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Dusty_Rhodes

Is it just me, or does Heretic seem a bit amatuerish when compared to Doom 2 and Hexen?

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Posted (edited)

Firstly, this is not a Heretic hate thread. I've had a lot of fun with the game, and enjoy what it has to offer.

 

BUT:

It's textures aren't as detailed as Doom's or Hexen's. While not bad looking, they seem more cartoony. Hexen looks gorgeous to me in general and in comparison. It's enemies are beefy, and it seems like an overcompensation for being called "too easy". The advancements it brings to the engine aren't as impressive as Hexen's and the levels suffer from bloated monster counts. It's something my maps suffer from; I never know when too many monsters is too many, so I pad out the length of my levels with monster counts upwards of 200. The secret exits are all weirdly implemented, you just walk over a random linedef and that opens the exits. Also, the enemy sprites are a little flat, and the deaths are satisfying, but nothing comes close to Hexen's sprites and death animations. They're just beautiful.

I still enjoy Heretic, but I'd rather play Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, Hexen, Quake, and Hexen 2. They all come off as better designed and with better art direction and concepts. The Raven designers are very talented, so I don't know what it is about Heretic that feels "off" in comparison to other iD and Raven games. Any thoughts or criticisms are appreciated.

 

Edited by Dusty_Rhodes

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Just now, Nefelibeta said:

I suppose it is just you.

I accidently posted before I finished the post. It's been edited. :D

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12 minutes ago, Dusty_Rhodes said:

Firstly, this is not a Heretic hate thread. I've had a lot of fun with the game, and enjoy what it has to offer.

 

BUT:

It's textures aren't as detailed as Doom's or Hexen's. While not bad looking, they seem more cartoony. Hexen looks gorgeous to me in general and in comparison. It's enemies are beefy, and it seems like an overcompensation for being called "too easy". The advancements it brings to the engine aren't as impressive as Hexen's and the levels suffer from bloated monster counts. It's something my maps suffer from; I never know when too many monsters is too many, so I pad out the length of my levels with monster counts upwards of 200. The secret exits are all weirdly implemented, you just walk over a random linedef and that opens the exits. Also, the enemy sprites are a little flat, and the deaths are satisfying, but nothing comes close to Hexen's sprites and death animations. They're just beautiful.

I still enjoy Heretic, but I'd rather play Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, Hexen, Quake, and Hexen 2. They all come off as better designed and with better art direction and concepts. The Raven designers are very talented, so I don't know what it is about Heretic that feels "off" in comparison to other iD and Raven games. Any thoughts or criticisms are appreciated.

 

I don't know, I feel like Doom was superior, Hexen was superior, and Heretic just got stuck in the middle.

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1 minute ago, xdude_gamer said:

I don't know, I feel like Doom was superior, Hexen was superior, and Heretic just got stuck in the middle.

Maybe they were just trying to find their niche in game design. As I said, Raven is obviously very talented. But Heretic just feels a little short of par when it comes to iD and Raven games. Still good, but it doesn't interest me nearly as much as the others.

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Nope, never thought that, I do think the texture set is lacking in variety but other than that each episode feels well realized and themed accordingly.

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3 minutes ago, Lila Feuer said:

Nope, never thought that, I do think the texture set is lacking in variety but other than that each episode feels well realized and themed accordingly.

I will admit, the contrast of ice and lava is really awesome.

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1 minute ago, Lila Feuer said:

@Dusty_Rhodes It's Heretic's FIREBLU.

I never understood FIREBLU hate. Such a unique texture that really stands out and seems pretty hellish to me.

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Just now, Dusty_Rhodes said:

I never understood FIREBLU hate. Such a unique texture that really stands out and seems pretty hellish to me.

On its own, it's ugly, but in a level, it's beautiful.

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I guess it's a contentious topic, but yeah, Heretic's level design feels very amateurish compared to Doom and Hexen. Amateurish does not mean "bad", it just means the levels are overall basic and feature some very questionable choices here and there. The same could be said for many enjoyable Doom wads from the 90's, it's not meant as a slight against them, just a bit of blunt honesty.

 

I think the textures are beautiful personally (as is the spritework) but there's nowhere near enough of them. Glad Hexen offers a more robust selection that follows a similar theme.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure why "cartoony" is regarded as a bad thing. Heretic is more colorful and in my opinion the most appealing idtech1 title.
EDIT: Funnily enough I made an entire essay about it's palette today lol

Edited by Noiser

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It's interesting because Hexen largely uses the same palette, but it omits the brighter tones for darker ones. That and the majority of textures being gray and brown.

