Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
oneselfSelf

Is Hexen criticized too harshly?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I got around to replaying Hexen, a game I didn't enjoy too much the first time. For my replay I tried to view it from a different angle to see if I missed something about it because I've seen praise for Hexen before and I wanted to enjoy it. It's a visually impressive game. I tried viewing it in the lens that the game is trying to be a dungeon crawler rather than just your standard FPS from around and it made me start to appreciate it more. The confusing nature, the back and forth between levels, the constant traps and treats, it seemed like it was trying to be a dungeon crawler or at least a DnD campaign without the RPG elements.

 

This made me start thinking if maybe Hexen was misunderstood later on as years went by, with people jumping into the game and expecting your standard 90's FPS experience and getting a whole different thing instead and wrongfully being accused as shitty. I wanna to know if maybe I'm being too nice to the game and it deserves to be harshly criticized for it's design or if my thoughts on it being misunderstood is shared with people.

Edited by oneselfSelf

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, oneselfSelf said:

I wanna to know if maybe I'm being too nice to the game and it deserves to be harshly criticized for it's design or if my thoughts on it being misunderstood is shared with people.

I don't think you're being too nice. You appreciate things about the game that other people don't, apparently. Sometimes people don't get it, and that's okay; if anything, it's their loss.

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, oneselfSelf said:

It's a visually impressive game.

It really isn't. It only gives a veneer of visual impressiveness but if you stand still and really look at it, it's quite poorly textured. It does a great job of covering this up with ambience and lighting, sounds and music (particularly if you use the n64 mus pack), but Hexen is technically ugly and unnecessarily vague and obscure in its progression. It has a ton of potential but only gets 60% of the way there with weapons, maps, inventory, and enemies.

 

I like Hexen tbh but it's got a lot of faults.

Share this post


Link to post

civvie made me dislike hexen before i even played it with his review, probably the same with other equally impressionable people

Share this post


Link to post

I like Hexen a lot, in large part thanks to its atmosphere. I think the cryptic progression is overblown; I had more trouble figuring out where to go the first time I played Doom II than I did in Hexen. The combat is very monotonous, though, suffering from a lack of weapon variety per class and a lack of enemy variety. The list of enemies, weapons, and items on the Doom Wiki looks quite sizable until you realize that about a third of the enemies only appear once or twice in the entire game, the brown and green chaos serpents are the same enemy with different sprites, and a couple more enemies (centaur/slaughtaur, stalker/stalker boss) share the same sprites but have different attacks so they feel like the same enemy that randomly does or doesn't use its ranged attack. Four weapons for each class wouldn't be so bad if they were all fun to use, but in reality you're going to spend most of the game using one or two weapons, and unless you're the mage, one of those is going to be a no-frills melee attack (not that the mage's peashooter is any more fun to use). So what I actually remember about Hexen's combat is slowly whacking endless hordes of ettins and centaurs to death or funneling them into flechette clouds (I was playing as cleric), then steamrolling all the bosses after getting Wraithverge.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I like it.. I tried to beat it a long time ago but couldn’t.  Maybe If I used a FAQ.  The game has lots of items.. the one I remember is the green gas bottle.  It got too scary at the ice place and I got stuck at this volcano area.  I was using the Fighter.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, 8088mph said:

civvie made me dislike hexen before i even played it with his review, probably the same with other equally impressionable people

 

Same. Civvie's hexen video was definitely enough that I'm 90% sure I will dislike it when I get around to playing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

It definitely isn't a perfect game by any means, but at the same time it isn't as bad as people make it out to be.

Of course, the puzzles might be confusing at first but I genuinely didn't have any sort of an issue beyond the first hub (seriously, remove the guardian of steel and I'll give this game a perfect 10/10.) Playing it with a COOP buddy is one of the greatest experiences that I've ever had. A legitimately fun game.

 

Of course, there's people with different tastes and I cannot force it down their throats if they happen to dislike it, and I respect that. But then there's people like Civvie, who play like absolute garbage and blame it one the game (I've no shame admitting that civvie's a trash player in general). People who watch the reviews simply jump on the bandwagon of hate without playing prior most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

It gets better as it goes so you have to ask someone who's finished it.

