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Orcsbreath

I just finished playing Heretic for the first time!

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I completed all 5 episodes on Thou Art a Smite-Meister, and I gotta say, it was really fun!  I love the colourful medieval-fantasy aesthetic, the enemy variety was pretty decent, and all the weapons were fun to use (except the Firemace; I never quite figured out what to do with that one).I especially liked how some of the early levels, in particular, were designed to make full use of the flying enemies.  Having the level be interconnected by windows/ledges is cool enough, but when there are gargoyles roaming freely through the level using paths not available to the player... that made the maps feel so much more dynamic, and never knowing for sure if there wasn't some winged pest creeping up on me from behind added quite a bit to the experience.

My only real complaints with the game were that the lack of textures meant that none of the levels really stood out visually from the rest and there wasn't as strong a sense of progression as compared to DOOM (each of DOOM's episodes has a very distinctive visual style, while Heretic looks pretty much the same through the whole game), and also that there was a little too much switch-hunting and unclear progression.  The worst were the few parts where the way to progress was "shoot the bit of wall that looks exactly like the other bits of wall and has a texture which has never before been shootable."

The Maulotaurs were a cool boss fight whenever they showed up.  I liked that they had so many different moves/attacks (for an enemy in an idTech game, anyway).  I kind of wish they had slightly less health, though.  A few of the Maulotaur fights seemed to drag on a bit longer than they needed to.

All in all, I rate my first experience with Heretic a solid 7/10.  Anyone else who's played Heretic, what did you think of it?  I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this game.

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Yep, i was new to Heretic, saw it sometimes at a Friends House but never played it myself.

 

The Gog Release was a good welcome for me.

 

I played the first Episode solo and the Rest over Zdaemon with others.

 

It is really a Fun Game.

 

The only Problem i see is that many Enemies are Bullet Sponges.

The Crossbow should make more Damage or they should have less Health.

 

Somebody postet a Link here on Doomworld to a Mod that changes exactly this, but i had no Time to test it out.

 

And: I like Heretic more than the succesors, they are tooo cryptic.

 

Bought Amid Evil a couple of Days ago and i think it is a good spiritual Succsesor to Heretic.

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I would classify Heretic as "fine". I enjoyed it but do not feel a great desire to revisit it though I may someday play some community made maps for it.

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9 hours ago, Orcsbreath said:

also that there was a little too much switch-hunting and unclear progression.

I agree with you, but just you wait and see when/ if you play Hexen.

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Heretic has some interesting ideas but at its core it's just a medieval reskin of Doom, with even more abstract level design. Hexen at least made the attempt to look like a real place in spots; Heretic is firmly rooted in that "featureless DnD maze" era of FPS.

 

Still fun tho.

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3 hours ago, june gloom said:

Heretic is firmly rooted in that "featureless DnD maze" era of FPS.

I only played the shareware episode (and even that only up to level five or six), and I actually had quite the opposite impression, especially when compared to the shareware episode of Doom. Each level seems to have its own distinct theme, and there is a good balance between indoor and outdoor areas, while in Doom E1 you're confined to techbases one way or another. Of course HeXen is a notch above that in terms of detail and theme; but Heretic appears to be somewhere in between these other two.

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3 hours ago, june gloom said:

Heretic has some interesting ideas but at its core it's just a medieval reskin of Doom, with even more abstract level design.

 

I agree that Hexen did a better job of it, but Heretic actually contains more "realism" in the levels than doom. Doom relies mostly on the textures to make the techbases look somewhat like a real facility, and the rest of it is pretty much totally abstract. Even the geometry of the techbases rarely shows any nod to realism - nukage pools just show up wherever, computers on bizarre ledges, etc. Heretic on the other hand tries to resemble real places once in a while. It starts by showing off the docks, which is a little goofy but hey it has a kind of pier, with a dark musty storage room attached, and a gate to the "sea." You have castles with reachable battlements, caves with lava flowing down into the depths, sprawling villages, and ornamented churches. There's plenty of abstract bullshit in between, don't get me wrong, but attempts at looking like a real place are so much more rare in Doom. The city maps are kind of all you get, and once again you've got random pools of lava and empty buildings.

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10 hours ago, Azuris said:

The only Problem i see is that many Enemies are Bullet Sponges.

The Crossbow should make more Damage or they should have less Health.

