Hexen

a game by Beam Software, GTE Interactive Media, and GT Interactive
Platforms: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64 Playstation PSX
Genres: Action, Shooting Games
Editor Rating: 6.2/10, based on 12 reviews
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
Rate this game:
See also: Hexen Series

First-person shooters can come and go, but who can argue that it was id Software's games (the Doom series) that paved the way for others to follow? Hexen is one of those games. Utilizing the Doom engine on the PC, Hexen brought new features and characteristics to the genre. Now, the game will be treated to a nice facelift courtesy of the Nintendo 64's excellent hardware capabilities.

Hexen is no ordinary Doom clone. You won't find shotguns, rocket launchers or chain guns here. Hexen takes place in a fantasy, medieval setting, where cold steel and powerful magic separate the strong from the weak. Your adventures will take you through ancient castles and dark dungeons. You will meet demons, wizards and other mystical creatures that may make Hexen look more like a fantasy role-playing adventure than a first-person shooter.

When you start the game, you will be given a choice of what character you would like to play as. Your decision will affect several factors, from how much damage you can take and inflict to what weapons and artifacts you'll be able to utilize. You can choose a warrior (a stereotypical strong, but slow fighter), a mage (a physically weak, but magically powerful character) or a cleric (a happy medium between the other two).

Each class has its own unique set of items to use throughout the game. This may help replay value tremendously. For example, the initial weapon that each player starts with will be either a pair of steel-gloved fists (warrior), a magical staff that offers a weak-ranged attack (mage) or a spiked mace (cleric). All of the stronger weapons to be found later in the game are also unique to each character class.

To make things even more interesting, common items have different effects, depending on which character is using it. The green potion, for example, can be an explosive concoction in the hands of the warrior, or can be dropped to form a floating poisonous gas cloud when used by the cleric.

Little changes like these help make Hexen a much more interesting experience than you get with the average Doom game.

Add to this a Four-player Split-Screen Mode (see sidebar) plus the N64's graphical prowess, and you have an aging game that may be worth looking at again.

Gamer's EDGE

So does four-player deathmatching work on a single TV screen? After all, knowing where your opponents are can defeat the whole purpose of deathmatching in the first place (which is the reason why Midway isn't planning on including a Multiplayer Mode in Doom 64). But why not include it? The N64 easily supports it. and any Doom-type game certainly warrants it.

The action can get fast and furious. Make sure to pick up power-ups and new weapons as soon as possible. The only thing you will have to keep in mind is that you can’t pick up every weapon you see. As we mentioned in the article, certain weapons are for specific classes only.

  • MANUFACTURER - Software Creations
  • THEME - Software Creations
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 - 4

Game Reviews

N64 corridor-shooter fans now have more than Doom 64 and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter to blast away the time. With intense exploration and monster-slaying, Hexen--a quirky dungeon-crawler--may be just what you're looking for.

Hexen is based on a popular Doom spinoff for the PC. Although the PlayStation and Saturn versions (released earlier this year) were laughable with their pixelated graphics and immense slowdown, this version slays uglies with finesse and smoothness. That's not to say it's without its faults--the N64 version still looks dark and dingy, and the (limited array of monsters is blurry enough to give you vertigo when you get close.

Although not as polished as Turok or as fun and creepy as Doom 64, Hexen gives you three characters to choose from, and the action's addicting once you get into it. Hexen serves up the monsters medium rare, but still feeds you a full-course dinner.

ProTips:

  • The cleric's second weapon, the Serpent Staff, serves two purposes--It's a long-range rapid-fire weapon, or at close range, it drains enemies' energy and then transfers it to you.
  • When you're playing as the cleric, the Hechettes emit a powerful gas that stuns and eventually kills enemies. This Is the fastest way to dispose of the Centaurs.
  • When you come to a screen or gate, wait for enemies to appear, then blast them. Killing enemies before you get to the other side is easier than facing them later.
  • When you reach an area with light-colored stones or Ice floes, be careful--they're crushing traps. Look for indicators (like this sword that points to sate passage) to help you out.
  • Your first new weapon appears in the Seven Portals stage by hitting the switch on the square pillar. When the door opens, turn around and grab the weapon from the descending pillar in the middle of the room.
  • After you open all the Portals, hop on the waterfall in the Seven Portals stane to find.
  • The best way to make tricky jumps is to angle your view toward the ground and leap at the last moment.

Graphics

The enemies blend into the backgrounds too easily, and there's little variety in the lineup. Still, the game has minimal slowdown, and the gore factor is impressively high.

Sound

Moans, groans, and breaking bones all come through with clarity. Some audio clues throw you off track, however, like wailing demons that never materialize.

