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Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Heretic II Enters Beta
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

"Burger" Bill Heineman and the other developers at Contraband Entertainment have been quite busy since returning from Macworld Expo. The latest news from the game development and porting house is that the long-awaited Heretic II, to be published by MacPlay after lying unpublished and mostly complete since the collapse of Logicware, has now entered beta and is still on track for an expected February release.

Heretic II, developed for the PC by Raven Software using id Software's Quake II engine, was the sequel to the Quake I engine-based Hexen II (also being ported by Contraband for MacPlay), which was itself the sequel to the Doom engine-based Hexen, which was in turn the sequel to Heretic, also based on id's Doom engine. Confused? Good.

Aside from being the computer game industry's poster child for craven sequelitis—the announcement of Heretic II for the PC elicited a barbed comment from id co-founder John Romero, who had already left the company, observing that id's and Raven's original plan was for a series of three games entitled "Heretic," "Hexen," and "Hecatomb,"—Heretic II was also very highly acclaimed. (Don't even get me started on the topic of console game names. Just how many "final" fantasies can there be?)

Taking a third person perspective on Raven's trademark medieval fantasy shooters with role-playing elements, Heretic II inspired not only favorable reviews, but a wealth of innovative third-party mods.

Here's a description from MacPlay's web site:

Beginning many years after the original Heretic, Heretic II sets you upon an epic quest across an entire continent to find a means to cleanse a world infected with a deadly magical plague that has victimized the people of the realm. As Corvus—the character from Heretic who has been banished to the Outer Worlds by D'sparil—you perform a variety of acrobatic, swimming and climbing maneuvers in order to penetrate the mystery of the plague. Exploring city, swamp, canyon and dungeon levels, you use a variety of offensive and defensive spells such as the Sphere of Annihilation, Repulsion and Fireball in conjunction with a magical bow and staff to defeat a multitude of insane plague-ridden denizens of Parthoris.
(Although Hexen I was published commercially for the Mac, Heretic I never was. Nonetheless, you can play the original Heretic via Brad Oliver's freeware port, available at the link below.)

Stay tuned to IMG for the latest on this exciting and long overdue game.

Contraband Entertainment
Heretic II
Brad Oliver: Heretic for the Macintosh

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