Heretic (1994)


I fiddled around a little bit with the Doomsday engine, since I wanted to replay Doom, but ended up playing Heretic instead, since my memories of that were much more dim and I wasn’t sure whether I ever completed the game. It’s basically Doom with a fantasy theme, the weapons play similar, the gameplay consists, like in Doom, of finding keys to advance and the main objective is to kill all monsters. What story there is, is told via very small text pieces after you won an episode, but it’s a very basic, generic story that’s really not very important.

Overall a fun game, but it does get repetitive very fast and if you don’t enjoy killing monsters for the fun of it, you probably get bored easily. Also, the graphics really reach the limits of what can be done with them very early on and despite some interesting sounding names for the levels, they all look very similar, despite the different level structure.

Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (1996)
This edition of Heretic features two more episodes (The Ossuary and The Stagnant Demesne) that take place after you vanquished D’Sparil. Like expansion packs or add-ons they are much more difficult that the original episodes, but don’t offer new graphics or gameplay elements.

I didn’t enjoy them as much as the first three episodes, as the game devolved into nothing more than a find-the-right-button or find-the-right-key game. While these elements were essential to all episodes of the game, due to the ramped up difficulty there are moments when it’s easy to get stuck. While this wouldn’t be a problem in an adventure, where you expect such a thing (but even there it’s annoying), it’s not something an FPS should aspire to, as it stops you completely in your track and breaks tension.