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This is really subjective. IWAD level design is Heretic's strong point; the Heretic textures, few as they are, have more variety than Hexen's; the enemies are yet leaner than Hexen's (and you have many more weapons).

 

Let's analyze a bit. Heretic is Raven's first Doom engine game. It's as if Raven didn't dare go far from Doom's formula. They added their own awesome gameplay features, while still leaving the impression of a very good "Doom TC". If you consider Hexen as their more advanced RPG-like FPS, then yeah, Heretic looks like their beginner effort.

 

On the other hand, Doom's simple formula has always been more successful, and Heretic being closer to it, it probably also has more fans. If the number of /idgames uploads is any indication, we have Doom 2 > Doom > Heretic > Hexen > Strife by popularity ranking.

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One thing I didn't like, was that they did not use as many secrets holding better weapons early on.  This leads to monster counts that are absurd when all you have is a staff.  It's a fun game, but I prefer Hexen in terms of playability and fun.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, it's the opposite. Heretic is more professionaly made game than Doom.

 

It's the most obvious when it comes ti maps.

 

Doom looks mostly like an experiment. It's like something made by couple of friends in garage. Sandy Petersen's maps look like he's playing with the engine (Barrels of Fun for example, or Map 20 where you have to make Cyberdemon and Spider-Mastermind fight each other)

 

Maps in Heretic are made more systematically, responsibly, consistently, like mappers don't just fooled around but actually making maps.

 

Of course, side-effects is, that maps in Heretic are less memorable in general..

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

I guess it's a contentious topic, but yeah, Heretic's level design feels very amateurish compared to Doom and Hexen. Amateurish does not mean "bad", it just means the levels are overall basic and feature some very questionable choices here and there. The same could be said for many enjoyable Doom wads from the 90's, it's not meant as a slight against them, just a bit of blunt honesty.

 

I think the textures are beautiful personally (as is the spritework) but there's nowhere near enough of them. Glad Hexen offers a more robust selection that follows a similar theme.

I agree with this. Really hope people weren't taking this as a "Dusty hates Heretic thread" because I still enjoy the game. But the levels don't stand out much, and feel grindy and a little slapped together. Better and more professional than something like Hell Revealed, but less interesting, creative, and standout as TNT Evilution (in my opinion, this obviously isn't fact). I find it somewhere in between. 

1 hour ago, Noiser said:

Not sure why "cartoony" is regarded as a bad thing. Heretic is more colorful and in my opinion the most appealing idtech1 title.
EDIT: Funnily enough I made an entire essay about it's palette today lol

Cartoony isn't a bad thing, chock that up to poor diction from me. But it feels more like something someone drawn (which, to be fair, it was), than a real castle. Even though it has primitive graphics, Doom textures still feel more "real" to me, for lack of better phrasing. I do like how colorful it is, but the Quake fan in me prefers the doom (lol) and gloom of Hexen.

1 hour ago, Lila Feuer said:

It's interesting because Hexen largely uses the same palette, but it omits the brighter tones for darker ones. That and the majority of textures being gray and brown.

True but the textures look grittier and more detailed. Obviously it does reuse some, but there's plenty of new ones.

1 hour ago, printz said:

This is really subjective. IWAD level design is Heretic's strong point; the Heretic textures, few as they are, have more variety than Hexen's; the enemies are yet leaner than Hexen's (and you have many more weapons).

 

Let's analyze a bit. Heretic is Raven's first Doom engine game. It's as if Raven didn't dare go far from Doom's formula. They added their own awesome gameplay features, while still leaving the impression of a very good "Doom TC". If you consider Hexen as their more advanced RPG-like FPS, then yeah, Heretic looks like their beginner effort.

 

On the other hand, Doom's simple formula has always been more successful, and Heretic being closer to it, it probably also has more fans. If the number of /idgames uploads is any indication, we have Doom 2 > Doom > Heretic > Hexen > Strife by popularity ranking.

This is fair. I'm not really crazy about the level design though. It isn't terrible by any means, but it has less personality in my opinion. When I play Doom, a Drake O'Brian level, a John Romero level, a Sandy Peterson level, a Ty Haldeman level, an American McGee level, and a Milo Casali level all have a distinct personality and design philosophy that makes them feel separate. But for Heretic maps, they kind of blend together for me. This doesn't happen with Hexen though. 

