🐳 Moby v2023.03.16 update

Hexen II: Mission Pack - Portal of Praevus

Critic Reviews 78% add missing review

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )

Portal of Praevus is a first-rate, professionally produced title. Like its predecessor, it offers intense gameplay within a richly interactive and graphically sumptuous environment. Yet it also manages to promote a new and much purer philosophy for the series, one that focuses on action, rather than attempting to blend action, adventure, and RPG elements. This retooling may disappoint those who were drawn to the puzzles and light role playing, yet it has produced a better title for a more specific audience — the action gamer. Raven and Activision have been accused of continuing the series just to sell games, but with titles like this to play, so what? The developers are a profoundly creative group of game artisans, and I am more than thrilled to continue my patronage. As I see it, the only problem they may encounter is running out of humiliating animals into which players can be morphed. Cluck! Oink! Baaa!

Apr 5th, 1998 · Windows · read review

Electric Games (90 out of 100)

Portal of Praevus is challenging and fun, and still has plenty of little puzzles to solve along the way. Those familiar with the Hexen games will recognize that you have to find items and use them to gain access to certain areas of the levels. Multiplayer support exists as was supported in Hexen II. Bottom Line: Excellent graphics, well-made new character with great looking new weapons. Only two new hubs, but they are expansive and laid out very well. The Chinese theme in the second hub works well. Everything about this pack is of high quality. If you liked Hexen II, this add-on is well worth the money.

1998 · Windows · read review

PC Jeux (86 out of 100)

Une suite incontournable pour qui veut continuer l'aventure de Hexen II.

Jul 1998 · Windows

GameSpot (8.6 out of 10)

With its many gameplay improvements and its impressive level design, Portal of Praevus glides easily into the upper echelon of first-person action games. This is clearly a must-have for Hexen II fans, and even critics of the original game should find the new features, creatures, levels, and weapons suitably impressive.

Apr 23rd, 1998 · Windows · read review

Gamezilla (85 out of 100)

It is not often that an add-on pack measures up to my standards of truly adding to the original game, but Portal of Praevus does this very well. If you enjoyed Hexen II, rush out and pick this up. You will not be disappointed. It also has the puzzles I love, but they are not as involved. This should make Portal more appealing to the plain "blow 'em up" action players. And it's a great adrenaline rush to turn a corner and hear the *thud thud thud* of a huge Yakman racing towards you. I give it a score of 87 out of 100. The only drawback in my mind is the number of levels. Fifteen levels were enjoyable, but I kept hoping there would be more.

Nov 4th, 1998 · Windows

Power Play (83 out of 100)

Mit „Portal Of Preavus“ macht „Hexen 2“ erst so richtig Spaß! Zwar gibt es nicht so viele neue Gegner zu entdecken, aber dafür ist das Leveldesign im Vergleich zum Basisprogramm noch besser gelungen, Allein die verschneiten oder mit Eis bedeckten Locations verleihen den Missionen eine sehr stilvolle Atmosphäre und lassen mich so richtig in die Fantasy-Welt eintauchen. Davon abgesehen stellt der zusätzliche Charakter eine wirkliche Bereicherung dar. Darüber hinaus wurde das Spielprinzip geradliniger und weitaus actionorientierter als beim herkömmlichen „Hexen 2“ gestaltet. Es entfällt nämlich weitgehend das arg lästige Hin- und Herrennen zwischen den Schauplätzen. Die kleinen Puzzles, die es wieder zu lösen gilt, sorgen diesmal nicht für Frust, sondern lockern das Geschehen angenehm auf. Mich hat diese Erweiterung jedenfalls mehr begeistert als das Originalspiel. Und deshalb würde ich allen Besitzern des Ego-Shooters dringend empfehlen, dieses Add-On einmal anzutesten.

Apr 1998 · Windows · read review

PC Play (82 out of 100)

Portal of Praevus nas vraća u Blackmarsh kako bismo istražili vječnu zimu koja je zavladala svijetom. Istraga će nas dovesti do potpuno novog kontinenta - Tibeta. Tamo ćemo se sukobiti s konačnim zlom, čarobnjakom Praevusom. Osim četvorice likova iz originalne igre ovaj put možemo izabrati i lik Demonke (Demoness), cure koja je pobjegla iz samog pakla..

Apr 1998 · Windows

PC Player (Germany) (81 out of 100)

Haudegen mit Hexen 2 freuen sich über diese grlungene Erweiterung. 15 neue Level und eine zusätzliche Spielfigur verhelfen dem Fantasy-Actionspiel zum zweiten Frühling.

Apr 1998 · Windows

Reset (8 out of 10)

Moim zdaniem, każdy wielbiciel HEXENa z POPem będzie bawił się wyśmienicie. Jeżeli ktoś tego typu gier nie lubi, to i tak nie ma oryginału (podstawki), więc POPa nie kupi. Dlatego przyznaję tak wysoką ocenę —jest to po prostu doskonale zrobiony dodatek. Ja się już żegnam i w oczekiwaniu na HERETIC 2 (engine QUAKE 2!) idę zagrać w PORTAL... jeszcze raz. Tym razem Nekromantą!

Jun 1998 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (80 out of 100)

Eine Handvoll frischer Levels, magere zwei zusätzliche Monstertypen und nur eine weitere Spielfigur - Raven hat sich für Portal of Praevus nicht sonderlich ins Zeug gelegt. Immerhin bietet die Missions-CD einige wirklich interessant aufgebaute Levels. Anders als im Hauptprogramm darf ich mich auch mal in düsteren Türmen und tiefen Abgründen austoben. Allerdings sind die Räumlichkeiten wieder arg unübersichtlich angeordnet. Alles in allem: Ein paar Tage lang ist Portal of Praevus spannend, aber gegen Missions-CDs vom Kalieber eines Mysteries of the Sith zieht es klar den Kürzeren.

