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Remember When Raven Software Was Good?
I'm talking about Raven's original hit series (progressively less and less so), the Heretic/Hexen saga. What I'm interested in discussing here is why, since Raven discontinued the series to do games based on lisenced/prefamous intellectual property (for obvious reasons), so few similar titles have sprung up? My questions are:

-What aspects of the first four games did you like/dislike?

-Is the genre of FPS action meldable with medieval/fantasy/RPG? How successful was this series, or the particular games (Heretic1/2, Hexen1/2) in doing this?

-How do the few examples of games in this vein to surface recently (I'm thinking Painkiller, kind of) measure up to the originals?

-Finally, say Raven or some other company decided that there was money in this and so they decided to do a game in the tradition of Heretic, Hexen and etc: What would you like to see in it? What aspects preserved, what changed or discarded?
As Long As 
We can play as Scampie, it's all good. 
 
never liked raven games much
Ill take scifi over fantasy/realism any time

fate: dont try being funny plz, you always fail 
Soldier Of Fortune 
The first one was ace, the second was shite.

There you go, an informative disection of two FPS titles. 
Woot 
at first i'd like to tell that indeed old raven's games were much more better than latest, but that coul dbe because they were first games i played, hence first impression is always stronger than later...

as for the mentioned hexeretic games:

i liked that they were more complex than id games. also, there were that nice touches like scattering leaves etc, very clever usage of id's engines. that's their strong plus.
i disliked that sometimes they were TOO complex ;) though, the gamedesign was top in all the titles.

i think that fps and fantasy go rather well together, the main flaw in hexeretic series was that it was the way too rpg like, i.e. complex to find way/button/whatever. fps must be much easier than your general RPG game.

cannot think of good hexeretic kind of games amongst modern ones atm... oh!! there is RUNE! fucking amazing game in the medieval setting! this one beats everything around...

as for the new hexeretic game: more speed, less VERY complex secrets, strong atmosphere and more other things any FPS dude would add... and please don't bring gfx part before gameplay! we need interesting games first, then eyecandy.... 
Yeah 
I've played a couple of Raven games. HexenII was the first, and I loved the art and atmosphere but got bored of wandering around endlessly in circles looking for some obscure potion containing essence of badger nipple that may or may not open some secret door hidden in a random bookcase that I need to find to exit the level.

HereticII was kinda similar but less puzzley, which I dug. I found it too boring overall to bother completing it though.

Soldier of Fortune was really really cool with it's uberviolence and giblets - I liked this game. Soldier of Fortune II on the other hand, kept my interest up until the first maze of crates somewhere in the middle of the first map. What a waste of money that was �_� 
AHAHA 
Scampie, I shall have my revenge!


Out of all 3 Heretic/Hexen/Hexen2 games, Hexen was, by far, the best. Hexen 2 was the worst. The reason I think this: Hexen pushed innovation - change in how levels worked, multiple classes to play as, an intriguing story and atmosphere with creative and class level design and monster design. Everything about Hexen was innovative IMO.

Hexen 2 was NOT. It was a bad clone. They took out all the neat monsters, all the creative level design for "real world, researched and handcrafted to emulate the feel of a real ancient civilization" which I think was the WRONG way to go. As a result, the levels are boring, drab, the monsters are not creative, the level design has suffered. The story plain sucked. The characters were neat, and I like that they were able to enhance the game with RPG-ish elements. The Necromancer, for example, can gain life back from his Scythe after he's level 10, or so. The problem was that they sapped all the creative energy out of Hexen to try to offer us Egyptian levels!! WTF!! Gimme my castley-cliff swamp levels back!! On a plus note, they brought back the Tome of Power, which was great considering there were 20 weapons already, for a total of 40 weapon effects!

I've pushed Scampie to get Raven to make Hexen 3, but he has declined my kindly sage advice.

As for another game in the tradition of Hexen/Heretic... I DO think RPG elements are OK. For example, I wouldn't mind having a more real-world model, where you could go to a town and buy upgrades to weapons, visit a blacksmith, go to a bar and find an under-ground seller of banned Necro-magic, etc etc. I think a driving story is almost necessary, and a real-world setting helps that.

Multiple characters are great. They offer multiple play styles, which offers great replay value. I would like to see a small differing in perspectives during the course of the game depending on character, though. For example, the Barbarian would go through levels A, B and D, D being a Barbarian only level, while the Baby-eater visits A, C, and E levels. As an example. That way you play through the game as different characters, but you also get different pieces of the story.

Different weapons are great, but THEY MUST BE UNIQUE. I am very tired of regular weapons that do the same shit over and over, especially if it's a fantasy game copying a BFG. Hexen was great at this, especially the Cleric. You had the Serpent Staff, which shot these 2 sin-wavey bolts, or absorbed life at short range. Plus the staff had an eye that would blink at you. Then you had this fire-cross thing that would shoot streams of fire, which would hang around and incinerate nearby monsters. THEN THE ULTIMATE WEAPON OMGFGF GIIASDFB was awesome. Shot out a whole bunch of tortured souls that would scream around and tear the shit out of any monsters, but sometimes would go after you if there was nothing else. Neat stuff.

