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Platform: PC

Hektor Review

Worse than being trapped in a broken maze

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Have you ever been lost in a maze? It is a most unpleasant experience. Every path you take leads back to the same place. Frustration comes quickly as you start to question whether you will ever escape. Hektor is a game that accurately reproduces the feeling of being lost in a maze, and it does so with the added enjoyment of being chased by an unsophisticated monster.

This is a dead end, welcome to Hektor

Hektor is a horror game that has you exploring a dark underground facility that consists of narrow corridors, cramped offices and tiny medical rooms. A torch and lighter is used to pierce the darkness while suitable music pummels your psyche. Various diary notes are placed around the areas to provide context, although they are not required to solve any puzzles. The world is derivative, and brings comparisons to Penumbra, a much better horror game. It even has the same door mechanics, where you grab doors and shuffle in one direction to open or close them. Unfortunately you need to be exactly one arm length away and not a fingernail more or less. Despite the weird doors, the start of the game is promising because of the claustrophobic atmosphere, but things quickly deteriorate as you begin to explore.

The most important aspect of the environment is how it regularly shatters your sense of direction. It does this by changing the world when you are not looking. Corridors are sealed off and rooms swap around on a whim. None of the changes are subtle, and trying to remember the general layout is a waste of time. Navigating the world is nauseating because the environments are repetitive and constricted. You go nowhere, despite forward locomotion, and frequently end up right back where you started. Rooms you already cleared have different notes in the exact place as the old ones. Hektor is proud to mess with your spatial awareness, but worries little about the disastrous side effects. Progression through the world is stunted as you have no idea if you are actually making progress.

Stairs to nowhere and furniture stuck inside the world

Perhaps the worst element of the repeating environments is that you never know if the game is broken. At one point, my character ended up in a stairwell that had chairs stuck inside the geometry, and the only door was blocked by a brick wall. It seemed like punishment at the time, but it may have been a bug related to the interconnected level pieces. Near the end, you collect chess pieces by looping around the same corner over and over, but the environments continued to repeat after all the pieces were found. Any player who had yet to complete the game might have thought it was working as intended, and they may still be looping through the same corridors to this very day.

No maze-from-hell is complete without a nasty creature that attempts to halt your already crippled progress. Hektor has two of them, although only one poses a direct threat. The harmless creature floats around the environments and gives an almighty scream when he sees you, bringing the lethal foe to your location. Usually this works, but occasionally the monster will just float up to you and forget to scream. Now you have a voiceless creature following you around until you break its personal space or get stuck in a corner.

When the floating creature actually screams, the predator monster is not far behind. Your best protection against the predator is to just run away when you see it trundling down the corridor. Eventually the monster gives up and you can go back to walking nowhere until it reappears alongside a subtle audio cue. Hiding in a room is almost never effective because the creature may drift through a closed door or get stuck on a nearby environmental prop. So finding yourself in a small room with only one exit is bad news. In these situations, there is nothing you can do; you will die to its only slashing animation.

Here is the predator monster, stuck on the door frame

Once you have seen both monsters up close, thanks to any of the numerous glitches, the game is far less daunting. This is no surprise; game monsters are rarely as terrifying as your imagination. But with Hektor, the rift is huge because the monsters are crude in design and function. This further reduces any desire to replay the game. Even if you wanted to replay, you can quite easily complete it in less than one hour by running through the world and ignoring notes. The key is to just keep moving forward through major corridors and avoid the little side rooms. The short length is probably the only good feature of the entire game, limiting the time you are walking through the sickening maze.

Just like getting lost in a maze, Hektor is a repulsive experience that you will not want to repeat. The environments are bland and jumbled, and they would be considered broken in any other game. Numerous bugs with the monsters and world structure are crippling for such a basic game. This is not a good horror experience, nor does it feature memorable encounters during its torturous three hours. Hektor tells us that the best way to avoid getting lost in a maze is to never enter it in the first place.

Our ratings for Hektor on PC out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)
Bland environments and primitive monster designs. It has a horrible wavy effect can be lowered to reduce nausea. Music is appropriate.
Lose yourself in a maze that frequently changes while you avoid a crude monster that can appear anywhere.
Single Player
This 1-3 hour nightmare is light on story, and mostly told through voiced notes that make more sense than the world.
(Show PC Specs)
CPU: Intel i5 3570k
GPU: Gigabyte 7950 OC 3GB
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
PC Specs

The environments break and you might not even know it. The monsters fail in their function too often and you can get stuck. At least it runs alright.
Hektor is a nauseating adventure through shifting environments, riddled with technical problems.
Hektor box art Platform:
Our Review of Hektor
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Hektor is ranked #1955 out of 1980 total reviewed games. It is ranked #108 out of 111 games reviewed in 2015.
1955. Hektor
1956. Solarix

12 images added Apr 18, 2015 03:54
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