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StoneFrog

Favorite Heretic/Hexen Game?

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What is everybody's favorite?

I prefer Heretic over Hexen as a game. Heretic had some nice engine improvements and the levels and enemies were fun (except the goddamned Sabreclaws). Hexen felt like a "we've spent this entire time working on the engine, and we have two weeks until the game ships - hurry! Let's make some boring levels that take the non-linearness to the MAX!". Especially Seven Portals. Bad first impression. Running around killing stuff...trying to find keys...yuch.

Hexen also felt "darker" than Heretic, perhaps too much so.

Though I'll confess - honestly? My favorite was Hexen II. Especially when you compare it to the Quake engine - it's almost like a transition phase between Quake and Goldsrc (and as a Goldsrc mapper, I find the technology in Hexen amazing compared to Quake and as a forerunner to Goldsrc).

Plus the horsemen deaths were awesome with the light rays and particles. :P

Anyway, I digress. What do you all think?

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I actually got really into Hexen, I think more so than for Heretic. Heretic is a fun game but I really enjoyed the puzzleyness of Hexen. (I will confess, though...I needed to reference a walkthrough to finish the game :/ ) I also like the sort of darker feel Hexen has that you mentioned, as well as the ambience of most of the environments. I also like the enemies for Hexen more, at least in general. The only real problem I had with Hexen is that the music was all too mellow and the tracks mostly sounded similar to one another.

I haven't played Hexen II, but Heretic II was not very good in my opinion.

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I haven't really played either of them much, but I do find Hexen much more interesting and engrossing than Heretic. It's probably because of the interesting ways that they extended the engine for Hexen. By comparison, Heretic just seems like Doom with the monsters and weapons replaced, and in the process seems to lose (in my opinion) some essential aspect of the gameplay that makes Doom fun.

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Think I like Hexen 1 or Hexen 2. Hexen 1 is awesome on the Archmage diff level. The spells really make sense. The frost is expensive and ineffective but it doesn't matter as long as the wand consumes no mana. And the thunder is top. The Hexen mage really makes the game a different experience to Doom's.

Hexen 2 has more character classes and an awesome hub: the second one. Really loved the music and game flow there. And the monsters (in general) are quite aggressive in Hexen 2. I like how the regular archers are balanced. Quick to attack, but fair. Hexen 2's main flaw is general lack of custom levels :(

Heretic 2 didn't play enough but it failed me.

For awhile I liked Heretic more than Hexen but in the end it went bad (except for the final bosses), because it's still very much a Doom TC. The design is outstanding, but the game plays much like Doom. But the reason I liked it more than Hexen is the weapon/monster balance, which in turn in Hexen is cumbersome -- too much humping for first 2 classes; too much centaur shield waiting; too much stalker waiting; annoying ineffective dark bish ops. But the Heretic monsters are spoton. See how smooth the disciple works against your crossbow, or the ophidian against your rod.

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Yeah. Hexen, those centaur...ugh.

Hexen II was amazing. I wish I was around when it came out, some good multiplayer mods and stuff were around. It has lots of nice little details too though. Like the Knight Archers - if you hide behind a corner when they're about to fire at you, they actually keep the arrow knocked until you come into view again!

Heretic's music is win though. :P Second place for music is Hexen II, I mostly liked the Blackmarsh stuff (especially Barbican).

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fraggle said:

I haven't really played either of them much, but I do find Hexen much more interesting and engrossing than Heretic. It's probably because of the interesting ways that they extended the engine for Hexen. By comparison, Heretic just seems like Doom with the monsters and weapons replaced, and in the process seems to lose (in my opinion) some essential aspect of the gameplay that makes Doom fun.


This is how I feel about Heretic and Hexen. When released I hated Heretic completely and brushed it off as a crappy Doom clone. Not long after I got into the game and really liked it. Hexen came out later and I played it to death, co-op and single player.

Hexen 2, hmm...I was expecting more from this game and at the time was pissed it was using Quake engine instead of a further improved Doom engine, so I didn't give it a fair shot. I no longer have a copy of it (pirated, lost, etc), but would like to play it through someday.

*Oh this reminds me I acquired a legit copy of Deathkings recently.

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Congratulations! Also, Steam sells all the old id games, including the entire Heretic/Hexen series. I got Hexen II from there. I've had no compatibility issues or anything, but there's a source port out there (just google it) that also works if you copy all the Steam files of Hexen II and put them somewhere else.

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StoneFrog said:

Also, Steam sells all the old id games, including the entire Heretic/Hexen series. I got Hexen II from there.


Right I forgot about that, I have Steam too.

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Hexen is much more interesting than Heretic. Heretic is like a really large Doom TC. And not necessarily a really great one. Hexen on the other hand really does feel like it's own game, not just a clone of Doom. At times it was a bit worse than Doom (1/128th of the puzzle has been solved), but most of the time it was a refreshing change.

As for Hexen 2....meh. Just meh.

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These are interesting games. I really like Heretic, as much as it may be a TC of Doom, both games evoke totally different atmospheres. Hexen is good but I think the map design is a tad too complicated, it is just too easy to get stuck. And in both games there are "secrets" that need to be found to progress in the game, which I think is a cheap design. I couldn't choose either Heretic or Hexen as a favorite, they are both good.