Control

The analog controller allows freedom of movement, including the ability to look up and down, a definite necessity in this exploration-intense game. Tricky jumps and the annoyance of not seeing drop-offs temper the rating.

Fun Factor

Though not as interesting as Turok or as solid as Doom 64, Hexen is still a good effort. Corridor crazies everywhere are sure to be bewitched by Hexen.

The sword-and-sorcery corridor-shooter Hexen joins Doom as another PC-to-n64 release. Instead of presenting new levels and monsters as Doom 64 does, Hexen casts the same 30 levels as the PC version, but with sharper graphics tor the monsters and smoother gameplay. The addition of the four-way split-screen mode where a quartet of players can engage in a death match or in a cooperative game sweetens this Hexen. The preview version controlled adequately, but the frame rate tended to dip, especially during the four-player death match, resulting in choppy visuals. Hopefully, the game will overcome these hexes before it hits in June.

Gamers may think that to deal effectively with the occult, special magic must be used (i.e., eye of newt, etc.), but in Hexen, players can simply use a giant sword to slash the opponent in two. After all, it is more effective.

Although the version of Hexen that we have is early, fans of the PC version should be pleased to see it coming to the consoles. The PlayStation version is to be no different [as far as levels go) than the computer version. Obviously the graphics are supposed to be enhanced when the final version comes through.

Those who are familiar with the Doom series know what Hexen is like-a first-person action shooter that has lots of weapons and texture-mapped graphics (but they aren't polygons like the upcoming Quake). The medieval motif of Hexen makes for some interesting textures on the walls as well as some meanlooking enemies.

Hexen is much different than many first-person games that are out now-or even that are to be released. The game has an RPG/adventure element that is unique. First there are three types of characters a gamer can choose to control: the fighter, the mage and the cleric. Check the Gamer's Edge for each of these characters' weapons.

Players can find items and artifacts to use later on. Unlike Doom and similar games which do not allow gamers to "save up" health or magic power-ups, Hexen allows players to store these for later use.

There is a whole array of various power-ups that players can obtain. Some include the mana increase that replenishes a gamer's magic power for later use and the Winged Bat Amulet which allows players to fly for a short period of time.

There are also artifacts that gamers can find throughout Hexen that are necessary in completing the game. These include gems and pieces of the ultimate weapon (which differs for each of the characters a player chooses). Check the sidebar on the items and artifacts for more info.

Players start in a wide open area that has many doors and rooms to explore. The evil leader of the enemies appears to tell gamers that they will die a horrible death if they continue. Obviously the programmers of the game don't want gamers to stop there! At first not all the rooms are open, but as levels are completed, these doors do open in a particular order. The levels are connected by portal warps. These allow players to travel back and forth from level to level, finding new open areas or possibly secrets. Jumping from level to level is key in Hexen since a switch in one opens the door in another.

The enemies in Hexen are many. They range from two-headed monsters to flying flame-throwing bats and everything in between-big and small. Besides monsters, there are traps to foil gamers plans. Overall, there are plenty of things to stop gamers from completing the game but with fat weapons that keep on pumping, who minds?

Players may be disgusted with the plethora of Doom-ish games out right now, but Hexen provides something a little different. That may be a good switch for fans of first-person action titles. Whatever the case may be, Hexen is a much more effective way to take care of evil instead of those darned lizard tongues potions or other spells.

  • MANUFACTURER - GT Interactive
  • THEME - ACTION
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1

This is one of id Software's last first-person shooters using the original Doom engine. Hexen is basically a Doom game that takes place in the medieval world of swords and magic.

Hexen has many more features than Doom has. First off you'll be able to select one of three characters: a fighter, a mage and a cleric.

Each character will have weapons and special weapons unique to the class. Magical potions that are found in each level will behave differently. depending on who you are playing.

Besides that, the levels and creatures are well done, fitting the medieval and mystical mood of the game perfectly. Doom fans should thoroughly enjoy this great title.

Overview

Another hit PC title has made its way to your humble little Playstation. The basic game engine has been carried over, along with all of the action that made the PC version a success. Prepare to battle through vast levels and sub-levels, killing anything and everything that stands in your path.

The story of Hexen is two pages long and, although interesting enough, can be summed up by saying you are one of only three humans alive. You must battle your way through huge worlds and plenty of enemies to reach Korax, the Serpent rider. Beat him and turn the world around. Time to be a hero!

