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 Post subject: Heretic Review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:27 pm 
Cyberdemon
Cyberdemon

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:45 am
Posts: 2278
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If there is but one game that is symbolic of my childhood, it is Heretic. Funnily enough, it was my mum who first introduced it to me. We had the old version, with but three episodes. Most of my time playing it, from ages 3 to 5 was just watching my mum playing it. When I started school, I started playing it by myself. I used to run around the playground, pretending to be Corvus (though I didn't know that was his name), armed with my blue elven wand, killing the baddies. My best friend and I even managed to combine Heretic, Doctor Who and Star Wars into our playground games. Does/did anyone else ever get that strange nightmare where you are in E1M1, it looks normal, but suddenly a wall falls down and you have to travel through a part of the map you've never seen before and you end up fighting D'Sparil with just an elven wand? No? Count yourself lucky. All the sentimental attachment aside, lets look at the actual game.

Like many great Raven Software games, it runs on a modified id Software engine. It runs on id Tech 1, better known as the Doom Engine. The modifications have enabled looking up and down, flying and using inventory, such as quartz flasks (portable medikits) and even time bombs. Most of the weapons exhibit similarities to their Doom counterparts. The big difference, however, is that Heretic has something called the ''Tome of Power", which absolutely enhances every weapon and makes them amazing.

The maps are brilliant, arguably better than Doom. Their brilliance is down to a beautiful use of textures, a fair combination of indoor and outdoor areas and above all, lots of well placed enemies. It seems that every map unit of every map was thought out in great detail. I played it so much over my life that I could revisit it in 12 years without having played it and remember every single linedef, every single sector. I like the use of teleports, especially those that end the level. They use their falling sectors, known as crushers very well. It's push forward gaming. Lots of secrets and fake walls, it is so amazing. It truly feels like a medieval, fantasy world (and does a much better job than Quake).

Enemies. A game is nothing without enemies. Red, flying gargoyles, angry golems (that shoot faces), undead knights, wizards and weredragons. We have iron faces that shoot tornadoes. We have a giant minotaur called the Maulotaur, that happens to live in Hell's Maw. It still inspires fear into my heart. A giant serpent with a red rider on top is fierce, but his dismounted rider, the very D'Sparil that you must destroy, is a laxative. He teleports and summons his cronies. My advice - ignore them and just kill him.

The plot is great. You are a Corvus, one of the last survivors of the Sidhe people of Pathoris. D'Sparil, the Serpent Rider enslaves your people and raises an army of the seven kings. The army is destroyed through magic by the Sidhe Elders. In reliation, D'Sparil kills them. Corvus creates a staff and digs up the Eleven Wand. Then, he clears out his home, attacks their home land and then takes on D'Sparil himself. Then, he has to take on the armies of the outer worlds, long since destroyed by D'Sparil.

Weapons: 8/10
Maps: 10/10
Enemes: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Replayability: 10/10
Average: 9.4/10


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 Post subject: Re: Heretic Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:39 pm 
I remember first time when my father played it when I was very young at age of 3-4 (I think?) (he played the shareware version, though we weren't aware we actually had the full version with 3 episodes on a CD with games :lol: ) and I remember later at age of 8-9 (I think?) I played the full version first time and was amazed by episodes 2 and 3 (a lot of lava, ice and water ;) ) as well as the new weapons and monsters. I still play it these days and right now I'm playing through the original Shadow of the Serpent Riders (I own original CD of game since 2 years) in DOSBox. I'm currently on E3M2 but I know episodes 4 and 5 are extremely difficult (well, the first 1-2 levels of these episodes until you get more weapons and inventory items). E4M1 in particular is frustrating. There are also 3 bonus levels added as episode 6 which I also plan to play through them using -warp parameter. Overall I really like Heretic, it's one of the games from my childhood. I hope you will also review Hexen, which is very similar game to Heretic (I can't decide which one is better, I like both equally as I played both as kid). :yup:


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 Post subject: Re: Heretic Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:09 pm 
Cyberdemon
Cyberdemon

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:45 am
Posts: 2278
Ah, episode 2... the Lava Level as I always called it!


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 Post subject: Re: Heretic Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:42 pm 
Cyberdemon
Cyberdemon
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:34 am
Posts: 1836
Location: MAP30
In late 2001 my uncle purchased a shovelware compilation of Heretic levels including the demo. That was the first time I played Heretic. 8)

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