OT: What do you guys think of Witchaven?

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Heretic goes for a more traditional medieval fantasy theme (just listen to the music, some of it, like E1M2, is obviously inspired by real menstrel stuff), which works well with it in my opinion.

Hexen went a lot darker...maybe I just don't like that about it because when I was younger I'd have nightmares about it.

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Short version: Hexen > Heretic > Hexen 2 > Heretic 2.

Heretic was overall a good game, but the atmosphere was lacking: The color scheme tended to be a bit too garish, and some of the enemies were a bit doofy looking, although some of them were pretty good, too. It played well, albeit like Doom with added powerups, which the game tended to be a bit over-generous with. The weapons could've stood to break from Doom a bit more -- having a sword or something along those lines instead of and better than the staff might have been nice for instance. This game had its flaws, but was overall good.

Hexen easily had the best atmosphere of the series. The weapons all looked awesome, and a fair deal of them behaved awesomely, too. The creatures were the best-designed in the series, and for that matter some of the best-designed game enemies I've ever seen, the interpretation of the centaur is awesome, and the afrit is just badass. Korax, too, is the coolest looking of the Serpent Riders, which isn't necessarily saying much as IMHO D'sparil and Eidolon were both kind of stupid looking, but I do say Korax looks cool. The environments themselves were well done too, and complemented by the moody music and ambient sounds. The game did have its flaws though, the puzzles were sometimes aggravating, and I wish the weapon system was better, both in not having earlier weapons become useless later on, and having a couple more of them for each class.

With Hexen 2, things started to go downhill. It wasn't totally a bad game, but it wasn't a good game, either -- it was like Hexen with all the best stuff gutted from it, and the mediocre to flawed stuff left in without any fixes except for the automatic use of puzzle items -- you still had only four weapons per class, and those weapons were in general less interesting. The new artifacts sucked, and even the returning ones didn't seem to be as good as their previous incarnations. Most of the monsters looked dumb and weren't fun to fight, and the environments were dull as dirt -- instead of the mysterious, decrepit realms you had in Hexen, everything looks like the artist just copied it off an archaeology textbook, and they didn't even bother to change the names in the pantheons and stuff, it might as well not even have been set in a fantasy world.

Then there's Heretic 2, which is... just plain crap. It doesn't even *try* to capture any of the dark and brooding atmosphere of the earlier games in general and Hexen in particular, instead we get this doofy generic fantasy world full of lame anthropomorphic <insert animal here> races, instead of demons or undead or anything cool like that. Add to that a shitty 3rd person over the shoulder POV. Add to that incredibly annoying enemies, like that one piece of shit who teleports around like an interdimensional monkey on crack and can kill you in one hit. It always seemed to me like Raven felt some weird need to make the enemies more annoying (as opposed to more challenging, just more *annoying*) with each increasing installment of the series, and this guy just crowns the trend. Add to that shitty jumping sequences to go with the shitty 3rd person view, which of course have you die instantly if you screw up. Add to that shitty annoying cutscenes that pop up in the middle of levels instead of between levels where they ought to be if they ought to be there at all. I can't even comment on what the endboss was like, because after a zillion save-reloads from dying from falling off things, dying from the aforementioned teleporting-lizard-assassin-horror, and dying from falling off things while fleeing from aforementioned teleporting-lizard-assasin-horror, I uninstalled the game, pawned the disc off on a friend, and never looked back.

So yeah. A series of games that were always flawed, started good, got better, then dropped fast, but produced one very memorable and one fairly decent game before falling apart.

Edit:

Reaper978 said:

OT: What do you guys think of Witchaven?

It sucked.

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I still greatly enjoy Hexen II. One thing to take into consideration is the port to the Quake engine, design emphasis may be in different placed.

But then again, I primarily compare Hexen II to Quake and Half-Life (as it is essentially like Hexen II in that it's a successor to Quake). And in that regard, it's a great game.

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I hadn't played either of them much until about six months ago when I finally went out and bought them. Since then I've played more Hexen than I have Heretic, which I suppose means I prefer it...

I bought Hexen II off of Steam a few weeks ago, but haven't really had a chance to play it yet. Never played Heretic II.

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Heretic: Fantasy doom but still awesome. Fuck you naysayers.

Hexen: Epically awesome. Fuck you naysayers.

Hexen2: Not as epic as Hexen but still fun as hell. Wish it was more easily modded though. Fuck you naysayers.

Heretic2: Jesus christ was I the only person who actually ENJOYED this? Fuck you naysayers.

Never played Witchaven, so I can't really say yay or nay or not.

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I haven't played all the way through them (only got the first three games recently), although from what I've played, Hexen II interests me the most... then Hexen I, then Heretic.

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StoneFrog said:

Hexen went a lot darker...maybe I just don't like that about it because when I was younger I'd have nightmares about it.