Gameplay

I have heard of Hexen on the PC for quite a long time, but I don't play PC games very often. So I didn't even know what type of game it was. Was it an adventure game? A first-person shooter? A fighting game? Yes, it turns out to be all of these. Hexen is best described as a first-person adventure game that, depending on which of the three selectable characters you choose, uses more short range weapons (clubs, fists, etc.) than a typical corridor shooter. There are no plasma guns; instead, Hexen has magical staffs that shoot fire balls. The game focuses more on puzzle solving and switch tripping than all out assaults on the bad guys. Of course there are plenty of bad guys to beat up on, but this is only one aspect of the game. The gameplay reminded me of Kings Field II.

A big part of the appeal of Hexen is the ability to select from three different characters to try fulfilling the quest. Each of the three characters are quite different from one another. You can play as Baratus, a strong, fast warrior who specializes in close combat. You can also try to beat the evil Korax with Daedolon, a physically weak sorcerer. What he lacks in physical strength, however, he makes up for in magical attacks. The final character is Parias. He is a cross between the other two characters and is probably the best character to start the game with.

Before I continue on, I must issue a warning. If you do decide to purchase this game, you may as well buy another memory card that is solely for this game. A standard memory card has 15 blocks available and Hexen uses all 15. It is also not a progressive usage either. If you take one step into the game and save it, you are looking at 15 blocks. And it doesn't matter how far into the game you are, saving still takes 15 blocks. The reason I bring this up is that Hexen is a big game that, unless you really have no life, you will not finish in one sitting. You will want to save the game and come back to it.

I mentioned above that Hexen is a combination of a number of different genres. I think that the setting and combat styles give it an almost role-playing aspect. Don't get me wrong. This is not Legend of Zelda or Suikoden by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have that type of a feel. For example, each character starts the game with different strength and armor. As you progress, your armor levels increase, and you build yourself up and become stronger.

One thing I did not like about Hexen was the monotony. You will experience the old cliche "been there, done that" feeling more than once. There are quite a few new areas to be discovered, but there are also some rehashed rooms along the way. I will give credit to the developers on one large point: they open up the worlds of Hexen instead of limiting the game to dark, dank corridors.

Graphics

From a graphics point of view, these types of games have always been rough around the edges. Hexen is no different. Pixelization is a problem as you get too close to enemies or walls. Most games hide this by dark lighting and, on occasion, Hexen does the same. On a more positive note, the enemies are all creative and do look good from a step or two back. All of the worlds look good and there was no mistaking doors or switches. If there was something you needed to interact with, it was obvious. This is not always the case in this type of game. On the whole, the graphics are about par for the course.

Bottom Line

I enjoyed Hexen for what it was. I can't really call it anything new, even though in many respects it is. I could not really call it revolutionary, but that does not mean it is not fun. I could not call it eye candy but that does not mean that the graphics were poor. I could not really call it a bad game because it isn't.

Risible port of a feeble PC Doom clone, in the running for a 'Most Blurred Graphics' award. Trudging gameplay and dull enemies.

Sadly, exactly the same as its elderly PC mum. Still fun in a retro kind of way but. in the light of GoldenEye. hard to recommend.

Doom is back, but this time it's gone all medieval!

Hexen is due to bound onto the Nintendo 64 this summer, with one particular plus which makes it worth a look: four player, splits-screen blast-'em-up action. Okay; at first it's pretty confusing (and the general graphics of Hexen look as though they need tidying up) but once you get the hang of this role-playing shooter, it's a great deal of fun.

As far as the game Itself goes, the 75% complete version doesn't seem to have much that you can't find more of elsewhere. As in Doom 64, levels are all polygonal, but the enemies are 2-D sprites and not especially attractive ones at that. The 31 levels are exactly the same as last year's PC version.

Gameplay-wise this does entail more brain-power. As well as the usual panoply of weapons there are a multitude of spells with which you need to familiarise yourself. And, as a player you can take on the persona of Mage, Warrior or Cleric.

Development house Software Creations has made the most of the Nintendo 64. The special effects can be found in the enemy and object sprites which have been mip-mapped and anti-aliased. There's also an element of fogging where use has been made of the transparency hardware (although this seems to have become pretty much obligatory among N64 developers now).

There's also fun to be had in certain levels where you are able to fly; and it's always worth crashing into the game's furniture in order to see what's behind a fake wall or stained glass window. In that respect exploration is more intriguing than in other games based on id's Doom engine.

But, for us the major excitement will be the ability to frag your pals on screen which means that, despite some reservations about this in pure one-player terms, it's going to be one of the multi-player hits of this year.

Prospects: Doom was a bit flat, but hexen could well take the first person crown. Don't forget Duke Nukem and Quake though.

