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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  Heretic II
Welcome to the world of Heretic II, a world full of lush graphics, awesome special effects, immersive sound effects and music. And that's not even mentioning the wonderful fantasy filled storyline.
Storyline

Heretic II is the newest installment of the Hexen/Heretic series. Those of you that haven't played any of the previous games will have no problem getting into this one. After defeating the Serpent Rider D'sparil in the first game Corvus steps through a portal believing it to take him home. He soon realizes a curse has sent him to the outworlds. After years of wandering, a magical tomb manages to open a portal to Corvus' home of Parthoris. As he steps through he's shocked to see a ravaged homeland. All his people are dying, infected by an insanity-inducing plague. It's up to you set things right. This is where the story really takes off. As the game progresses more storyline is added. This leads up to an all out battle to save the world from the last survivor of an ancient race of god-like beings.

Installation & Setup

Installation was a breeze. Popping in the CD causes AutoPlay to load up, and with a quick click of the install icon the setup process was underway. The games comes with a well written booklet containing all the information you need to know, from the history of difference character races and background stories to controls, help & troubleshooting. Reading about the different weapons, magic, powerups, and enemies made the game even easier to get into.

Graphics

What can I say, this game is simply stunning. Using the Quake II graphics engine, gameplay was fast and smooth. Running on a Voodoo2 3D accelerator card the graphics made you want to stop and look around at the incredible detail and scenery. Colored lighting and special effects gives the game a more realistic feel and really pulls you into the world. With different types of levels ranging from populated cities, underground ruins, temples, swamps and much more, there is plenty of eye candy throughout the entire game. Special effects on the weapons and magic are excellent, some of the best seen in a computer game. Even the cinematic sequences and game animation are well done.

Sound & Music

The CD music fits the game perfectly. As you enter different area's of a level the music will change to match the settings. It's used well enough to avoid becoming repetitive, and does a great job of adding atmosphere to the game. Voice acting is also excellent, some of the best I've heard yet in a game. Each character sounds the way he/she should sound like. Creepy ambient sounds fill the game, such as crackling fires, baby's crying, death threats, water drips, plus lots more.

Multiplayer

At first I was just going to try it out for about 30 minutes or so. Four solid hours later and after a ton of frags I finally turned it off. Not because I didn't want to play anymore, but rather because it was dinner time. On a 33.6 modem I barely had any lag and frame rates were almost as smooth as the single player game. It was easy finding a server, a quick glance at heretic II.com showed me a list of available servers, number of people on them, and ping times. Multiplayer Heretic II is a must try for gamers.

Gameplay

Level design is brilliant, the realistic environments and a fantasy theme really draws you in. While lots of games today have similar looking levels though-out the game, Heretic II has a great blend of scenery. I found myself more than once playing the game, drooling over the great looking levels. How about the weapons and magic you ask? You start the game with a blade staff. This weapon slices and dices the enemies leaving nothing behind but gore. Arms, legs, head, and other sections of limbs can all be sliced clean off with spurts of blood littering the air and covering the ground. But for the different age groups, there is a setting in the options menu ranging from "no blood and gore" up to "extreme violence". Anyway, the other weapons are great also, ranging from bows that shoot explosive arrows and acid rain, to staffs that spew fire balls.

Magic is where the the variety takes off. Death orbs, lightening, meteor rocks, plus many more to pick from all are fun ways to take out your opponents. One particular magic had my laughing pretty hard. It's a spell that shoots out eggs, if an enemy is hit by an egg he gets turned into a helpless chicken. He doesn't have much chance of battling back, but none the less its quite humorous slowly walking up to a clucking chicken and demolishing it into nothing but a stain and a few leftover feathers.

Control is very well done. The third person view provides players with some great maneuvers. Rolls, flips, even a pole vaulting feature with your blade staff provide some very interesting moves. But how does it compare to a game like Tomb Raider for camera movement? Heretic II's camera system works flawlessly, the camera movement is fast and smooth and it always stays behind the character, I never had camera problems.

On the downside the game is a little too easy, I found myself restarting my game to the hardest difficulty setting for a more entertaining challenge. This proved to be a good move, I found the game to be even more enjoyable. Load times between levels can get long and annoying, even saving the game sometimes can take a while, this being on a P200MMX with 64MB RAM. Computer AI is a little lacking, sometimes enemies would just stand there and watch the other character go down. Other times they would just run around aimlessly, becoming easy targets. But the overall fun of the game is more than enough to make up for this.

Review ID Number: 179
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: Nick Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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