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ArcaniA - Gothic 4 [2010 -- Spellbound Studios]

Started by Starfox, May 14, 2023, 08:44 PM

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Originally published on July 05, 2015

That will be a short review as ArcaniA might be the most boring RPG I have ever played. Since the very beginning, the game reveals to be unappealing. The story seems to take an eternity to kick in if at all, the quests are a long string of menial tasks with the only purpose to grant you access to the next area of the game and because of that the whole game seems to be designed so you can't roam it freely. It's supposed to be an open world but there's so many closed doors and forced pathways that one hardly notices. I finally got out of the first area of the game just to discover that I was going to have a whole new set of menial tasks to progress to the next area none of them having a real link to the main story. To take the example of the old Neverwinter Night 2 which featured a lot of secondary menial tasks to gain access to some areas and make the story progress, some of those tasks where at least linked to the story and allowed to better grasp the background. In ArcaniA the quests seems to pop up just because they are needed to hamper the player's progression.

I was already bored half way in the tutorial part of the game which is always a bad omen. The first chapter didn't prove to be any better and the rest of the game barely improved things (and yes I played until the very end -- I'm that masochist but it's just because I detest giving an opinion on a game I never finish if I can avoid it; although here and there there are games so horrible that I just uninstall, give my disgusted opinion and call it a day but thankfully those particular cases are very rare).

Unlike very bad games ArcaniA actually can be played until the end. Just don't expect anything breathtaking. 

So sure, you run into old pals from the old Gothic games but the reason they're here seems to be suspiciously linked to the subtitle of ArcaniA... Gothic 4. The truth is, replace those old pals by generic nobody characters created for the game and it would work just as well. Sure the events of the game happen to occur in the world of the Gothic series but even that didn't make me feel better. In fact as a game of the Gothic series, ArcaniA just feels "wrong".

On the plus side? The combat system is fairly OK I guess. Graphics are adequate considering the date the game was released.

But where is the good old Gothic feeling? Is this game really deserving the subtitle Gothic 4? Hell, Risen is more Gothic than this supposed Gothic 4.

Guess what it means!