In Half Life, you had the G-Man taunt you during the game. In Doom 3 you had that Betruger guy. In Hexen you had Korax. There needs to be some bad-ass Darth Vader kinda guy you can expect to face down in the end. It gives the game a sense of an epic. Just my opinion though. Half-life was a bit wierd, because you see G-Man over and over, but you face some giant flower-headed monster. That came out of nowhere. In Doom you KNOW you're gonna face the Cyber Demon last. In Hexen, killing Korax was a sweet spot.

Anyway. Hexen 3 should be awesome, as long as Scampie is kept off the team. I gtg to school!!!! 
Oh BTW 
When I saw "real-world" I do not mean influenced by THE real world. I mean a world with characters that are believable, etc etc. 
Fantasy Fps 
Walking around in my unfinished knights of the temple map with enclave monsters and weapons from a first person view was pure sex and made me want to do a firstperson rpg... 
ROFL 
LOMA 
I Remember. 
...but I don't want to... OH THE MEMORIES! THE HORRORS!

The burnt bodies... the children with the necklaces of human ears... please make them go away, why MUST MY MIND TORMENT ME SO!?

I remember when Raven Software marched into my hometown, remember when they round them all up, all the men and women, so gentle, so innocent. The slackers and the winos and the ninjas. All the differant fruits of the world, rounded up and shot behind the chemical sheds.

How long has it been since this evil empire took over? I cannot say for sure anymore. They control the clocks, the calenders. The information. Whatever sinister deeds there are done by them, my own twisted thoughts will never match what the history books say and I have no way to ensure my reality is ours and the same.

Days I wish, in vain, that perhaps these times of ours had never come, that Raven had stayed but a simple publisher of violent games. I can never forget what they did. To my family. To my friends. To my mind.

...please help me before it's too late... 
<--Penis 
What The Hell 
My icon changed between preview and submit??!? 
The Sad Thing 
is Raven wasn't always bad. When Raven came home and announced his new promotion as head of the accounting department, he found his wife in bed with his best friend, and that just drove him over the edge. 
The Basic 
topic of this discussion does deserve some exploration. Are FPS compatable with fantasy settings? Yes, most definitely, but you have to take the scope of what is feasible in consideration. The first video games that did it for me were the fantasy RPG's done from a first person perspective, Dungeon Master, Wizardy and later the Ultima Underworld series

The pace and physical setting of the FPS lends itself to certain types of fantasy adventures, but not others. Heroic fantasy of the LOTR variety would be too elaborate and slow for the FPS, but the Sword and Sorcery style of Conan or Lieber's Gray Mouser series would be a perfect match.

Some general thoughts about how it should be designed.

Avoid stats -- this means of conveying value was invented for pen and paper role playing, any of this can be substituted by a GUI visual aid.

minimize the RPG elements -- only to the extent getting better items, building up more powerful players adds to game play, keep it -- but anything that slows the game down by seducing the player to spend a lot pf time on the primping/vanity page of player stats should be eliminated.

emphasize weapons -- build a set of ranged weapons that go beyond the crossbow and longbow combos typical of this genre. Clawed grappling hooks, razored lassos, boomerings, sling staves could help fill this out. Make the weapons interesting to use in how you interface with the mouse and the results of their usuage. The light saber in Jedi Knight II almost made that piece of shit of a game worth playing. If each weapon in the game had its own distinct characteristics, how could it fail?

No classes -- the player is a warrior, an assassin for hire and a thief for personal gain; what he does in any given situation is to his advantage at that given moment. A skills system, like Runequest introduced a long time ago could be useful as the player decides what works to his advantage as he is playing the game, but the class system has always been problematic (when you are thirty odd hours into playing Baldur's Gate, and you find your Ranger/Druid not exactly it is pretty hard to turn back), and in fact Runequest introduced the system as a means of overcoming the inherent limitations in the Dungeons and Dragons class based system.

Just flipping through a half dozen Dragon magazines I still have from the 1980's there is quite a wealth of material and ideas for gameplay, traps and the like that have not yet been exploited in any videogame that I have played to this day. 
JK2 
Was fun. But I did rely too much on the lightsaber throw. 
That's Because 
it was a fucking awesome move. 
My Opinion 
The original style of artwork/theme/atmosphere was really good with the first 2 games (Heretic and Hexen). I liked that weird, cartoon-ish evil medieval world. I think subsequently the artwork, although good, did not have the same stylized quality that struck me as so cool.

I did appreciate Raven's effort in Hexen II, carried over somewhat to Heretic II, to create detailed levels based on ancient civilizations and etc... the "source material," that is, of much fantasy. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked out as well practically as it could have. Both games have interesting level design, and it did improve quite a bit in Heretic II, but I think both are too dungeon based. In Hexen II, for example, much of the level design was just indoor dungeons only with different colours of bricks... I found Hexen II SP very confusing, and never finished it.

I was vastly impressed with the unique action/fantasy/fighting mix in Heretic II. However, I really think the original Heretic was the best out of the entire series however. IT had the most emphasis on action, on simply _mowing_monsters_down_ (as doom did), but had a satisfying mix of extra abilities and weird weapons that made things interesting.

I don't play many RPG's... my idea of an RPG is dungeon siege, and that hardly counts. I actually think that the series lost popularity because they became more and more eccentric, trying to make their games "deeper" - that is, more complex and (nerdily) historically accurate settings, more RPG elements, multiple character classes, and then that final, doomed attempt to innovate even more with the new combat system and unrecognized genius of Heretic II.

I think if they made a sequel in the series, they would have to go back to Heretic-style emphasis on action. RPG elements, such as inventory, artifacts, magical abilities, and all those atmospheric touches they always had, would be good. Character classes and advancement might be too much actually.

Before I heard about Quake 4, I always theorized that Raven might be doing Heretic 3, as id was doing Doom 3, on the same engine.

But they'll probably never do that, since as the screenshots from Quake 4 and Prey all illustrate, that engine is only good for Doom3-style tech themes. Or apparently anyway. 
Headthump 
was that a family guy reference to the evil monkey? 
Right 
the screenshots from Quake 4 and Prey all illustrate, that engine is only good for Doom3-style tech themes.

And what is it about those shots that says that, aside from the fact that they're from tech-themed games? 
Yup 
I agree with lun. All three games have very similar themes and art styles, so are bound to look similar. Of course, the fact they all use the same tech is going to make them look similar as well, but I'm sure the Doom 3 engine can do non-tech-themed corridors too. 
Ummmmm 
Has everyone forgot that Doom3 did some rather good Hell and Temple environments? 
Yes 
Yes we have.

Hell was pretty good, but those rocks sure were shiny. 
Yeap, Than 
I have the DVD set, sometimes I can't help myself. 
To Continue Derailing The Thread 
Hell was pretty good, but those rocks sure were shiny.

Yeah, blame the texture artist, not the engine. 
Let's Actually Get The The Heart Of The Issue Here. 
Your beef is not with Raven. Your beef is with the industry as a whole not making the games you want. It also seems you're placing the theme and setting of the games far ahead of 'Is the game fun?', which should be the only thing that ever matters in a game.

I'm flattered that you think Raven is the company setting the pace and gaming styles everyone follows, but let's be honest, the entire industry doesn't follow what one company makes, just whatever sells well. The reason so many WW2 and other 'realism' FPS games exist is not because one single company doesn't happen to be making a fantasy shooter, but because Half-Life/Counterstrike/etc sold so well amoung the public.

Games are expensive to make, and most developers aren't able to afford making whatever they want, they need a publisher for the cash. And publishers aren't going to take risks with their cash for the most part. So sure, maybe if there were a Fantasy FPS currently out and it sold a few hundred million copies or whatnot, there would be more copy-cat type games out there. But getting to that stage to make that type of game requires more than just the decision by the developer to do such a game.

I think rather than bashing Raven specifically, you should be emailing people like Activision and EA and such saying how much you'd like to see more fantasy games. Maybe you should organize a team to make a fantasy mod for one of the latest games out there, hell, maybe a bunch of people will see it and like it that companies get an idea that 'Hey, maybe such a theme would be worthwhile to try!'. Or maybe you should just wait, the current trend of gaming can't remain forever. 
Hey 
and we're back on track 
Erm.. Let's Hijack The Thread... 
why is it that everyone is addressing only the last couple of sentences from my post?

I don't think Raven is setting the standard for the industry. Furthermore, I didn't mean for this to be a thread where I talk about what I think is wrong with the industry either. It was to discuss fantasy FPS, past and potential. That's the point.

Nor do I think the theme/setting are more important than the "is this fun" factor. On the other hand, if I see 40 clones of one really good movie, I enjoy that progressively less and less. Perhaps a similar principle could be applied to interactive entertainment without seeming too ridiculous.

It isn't bashing Raven specifically to say that they chose to do games that'd make more money. That's what every company does, or else it goes under. I'm not some kind of hippie who doesn't realize that. In fact, you'll note in the earlier portion of my post that I said the most successful resurrection of the franchise would probably involve a focus on action more and eccentric elements less. This was supposed to be a thread for floating about interesting ideas, not arguing about industry trends.

As for the Doom engine thing,I played Doom 3 all the way through and the ONE hell level did not impress me, and the temple maps were basically (shiny, as well) variations on the tech corridors, though well-done. Doom 3 was fairly well recived, RoE seemingly less so, and I'm just saying, unless the developers of Prey and Q4 change a significant amount in their games from the general Doom3-ness of the original, I'm willing to bet that the more Doom3-like products are released, the less success (in every way, including sales) they will have. 
And Yes, I Do Realize 
that I just contributed to the hijacking....


...sigh 
Er 
You mean this isn't a thread about why Raven sucks?

If we're supposed to talk about fantasy in FPS, perhaps it should have been titled something like, let me think on this for a moment here, "Fantasy in FPS". 
OK 
Raven does suck now IMO. It seems like they sold out - they didn't really stay true to creating original properties, and instead took the "easy way out" by just getting a bunch of lame, tired properties to clone games off of. At least, that's my opiniong on Star Wars, Star Trek, and X-Men games. Not saying those games are bad or anything, just that while id and Valve work on creating innovative, new, FRESH universes (ok, maybe not, but at least original and not copied from crummy movies) Raven is content to sit back and pimp the Star Wars name for all its worth.

As for Fantasy in FPS, Hexen is my 2nd favorite game ever, partially because of its unique fantasy setting, partially because, for its time, it was FUCKING ORIGINAL. I had never seen anything like Hexen done before. I definitely think Hexen was a major influence in the direction FPS games took (more towards consistent worlds than level - screen - level - screen.)

I think most people associate fantasy with role playing, and that a lot of people just expect those who are interested in LotR to be RPG fanatics as well.
I also think that sucks. I would love to see a true successor to Hexen, whether made by Raven or not, whether Hexen or not, as long as it's an innovative and fun FPS set in a fantasy realm. That would be great!! No more apocalyptic futures, war torn with bio-engineered super soldiers from hell with glowing eyes and cryptic gas-masked voices. That would be great. 
Melee Weapons 
How about meelee weapons in an fps? A big part of fantasy as I see it is magic swords, axes etc, bows and magic play the other two thirds. Imo, meelee weapons work well when you use them for short periods, like the beginning of RTCW(and wolf3d) where you start with just a knife, and you use that until you can get ahold of a gun. Playing a whole game with meelee weapons in first person wouldn't be very fun I'd think, but making it third person would take away some of the coolness of it being an fps, and it would lose quite a bit of cool feeling. Maybe with a tribes 2 approach, allowing the player to look down and see his torso and legs and the rest of his arms holding the weapon? I don't know if this would actually help the meelee, it might. Any other ideas to make big meelee weapons work in first person(there are few things more sucky than having an ubertall sword show just the handle and the arm swinging around. Even worse is when the sword just points forward, stabbing things.) 
Perhaps 
They should take the hard way out and make original games that don't sell enough to recoup their alarmingly high cost of development and go out of business like Troika and Looking Glass. 
Ok Lunaran, You Got Me... 
... the title was suggestive

I think melee weapons would be cool, but I don't understand how they could be done well in FPS. Rune and Heretic II both have excellent melee combat, so it's definately possible in a computer action game, but in both the excellent melee combat is inextricably linked to playing from a third person perspective.

One of the things I have to applaud the Heretic/Hexen series for is its unique weapons. Heretic had very doom-type combat, and several of the weapons functioned very much like their doom counterparts - the crossbow like the shotgun, phoenix rod like the rocket launcher, the dragon claw and hellstaff are like the chaingun - but basic, functional, powerful weapons are a must for any fun FPS, and it mixed in things somewhat less conventional (necromancer's gauntlets! hellstorm! flamethrower! those weird bouncy mace things!).

I think in a new fantasy FPS, it shouldn't just use bows and swords. That would seem lame compared to modern games where you can use machine guns and rocket launchers. Instead, it should go with all magical weapons, which are impressively powerful - this could include a magic crossbow as in heretic, but the point is you should be able to mow things down, not stick 5 arrows in a guy before he dies.

maybe a solution for melee weapons (this is really risky and complicated) would be to use third person for melee, and first person for shooting. Yeah, actually, that seems basically impossible to do really well. 
They Did It In Star Wars!! 
All the lightsaber shit was 3rd person, then you switch to 1st person for shooting.

Re: BlackDog
Nah, I think they should go the hard way and make original, innovative games that sell millions of copies, like Blizzard did with StarCraft, Valve did with Half-Life, Sid Meier did with Civilization, whoever made God of War, etc, etc... That would be a better choice than losing millions of dollars imo. 
That's A Bit Obvious, Zwif 
Of course making great million selling games is better than losing millions of dollars. What sort of limp noodle can't see that?

The problem you don't recognise is that original, innovative games often fail. Couple that with the current ridiculously high cost of development, and going out of business becomes a serious risk for any independent studio wanting to make their own games.

Of course, Raven isn't independent. 
Zwiffle 
I think the third person with first person in jkII didn't work that well, and seeing a character from the third person really takes away some of that very cool 'being me' feeling of playing a first person shooter. I thing chainsaws, burning weapons(necromancer gloves) stabbing spears etc, work well in first person, but as soon as a swinging weapon comes along, it all starts to not work. Dunno, someone smart might be able to do something about it. 
What about the thief series? 
Thief 
never liked it for some reason. not that i did play it much, just sometime ago somewhere the first level. i stumbled around through the dark (oh yeah, i remember. gamma adjustment didnt work). then when the first guard appeared i totally was knocked down :). sneaking almost always doesnt work in fps, you'd need a real great ai for that. 
Thief 
I haven't played it very much, but a friend of mine (whose favourite series it is) says that although it is very good, it is definately not for everyone given its emphasis on sneaking and not on action.

I thought sneaking was good in Far Cry, but that still had good action.. I think an SP game as fast as Q3 would be nice though. 
I Enjoyed Thief, 
especially some of the later levels like Lost City, but I know it wasn't for every one; it's style wasn't nearly ruthless as it could have been. If it was entitled Assasins, and the missions didn't center around nabbing artifacts but instead committing major acts of evil like, say, assassinating a Prophet or burning down an Alexandrian like library and setting the human race back a thousand years it would have been quite awesome, but alas, the protagonist is just another rougish good guy.

Also, the Drom-Ed, the editor for it, is awful. 
 
raven is basically a department of activision, they are activisions bitch, i doubt it has a design team its just a bunch of artists working on whatever license Activision just paid for 
 
not only that, but how much creativity can raven actually have? after doing grunt work like star trek you'd think they would want to use some creativity, but instead they just steal ID's art style for quake4 
Eh? 
qwertyasdafsdfa: da fuk? Quake 4 is an id software intellectual property; the design and art direction is being overseen by id. Raven are doing most of the work, but are following the basic design guidelines laid down by id. Of course it's gonna resemble id's art style. It's a sequel to an id game. 
I Like Being A Bitch 
It's a special treat when they let me wear the little nipple-tassles while I prance around and shake my booty.

(also, trolls are more effective when they are less obviously retarded--the more you know!) 
Thief 
Thief is very cool, but very much a sneaker. The Dark Mod project are doing some interesting things with the D3 engine - http://www.mindplaces.com/darkmod/screenshots.php - which might give you some ideas what is possible in a fantasy setting. 
Hexen: EoC 
While Raven doesn't seem to want to go back to Hexen/heretic anytime soon, they did give the Hexen: Edge of Chaos people the permission to create their own Hexen game, which I think is cool. I think it shows they want their fanbase to be happy, instead of just choking the franchise by not letting anyone make anything that resembles it.

The mod doesn't look spectacular right now, but looks promising, so gj Raven for giving the OK for those people. 
The Answers. 
I haven't read any replies so can answer with a pure, untainted mind.

Tronyn, I only played the Hexen 2 and Heretic 2 demos, I liked their style, but at the time was interested in more modern games, so I didn't buy them. However, I do share an interest in those sort of games, so...

-What aspects of the first four games did you like/dislike?

Like: Fantasy styles. Based on solidly controllable engines.

Dislike: Not playing them when they were actually competive technologically. Also, controlling a gay Elf :P.

-Is the genre of FPS action meldable with medieval/fantasy/RPG?

Absolutely, definitely, 100%. Although 3PS is sometimes more suitable, but FPS can work well too depending on the type of combat one is aiming for. But from what I have played and experienced I see no problems with the genre at all.

How successful was this series, or the particular games (Heretic1/2, Hexen1/2) in doing this?

Don't know really, but seemed to be good.

-How do the few examples of games in this vein to surface recently (I'm thinking Painkiller, kind of) measure up to the originals?

Painkiller is different, it's a pretty normal FPS with some fantasy/gothic settings amongst others. A good game but it can't really be compared. And indeed I can't really compare other games to the originals as I don't know the originals.

BUT... I can at least sing the praises of:

Wheel Of Time: Just a bloody good fantasy FPS. A great example of how the genre can work (focused in the magical direction in this case).

Enclave: A very good 3PS with a strong range of fantasy styles and simple, but beneficial RPG elements. A good example of bringing in some RPG aspects without overwhelming the gameplay.

Both of which show how well the genre can work in two pretty different directions. One could also include the underrated Blade Of Darkness in the camp with Enclave, albeit with a different combat focus that perhaps strays too far from the FPS standard.

-Finally, say Raven or some other company decided that there was money in this and so they decided to do a game in the tradition of Heretic, Hexen and etc: What would you like to see in it? What aspects preserved, what changed or discarded?

Again I wouldn't really know what would be good in the H/H tradition, but I would happily give a modern version of those games a try as long as they stood well on their own.

And again, as far as the genre in general goes, I would love to see more of it, in pretty much any form, whether it be standard fantasy or something warped and gothic, whether it be swords or sorcery, simple FPS gameplay, or with complex RPG elements. I just like the style, both in it's own right and as a respite from sci-fi action games.

Having said that, there are a couple of directions I'd personally like to see. I'd like to see stronger RPG elements, such as character developement, progression, exploration, side missions, etc, but without the time-sucking extent of say Morrowind. Something not that complex, but a bit more integral to playing the game than Enclave. And I'd like to see a strong fantasy style with a distinctive touch to it. Something that makes the world you're in a bit different. WOT had this, because of the strong background in Jordan's books, but Enclave for example didn't have quite the same distinct feel.

Oh and of course I'd love to see anything set in the Warhammer universe, but that goes without saying.


Good topic, BTW. 
Cheers 
That's exactly the kind of response I was looking for :)

Wheel of Time - I am ashamed that I have *never tried it,* but I recall hearing about it a long time ago... is there a demo around somewhere? sounds awesome.

I think character advancement could be good. I am patiently waiting for someone to meld Diablo/Dungeon Siege games with FPS action.

What I mean is, the excellent physics/graphics/level design of FPS, combined with the character advancement and huge amount of items/skills/environments in these RPGS. The thing I *really* want though, is to be able to control your own character - do your OWN COMBAT, not just click on the monsters - in a dungeon siege type game. That would rule. Coop would be especially good.

I think most developers have chosen to use the third person perspective for their fantasy action games because, like Die by the Sword, Heretic II, Rune and Enclave all emphasize to some degree or another, the combat is based on bows or swords, and is more mid-range or melee than just about any FPS. What I would really like to see though is a fantasy FPS with combat as ranged and fast as Quake 3 - a sort of modern update of Heretic 1. The Plasma Gun in Q3, for example, could just as easily be cast as a fantasy weapon - probably some kind of magical artifact - with much the same gameplay.

I played the Painkiller demo, but it seemed more similar to Quake (less creepy and with faster gameplay) than to any of Raven's early titles, but I recall a few people saying they thought it very Hexen-like.

As for Hexen: Edge of Chaos, I'm looking forward to it. From the shots though it seems like they are very much remaking Hexen 1, with all the blocked-in-by-stone-walls outdoor areas and all. I'd really like to see some larger outdoor areas, rolling hills, and etc. 
 
I am patiently waiting for someone to meld Diablo/Dungeon Siege games with FPS action.

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/hellgate-london/613487p1.html 
That 
sounded awesome, "plays like a first person Diablo," until I ran into:

"The weapons you're using aren't your typical first-person weapons. Most of them don't require you to aim, and many track targets automatically. Forget about pixel-point damage, trying to lead an opponent, or carefully lining up a head shot"

I guess they thought aiming would alienate Diablo fans or something? bah. 
W3rd. 
WOT - don't think there is a demo. It should be ass-cheap now though. Unreal/UT tech, but quite advanced from Unreal itself. You play a female magic user, there's a pretty cool variety/combination of spells. I liked it a lot, in fact I can't see of anything seriously detrimental, but your mileage may vary of course.

Agree with all your comments in that post.

Although the issue of combat from a FPS perspective. You can have simple melee combat from an FPS POV, in fact you could probably have more complex melee combat with combos and all. Sure it won't look as good as from 3PS, but there's no need for fantasy FPS to be restricted to magic only... Aside from melee there's bows, crossbows, repeater crossbows, blunderbuss (yay for fantasy quake!), simple pistols, throwing daggers, throwing axes, crude grenades/bombs, primitive flame throuwers....very FPS suitable whilst retaining a strong fantasy theme.

Hellgate looks cool. But in a different way.

BTW, you've played Undying, right? Not quite the same but some good fantasy/gothic shit in that fo sho. 
The Gods Have Been Listening... 
...

http://www.projectoffset.com/

Not much there yet, but if they finish this it would be very close to the kind of thing I've been wanting. Specifically the, "If you are an archer, you can lead targets, because it is an ACTION GAME and FPS skills apply" - is awesome. 
Tronyn 
Considering they have only 3 men to make this AAA game i assume they'll never finish it :) 
The Project Will Be Offset By More Developers 
A couple of things I'd like to clarify briefly:

"Project Offset" is our working title for the game, not the actual name.

We are using a new engine that I started development on about a year ago, not an existing solution.

Lastly, and most important: we have no intention of developing the entire game with just the 3 of us! We are actively looking for investors and publishers, and encourage interested parties to email us. (See the team page).

Thanks to everyone for checking out our latest update, and keep us bookmarked for future updates.

Sam McGrath


http://www.projectoffset.com/news.html

Lets hope they do finnish it 
As Opposed To 
Swedishing it. 
Mumble Mumble Grumble Grumble 
Is the use of 'to' in your title correct, or should it be 'too' ?

I'll be keeping an eye on your posts in future mister Phait 
Yes It Is Correct 
=P 
Yes. 
Now obviously this is VERY early days, but I think the idea sounds excellent. Like really cool indeed. In fact, someone page Tronyn after he was asking about fantasy FPSs on his Hexen/Heretic thread.


Guess someone did page you ;) 
 
It looks pretty promising. It'd be a shame to see it go to waste =/ If they don't finish it #tf can do the work! 
I Saw It On Blue's (and It Kind Of Surprises Me That They Posted It) 
where's that post from? 
Remake 
The whole fantasy/medieval setting is pretty cool. Artwork, themes, weapons, gore. For me, Hexen II is still one of the best looking shooters i've seen. Imho, the whole H/H thing was let down a bit by shitty churn-em-out level design, though Hexen II had some great levels and Heretic II was a very nice game. I couldnt even play Heretic till i discovered the Doomsday engine; otherwise, it was just too "Serious Sam" for me.

Modern games are just a dollar industry now. I did catch a little of Painkiller but probably not enough to comment.
New games == vista == industry upgrade == mostly crap
Love to see someone make a fist pumping Hexen III. Maybe they haven't because they dont want to remind people they made these flawed titles ?

: Remember When Raven Software Was Good ?
Raven's newer games are ok... Quake IV was my favourite in ages. And even so-so games like Jedi Knight, SoF and Star Trek Elite Force got rave reviews, and have a style and quality that set them apart.

@Tronyn
Saw Rapture recently ... Storm level and Mjolnir - f-ing great ;>

"Go in peace and you will surely die." 
Glad You Liked It 
I'm partial to fantasy-type themes (not cliche, RPG fantasy if possible, but fantasy anyway). That particular map was inspired by Rune (new at the time!) with the Nordic theme and all.

In my opinion, Raven made Quake IV because id wants the Quake series, like basically all of their series' now, to go on indefinitely, so that there will always be a new game in development (on whatever platform)... but I was really disappointed that they chose to do that, because to me Quake IV looked _exactly_ the same as Doom3. I suspect this is a consequence of id designing an _extremely_ limited engine with Doom3, which was really only suited to rendering dark, futuristic indoor environments. They (id) have come a long way from the groundbreaking, dark violent bunch of nerds who unleashed Quake on the world, and I think they've basically lost everything which made them great in the process. And Raven has basically gone down the same path with them.

On the bright side, though, now that Intel has purchased Project Offset it is almost guaranteed to actually come out. My PC will NOT be able to run it, but I'm sure I'll be able to play it somewhere. 
Offset 
On the bright side, though, now that Intel has purchased Project Offset it is almost guaranteed to actually come out.

Word. Word? Hit me with some details homie. Was always well keen on Offset. 
Sorry 
I don't know any more than they posted at http://www.projectoffset.com/news.php

The only fact I can derive from this is that it almost certainly will come out. Intel would be dumbfucks indeed to buy an engine and spend the money on nothing. Even if the engine is used for TONY HAWK TIGER WOODS FOOTBALL WARCRAFT THE SIMS NOOB AWESOME LOOOL games, even if that is what Intel wants to do with this engine, the game itself based on this engine (aka, conceived and created, for the most part, before some asshole in a suit had a chance to influence it in any way) WILL come out. Dark Messiah was great (I loved the archery), I can only hope this will be even better. 
Intel... 
They will probably never make a game of it and just use it for tech presentations. 
Hmm 
Cynic.

Of course it'll get released, why give out a tech demo for free when you can charge people 30� to install it for you? 
Hexen 2 
Sadly there aren't too many cool Hexen 2 maps, even though it's based on Quake... the textures are nice... the monsters are supernice...

why is no one making maps for it? I'd play them...

I think the original game's levels weren't convincing enough, for example the castle wasn't constructed properly, it was a bit like some nerds from California (or wherever) imagined the middle age...

now if there was a Hexen2 unit that looked like Day of the Lords... and was pretty dark... oh yes please... I actually really like the game, just the maps weren't convincing enough.

Raven, hire some history students, lock them into some Scottish castle with the extended version of LOTR and enough beer and pizza, and remake it properly... 
Hexen 2 
was utter rubbish. It was ultra disappointing. The level design was sub-par at best, enemies were lame and unimaginative. The puzzles were either too easy/dull or too difficult/unfair. The reason no one maps for it is because it fux0ring sucks (even though I've contemplated mapping for it.)

If you want to map for a cool game, map for that Quake mod on the Doom 3 engine. There's a lot of promise there. If you want to map for a cool Raven game, map for the original Hexen. Actually, that sounds like a good idea. Anyone wanna work on a Hexen map pack? 
I Just Love 
Hexen II. With some Exotic Moods of Les Baxter playing in the background. There's a lot of kitsch-gothic to it and Q1 engine is at it's best here, say, as a 'mod'... Hexen II being the ultimate final fantasy Quake ever! I rushed 2 times across the Portals. (Praevus = lotsa giggle but challenge). [Kona], beyond all mappers, captured and sublimated such climate in Quake. (Thinking to Hrimfaxi's Castle of the Winter mappack too). I'm sure they might be wicked ways to map for Hexen II. 8)

I'm reluctant to play the current Hammer of Thyrion (solid Win & OS X HX2 port, btw) cause there's no fov cvar implemented, wtf... But, yeah, I'm a huge fan of this underestimated game.

OK... I've to go back to Grim Fandango... 
Hexed 
This is a huge mod for H2 -
http://ravenhurst.raven-games.com/Main.shtml
It's a bit meandering at times, but do-able, and worth playing through. 
Hexen 2 
I WOULD play it, but I don't have my install CD anymore, and you can't patch it unless you have that, so it won't run on modern systems for me - fuckers.

The level design I thought had a good style to it, BUT, the layouts were confusing, cramped, and generally bad. I didn't like the hub-based system either, I only made it into the Egyptian episode, and never finished the game.

Heretic II was a better example of Raven doing something unique yet keeping strong action and straightforward gameplay. 
F**k 
Aargh! I meant Fortress of Four Doors -
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/uhexen2/fo4d.tgz?modtime=1140774887&big_mirror=0
http://www.filefront.com/?skin=120&file=16183&transfer=1

> The level design I thought had a good style to it, BUT, the layouts
> were confusing, cramped, and generally bad.

Yeah. The combat had good moments, but generally didn't hold a candle to doom or quake. 
To Answer Your Question, 
no. 
Hexen 2 
I liked it, but it was very buggy, i.e. you take a "not intended" route, some script breaks and progress would become impossible, that cost me more time wandering around than the puzzles, which were good. 
Intel And Project Offset 
Coincidentally, i saw this at techreport.com:

<quote>
Nvidia CEO talks down CPU-GPU hybrids, Larrabee ... Huang summed up Nvidia's position on Larrabee in one sentence: "We're gonna open a can of whoop-ass [on Intel]." ... [Nvidia VP Tony Tamasi] went on to shoot down Intel's emphasis on ray tracing, which the chipmaker has called "the future for games."
<quote>

Hmmm. If Nvidia are right and Intel have problems producing a proper GPU (which they insinuate in the article), maybe Offset wont get seen ?

http://techreport.com/discussions.x/14538 
 
lets hope the deal is something like Offset guys get the financing to make their game and Intel gets the technology from them in return 
Yeah 
I just had a good browse around the offset website, and the technology and art does look incredible! It will be a real shame if this game never sees the light of day... 
I Feel Like Playing Heretic2 
With all this talk I fell like playing Heretic2 again. its been been long time...
so, are there any patches or mods or enhanced engines and textures to get the most out of this game? 
Mmmmh... Heretic II... 
Speeds, you can start from here:
http://www.raven-games.com/h2quickstart.php

Visit thefourwinds.net FTP server for the files you want or need. Among the mods, don't miss the Abode of Golgotha Saga - 2 great SP addons.
(all links on the same page) 
I Doubt There Are Any Servers Anymore 
(for Heretic II) - unfortunately.

Btw, anyone play "The Witcher"? (stupid name, I know). It looked like a fairly interesting fantasy-action-RPG, third person like Rune or Heretic 2 I think. I'm gonna try the demo if my system can handle it. 
 
I'm reluctant to play the current Hammer of Thyrion (solid Win & Unix & OS X HX2 port, btw) cause there's no fov cvar implemented, wtf...

I checked, there is. I like to see the weapons though.

About the monsters, you have to admit that the spiders are rather nicely animated... the archers as the standard monster look and feel good, too. Technically, Hexen2 has practically everything that Quoth and Extras have: lots of colorful monsters, breakables, rotateables (not Hipnotic's), rain, snow, lots of triggers, traps, transparency, particle stuff, you name it, it's there. You don't have to use the hub system either; you could make a find-the-exit map just the same. 
And 
Knights, rotfish, grunts, dogs etc aren't much more exciting than spiders, hydras and skull wizards. 
Hammer Of Thyrion FOV Cvar 
I checked, there is

Yes. In software mode only! No fov avail in GL... 
Tronyn 
I played The Witcher, and enjoyed it more than any RPG in years. The most interesting thing about it, to me, is that they threw out the typical "pick your race and class" stuff. You're a specific guy (who's apparently the main character in a bunch of fiction that I haven't read), and this allowed them to make a more specific story (that's tailored around that guy) than most RPGs. I threw in a couple of mods that:
a) Expanded the semi-shitty greatly shortened English versions of the subtitles.
b) Re-added evil dangerous boobs for we poor fragile Americans.

It was damn good, and I highly recommend it. 
 
That bunch of fiction is one of the best things ever written. If it will be translated someday (or maybe it is already?) it's a *must read*. (: 
Hacked Hexen 
Anyway, We're doing a bug fix (and later, new stuff probably) for the *nix port of hexen, HHexen.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=4501 
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