27 minutes ago, Gibbon said:

One thing I didn't like, was that they did not use as many secrets holding better weapons early on.  This leads to monster counts that are absurd when all you have is a staff.  It's a fun game, but I prefer Hexen in terms of playability and fun.

Agreed. It also really skimpy on the ammo pickups, unless you play the highest skill. And I don't like fast monsters.

26 minutes ago, LiquidDoom said:

Actually, it's the opposite. Heretic is more professionaly made game than Doom.

 

It's the most obvious when it comes ti maps.

 

Doom looks mostly like an experiment. It's like something made by couple of friends in garage. Sandy Petersen's maps look like he's playing with the engine (Barrels of Fun for example, or Map 20 where you have to make Cyberdemon and Spider-Mastermind fight each other)

 

Maps in Heretic are made more systematically, responsibly, consistently, like mappers don't just fooled around but actually making maps.

 

Of course, side-effects is, that maps in Heretic are less memorable in general..

I can agree with the less memorable maps. It's almost like they were too conservative. No Mt. Erebus or Shipping/Respawning or Go2it, or The Living End ever arrived. It was just more Heretic. Which isn't bad, but it doesn't feel as if all the potential was fleshed out.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Dusty_Rhodes said:

Cartoony isn't a bad thing, chock that up to poor diction from me. But it feels more like something someone drawn (which, to be fair, it was), than a real castle. Even though it has primitive graphics, Doom textures still feel more "real" to me, for lack of better phrasing. I do like how colorful it is, but the Quake fan in me prefers the doom (lol) and gloom of Hexen.

Oh yeah definitely. Don't get me wrong btw, I like the Quake style a lot! But as you said Heretic is on the other side of the spectrum. 

Anyhow I think you summarized well. Heretic feels more like a pixel art game, while a game like Doom mixes that up with photographic sources (despite having a fair amount of 'drawn stuff' as well). Slighly different styles indeed.

Edited by Noiser

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IIRC, Heretic has far fewer textures than Doom, but I really like it as a game. It probably suffered from the 'quick, let's get a Doom-clone out!' syndrome, but as a standalone game, it's pretty good. At least, I spent a fair amount of time playing it back in the day... I agree that it is more 'cartoony', but that is OK - the brightly coloured palette is cool. I even made a Heretic map last year...

 

Oh, and don't diss the FIREBLU! An old thread inspired me to make a map based around it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My main problem with Heretic is that I have zero emotional connection with both the world and its inhabitants (monsters), unlike Doom and Hexen. Maybe the said cartoonishness is a partial factor in this, but the game feels just cold. (Mostly) lackluster weapons don’t help either. And I was a huge fantasy nut in the 90’s, so thematically it should have been exactly my cup of tea. Hexen, on the other hand, is practically a masterpiece, let down only by a small and repetitive bestiary (and fucking centaurs).

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4 hours ago, printz said:

This is really subjective. IWAD level design is Heretic's strong point; the Heretic textures, few as they are, have more variety than Hexen's; the enemies are yet leaner than Hexen's (and you have many more weapons).

 

Let's analyze a bit. Heretic is Raven's first Doom engine game. It's as if Raven didn't dare go far from Doom's formula. They added their own awesome gameplay features, while still leaving the impression of a very good "Doom TC". If you consider Hexen as their more advanced RPG-like FPS, then yeah, Heretic looks like their beginner effort.

 

On the other hand, Doom's simple formula has always been more successful, and Heretic being closer to it, it probably also has more fans. If the number of /idgames uploads is any indication, we have Doom 2 > Doom > Heretic > Hexen > Strife by popularity ranking.

agreed and it has always made me sad that strife gets so little love...

The RPG mechanics of strife are amazing in my view

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Dusty_Rhodes said:

It's textures aren't as detailed as Doom's or Hexen's. While not bad looking, they seem more cartoony.

It is textures?

 

Cartoony isn't a bad thing. I'd say that to the contrary, Heretic's textures are a lot more cohesive than Doom's. When you look at Doom textures, you see several different art styles, which sometimes clash a bit, let's admit it. This is because it mixes photosourced, painted-then-scanned, and hand-pixeled, with very little effort at making the whole lot cohesive.

Quote

I still enjoy Heretic, but I'd rather play Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, Hexen, Quake, and Hexen 2. They all come off as better designed and with better art direction and concepts. The Raven designers are very talented, so I don't know what it is about Heretic that feels "off" in comparison to other iD and Raven games. Any thoughts or criticisms are appreciated.

