Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 159 Ratings

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  • Summary: Populated with elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, Arcanum, a Tolkienesque fantasy world, exists in an unsteady equilibrium between the emergence of industrialized cities and the decline of magic. This debut RPG from the core "Fallout" team finds the player "on vacation" when he becomes responsible for the fate of this world. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. A breath of fresh air in the RPG genre, with highly rendered graphics, huge playing fields, and an excellent experience system allowing unprecedented freedom of development, not to mention the interesting storyline.
  2. One of those games that deserve to be played for a long while.
  3. New features and a solid storyline should keep even the most veteran players busy for quite sometime.
  4. I thought the gameplay was good enough to make up for the deficient engine, and I found Arcanum to be a worthy successor to the Fallout series.
  5. Suffers from a host of rather serious flaws, including an overall lack of polish, which can end up making the game disappointing more often than enjoyable for some players. These problems veil what's an otherwise captivating and immersive role-playing experience.
  6. Between the somewhat overly complicated nature of the game and the slow, dull battles there just wasn't a lot to get excited about in the game.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 35
  3. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Bruno
    Apr 6, 2006
    I wonder how old are those kids from armchair empire or game revolution. To give this rpg jewel 65% or so means you have absolutely no idea about how should real RPG look like. They are whining on bad graphics and especially interface which is so subjective. I love the interface and all I know love it too. Beside that everything in Arcanum is excellent, dialoges, questing system (so many possibilies of how to fulfil quest), character developoment, game world, sounds. I can hardly imagine better RPG made in that particular setting (steam&magic). Expand
  2. Jul 10, 2013
    I concede that this game is over complicated and dull. It also contains one of the greatest character development systems ever seen in gaming. The sheer scale of the content, plot lines, NPC's skill combinations and playstyles signal a game that is designed to be replayed for a LONG time. There is a wealth of great game design in here. Be patient and endure the boredom of the first dozen hours or so, and you will eventually start to appreciate how good and finally how great this game is. Finally I have to agree it's In the top 10 rpgs of all time. This game is overdue for a remake. Expand
  3. SanchezK.
    Aug 7, 2004
    The bomb with hundreds of paths to choose in the game and tonzzz of diferent tecniques to learn if you dont like this shave you head off.
  4. Jan 26, 2012
    One of the best ever. Multiple solutions to quests, believable characters, a world with a rich history, a huge step away from your standard fantasy setting and a soundtrack that I still listen to eleven years after it was released. Very nearly perfect. Expand
  5. Apr 18, 2012
    I still can't fathom what it was with this game, Perhaps it was the typical fantasy characters clad in Victorian clothes, drowned into the yawning chasm of the industry. Perhaps it was the greatly-rendered lore of the old days of magic succumbing to the might of technology, in the wake of an industrial revolution taking over the land. Or it was just the whole-heartedly written story, filled with characters and quests that feel reminiscent of some old-fashioned nineteenth century novels, inter-wined with oily twinges of a waning fantasy realm. The music itself literally merges the land of Arcanum with melodies thriving with joyful, yearning feelings, at last gifting the player with a wistful affection. The Rpg features of Arcanum allows the player to shape their character entirely, with no constraints whatsoever to hamper its creation. As your hero faces a series of challenges - including a fearsome foe whose deeds may doom the entire world - the narration does involve compelling, gray-shaded moral choices, which will ultimately challenge deeply the philosophical concept of life. Word has it this game is marred by a number of bugs/glitches and poor graphics alike. Its vastness in any field, however, well makes up for its flaws; as for graphics, just go buying Dragon Age or some other top-notch graphics, non-flawed, soulless Rpg. Expand
  6. FrostyL.
    Aug 7, 2004
    Yer single player is wicked but multiplayer stinks you carnt get a worse multiplayer game!!! but the single player is highly addictive.
  7. KelR.
    May 3, 2003
    What? Multiplayer sucks! That's right kids are good friends at Sierra decided to do a half A**ed job on the multiplayer intending to defraud people into buying the game because it says "Multiplayer" on it, but in reality the limitations, problems and bugs in multiplayer are enough to make you swear off Sierra for life. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews