While Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard is fundamentally a fun game to play, it is not without its problems. Published in 1994, it seems more of a throwback to the early days of the role-playing genre. Although boasting three different 3-D viewing modes, Hexx doesn't deliver 3-D quality that's on a level with other 3-D engines. Whereas you are free to move in any direction in this first-person perspective, the graphics are blocky and movement can be stiff and difficult to manage in certain locations. Combat is handled in a somewhat surprising way and is quite different from the usual role-playing setup where you are guiding a party of multiple players. In Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard, when you encounter the bad guys and start swinging from the heels, all it takes is one key stroke or icon-click and all four of your intrepid adventurers leap into the fray. Guys on the front line whack away while those equipped with spells or ranged weapons hang behind and do what damage they can manage from a distance. While this sounds like an innovative technique, it can lead to frustration due to the real-time nature of battles. There are no shortcuts to finding and unleashing a particular spell so you have to be quick and search for the spell you need and cast it before you're hacked to pieces. This can be annoying when your characters are in need of some medical attention and you're still thumbing (clicking) through your spell book looking for a way to salve their wounds.
The auto-mapping feature is a definite help and chances are you'd be lost without it. The redeeming factor of Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard is the simple fact that the challenge is reasonable and the storyline is enjoyable to play. There is gameplay substance here, especially for fans of the old dungeon crawl games where you search and search and search until you finally reach the main objective -- in this case, the Nameless One, an evil wizard who has magically bagged the four Gods of Magic and deposited them in individual talismans which he has hidden throughout the realm in hopes of creating a world of chaos. Your job is to search the dungeons and towers to find the four talismans and set the Gods free to restore order.
Other features, including music and sound effects, are passable but are not cutting edge and could have added to the medieval atmospheric mood with a little improvement. Character generation options allow for more than 1800 possible combinations (when factoring in the various attributes). There is nothing new here in Hexx (with the possible exception of the multi-character battle feature) and it fails to deliver as a complete, satisfying role-playing entry. But if you like dungeon crawls, you still might find something here worth spending time on. But, make it a low priority.
Graphics: Too blocky, especially in close quarters. However, the dark look of the dungeons adds significantly to the mood of the game.
Sound: Nothing special. Sound effects are somewhat flat and uninspired.
Enjoyment: Despite all the flaws, playing Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard can be enjoyable mainly due to the story and depth of the game. If you like dungeon crawls, you'll probably feel at home here.
Replay Value: Using a different array of characters (through player generation) would be the only reason to replay.
Somewhere on the top floor of a sinister tower, there is an evil wizard who likes conjuring powerful deities. Those mighty creatures threaten the wizard, but they are trapped in magical cages, unable to act. To prevent the revenge of gods, the wizard imprisoned the souls of the four greatest gods in four talismans, and then hid them in four different dungeons. Controlling a party of adventurers, you must retrieve these talismans and release the gods.
This is a first-person RPG with a 4-person party made up of warriors, wizards, rangers, and assassins. Characters are pre-generated and chosen from a pool of 16 adventurers (4 of each class). Choose from 32 spells drawn from the disciplines of earth, chaos, dragon, and night magic. Combat takes place on the same screen as exploration and is fully in real-time.
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Hired Guns, Icarus: Sanctuary of the Gods, Hexplore, Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition, Fates of Twinion, Ishar 1, Hazard, Icewind Dale
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