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DOS - 1995

Alt names Witchhaven, Witchaven: Dare to Enter...
Year 1995
Platform DOS
Released in France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States
Genre Action
Theme Fantasy
Publisher IntraCorp, Inc., U.S. Gold Ltd.
Developer Capstone Software
Perspective 1st-Person
Dosbox support Fully supported on current version
4.26 / 5 - 39 votes

Download extras files
Manual and patch available

Description of Witchaven

Read Full Description

Witchaven is a decent first-person shooter from Capstone/Intracorp that introduces a few innovations to the genre at the time (1995 - the era of Duke Nukem 3D and DOOM), but falls flat with repetitive gameplay and poor graphics.

The plot, should you feel it important in this sort of game, goes as follows: you are an intrepid hero chosen to enter Witchaven, Lord VerKapheron's Keep which has been overrun by evil creatures from the Nether Reaches. Your job is to kill them all before they could open a permanent portal that connects their world to ours.

The gameplay is a mix of Heretic and traditional RPG elements. As in Heretic, you will wield a number of weapons and can cast spells at the enemies. On the RPG side, we have 'realistic' factors such as the classic experience points to accumulate to gain experience levels. Higher levels grant you access to more powerful spells and better weapons handling. There are also numerous fantasy power-ups such as various magic potions, magic rings, amulets, etc. Weapons and armor also suffer from wear and tear: the weapons wear out the more you use them, and the armor wears out the more damage you sustain.

One big difference between Witchaven and Heretic (and other DOOM games) is that most of the combat is not conducted from long range, but hand-to-hand with close combat weapons such as knifes, swords, etc. There is a number of moves you can make with these hand-to-hand weapons, but ultimately the weapons feel too much like each other.

In typical Capstone fashion, the few good aspects of the game are overwhelmed by many bad aspects. For starters, the monsters look downright ugly. Sure, graphics is not the most important thing in games, but it is quite important in a first-person shooter - especially one that emphasizes so much close combat where you see your enemies up close most of the time. The monsters in the game are badly pixellated and downright ugly, and the dull color palette doesn't help things that much. It is hard to believe that this game is based on Build, the same 3D engine that powers Duke Nukem 3D: it looks more like some shoddy in-house engine.

The AI of monsters is also horrendous: once you attack monsters, sometimes they won't counter attack but even turn their back on you! Level design is also not worth mentioning: every level looks more or less the same as the last one, and there is no ingenuity at all in the design to keep you interested in the gameworld.

Overall, Witchaven was a decent attempt at creating a good close-combat-oriented FPS. But now that we have Interplay's far superior Die by the Sword, there is no longer any reason to tolerate Witchaven's ugly, pixellated monsters and uninspired gameplay. Pick up Interplay's game at your favorite software retailer and leave this average underdog alone.

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

Crossman 2024-01-19 0 point

Ok I just read Hotud's commentary on Witchaven, and I may have to respectfully disagree.
I observed the monsters as I was attacking them and I find that their turning back as you're hacking or slashing at them shows more of an AI efficiency as opposed to monsters from other games where once they start attacking they don't stop until either you or they are killed. When I attack them and they turn back I find it more difficult to kill them because of their footwork and that hints at a more realistic and efficient AI sequence than most of the other RPGs of this type, including Doom and Hexen. I don't know where anybody reasons that if an AI acts any different than in most of the other games it automatically makes it inferior or less efficient. I find it proper that there are differences in AI gaming instead of a monotonous sameness. Anyway I love gaming and even though there are differences of opinions on games I'm still grateful to you, Hotud, and to MyAbandonWare for sharing with us these games and the effort you still put into maintaining this and other sites. May you and your work stay with us for a long time to come🙏

