Heretic has no trees! What kind of fantasy game hasn't got trees? (what'd they build their damn houses with, mushrooms?) So anyway, if you play some PWADs and see geometry that vaguely resembles trees, you'll know why...

Btw, Blasphemer's texture list is pretty impressive. Of course, still no trees though...

Old Post 10-15-12 20:52 #
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Eris Falling
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Perhaps they chopped down all the trees building the houses?

I just finished the demo of Heretic...ehhhh it's not great. Not really played enough of Hexen to have an opinion.

Old Post 10-15-12 20:57 #
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