I first played Doom when I was about 6 years old. I was particularly sensitive to things like blood and all that, so...well, I ended up having many nights of lost sleep as a result. :P

And on the subject of centaurs...I can't believe I forgot to mention those. The slaughtars, in particular, were horribly designed. Not only did they hold their shields up for way too long when hit, but they use the EXACT SAME shield animation for shooting. This is just really aggravating, especially since, despite all appearances, you can actually hit the slaughtars when they do this.

I hate them. But other than that Hexen didn't do too bad with the enemies IMO.

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Loved Heretic
Loved Hexen
Hated Hexen 2
Hated Heretic 2

I still want my Hecatomb

I find both Heretic and Hexen awesome fun in DM too.

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rf` said:

Heretic2: Jesus christ was I the only person who actually ENJOYED this? Fuck you naysayers.



No, you were not.

Here's my take:

Heretic:

Enjoyable because it so much resembles Doom - but the level design and textures were sub-par.

Hexen:

Good level design, much better textures than Heretic but the 4 weapon restriction per class was a big minus. Until this day I haven't found the desire to play Hexen on the higher skills. I already find it too crowded on the normal skill level. That feeling is even stronger in Deathkings. Still better than its predecessor.

Hexen 2:

It somehow managed to combine the weakest points of Heretic and Hexen into one game. Dull level design, retarded puzzles and annoying enemies (don't remind me of these f*cking spiders in the first level...) made a very disappointing game.

Heretic 2:

The level design was good and I enjoyed the gameplay but I found it way too short. Strangely enough that is the one aspect I remember most of this game.

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Stilgar said:

I can't even comment on what the endboss was like, because after a zillion save-reloads from dying from falling off things, dying from the aforementioned teleporting-lizard-assassin-horror, and dying from falling off things while fleeing from aforementioned teleporting-lizard-assasin-horror, I uninstalled the game, pawned the disc off on a friend, and never looked back.

The final boss batle (Morcalavin) isn't quite like the usual fight. You can't kill him, but you can knock him down for a short time. During that time, the a shield guarding a certain area drops. When it's down, you'll need to take a book (the Tome of Power actually, but there's it's a separate item and you can still use the powerup during the battle) and put it in its proper place. When that happens, the spell that corrupted Morcalavin is broken and he becomes all good again. He then rises up surrounded by blinding light, and disappears.


Oh, and Hexen. Heretic a close second. Hexen 2 was moderately fun except for a few spots. Portal of Praevus was actually much better despite the tons of "ice" archers that really don't shoot ice arrows. They wouldn't be so bad if they were in addition to the normal archers instead of replacing them, since the normal archers were muchh better than these guys. Heretic 2 was decent on its own, but it seemed too much like a different game entirely, kind of like the Doom movie.

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kristus said:

Loved Heretic
Loved Hexen
Hated Hexen 2
Hated Heretic 2

I still want my Hecatomb

ditto, those '2's don't have Romero on board producing them, leaving them to suck into 'hey this would be cool' level.

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I'm going to have to go with Hexen--out of all of them, that's still the one I go back to the most. Love the monsters and the whole D&D ambience with the character classes, mana shaped like a variety of mult-sided dice, etc. Hexen 2/Portal of Praevus would be my second pick.

I bought Heretic 2 a while back, but never finished it. I didn't get stuck/frustrated or anything--I just kind of got distracted and forgot about it. Gotta give that another go one of these days . . .

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I prefer Heretic over Hexen because of the larger arsenal (using four weapons gets old pretty fast) and because Hexen introduced one of the worst things ever to the Doom engine: the centaur. I LOATHED that damn thing when I first encountered it and I cannot fathom why all those ZDoom mods think it's the greatest thing ever.... That damnable shield slows down the gameplay immensely which quickly leads to tedium and boredom. I think it might actually beat the Quake ogre as my most despised enemy ever.

I don't consider Heretic to be nearly as good as Doom, though. The shareware episode is OK but playing it for longer gets pretty boring, probably due to the poor textures and monotonous surroundings.

I never played any of the sequels.

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StoneFrog said:

Congratulations! Also, Steam sells all the old id games, including the entire Heretic/Hexen series.

Not the entire series. They do not have Hexen II: Portals of Praevus, nor Heretic II. They do have the full version of Heretic I (Shadow of the Serpent Riders) and the expansion set for Hexen I (Deathkings of the Dark Citadel).


I liked all those games, but the puzzles and poor enemy balance in Hexen is annoying, and Heretic's textures are far too few, which restricts the possible environments and level design quite a bit.

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Remember that the Heretic "expansion set" is free and it's available at /idgames. You don't need to buy the expanded Heretic.

Let me add that Heretic has a very good difficulty curve, especially on its three original episodes. The Iron Liches really pack a punch against unexperienced players (first they catch you in a vortex, then they perforate you with ice, esp. on Black Plague); the Maulotaurs are vicious under skill 5 (and they're three, not one) and Episode 3's D'sparil under same skill is complete death.

But skills 4 and lower are too easy both for Heretic and Hexen. I definitely play these games under skills 5.

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For a long time, I didn't even try Skill 5 in these games because I thought it would be like Nightmare and the monsters would respawn (and I prefer when enemies that I kill stay dead).

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