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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
November 21, 2002 | Richard Hallas

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The other big annoyance is the very significant loading time involved whenever you move between levels, and when you load a saved position. There's a two-stage server/client loading process to sit through each time this happens, and it can take anything up to half a minute, even on a fast machine like my 800 MHz PowerBook G4. If you're chasing around between levels, trying to find a switch to open a door, and are a bit lost (as can easily happen), these long delays get pretty irritating.

Aside from that, though, the actual performance of the game in terms of frame-rate is excellent. I was very pleased to discover that Hexen II supports multiple resolutions up to the native 1280x854 resolution of my PowerBook's screen, and the action was so smooth that I found myself sometimes suffering from the nausea that can be induced by the very fast motion of older 3D games. Whilst that's not exactly a bonus (on one occasion I made myself feel quite ill), it does illustrate the fluidity of the graphics!

Hexen II may be quite old and have relatively inferior graphics, and its design may have a few occasional shortcomings, but on the whole it's a very enjoyable game with a long life. It's definitely got a much stronger emphasis on puzzle-solving than the average first-person shooter and, although this can sometimes lead to frustration and a lot of tedious running around, on the whole it's an asset; it adds a lot to the variety and interest to the game.

There's also plenty of variety in terms of the character classes (with their different characteristics and weapons), power-ups and locations to visit (between continents if not within them), and although the background story is hardly inspiring, at least it's in keeping with the other games in the series.

So, if you're on the lookout for a cheap and cheerful title which was regarded highly when it was new, or if you want a game that'll run very well on older hardware, Hexen II should fit the bill. It's a long and fairly tough game with reasonable replay value. The greatest disappointment for me is that the expansion levels aren't included; if they had been, the pack would have been an outstanding value.

  • A good quality conversion of a well-regarded game at a budget price
  • Challenging gameplay and reasonable length
  • Plenty of variety and better than average replay value
  • More interesting puzzles than usual in this genre
  • Works extremely smoothly on current hardware and on older systems
  • Despite what the release note says, you can play the game without the CD in the drive
  • Cons
  • Can be frustrating at times because of the need for a lot of running around between levels
  • Levels can end up looking quite similar, and it's easy to get lost
  • Level-loading times can be excessively long
  • Graphics are primitive by modern standards
  • Expansion levels not included

  • HeXen II
    Publisher: MacPlay
    Developer: Raven Software
    Download HeXen II Demo
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