Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 220 Ratings
Oct 24, 2010As a fan of Gothic 1, 2 and (somewhat) 3, I didn't enjoy the game. From the start, it was failing one by one all expectations I had for a game promoted under "Gothic" brand. Among the major disappointments:
1) The hero is a wuss. Gothic games are traditionally built around rugged, self-reliant, morally ambiguous character. In Arcania, the character is a pathetic simpleton, whose life ambition is (you gotta be kidding me) is to get married. Also featuring charming looks of a stereotypical junior office manager. 2) The dialogs are a rip-off. RPG computer game is not supposed to be exactly a work of high art, but *dialogs are supposed to make sense*. Characters in Arcania drivel. Dialogs in the game are built from trivial statements, repetitions and linearity.
3) Limited freedom. For example, in Gothic it was possible to attack any NPC in the game, usually with dire consequences (e.g. the whole town population became hostile). Psychologically, it makes the player feel responsible for his actions, which is an important part of game atmosphere. In Arcania, you are unable to harm NPC, unless he or she was specifically designated as hostile by the game. 4) Character development is a sham. It could be a minor point, if the game was good otherwise. For example, recent Mass Effect 2 also has a greatly simplified character development, but it is still a great RPG. For Arcania, however, it is yet another nail into the coffin.
5) Poor performance on Windows XP. The saying is that the game was optimized for DX 11. On WinXP, with minimal configurations, it looks much worse than, say, Risen and runs slower. This problem is *not* fixed by the first performance patch (distributed shortly after the release). Probably, it will get better with subsequent patches. However, until then I strongly recommend against using the game under Windows XP.
Don't get me wrong, though. The game is not all bad, it is just a huge disappointment for most of the old Gothic fans. If you are new to the series, you may like it. The graphics is awesome and the combat system is not bad at all. If you are a fan of Gothic series, try something else. Risen is real good unless you have played it already.
In general, Arcania seems like a step towards casual gaming, of which I strongly disapprove. It's certainly a bad idea to make a casual game from an epic, atmospheric RPG such as Gothic. Good casual games are many, good RPGs are scarce. Now it's one less.… Full Review »
Mar 25, 2011When I played it for the first time, I was more disappointed than I thought I will. Spellbound did really bad job on that one.. It is a merely a continuation of previous Gothics. Only two good things that I am able to come up with are the graphics and improved fighting style (Compared to Gothic 3). Improved doesn't mean good though.. Most of opponents we face during the game we won't have any problems with. Character faces not only repeat often, but people all seem the same even when talking to them. I must admit I didn't beat the game, but I've played it for plenty of hours and I must say it is really monotonous.. The quests we do are boring and nothing we never seen.. "Go there, collect this.. kill him/it/them.. bring me that.. find me some of these.. talk to him.." As far as I've seen the storyline, I completely didn't like it. Bringing up some characters from old Gothics is only as much as it relates to previous series. Oh, this, and creatures from Gothic series. The world isn't really interesting to explore at all. We often are forced to visit caves and all of them look a lie and have the same schematics. We enter the cave, do a circle and come out just where we entered, only that we need to jump down. They made exits high so players wouldn't be able to go this way after entering the cave. And in each damn cave it's the same story. The world isn't open anymore, we unlock locations. We don't have NPC as teachers to increase our stats, we just choose what we want to improve after leveling up. Bah! We don't even need a smithy to make a sword. We can forge one standing in the middle of swamp. Same for potions any anything else. Makes the game way too simple, and makes it seem like developers made this game for little kids, for which previous Gothics were too complicated. One thing I also don't understand is that we are able to choose "American" version of colours and textures which make game to seem.. More.. Friendly.. Less.. Dark and evil. This really is ridiculous.. Well.. I played the game for a bit.. I was forcing myself to play it, hoping that it will get more interesting later down, but it didn't. This game disappointed me greatly, and is nothing like previous Gothics. I didn't like Gothic 3 when it was out to begin with, but Arcania... Arcania made me appreciate Gothic 3 now. Arcania made me realise how great continuation of Gothic 2, Gothic 3 is. After I seen how bad can continuation of Gothic 3 be. Gothic 4 just isn't fun. I am giving it 3, since I enjoyed it a little slightly bit at the very beginning. But the more I've played my hate for this game started to grow and grew more and more. It's just a waste of time. Let me do a quick summary. Pros: -Umm.. Graphics? -Soundtrack isn't bad.. Cons: -Monotonous. -Too easy, even on hardest difficulty. -It just isn't the same anymore... I rather call it Arcania, than Gothic.â… Full Review »
Oct 28, 2010Sword? Check. Shield? Check. Bow and arrows? Check! Stop drop and roll, to avoid the essence of mediocrity? Double check! Welcome to JoWood's second attempt at catching lightning in the bottle. It failed on Gothic 3, yet was able to capture that video game magic with Gothic 1 & 2. Sadly, JoWood dropped the ball once again, on game mechanic's, storyline and variety. The game is a technical gem to behold, I'll give the development team at Spellbound credit for that. Such an achievement should be the norm, in today's technology driven society. I'm a realist, JoWood is a entertainment, company they need to make money. Lowering your standards for game play for a broad spectrum of 'gamers' is today's 'money grab' for software publishers like JoWood.
The game mechanics are horrid, the flow of combat, becomes a simple roll one direction, swing weapon once, roll backwards and fire off your three different versions of the same spell. Oh, I forgot you can use a bow and arrow to shoot monsters, it's a kiting riot! The game has hardly any active skills, most are passive. The weapon charge system is a dated concept. Multi hit is dated concept, it's a hack n slash principle. There is no riposte system, there is no flank system, stealth is a joke, you can't sneak up and back stab. There is no back stepping, unless you're using a bow and arrow. Running backwards makes your nameless avatar run with his back to the monster. Overall the game mechanics are sub par. The saving grace of this game, is the stunning atmosphere, but beyond that avoid this title until it drops in price. The game does offer good frame rates, on most top end video cards. The load times are quick. Thanks for reading.… Full Review »