Review by 91210user
"Worth exploring the depth this FPS/Adverture offers!"
Hexen is a first person/adverture game. Heavyly inspired by Heretic. It uses many elements from Doom and Heretic to present and puts them together in the game. However it slowly takes you away from Doom and Heretic and puts the levels together thus making a big level were you'll be travelling between them using portals making these levels, just a small part of the bigger puzzle.
This reviews is for the Steam version only, there a few things that make it difficult to understand only considering that during the first print of publication and depending on which version, Steam of course, somewhat doesn't include these like the manual if the game ever came with it (considering it's digital only) and during the gameplay, makes it really difficult to understand why a few elements exist.
The game make a impression from the first three levels. If you are playing on Steam, it's really difficult to understand as the Playstation version and possibly the first print of the PC version within a maunal would explain as the gameplay ties within the story and how most of the mechanics work.
The story for the steam release, it doesn't explain or include the intro. If you jumped in, like I did, you'll find most of the story and even mechanics by accident. The game does print text as you progress the game, completing each world from time to time however it explains how closer you are, only to break up the pace of the game.
Starting off with one level, which is the straight forward, grab the key, do this to activate this and complete the level. During the second level, you access multiple of worlds and find certain keys and switches. After level four, you'll have a good idea on how to complete each world and you'll have a good idea on how the entire game is layouted. However it takes 4 hours to complete the three levels.
After level two, you'll be in a central world and entering portals to complete those puzzles for the room and those completed puzzles would effect other rooms and areas. It's really difficult to understand.
I wouldn't call them 'hub' worlds as most of the gameplay is in all the levels with enemies trying to kill you. The idea of having portals connect you between different worlds and stages is a nice idea and you'll find it fits in with the story however for this digital release, it's really hard to understand and to accept this sort of gameplay without the knowledge of the background story to between with. A matter of fact, I took the time to research the other versions to find that the beginning of the story and cutscene explains the world that the player is in and it works.
The game does it best to display such information to tell you that certain areas have been openned in other worlds and reaching them takes alot of time and effort and sometimes this can be problematic because you wouldn't know what you're looking for. Sometimes the worlds have alot of everything, from switches, enemies, doors and room. You name it, you'll be finishing it like a neddle in a haystack.
The game adds the depth of keys and switches as every level as a different set of keys and switches, each with it's own looks.
Sometimes it makes this feeling of being lucky you completed and other times, feeling smart that you have noticed such details in the game in order to complete the game. Most of the time, it feels like luck. At one point in the game, there a set of keys, from a technicial perspective, so tightly put together, if feel like the keys weren't working at it but it turns out that you had to tighty centre the screen and then enter the keys in complete the puzzle. There loads of decoration, you wouldn't know if the levels are decorative or part of the puzzle and it's a challenge to work out from time to time.
You can choose between three classes, each with there unique weapons, strengths and weakness. The weapons are powered by magic which can be used. They're really smart. Some weapons have projectiles and at close range, they don't shoot them but do land hits on the enemies.
The inventory system from Heretic mades an appearace, with all the items, plus a few more. It's really useful to have and makes the gameplay a bit more worthy playing on.
It takes around 15 hours to complete the game on the easiest mode and it shouldn't be too hard to take the game thru the second playthrough if you decide to play again once you get the hang of it.
You can actually Jump in the game. No other title using the Doom engine can allow you to jump. Can you believe it?
The game has alot of depth and a good impression of presentation. It's worth the playthrough you can put up with the limitations of the Steam release and to seek out the rest of the ideas that went into this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/08/12
Game Release: Hexen: Beyond Heretic (US, 08/03/07)
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