Originally Published: Friday, 10 March 2000 Author: Brian Satterfield
Published to: enhance_articles_games/General Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Heretic II Review

What's it about? It's about steel and magic, dark corners and dimly lit hallways, shimmering pools and mystical portals. It's about you and your quest to avenge the death of your countrymen. You're a warrior and a sorcerer, and you've just come home to a village full of possessed friends and family. You're forced to kill them or be killed. Once you learn their fate you set out to avenge them...using whatever means you can muster. You'll grow stronger along the way, learn new tricks, get better aim, acquire new spells...but you still won't know what's around the next corner, or behind that door. You'll still bleed...and you can always be killed.

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Written by Brian Satterfield
Edited by Terry Warner

Introduction ------------

This is exciting. My first article for a major site and I get a great game to review. A game developed by Raven Software, ported to Linux by Loki Entertainment Software and seen through the eyes of ID's Quake2 3D game engine. That's a solid lineup. Enough already...let's get on with the review.

What's it about? It's about steel and magic, dark corners and dimly lit hallways, shimmering pools and mystical portals. It's about you and your quest to avenge the death of your countrymen. You're a warrior and a sorcerer, and you've just come home to a village full of possessed friends and family. You're forced to kill them or be killed. Once you learn their fate you set out to avenge them...using whatever means you can muster. You'll grow stronger along the way, learn new tricks, get better aim, acquire new spells...but you still won't know what's around the next corner, or behind that door. You'll still bleed...and you can always be killed.

What will you need? The system requirements seem light.

(Quoting the README)

  • Linux kernel version 2.2.x
  • Pentium 166 MHz with 3D accelerator card, or 233 MHz for software rendering
  • 32 MB RAM required (64 MB recommended)
  • 4x CD-ROM drive (600 KB/sec sustained transfer rate)
  • Video card capable of 800x600 resolution
  • XFree86 version 3.3.x, at 16 bpp depth
  • OSS compatible sound card
  • Hard disk drive with at least 260 MB of disk space
Know what I played it on? A monster machine...dual 500's, a Diamond Viper 770 Ultra, dual Voodoo2's, 393MB of RAM and 10GB of Seagate Barracuda hard drive. Go ahead...drool.

Install -------

Loki's install program ran flawlessly. They've used what seems to be the same installer for both Heretic 2 and Quake 3. Nice and painless. You'll need your strength anyway...

The Game --------

The first time I ran it there were a few snags. The videos didn't play at all or played incredibly slow, and the game looked bland and didn't seem to have much flare or pep. It also didn't run in full screen mode. Double checking the README I found the parameters needed to use the OpenGL aspect of things and fire up the Voodoo2's waiting to be harnessed. Now we were rocking. Full screen, awesome color, seamless movement and amazing 3D graphics. *tips his hat to 3DFX*

One of the most important aspects of a 3D game is the player physics. It has to pull you in and make you feel like you are in the game. When you hit that button to jump, your mind expects something...and if the game doesn't deliver, the effect is lost and you're off playing Quake or Half Life. Heretic 2 delivers. Coming from the Quake world, a third person perspective can be a bit strange. The only game I've ever played (and liked) that had the same feel was Tomb Raider 2. Let's just say I have a new favorite.

The physics in Heretic 2 are very good. My only complaint concerns the strafing movement. It's a bit jerky, and from a third person view you can see the player struggling to go both forward and sideways. But aside from that, player movement is incredible. You can execute amazing moves like a rolling tumble, a sideways jump and a back flip. Moves that would make for some great post deathmatch stories in multiplayer.

For the most part, the monster AI was pretty weak. I didn't meet a single monster I couldn't kill with just a few balls of fire or swipes with my blue magic scythe thingy. (sorry don't know what it's called :) But that's ok since there is a multiplayer aspect to the game and killing or outsmarting a real person is always better than a bot.

The story line also left a bit to be desired. I found myself oftentimes not knowing where I should be going or what I was supposed to be looking for... I just wandered around until a door opened or I found a key, killing monsters as I went and admiring the visuals.

But what visuals. It's hard to believe that this is the same engine used for Quake2. The color was much better, the animations were better, it felt more real. As I wandered through towns and dungeons I noticed the lifelike flame, the billowing tapestries. Pretty sweet.

So what do you get to play with in this game? A ton of spells, magic staffs, incredible bow and arrow combos and a blue scythe thingy :) Overall some cool weapons. The only thing it's missing is a deadly precision weapon for multiplayer (at least I didn't see one). Call me old fashioned but I'll take a railgun anyday.

I'm a major fan of the D&D flavor games and this one fills the void well. Add to that great physics, great visuals and multiplayer support and you've got a great game.

You can also go here for some killer screenshots of the game in action!

Conclusion ----------

Overall, this game has great potential. It looks good and feels good and that's what's important. Why would you want to play it? Well, it won't replace Q3 for multiplayer but it would be great if you wanted to be immersed in the whole mythical and magical environment. It has a single player mode which is great for just running around and solving puzzles or playing with spells and things of old.

This game is a must get and earns 4 lego blocks.

Single Player 2 legos Multiplayer 4 legos Physics 4 legos Monster AI 2 legos Graphics 5 legos Weapons 5 legos





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