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Publisher: MacPlay    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: 601 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 180 MB

HeXen II
April 24, 2001 | Andy Largent

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Carefully advancing through the dark halls of the castle, you hear a scurrying sound moving near. You fumble for a torch, lighting it just in time to see three huge spiders coming your way. Your Paladinís sword makes short work of them, but moving now into an open clearing you see something even more frighteningÖ "What are those, 8-bit textures?" you murmur to yourself, "And that tree, itís like three polygons, max!" Staring in disbelief, you find the discarded Hexen 2 box and, after closer examination, see the Quake 1 engine logo looking back at you. Pausing for a minute, you finally decide, "Eh, who cares." You turn the lights back off and prepare for a multi-hour playing session fighting in the land of Thyrion.

Hexen 2 is an odd title for IMG to be reviewing in two respects. First, the game was originally released by Raven way back in 1997 as the earliest title to use the original Quake engine from id Software. While you may scoff at its age, keep in mind that other recently ported games like SiN and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division are nearly as old. The other reason this review is a little peculiar is because the Mac version hasnít been officially published. Raven opened the gameís source code to the public, and Brad Oliver (of Westlake Interactive and MacMAME fame) and Frank "pOx" Condello took it upon themselves to bring it to the Mac. And while the Mac version is lacking a publisher, the game is as near to commercial quality as you will find. Very few bugs were encountered during play, and both Oliver and Condello provide some support through the web siteís forums and documentation. Installation is a simple matter of downloading their application and copying a few files from the PC boxed version. The PC version of both Hexen 2 and its mission pack, the Portal of Praevus, can be found online or in your local storeís bargain bin.

Hexen 2 is actually a continuation of the story and universe of Ravenís earlier games, Heretic and the original Hexen (both of which used the 2.5-D Doom engine). Having previously defeated the evil Serpent Riders DíSparil and Korax, you are now faced with the last and most dangerous of them, Eidolon. He has power over the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, whose chaos has been ravaging the land. You must take the role of Assassin, Crusader, Necromancer, or Paladin to defeat them all and bring peace back to the world.

At its heart, Hexen 2 is a first-person shooter in the same vein as Quake. Your best strategy in the game will be relying on your quick reflexes to vanquish your foes. Gameplay consists of puzzle solving layered upon a heaping portion of action. Levels have been laid out in Ďhubsí which you must often go back and forth between to accomplish your goals. Exploration of each corner of the world for secrets is the key, so be sure to leave no stone unturned or crate unbroken.


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