(FIRST ACTUAL ATTEMPT AT A REVIEW LEAVE FEEDBACK PLZ) TL;DR: IT WAS MADE IN THE 90s! BUY IT!
Get Hammer of Thyrion to run this game. It gives you a lot of resolution options, some great texture filtering and allows the game to run in 16:9, 16:10 etc. I highly recommend it.
When I was younger this was a game I played often and alongside Quake 1-3, Unreal 1, Thief: The Dark Project, DOOM 1 & 2 and HeXen: Beyond Heretic, HeXen 2 was one of my first games. BUT MY GOD I DO NOT REMEMBER SO MANY SPIDERS BEING SCATTERED AROUND THIS GAME! Now days I cannot bring myself to get out of the starting level because of the sheer amount of ♥♥♥♥ing spiders there are. To anyone who has extreme arachnophobia. DON'T BUY THIS ♥♥♥♥ING GAME! Other than the needless swarm of arachnids this game is solid and is one of Raven's better games. Raven has always had a knack for making me ♥♥♥♥ myself :D (I got over my fear of HeXen 2's pathetic spiders after playing Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. My god those things are frightening).
I'm going to just say that HeXen 1 was amazing. I will try to make a general rule in this review to talk as little about HeXen 1 as possible because that game is the pinnacle of my FPS experience.
History: HeXen 2 is an FPS game developed by Raven Software and published by id Software in 1997. It is the third game in the Serpent Rider series (or as some people have called it, the HeXen/Heretic series). Raven Software also made an expansion pack known as Portal of Praevus for this game which adds a new class, new levels and other great things. In 2000 the source code for this game was released under the GNU license so if you want to make a source port for this game, go for it (and send me a link :D). History lesson over plebeians. Time to analyze the game.
Strengths of HeXen 2:
Combat: HeXen 2 runs off idTech 2 so nearly everything in this game is solid because John Carmack is god and idTech is the greatest engine of the 90s. So with a great engine running this game the question we must ask is: Did Raven utilize the engine to its fullest? Absolutely! The combat in this game feels great. Enemies can be cut up into tiny pieces, gibbed and a load of other things. Enemies are also brutally difficult and will kick your ♥♥♥ but it doesn't feel as artificial as some other games. The only problem I've noticed are a few bugs in the NPC animations . Some enemies have dodging animations that seem to always give them invincibility frames even if you manage to predict the dodge and hit them while they're performing the animation which can make the combat frustrating. Other than that flaw HeXen 2's combat is quite enjoyable and I almost had as much fun slashing through spiders in this game as I did gibbing demons in Heretic.
My ranking of combat from each game:
1. The anonymous game (The game that shall not be mentioned is here for reasons.)
2. Heretic (Heretic's combat is almost exactly the same as DOOM with a couple of things thrown in here and there.)
3. HeXen 2 (Has 4 classes but suffers from a few bugs. It tends to feel a bit clunky and unbalanced at times.)
Level design: HeXen 2's level design is notorious for being extremely complex as well as being extremely well thought out. I won't say too much but you will become confused and will most likely need to look up a walkthrough. I enjoyed the level design though.
How it stacks up:
1. Heretic (E1M1 is legendary. Of course it's here.)
2. The unnamed game (Pretty much set the standard for convoluted level design.)
3. HeXen 2 (Even though this game has great level design it's not as iconic as the other games. Still great though. You will get stuck. Nice and challenging.)
Weaknesses of HeXen 2:
Graphics: It's a game from the 90s of course it will look dated. However compared to games like Unreal 1 and System Shock 2 it doesn't hold up quite as well to the other games from that era. If you can't overlook the graphics I recommend finding some graphical enhancements for this game as it is too good not to play.
How it stacks up:
1. HeXen 2 (What did you expect. Quake engine vs Doom engine. Quake engine wins)
2. The game with no name (Meh still looks better than DOOM)
3. Heretic (See above)
I recommend playing the Serpent Rider series in chronological order:
2. HeXen: Beyond Heretic
3. HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel
4. HeXen 2 (I recommend purchasing off of GOG to get the DLC, but I bought the HeXen bundle though so I have HeXen 2 on steam as well as DRM free)
5. Heretic 2 (This one you could get by with playing before HeXen or HeXen 2 because it involves Corvus unlike HeXen and HeXen 2 and it most likely won't screw with your experience of the Serpent Riders series as a whole)
Ranking of each game in the Serpent Rider series:
1. Heretic (People have said this game has aged poorly. I don't feel it.)
2. HeXen: Beyond Heretic (The only reason I rank this game behind Heretic is because I've played Heretic more. HeXen is better but Heretic was pretty much my first FPS game.)
3. HeXen 2 (No I'm not saying this because of the spiders. This game could have no spiders and I would still rank it here)
4. Heretic 2 (Not the biggest fan of the 3rd person change but it's unique and the game is still worth playing. This is also after 1997 so this is after the devs responsible for Heretic and HeXen 1 left. ♥♥♥♥ing Activision)