Heretic II

Moby ID: 673
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

The medieval land of Parthoris is swept by a mysterious plague. Its infected inhabitants descend into madness. Corvus, the protagonist of the first Heretic, finds a way to escape from his home town, but is still contaminated by the plague. Since he possesses one of the ancient Tomes of Power, he is not immediately affected by the plague; but sooner or later, he will have to succumb to it. Before that happens, Corvus must find who or what was causing the plague in the first place...

Heretic II is a third-person fantasy shooter game with the camera chasing behind the character. The perspective is pretty much the only thing that breaks with the tradition of the series. The core gameplay still consists mainly of exploring the large fantasy-themed levels, using medieval weapons (mainly long-ranged) and spells to deal with the plethora of enemies. Despite the third-person view, jumping and environmental puzzles are used as moderately as it is usual in first-person shooters.

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Credits (Windows version)

171 People (165 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Quality Assurance
Special Thanks To
Intern - Installers and Production Testing
Creative Directors
Project Administrator
Additional Design
Assistant Lead Programmer
Player, Weapon, and Game Programming
Game Programming and Art Asset Corrdination
Camera, Network, and Game Programming
Interface, Hardware, and Low-Level Programming
Player, Monster, and Game Programming
Monster and Game Programming
Low-Level and Game Programming
Chief Technologist
Scripting System and Quake Engine Expert
Assistant Technologist
Additional AI and Special Effect Programming
Additional Weapon Effect Programming
3rd Party Support and Programming
Quake Editor Support and Modification
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 37 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 65 ratings with 3 reviews)

Great game, should have been longer

The Good
While short on actual role-play elements, the fantasy world in Heretic II was well designed (the levels themselves another story, though). The different environments, from the city where you start the game through to the tower of the final boss, look beautiful, and the game does have a few exceptional set pieces.

Character design was above average for a shooter, and both the voice acting and cutscenes helped to make the experience more enjoyable.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the game was very linear, even compared to other shooters. Worse, this was made more apparent by the short length of the game as well as the actual level designs. Had Raven could have added in more locations, and broke away from the strong linear fashion of the game, this could have been a far better game.

The Bottom Line
If you're interested in the original Heretic and Hexen games, it's worth picking up.

Windows · by coldacid (550) · 2008

A fast-paced action/adventure title with excellent graphics!

The Good
Heretic II, unlike the games before it, is an action/adventure. Defiantly. This sets it apart from the previous games in the series, which were merely First Person Shooters with some adventure elements (although perhaps Hexen II was a little bit more).

Heretic II takes place in a high fantasy world. The action begins immediately as Our Hero realizes there is something wrong in his home town that he has just returned to.

The game uses two types of weapons-- Spells and Weapons. Spells take Green Mana, and weapons take their specific type of ammo. All of these weapons are very well designed with great particle effects, and they each have unique strategies. Phoenix Arrows are devastating, but they can blow you up as easily as your enemy, while Sphere of Annihilation spells aren't as powerful, but don't hurt you.

There is also a smattering of defensive magics at your disposal, which use The Other White-- er, I mean Blue Mana. They aren't as useful, but they are fun and come in handy when a real big fight comes up.

Also at your hero's disposal is a kind of polearm. The fighting with this is really well done and it melds well with the fast action of the game. As the game advances, you will make your polearm more powerful, making it more useful then even some pretty deadly magics and weapons.

Not a single one of these spells and weapons was a disappointment; not only was the selection larger then in most a/a games, but they were simply better. This was very impressive.

Another high point is the animation. In most games, characters will switch clumsily from one animation to the other, making it look very crude. Not so with Heretic II. All animations blend almost seamlessly into each other, and great detail has been put into them. If you are standing on a narrow ledge, one of your feet might realistically dangle off the side.

The 3d models themselves are well made, especially given when the title was made. The game suffers from 'pixel swimming', but other then that the graphics would have fit in in a game made many years later.

The storyline is mediocre, but that's not the primary thing that drives the game. There is also none of the hub-action that made Hexen II fun-- well, there is [i]one[/i] hub that you use for [i]one[/i] adventure, but that's it. This means puzzles are a whole lot easier to solve.