A Dungeons & Dragons-style take on Doom, though unlike Doom 64, Hexen hasn't been updated from its PC roots. This means blocky graphics, an abundance of nasty brown textures making everything blend together on screen and no real thrills. Play the four-player game and you'll think someone's rubbed Bisto into your eyeballs, such is the fuzzy brown-ness.

With Doom enthusiasts likely to find themselves spoilt for choice come the end of the year - Doom 64 itself, Final Doom 2, Turok 2, Quake 64 and GoldenEye 007 are all at various stages of development -- a breath of fresh air is plainly needed. And cloud-swallowing PC smash Hexen may well have a crate already bottled.

The main reason is its four-player splitscreen mode, where said four competitors can compete against each other head-to-head.The set-up went down a storm on the PC and has already proven similarly successful in early tests on the N64. 70% complete versions, however, did suffer some horrendous slow-down, so with the game nearing completion it's hoped that's been fully sorted out.

Across the fair seas, the US are hoping to see Hexen in June and a European release may well follow fairly shortly after.And with its 31 medieval levels and corpse-filled dungeons already looking up to scratch, hopes are high for the N64's third first-person shoot-'em-up.

Overview

Another hit PC title has made its way to your humble little Playstation. The basic game engine has been carried over, along with all of the action that made the PC version a success. Prepare to battle through vast levels and sub-levels, killing anything and everything that stands in your path.

The story of Hexen is two pages long and, although interesting enough, can be summed up by saying you are one of only three humans alive. You must battle your way through huge worlds and plenty of enemies to reach Korax, the Serpent rider. Beat him and turn the world around. Time to be a hero!

Gameplay

I have heard of Hexen on the PC for quite a long time, but I don't play PC games very often. So I didn't even know what type of game it was. Was it an adventure game? A first-person shooter? A fighting game? Yes, it turns out to be all of these. Hexen is best described as a first-person adventure game that, depending on which of the three selectable characters you choose, uses more short range weapons (clubs, fists, etc.) than a typical corridor shooter. There are no plasma guns; instead, Hexen has magical staffs that shoot fire balls. The game focuses more on puzzle solving and switch tripping than all out assaults on the bad guys. Of course there are plenty of bad guys to beat up on, but this is only one aspect of the game. The gameplay reminded me of Kings Field II.

A big part of the appeal of Hexen is the ability to select from three different characters to try fulfilling the quest. Each of the three characters are quite different from one another. You can play as Baratus, a strong, fast warrior who specializes in close combat. You can also try to beat the evil Korax with Daedolon, a physically weak sorcerer. What he lacks in physical strength, however, he makes up for in magical attacks. The final character is Parias. He is a cross between the other two characters and is probably the best character to start the game with.

Before I continue on, I must issue a warning. If you do decide to purchase this game, you may as well buy another memory card that is solely for this game. A standard memory card has 15 blocks available and Hexen uses all 15. It is also not a progressive usage either. If you take one step into the game and save it, you are looking at 15 blocks. And it doesn't matter how far into the game you are, saving still takes 15 blocks. The reason I bring this up is that Hexen is a big game that, unless you really have no life, you will not finish in one sitting. You will want to save the game and come back to it.

I mentioned above that Hexen is a combination of a number of different genres. I think that the setting and combat styles give it an almost role-playing aspect. Don't get me wrong. This is not Legend of Zelda or Suikoden by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have that type of a feel. For example, each character starts the game with different strength and armor. As you progress, your armor levels increase, and you build yourself up and become stronger.

One thing I did not like about Hexen was the monotony. You will experience the old cliche "been there, done that" feeling more than once. There are quite a few new areas to be discovered, but there are also some rehashed rooms along the way. I will give credit to the developers on one large point: they open up the worlds of Hexen instead of limiting the game to dark, dank corridors.

Graphics

From a graphics point of view, these types of games have always been rough around the edges. Hexen is no different. Pixelization is a problem as you get too close to enemies or walls. Most games hide this by dark lighting and, on occasion, Hexen does the same. On a more positive note, the enemies are all creative and do look good from a step or two back. All of the worlds look good and there was no mistaking doors or switches. If there was something you needed to interact with, it was obvious. This is not always the case in this type of game. On the whole, the graphics are about par for the course.

Bottom Line

I enjoyed Hexen for what it was. I can't really call it anything new, even though in many respects it is. I could not really call it revolutionary, but that does not mean it is not fun. I could not call it eye candy but that does not mean that the graphics were poor. I could not really call it a bad game because it isn't.

Similar Games

Viewing games 1 to 4
X More on GameFabrique Snow Bros.

Download Snow Bros.