May 1998 · Windows

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( )

As in the original game, the levels are cleverly designed and presented, and if you have a 3D accelerator you're in for a treat. Essential for anyone gagging for more Hexen action.

Jun 1998 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )

Despite the pleasing level design, new class, and new enemies, it’s still HEXEN II. It’s the same game style, has the same loading times in GLHEXEN (the software engine does load a lot faster, though), and has the same limited weapon variety. Another slight annoyance is that playing in GI mode tends to give lots of “mishmashed” models for characters, which Is a bit sloppy of Raven. Still, if you liked HEXEN II, you’ll probably like this expansion pack. Though it doesn’t really add anything new, it’s still a well-done effort.

Jul 1998 · Windows

PC Zone (1993-2010) (5 out of 10)

As in the original game, the levels are cleverly designed and presented, and if you have a 3D accelerator you're in for a treat. Essential for anyone gagging for more Hexen action.

Aug 13th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Computer Games Magazine ( )

There are precious few new tricks: a lovely snow flurry effect, some transparent floors, cobwebs wafting in an imaginary breeze, and the judicious application of Newton's Third Law with certain weapons ("knockback" in laymen's terms). These touches are nice, but it feels like Raven is grasping at straws to squeeze something new from the Quake engine. The levels are still relentlessly linear and many of the puzzles feel forced ("Bring the Codpiece of Ichabod to the Inscrutable Pestle and render it into the Flax of Wheedledee"). And there's nary a new power-up in sight. On the shelves next to excellent add-ons like Lucasarts' Mysteries of the Sith and Microprose's Civ II: Fantastic Worlds, the Portal of Praevus seems to be where mediocrity knocks.

Apr 29th, 1998 · Windows

Player Reviews

A mission pack with an attitude
by Gatekeeper (305)

The Good
Officially, it is labeled a mission pack, and yet sometimes it feels like a real sequel. Portal of Praevus (PoP for short) adds not only new levels and puzzles to overcome, but also a lot of new artwork, music, effects, engine enhancements, and even a new playable class.

It takes places shortly after the end of Hexen II – the heroes tried to enjoy their well-deserved rest, yet a mysterious winter has descended upon the land. Clearly, there is more nasty evil to defeat. This story is told through a short animated intro (rendered in the game engine), which also introduces the new character, the Demoness.

PoP follows the tradition of placing the player within ancient culture settings and adds a Tibetan theme, which fits pretty well among the other themes of the original game. The new maps have a unique atmosphere and definitely won’t feel like “more of the same.”

The new maps are divided into two hubs – in the first you will revisit the familiar medieval environment of the original time, though it will be considerably modified by the unexpected winter that has gripped the land. This part of the game also features perilous subterranean catacombs filled with various puzzles and nasty surprises. The second hub introduces the new Tibetan environment along with a rich variety of new textures and objects, which ensure its uniqueness. There are some new monsters as well, most of which are quite tough.

The new puzzles also come with new items that the player will use to solve them. These include some peculiar objects like a jar of dragon’s tongue or a funeral mask. The puzzles themselves are not very hard (still having nightmares about those constellations in Hexen II’s third hub) and try to give the player new and unexpected challenges – in one case, for example, you will have to deal with a sequence of meaningless symbols. You will either have to memorise them or write them down (I’ve done it both ways).

The new playable class, Demoness, is an anti-hero of sorts. She is a spawn of evil and fights against Praevus only for the sake of vengeance. She is purely ranged fighter, as even her starting weapon, which is simply the ability to shoot small fiery projectiles from her bare hand, is ranged (all other classes start the game with a melee weapon). The other weapons include acid bolts, fire blasts and the fearsome Tempest Staff. The Demoness’s unique skills include the ability to glide (useful for longer jumps or falling without taking damage) and the ability to convert damage taken into mana (a survival tool when things get nasty). Overall, she is fun to play.

Improvements have been done to the engine – some visual effects have been updated (e.g. the Necromancer’s magic missiles and bone shards). The greatest improvements are in terms of weather effects – the original game made a modest attempt for rain in the final level, in PoP there is snow falling from the sky – and it looks pretty realistic, considering the Quake engine’s limitations.

Other small improvements include an objectives window, which gives you a general hint about what your current goal is – very useful if you are confused and unsure where to go. Also, when your hero gains a level, you will be notified how much his/her maximum health and mana have increased. The level-up messages are more visible too.

Last but not least, PoP includes a Nightmare difficulty for the more experienced players. To play it, however, you will have to find its hidden entrance, which involves solving a very difficult mini-puzzle.

The Bad
The only thing that bothers me are several plot holes.

In the first hub, it never becomes quite clear who the wizard Razumen is and why he wants to enter the castle's catacombs. This is an issue, as the player will find numerous references to this man throughout the hub and he is obviously an element of the story.

The origins and motives of Praevus are also not quite clear - I am pretty sure that a few hints about his backstory and ultimate goal would have made the second hub even more enjoyable to play.

The Bottom Line
Fans of the Heretic/Hexen series should not miss this expansion - it is an excellent experience and it concludes the Serpent Riders' story in a somewhat satisfactory way... for now ;)

People who like classic 1990's shooters could also enjoy this mission pack (as well as the original Hexen II).

Dec 30th, 2013 · Windows

Plus 14 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, garkham, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Wizo, JudgeDeadd, Tim Janssen.