The witches have been destroyed in their lair on the Island of Char! Returning to your homeland, you are greeted with newborn hope, pride and great celebration. After the revelry, you awaken to a dawn filled with eerie silence that looms in the still air. Your countrymen are gone!
The great witch Cirae-Argoth has taken them to avenge the death of her sister. You have only yourself and your foolish meddling to blame. But you are not meant to die...yet! Alone in the land that you have fought so fiercely to protect, you must gather your strenght and use your anger to fight for BLOOD VENGENCE.
~ from the back of the box
If Witchaven can be seen as a decent shooter marred by some bizarre design choices from the notorious Capstone, then its 1996 sequel can be seen as, well, pretty much more of the same. Witchaven 2: Blood Vengeance does little to improve on the unfortunate dead ends and traps that made the first one so frustrating, and their audience must have felt the same as the Miami-based developers closed shop later that same year making Witchaven 2 their final game.
Much like the original (a phrase I'm doomed to repeat when talking about this game), the structure of the levels in and of themselves are decent, evoking a gothic eeriness in keeping with the medieval fantasy theme, but the overall design has some unnecessary niggles. Bizzare enemy placement will have you taking damage the moment you spawn into a stage and unforeseen traps later down the line destroy any sense of wonder when all you want to do is explore. You may feel a little elated to find a seemingly hidden secret passageway only for it to end in an unescapable trap leaving no way out except restarting the level.
Powerup potions and spells, such as 'fly' and 'resist fire' appear to be get-out-of-jail-free cards for the lazy level progression and their clumsy implementation is no better handled than before. In fact, save for some new spells and enemies, there is nothing new here to warrant it being called a sequel over an addon.
The graphics and sound do remain as some of the game's best features, and the melee combat is just as satisfying but taken as a whole Witchaven 2 is ultimately a little disappointing. Just like the first game. As is the norm for Capstone, it feels little rushed, slightly incompetent and a massive missed opportunity - and yet it's easily one of the company's best games. No wonder they went under.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Manual and Reference Card included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 129 Mb. Install Size: 235 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Witchaven 2: Blood Vengeance is © Intracorp Entertainment
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me