No, I definitely wouldn't say Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, or Quake have better art direction at all. Heretic has a clear and focused art direction. The id titles are hodgepodge. It's especially true for Final Doom (basically an amateur product, full of ugly textures) and Quake (the game where they famously couldn't decide whether they were making a medieval melee brawler or a sci-fi shooter). It's just that the art direction they went for in Heretic is not to your taste.

 

 

4 hours ago, LiquidDoom said:

Actually, it's the opposite. Heretic is more professionaly made game than Doom.

 

It's the most obvious when it comes ti maps.

 

Doom looks mostly like an experiment. It's like something made by couple of friends in garage. Sandy Petersen's maps look like he's playing with the engine (Barrels of Fun for example, or Map 20 where you have to make Cyberdemon and Spider-Mastermind fight each other)

 

Maps in Heretic are made more systematically, responsibly, consistently, like mappers don't just fooled around but actually making maps.

Oh yeah. To expand on that, there was an interview with Michael Raymond-Judy in which, among other thing, he explained he went through each map to fix texture alignments. It's not something any of the id mappers ever bothered with when making Doom and Doom II.

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6 hours ago, Doomkid said:

Heretic's level design feels very amateurish compared to Doom

 

If anything, I believe the level design is one area where Heretic feels overall more "professional " than Doom does. Sure E1 of Doom is on par or better than any of Heretic's episodes, but E2 and E3 of Doom are very amateurish, whereas Heretic maps (atleast the OG 3 episodes) feel consistent in quality and have much better visual design than Doom 1's levels

 

Where Heretic suffers is the less variety of textures (even if the average Heretic texture looks better than the average Doom texture) and the gameplay being more bullet spongy than Doom.

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5 hours ago, printz said:

Doom 2 > Doom > Heretic > Hexen > Strife

 

In fairness, this is also a rough ranking of how easy these IWADs are to map for, although I don't doubt it's also a close-to-representative popularity ranking.

 

Heretic never quite clicked with me the way Hexen did, and I'm not sure why.  I think there is something of that where Heretic has some cool enemies, some really interesting and vibrant and unique textures in a bold palette that I quite like...but it doesn't really do enough with them, like others have said the levels all sort of run together and fail to establish a sense of place and atmosphere the way Hexen does, in sometimes spectacular fashion.  It's not to say I dislike Heretic either, I mean I've played through the whole thing which I don't usually manage with something I hate, but given how irritating some of Hexen's level (read: switch puzzle) design always was it's telling that I still constantly want to come back to it.

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Posted (edited)

I liked Heretic in general, but yes, it could do with better texturing, including the monsters, some were great adversaries but looked childish (looking at you , Weredragon). If only we could have Heretic gameplay in HeXen (none of the RPG puzzle nonsense) or HeXen palette, monsters and texturing in Heretic :(

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20 minutes ago, Martin Howe said:

I liked Heretic in general, but yes, it could do with better texturing, including the monsters, some were great adversaries but looked childish (looking at you , Weredragon). If only we could have Heretic gameplay in HeXen (none of the RPG puzzle nonsense) or HeXen palette, monsters and texturing in Heretic :(

 

Faithless?

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Heretic is an axcellent game, and i really love the story it has.

The maps are great, but they are usually monotextured, and that makes them to not stand out from one or another.

There should be a Heretic community project that reimagined the original levels but with tweaks on progression, proper gameplay around the Tome of Power, and if possible, changes to the texture usage as, seriously, the gray bricks of the first episode are totally boring to look at after the second map :/

 

47 minutes ago, Martin Howe said:

I liked Heretic in general, but yes, it could do with better texturing, including the monsters, some were great adversaries but looked childish (looking at you , Weredragon). If only we could have Heretic gameplay in HeXen (none of the RPG puzzle nonsense) or HeXen palette, monsters and texturing in Heretic :(

 

Blasphemer, the freedoom version of Heretic, seems a good candidate as a new stand alone game.
It has a really darker palette than the original game for a grittier and more graveyard-y look.

It is still on diapers, and slighty loded, but the progress and the art direction is interesting enough to catch a lot of attention.
 

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Heretic feels more like a TC in the same vein as HacX was. Except Heretic is more refined than HacX, ofcourse.

 

Its rather colorful, and i actually enjoy Heretic for it. There are similar games from that time frame that also looked more cartoony (The unintentionally similarily named Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard is also very big on colors) so its not inappropiate.

 

Besides, Hexen added so much to it, especially in the shape of ACS.

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