Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Buy On
  1. Although the characters you meet along the way try to guide you through the game, Arcanum really leaves most of what happens up to the player.
  2. Let’s trim it down to a single conclusion: if you like RPGs, get this game. Right now.
  3. 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.
  4. If you can’t find something to love about this game, dump your computer in the garbage right now. Arcanum epitomizes what people like you and me love most about PC gaming.
  5. A slowly seductive game, a deep and demanding affair with a steep learning curve and a voracious appetite for your spare time. It's all the more impressive that the more time you devote to the game.
  6. One of those games that deserve to be played for a long while.
  7. 89
    A fantastic game that will keep you enthralled for hours and hours. There are some annoying bugs, but even those can't derail this exceptional gaming experience.
  8. The type of game that reminds me why I do this job – the game is an absolute pleasure from start to finish.
  9. 87
    A delightful RPG with plenty to offer to those of you looking for a detailed storyline, rich atmosphere, and one of the best character development systems ever. It's good to see that the RPG tradition is still alive.
  10. 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.
  11. I still rate Arcanum as one of my favourite games. For me, it's the game play that really counts, and Arcanum has bucketloads of that!
  12. 80
    There truly is a deep, rewarding, and splendiferous RPG behind Arcanum’s dated, clunky machina…but only the most intrepid RPG fanatics will have the patience to dig it out.
  13. 80
    Underneath the merely decent graphics and a problematic combat system is an adventure capable of sweeping anyone away with its superb quality.
  14. 80
    Also, while the depth of the game means a richer experience, it can be quite intimidating and overwhelming at first, even for the experienced player. Thankfully, there's a 189-page manual and handy Hot Key menu card and map to keep beside the PC while playing.
  15. New features and a solid storyline should keep even the most veteran players busy for quite sometime.
  16. The most disappointing facet of the visuals would have to be the character graphics which are lacking in detail, are poorly animated and remind us more of flimsy cardboard cut outs that wobble about than real flesh and blood individuals.
  17. It's unique setting and departure from more traditional RPG elements will certainly endear it to many players.
  18. 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.
  19. 70
    What it lacks in polish, it makes up for with that elusive "fun factor" that you can feel even when you can't always pin it down.
  20. 70
    Unfortunately, there is one area in Arcanum that truly fails to hold up with the rest of the game—the combat engine. Combat is overly simplified and feels a lot like it was added on as an afterthought.
  21. Ultimately an entertaining title, but one with enough quirks to prevent it from attaining true RPG greatness.
  22. If you're looking for a long-term relationship with a complicated, temperamental (I have nervous breakdowns all the time), frustratingly smart game, then baby, I'm your man. Otherwise, I'm just trouble.
  23. 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.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 290 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 290
  1. Bruno
    Apr 6, 2006
    10
    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 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). Full Review »
  2. FeyshanW.
    Dec 26, 2009
    10
    Such a shame they don't seem to make games like this one anymore. It has the required complexity and plethora of choices for each Such a shame they don't seem to make games like this one anymore. It has the required complexity and plethora of choices for each presented problem, that aren't merely fake choices, as presented in titles like the failure that was DA:O. Although this kind of games doesn't suit the majority of players that want simpler games, the kind that were once most commonly found in arcades/console games, but nowadays have taken over even the pc gaming industry. With everything being multi platform and in extreme dumbed down. Full Review »
  3. Aug 8, 2013
    10
    This is by far one of THE best RPG games I've ever played. The steampunk mix of technology and magic is wonderful. The guns are bitThis is by far one of THE best RPG games I've ever played. The steampunk mix of technology and magic is wonderful. The guns are bit underpowered, but the game is fun.

    The dialog is fun. The environments are beautiful, varied and interesting. There are a LOT of interesting people to meet and talk to. There are SO many quests and adventures.

    The story is surprising and delightful.

    The choices I make in the game have consequences.

    The only bad thing I can say about the game is that they didn't finish all the endings. Without the right mods, you can't naturally get some of the "bad" endings. There is also one quest that ends up being unsolvable. Some people actually LIKE that you can't do anything about it. Some people hate it. It has artistic merit, even if it does sting a bit to be unable to right that particular wrong.

    But the game is so detailed and there is SO much to see, do and discover that I can easily forgive a lot of faults in this game.

    I love how the character I choose completely changes the encounters. Race and gender have real effects on the people I meet.

    I love this game!
    Full Review »