Crossman 2024-01-19 0 point

And btw @pupuklok from the comments about this game it doesn't seem to jive with the players as much as Heretic, Hexen and the other ones this game is being compared to so handing it over to Steam and Gog just means more support and exposure to more serious players that are willing to part with a few dollars in order to get more from the game. I agree not every game handed over to Steam and Gog from AbandonWare is justified and some games should just stay here instead of being given over to sites where unless you pay for it you can't get some games, but there are plenty of other sites out there dedicated to gamers like us who will not bar a player from their favorite games and I'm sure if you look them up you will be able to download Witchaven without having to dish out a few bucks for something that practically doesn't need much developing after all. Let the spenders indulge in paying for it, we still have faithful sites dedicated to us old school players😊

Crossman 2024-01-19 0 point

Ok so I can see the reason this game was handed over to companies like Steam and "Gog and Magog", as I call them😏
And it's because the game itself is more like a grown-up type of game where even on the easier setting you still have to grind through the levels in order to get anywhere and practice more on your footwork and timing while hacking and slashing at the monsters and healing potions and scrolls are more difficult to come by where as in Doom, Wolfenstein and similar games of that type you practically get handed everything from the beginning to the end as far as healing and equipment is concerned. Takes a little getting used to from being spoiled by other games but then again a game means challenge and practice, so I don't mind getting better on something that requires practice and learning, on the upside you can still save and reload when you have difficulty getting passed a level 😁

Pupuklok 2023-03-08 0 point

Why is this game removed ?
It is abandonware !
The sourcecode is avalaible on the internet .
Companies like steam and gog has nothing to do with this game !
They only want money for a old dated game .
Reupload this plz.

GoldenWolfe 2021-06-11 2 points

its ok game nothing horrible as some capstone tittles. Nothing really amazing just fine time killer.

sarcasm 2020-03-24 2 points

you can use BuildGDX to run the game. It also works with other masterpieces like Tekwar :))

itRocks 2018-11-28 0 point

I'm using the Linux version of DOSBOX 0.74 and this works out of the box with music and all! Cycles=24000... Even the jump works right!! Just had to modify mouse "Sensitivity" to 20. And play the game in 320x240 it runs much smoother. It's no use a game running at 640x480 if it runs like donkey a**

Skully 2016-12-06 3 points

If you are having trouble with the lack of sound, you'll need to run the included setup.exe file through DOSBox to set up the audio. Music/Sound ConfigurationExecute Sound Configuration Program. My setting are: [Select Digital] Sound Blaster, Port 220, DMA 1, IRQ 5 and [Select MIDI] Microsoft Sound System, MIDI Port 388. Hope this helps. :)

Frank 2016-09-15 1 point

Tried playing it years ago and got bored after awhile. It had lots of unique environments, but the progression from one to the next had no rhyme or reason. One level you're in a cavern, the next outdoors, the next in a castle.

Also, though there was a bow, most fighting was at close quarters. That got old quickly.

I seem to recall there were witches - young women of identical hairstyle and body type - I never figured out how to kill or neutralize. Tried to find a walkthrough, but apparently nobody ever wrote one.

Anarchaic 2015-10-09 3 points

This game is amazing!

Hieroglyphics 2015-05-01 0 point DOS version

The lack of sound is disappointing, but it ultimately kills the appeal of this game for me because that scary skull thing just isn't as impactful. ":l

alx 2014-05-22 3 points DOS version

this game on duke3d's engine

DOSBox 2014-02-18 0 point DOS version

no sound :(

indstr 2014-02-12 -8 points DOS version

Hm, I remember this, but it was pretty much just a crap HeXeN clone.

Leandro 2013-08-29 2 points DOS version

Nice Game

lrgpns 2013-05-16 1 point DOS version

Great concept, but lots of bugs and quirks :(

Carlsgro 2013-01-08 0 point DOS version

This game is awesome

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Buy Witchaven

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Game Extras and Resources

Some of these file may not be included in the game stores. For Witchaven, we have the following files:

ManualEnglish version 5 MB (DOS) PatchVarious patches English version 2 MB (DOS)

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