Monday, May 30, 2011

HEXEN



Hexen
Developer - Probe Entertainment
Publisher - id Software
Release date - June 30, 1997

Hexen: Beyond Heretic is a dark fantasy first-person shooter video game developed by Raven Software, published by id Software, and distributed by GT Interactive on October 30, 1995. It is the sequel to 1994's Heretic, and the second game in Raven Software's "Serpent Riders" series. The title comes from the German noun "Hexen", which means "witches" (in plural), or the verb "hexen", which means "to cast a spell".

The PlayStation version, developed by Probe Entertainment, has the FMV scenes and Redbook audio music from the PC CD-ROM version, but no multiplayer mode. The scripting and animation is slower, enemies have only their front sprites and lack gory deaths when attacked by strong hits or weapons, and the frame rate is slower. Although all levels are present in this version and feature their correct layouts, their architecture details are somewhat simplified and there is some loss in overall lighting quality. This port is based on a beta version of the original PC version of Hexen as many gameplay tweaks are shared, such as the simpler level design and the Fighter's fists being weaker compared to other versions.


Story

Following the tale of D'Sparil's defeat in Heretic, Hexen takes place in another realm, Cronos, which is besieged by the second of the three Serpent Riders, Korax. Three heroes set out to destroy Korax. The player assumes the role of one such hero. Throughout the course of his quest, he travels through elemental dungeons, a wilderness region, a mountainside seminary, a large castle, and finally a necropolis.



Gameplay

A new series feature introduced in Hexen is the choice of three character class. Players may choose to play as a fighter (Baratus), a cleric (Parias), or a mage (Daedolon). Each character has unique weapons and physical characteristics, lending an additional degree of variety and replay value to the game. The Fighter relies mainly on close quarter physical attacks with weapons both mundane and magical in nature, and is tougher and faster than the other characters. The Mage uses an assortment of long-range spells, whose reach is counterbalanced by the fact that he is the most fragile and slowest moving of the classes. The Cleric arms himself with a combination of both melee and ranged capabilities, being a middle ground of sorts between the other two classes. Additionally, certain items, such as the flechette (poison gas bomb), behave differently when collected and used by each of the classes, functioning in a manner better suiting their varying approach to combat, further differentiating the three characters.

Hexen introduces "hub" levels to the series, wherein the player can travel back and forth between central hub levels and connected side levels. This is done in order to solve larger-scale puzzles that require a series of items or switches to be used. The player must traverse through a hub in order to reach a boss and advance to the next hub.

Development

Hexen uses a modified version of the Doom engine, which allows for looking up and down, network play with up to eight players, and the choice of three character classes. It also popularized the "hub system" of level progression in the genre of first-person shooter games. Unlike previous games, which had relied purely on General MIDI for music, Hexen is also able to play tracks from a CD. The game's own CD contained a soundtrack in an audio format that was exactly the same as the MIDI soundtrack, but played through a high quality sound module. However, the most significant improvement was the addition of wall translation, rotation, and level scripting.

Music


The score was composed by Kevin Schilder. In contrast to Heretic, some songs in Hexen, in addition to MIDI versions, had higher-quality versions on CD. When playing in CD-audio mode, songs absent from CD would be replaced by some existing CD tracks.

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