 

The first hub doesn't leave a good impression if you've only half done it, so I'm sure that's where alot of people stopped when they found it too hard.

Share this post


Link to post

Loved it when I was younger, nowadays I think it's okay. Decay echoes the majority of my sentiments. I generally prefer Heretic these days from a gameplay perspective, even though that game has its own problems too.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

My only impressions were up till the first hub so I can't really say much. I did like the more dark fantasy slant as opposed to heretic, and the engine is a technical marvel. If somebody made an episode of levels for hexen, I think I'd rather play that. 

Edit: also, i know i only played a bit but i didn't find the core gameplay loop all that satisfying. That's something that probably/hopefully gets resolved later on

Edited by Sneezy McGlassFace

Share this post


Link to post

I'd like to take Hexen as break from playing Doom mods.

Pros:
- It has some new groundbreaking implementation with Doom Engine, such as polygon door (open horizontally), save between maps, multiple colormaps, etc.

- It implemented freelook and jumping. It implemented fall damage too, so you'll die if you fall too high, unlike Doomguy who can withstand fall damage from infinity height.

- New classes: Fighter, Cleric, and Mage. I personally liked Cleric and Mage.
- The atmosphere is quite good

Cons:

- Getting lost. Sometimes I need to resort to walkthrough because I don't know where I should go next. I think they should've add "Quest" list key, much like strife did. Hints in "Quest" list also helps
- The time takes to get new weapons are very long, as it were eternity. Man the only very useful weapon in early game is Sapphire Wand, because of Centaurs and desire to save ammunition
- Fighter class sucks. Maybe they should put Mage at top and Fighter at bottom of class list, much like Easiest difficulty at top and Hardest at bottom

- Level progression and combat feels more like a chore, especially in early stages where your arsenal is very limited

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Hexen I've always enjoyed the flavour of but I do find the switch hunting mires it down a bit much for me to play through consistently. I've beaten it a few times when I was younger, if I remember right, but most of the time these days when I pick it up I'll end up doing the first 3 hubs or so then kinda dropping it.

 

Hexen 2 I also dig for the more interesting puzzles and the maps are much cooler, but it's even more likely to wear away my patience before I finish a run.

 

Edit: I will say that it has the only ultimate weapon I consider to be actively more effective than the BFG, the good ol' Wraithverge.

Edited by Zerofuchs : Adding a thought

Share this post


Link to post

It's definitely NOT a bad game, but it's definitely NOT a great one either.

I didn't play Hexen until long after playing Quake so it didn't leave it's mark with me as much as Doom or Heretic did.

Like I said, not bad, but not great either.

Share this post


Link to post

The first hub having the segment with the most obscure progression doesn't help things and is why I think many dislike the game. Once you get past it though, there shouldn't really be more navigational issues.

 

4 weapons is however quite low. 3 classes though, but a different class doesn't really warrant another playthrough right after the first. After Heretic, it can come off slightly disappointing but still, a game I enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post

hexen rules, "obscure progression" rules

Share this post


Link to post

I love Hexen but it does have its faults. The sheer hilarity of shoving enemies off cliffs with a Disc of Repulsion makes up for it IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, oneselfSelf said:

I tried viewing it in the lens that the game is trying to be a dungeon crawler rather than just your standard FPS from around and that time made me start to appreciate it more.


I came in here with the intent of suggesting this, and commend you for finding out for yourself.

Hexen's great. Haters be wrong. Sure, it has its flaws, but for what it is Hexen's quite an experience if you let yourself get lost and soak up the atmosphere and whatnot. It's worth remembering that before Hexen (and Heretic), Raven were RPG developers. It shows.

Share this post


Link to post

I love HeXen, but the original (DOS) version looks too grainy for me, making it quite hard to find things. Luckily, there are these fantastic pieces of software, called Source Ports :-)

Just by the way: What about Deathkings? I found it quite challenging, but also rewarding in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Decay said:

It really isn't. It only gives a veneer of visual impressiveness but if you stand still and really look at it, it's quite poorly textured. It does a great job of covering this up with ambience and lighting, sounds and music (particularly if you use the n64 mus pack), but Hexen is technically ugly and unnecessarily vague and obscure in its progression. It has a ton of potential but only gets 60% of the way there with weapons, maps, inventory, and enemies.