The AI is brilliant. I wish action games of today has this quality AI. The early foes are stupid and weak, but that is on purpose; later in the game, you'll meet enemies who can 'phase' to teleport anywhere around you, throw knives at your back, and disappear the moment you throw stuff at them. Each new enemy takes a new tactic to beat! One of the harder ones were large green reptilian birds that would line themselves up for a swooping attack out of the sky, and then fly straight down at you for the kill. If they did kill you, they'd take your head away with them when they flew off! Touches like this make the game really great.

Later on, the game gets very hard to beat, but I have finished it at the hardest difficulty level (and I'm not too good at these games), so it's certainly possible. The bosses you fight are great, and each one has totally different powers. One, for example, can radiate light beams that hurt you if you are exposed to them, while another shoots out glowing darts that hunt you down. Each boss is a real challenge the first time.

The Bad
The voice acting felt a bit weak at some parts, although it was okay at most.

The puzzles were a disappointment-- they were even easier then in Hexen II. Every one was 'go here, get this, come back and go to the next level'.

The pixel swimming was nasty and really subtracted from the overall effect.

The Bottom Line
Heretic II is, in this gamer's opinion, one of the best action/adventure titles ever made. It is easy for beginners to get into, and has a large and well balanced selection of weapons, is a good length-- not too long or short. There is plenty of gore for gore fans and plenty of plot for plot fans (I like both!). Highly recommended!

Windows · by ShadowShrike (277) · 2003

Another good "quickie" by Raven

The Good
Lots of action comes packed in this simple yet satisfying offering from Raven. Heretic 2 picks up after the end of the original Heretic: you kill the serpent rider but get whisked away to some weird dimension, never to be seen again. By sheer luck, you find a way to return to your plane yet once you get there the elven town you called home lies infested by a strange plague of magical origins. Being the only one uninfected it is up to you to save the world, kill the bad guy, restore democracy and get the girl. Well, I made some of that up, but you get the idea right? A serviceable standard action game plot that is moved along by engine-rendered cutscenes as you go figuring out what the heck is going on around you.

In between you get to fight against tons of excellently designed fantasy creatures with an arsenal of magical weapons and spells that make full use of the engine's lightning features and spill forth a pletora of colorful lights and effects. Truly the guys at Raven knew how to exploit the engine to the max, and included all sorts of details like the aforementioned spell effects, great animations and dead on control thanks to the use of the standard fps control scheme.

Furthermore, the guys at Raven provided their usual range of excellent level designs which understood that this was a 3rd person game and offered big areas without maze-like constructs, a simple concept that some people still don't get (check out American McGee's Alice to see what I'm talking about), plus: they didn't have any jumping puzzles!!

The Bad
Follows the time-honored Raven tradition of being a simple, short game. And that may rub some people the wrong way...

I am also not fond of "puzzle-bosses"...

The Bottom Line
A great action title from the masters at Raven, plenty of good fantasy action for your pc. Not completely braindead to be a gore-fest, yet simple enough to keep the action up and the excitement going with interesting gameplay, locations and action sequences. Those few that managed to get a taste of this title will remember it fondly, not as the end-all-be-all game of the century, but as another remarkably fun and entertaining Raven game.

Plus it can be pretty funny to try on deathmatch!! All that magic whiz-bang going around makes for quite a trippy experience!

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2003

Trivia

German version

All blood effects and cut off limbs were removed in the German version. Also disarmed enemies no longer flee.

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Related Sites +

  • Loonygames
    While this entire site is not devoted to Heretic 2, this is a direct link to a fascinating article about current programming/design methods. On this page, the author discusses the use of something called "map markers" within the game's design to allow the bad guys to navigate their world. Good article, give it a read!
  • Planet Heretic
    The premier site for Heretic II news, information, and hosting.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 673
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by DarkTalon.

Amiga added by Kabushi. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Paul Budd, Xantheous, chirinea, Patrick Bregger.

Game added January 5, 2000. Last modified March 30, 2024.