I didn't have much of a problem with that (except for the Maulotaur), although I did find the Crossbow only really effective against lower-tier enemies.  Most fights, I ended up spamming the Hellstaff, maybe with a few blasts from the Phoenix Rod first to soften the enemies up.  I was honestly kind of surprised that I never ran out of ammo for the Hellstaff.

11 hours ago, Azuris said:

Bought Amid Evil a couple of Days ago and i think it is a good spiritual Succsesor to Heretic.

I love Amid Evil; it's great.  Beautiful visuals, and the Star of Torment is one of my all-time favourite FPS weapons.  Pinning enemies to the wall with it is so incredibly satisfying!

 

4 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

Each level seems to have its own distinct theme, and there is a good balance between indoor and outdoor areas

Agreed; although I wish there were more textures, and I didn't always care for the level progression, the map geometry itself was one of the things I liked most in Heretic.

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-  Make lots of hotkeys for items. Fumbling around with the bracket keys and Enter means you'll rarely have the right thing selected for an opportunity when it arises. When a wall drops to reveal four disciples and you instantly morph them all with a single keystroke you will feel like a boss. This makes the game so much more interesting.

- Search Doomworld for lists of good Heretic mapsets. I always recommend Curse of D'sparil but there are several great ones. The commercial episodes are just OK.

 

Heretic is a great game with highly distinctive gameplay. There are no hitscan enemies, and the high enemy HP's mean you're out in the open dodging projectiles for much longer. On the higher difficulties it takes on a bullet-hell quality. It's glorious when the air is filled with glowing projectiles.

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4 hours ago, Aaron Blain said:

-  Make lots of hotkeys for items

holy shit you can do that?  I used the items quite a bit, but failing to quickly grab the item I wanted from the menu with the bracket keys was by far the most frequent reason I died.  Combat would've been a hell of a lot smoother if I'd known about hotkeys.

 

EDIT - okay, how do you make hotkeys for items?  I had a look in the INFO menu in-game and saw no reference to it (other than Tome of Power being bound to Backspace), and I couldn't find anything of the sort when I ran SETUP.EXE.  The manual doesn't make any reference to this, either, from what I read.

Edited by Orcsbreath

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Oh, you're playing in DOS? Hmm I don't think the original has hotkeys. (Hexen maybe added harcoded item hotkeys?) But if you play community content you're probably going to want a sourceport anyway. I use LZDoom myself.

 

If you have as many hotkeys as possible, you can actually use a variety of items in the heat of the moment. You feel much more like a wizard and less like a fantasy-themed soldier.

 

I suppose this is inauthentic, strictly speaking, but then I'd also argue that the lack of hotkeys is a serious flaw in the game's design.

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2 hours ago, Aaron Blain said:

Oh, you're playing in DOS? Hmm I don't think the original has hotkeys.

Yeah, I like to play these games as vanilla as possible, especially for my first playthrough.  And if the original levels were designed with the intention that it wouldn't really be possible to use a variety of items in the heat of the moment, well, I'm glad that's how I played the game.  The game would've been more fun with hotkeys, but, now that I think about it, a lot of the actual levels would've needed to be re-balanced.  I'll keep it in mind when I start playing user-made levels, though.

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I actually played Heretic first before playing Doom. In fact, it was Heretic that introduced me to Doom in the first place, since the shareware was included on the original registered disc. It’s one of my favorite games for sure. 

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I was introduced to Heretic and Doom at the same time. I still like them both about the same. This was the disk in fact (not my copy, I lost mine a long time ago).

 

Spoiler

image.png.aeff8b3c0a6f23d3980b3b9e76b493e5.png

 

I definitely recommend giving hotkeys a shot eventually. Artifacts become a lot less frustrating and more fun to use, especially stuff like the Morph Ovum and the Time Bomb. It may make the game a tiny bit easier but it's worth it. Btw, if you're playing the original DOS game, you can still change the use_artifact key by editing the cfg file.

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I've finished all 5 episodes of Heretic on the hardest difficulty. Final levels of Episode 3 and Epsiode 5 were so hard but I managed to finish them as well.

 

Aside from these levels, it is quite manageable to play on the hardest difficulty.

 

I also finished the first episode of Heretic on the hardest difficulty with respawning enemies.

 

I tried it for the second episode as well and I went as far level 8 but could not beat the final level of Episode 2 that way due to the those big 3 enemies which die hard and respawn before I can kill them all.

 

Edit:

 

I also finished 3 episodes of Doom 1 on Nightmare. And I went as far as level 29 on Doom 2's Nightmare but could not pass the level 29.

Edited by Blackroat

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