Games of the Year

HeXen II

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse lurk in the shadows before you. They are Death, Pestilence, Famine, and War. They are the root of all that is evil. They are the least of your worries. The last know Serpent Rider, Eidolon, lives. As the Necromancer, the Assassin, the Crusader, or the Paladin, you must defeat the dark generals and their Hell-spawned legions before you can face the Archfiend and attempt to end his ravenous onslaught. Go in peace and you will surely die.

  • Experience the Quake Engine's true, polygon-based modeling for the most realistic, detailed environments ever seen in 3D gaming.
  • Possess distinct spells, powers and 32 new weapons. With experience, gain levels, more hit points and certain abilities that apply to your specific character class, such as increased speed, firepower, and jump distance.
  • Bludgeon your way through four demon-infested worlds - Medieval, Egyptian, Mesoamerican and Roman. Smash stained glass windows, collapse structural beams, and pulverize trees.
  • Come face-to-face with Knight Archers, Fire Imps, Were-Jaguars, Skull Wizards and more. Go in with friends, or go against foes in a bloody Deathmatch. Up to 16 players can go at it via LAN and over the Internet.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Please give a proper remaster with Portal of Praevus so I can give Hexen II a proper and complete replay. It is one of the best 90s first person shooters it really deserves it.

Review from Steam

Follows in the footstep of the previous title. Dark fantasy FPS with a satisfying atmosphere.

Review from Steam

Intro
The HeXen games are arguably the most old-school of old-school games in attitude. What I mean by that is that it gives vague hints as to what to do next as you retread the same areas. If you like this, then you may like HeXen, but even still you may think it goes a bit too far. But if you don't and prefer more linear gameplay (and there's nothing wrong with that), then you'll most certainly hate this. It's a game that rewards a good eye and spatial awareness/memory, but ultimately isn't overwhelming in its level complexity.
The Great
++The level design's mostly really fun. If you're used to old-school level design, then it's basically that kind of stuff but dialed up to 11 with more keys to hunt, more switches and dozens of locations that you'll run through over and over again as you make slight progress through exploration and discovery.
++Looks fantastic graphically for 1997 (after the first area).
The Good
+Four classes available to the player each with unique weaponry lends greater replayability.
+Puzzles are better than in the original due to a bit more hand-holding.
+Environments are varied.
+The expansion pack is excellent.
+Well lengthed.
+The inventory system is a bit clunky but the items available are numerous and usually very helpful.
Mild Issues/Things to Note
+-Slightly different objectives for each class would've given more cause to replay the game.
-+A simple log of readables would make things easier.
+-Some enemies are irritating to fight.
-+Sound design is okay.
+-Combat isn't very good by old-school shooter standards but it is still highly enjoyable.
The Bad
-The expansion pack isn't included or available here on Steam.
-Based off the MIDI version of the music, I can't say I'm a fan.
-Objective items in the inventory aren't named and only briefly tell you their names when you pick them up, so make sure you remember what they're called as it can be a bit annoying figuring out what hints are referring to regarding items if you don't.
-Movement is real sloppy. It's slippery and a bit slow, but when you strafe, you accelerate greatly. This means you'll find yourself mashing the strafe keys constantly as you move forward or fling around like you're on crack in unfortunate moments. It also makes combat feels a bit schitzo.
The Terrible
--When you get to roughly the second half of Egypt and have to play Tic-Tac-Toe and mess with constellations, just use a guide. Trust me. My pride wasn't a fan of that idea but I eventually did it anyway and I'm glad I did because they are bugged. Their instructions are vague and literally inaccurate and their scripting is bugged. I didn't mind having to Google equinoxes and zodiacs, but when the game gives you incorrect information, it's not exactly fair. The Tic-Tac-Toe bit is also stupid in design and buggy.
Content/Replayability: 4/10
Audio: 4/10
Graphics: 7.5/10
Gameplay: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Conclusion
Outside of the Egypt hub, HeXen II isn't an overly convoluted nor difficult game and I highly recommend it. It's just a shame that a couple poorly designed puzzles put up such a roadblock as the rest of the game is very doable and unlikely to get you stuck. The HeXen games are one of a kinds so skip this and you are truly missing out.

Review from Steam

HeXen will always be the lesser-known cousin of Doom and Quake, even if sometimes it can be actually better than Id Software's FPS patriarchs. While the first HeXen used the same engine as Doom, making it automatically obsolete when it came out, the second instalment is powered by the legendary Quake's technology, which is still used today directly or indirectly in various games.
This Raven Software's medieval/fantasy FPS will always have a place in my heart. Not too many shooters back in the 90s allowed the player to choose between classes and fight monsters in non-linear maps, level up, carry items, find secrets and even solve puzzles that require investigation. This is a unique combination that we hardly see even nowadays, and it worked perfectly well in HeXen II.
I remember how difficult it was to finish this game. It wasn't because of the difficulty, but due to getting stuck innumerous times trying to find a switch or align two certain "clocks" by time-travelling in the ancient Egypt. It can be brutal sometimes, but you will feel proud of yourself in the end if you manage to solve the enigmas without relying on walkthroughs.
The scenarios in HeXen II are certainly what I like most about this game, especially the first and last acts. They are gothic, gloomy, frighting and absolutely gorgeous. Fight your way through castles, medieval towns, cemeteries, pyramids and much more. Plus, with the right community patch (and quite possibly on the vanilla version, too), you can even play cooperatively - with save & load perfectly functional! It's amazing how a 1997 manages to implement this relatively simple feature whilst so many new games cannot.
There isn't really much else to say about this game, except that I would love if Steam added the expansion Portal of Praevus. Until then, give a chance to the original game if you haven't yet. HeXen II is, without a doubt, one of the most important unknown games in the PC ever released.

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