 

I like Hexen tbh but it's got a lot of faults.

 

Texturing misalignments aside, I do like the palette and artstyle of the game. Coupled with the ambience, I think the game has great aesthetics, especially among all of the pre-Build engine fps games.

 

Now I personally love Hexen, but it has some real flaws. The 2 big ones being:

  • Combat is kind of lackluster. Not just when compared against Doom, but probably even when compared against Heretic. There are some interesting enemies in there, but they are not used in intelligent ways. Also while there are 3 classes, each of them only has 4 weapons and only manage 2 ammo types.
  • The puzzles are often press switches in different maps, which give the message "1/Xth of the puzzle has been solved". Hexen 2 did a much better job in this aspect (but then Hexen 2 has the Egyptian Hub which is cryptic as heck). Deathkings also does a better job in this aspect, but that too has other issues.

Share this post


Link to post

The issue is if a popular youtuber gives their opinion it becomes fact. I've always disliked Hexen's main campaign, but enjoyed quite a few wads designed for it. I was generally in the minority though as everyone else who brought up the game loved it from the get go. After Civvie made his video it feels like its shifted, mainly from people who haven't actually played the game. It's a love it or hate it kind of game, and whether you enjoy it is basically entirely down to your personal preferences and tolerances in games. But you know Civvie doesn't like it so fuck subjectivity I guess.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm definitely squarely in the "I played it back in the day and loved it" category, although I can and do sympathize with people who don't enjoy the switch hunting and the at times grindy combat.  I never minded any of that, I was always taken in by the atmosphere, the cool ideas, the puzzles that aren't lame (they are there!), some of the enemy and sound design is great, the world is compelling and beautiful even if the color palette is a bit murky...I love the game.

 

I don't think everyone who hates Hexen was conditioned to do so by peer pressure or other outside influence although it is clear from the thread that Civvie (who, again, I think in fair in his dislike and opinion of Hexen) has convinced some people to hate a game they've never played.  I could say the same things about TNT I guess, which I also love and also 100% understand why a lot of people don't.  Even for some overlapping reasons.

 

I know there's some truly spectacular community-made Hexen campaigns out there and really need to try them.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

As a completionist who likes to make sure I've explored everything; Hexen's switch hunts and puzzles were never a problem to me.

 

However, on the graphical side, I do find it more muddy and cluttered than Heretic. All the extra atmospheric effects like dead leaves and fog clouds and so on just tend to make the scene more indistinct due to the low resolution.

 

The combats are also less fun and engaging because enemies are hit sponges; I generally feel like you're not given enough mana (ammo) to use your non-starter weapons all the time, and crucially there's a lack of a backpack-equivalent item to increase your max mana capacity. Yes I know there are refill artifacts; but that's not the same thing. Mostly I feel that Hexen is not enough of a shooter to give you fun run-and-gun gameplay; but also not enough of an RPG to give you fun character progression.

 

Anyway on the whole, I like Hexen, it's a good game; but I just think Heretic is more fun and better-looking. And I encourage everyone who let Civvie or other youtubers think for them try to clear their head of other people's preconceptions and play the game for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post

@Gez Yeah, if anything the community favorite that is Strife actually made me more lost than I ever was in any other id Tech 1 engine game, so imagine my head scratching when I was going through it proper when Veteran Edition released.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Lila Feuer said:

Yeah, if anything the community favorite that is Strife actually made me more lost than I ever was in any other id Tech 1 engine game, so imagine my head scratching when I was going through it proper when Veteran Edition released. 

Veteran Edition has objective markers in the automap, how did you end up more lost then Hexen?

Share this post


Link to post

I like it and find it to be even better when you are playing with 2 friends, each person playing as one of the three classes. It feels like that’s what they really had in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

Veteran Edition has objective markers in the automap, how did you end up more lost then Hexen?


The literal back and forth map navigation, it's not the objectives themselves, it's all the same-y looking grey facilities and sewers that are filled with dead ends.

Share this post


Link to post

My stance on this has been, and continues to be:

 

Hexen is a great game, if you ignore the gameplay

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×