User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 197

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  1. Apr 24, 2015
    10
    f only mage class was a little more balanced compared to mechanical one. still one of the best rpgs out there. i just finished it again after all these years and was still impressed about the quality of this game.
  2. Apr 12, 2015
    10
    To be honest the graphic sucks in a technical way, but the style is awesome. Steampunk combined with "Magick" looks surprisingly consistent. Also the fighting sucks. Furthermore there are some bugs and a lot of graphic glitches. And last but not least the entry to this game is not easy. There is no tutorial, the game just starts straight away and you have no clue what character build mightTo be honest the graphic sucks in a technical way, but the style is awesome. Steampunk combined with "Magick" looks surprisingly consistent. Also the fighting sucks. Furthermore there are some bugs and a lot of graphic glitches. And last but not least the entry to this game is not easy. There is no tutorial, the game just starts straight away and you have no clue what character build might work, where you have to go or what decisions might be devastating.
    All these drawbacks can possibly make a game completely worthless. But not for arcanum, especially the last thing does not matter at all, it is even a good concept. Even though you don't know what to do, the game always offers another option of progressing. You can kill very important NPCs, which might break a game like this, but in Arcanum the developers have built in this possibility. Therefore the degree of non-linearity in this game is outstanding. There are a few other games, which also offer you such a tremendous amount of freedom, but there is no single game, where the story is being developed regarding your decisions and way of playing, also there is no game where the philosophical concept of the game is interwoven so cleverly with the story as well as the game mechanics. Other outstanding games of this genre are hard to transfer to a different medium like a book or a movie, but for Arcanum this is just not possible. The story/philosophy/plot can only work if the receiver of the medium is able to interact with the game. Therefore Arcanum makes use of the possibilites of computer games and involves the player so deep into the game world, that this game is a solid 10/10. You will not get this kind of experience from any other game. I find this perfection in this regard to be suffcient to overcome the flaws and still rate this game as high as possible.
    The degree of non-linearity is like Jagged Alliance 2, the love and detail of quests is like Baldurs Gate, the quality of the NPCs is better than JA2 (which has really funny NPCs or neurotic ones, but they are not as deep as in Arcanum), the atmosphere outperforms Fallout, the freedom of character design might be comparable to Baldurs Gate or the like at first glance, but after you realize what seemingly unimportant details still have an effect in the game, you are convinced that this game outperforms the other genre-defining games again. And finally the story itself outperforms even good books, there are funny analogies to the real world, satirical references regarding religion, capitalism, politics, human flaws and much more. But again these are just details. What makes the story outstanding is, that you are never force to hate or love a specific character in the game. It is your decision, the story just shows you, why someone does something, what impact it had and what his/her motivations are. You decide, if you want to support or stop someone. You can kill every single NPC, except one, in the whole game and finish it, but you can also finish it without killing any NPC. And last but not least, the ending of the story is a blast. Once you enter the last part of the game, there will be jaw-dropping-ception.
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  3. Jan 31, 2014
    10
    This is one of the best RPG games i played in my time. Don't listen to the critics about the multiplayer part not working, it works fine. Just sad you can't play the singleplayer map online. Those hating scores is just people to slow minded to understand game, so don't let it interfere with you others trying it, you haven't truly been living without.
  4. Jan 24, 2014
    9
    This game is quite possibly my favorite game, EVER! I wish there were more like it. I wish there was a little more with character creation but that's so minor compared to the fantastic gameplay, puzzles and writing.
  5. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    This is THE game for me yeah u can say it has no graphics (for 2013) or it is overly complex but this game is among best RPGs ever, it has great story line whit so many twists, insane amount of options how to build character, companions which can be changed in way better than Skyrim 10 years later does, it has true world map that u could not see even in Dragon age (and it has way moreThis is THE game for me yeah u can say it has no graphics (for 2013) or it is overly complex but this game is among best RPGs ever, it has great story line whit so many twists, insane amount of options how to build character, companions which can be changed in way better than Skyrim 10 years later does, it has true world map that u could not see even in Dragon age (and it has way more locations), It has tons of spells, weapons etc. It still has the best way of building your character. I've made about 10 playthroughs and i loved it every time, combat benefits so much from character customization and it gives it so much depth, were u to play mage, assassin warrior, dps tank, healer, conjurer, trap based fighter, gunner..etc. i will not be disappointed. Actually games like this shows how much RPGs lack quality this days, and it explains that Diablo 3 is not an RPG at all !
    All about it is great,was and will be. I want a remake or at least a sequel :3
    10/10
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  6. Aug 27, 2013
    9
    I remember dungeons were too long, and some bugs happened, and the ending was nearly missing... Still it's my favourite PC RPG. I like its world of Magic and Technology. I like making choices. I like being able to make things in game.
  7. 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 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.
    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 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!
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  8. Jul 10, 2013
    10
    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 dozenI 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
  9. Mar 27, 2013
    10
    This is the most underrated game I ever saw. In icon on steampunk-technomagic style with unique gameplay, amazing plot and very huge sandbox world. If you like steampunk you simple MUST play Arcanum.
  10. Feb 13, 2013
    2
    Considering its pedigree (Fallout, etc.) Arcanum should be an incredible game. I played the demo when it came out and being really into those Black Isle games at the time (you know which ones) expected to be amazed, but for some reason I ignored the game for 10+ years. Fast forward to 2012; saw it cheap on GOG, bought it, and was instantly reminded why I ignored it. The game is a trudge,Considering its pedigree (Fallout, etc.) Arcanum should be an incredible game. I played the demo when it came out and being really into those Black Isle games at the time (you know which ones) expected to be amazed, but for some reason I ignored the game for 10+ years. Fast forward to 2012; saw it cheap on GOG, bought it, and was instantly reminded why I ignored it. The game is a trudge, buggy, messy, and just broken in places. Horrible. Expand
  11. Jul 22, 2012
    10
    Bugs, yes. Dated graphics (even for the time), yes. Amazing story, environments, setting, characters, dialogue, and gameplay... double yes. Easily on my top 5 games of all time, the RPG elements and story in this game are second to none. There are so many little things to do, nooks and crannies to explore, and secrets to find, you can spend a hundred hours in game and not findBugs, yes. Dated graphics (even for the time), yes. Amazing story, environments, setting, characters, dialogue, and gameplay... double yes. Easily on my top 5 games of all time, the RPG elements and story in this game are second to none. There are so many little things to do, nooks and crannies to explore, and secrets to find, you can spend a hundred hours in game and not find everything. The main quest line had me riveted throughout and the NPCs actually made me care about them. So rare to find a game that can do the same these days. It's a must-play. Don't buy it for multiplayer, it's a single-player game. Expand
  12. May 4, 2012
    8
    This game has a lot of faults, some of which are quite annoying but from a RPG perspective it is absolutely top notch. Fantastic character creation and development, great replayability, lots of joinable NPCs, some tough decisions to make and lots of charm. The magic/technology dichotomy is handled very well and the narrative is more than respectable. I enjoyed it and if you can forgiveThis game has a lot of faults, some of which are quite annoying but from a RPG perspective it is absolutely top notch. Fantastic character creation and development, great replayability, lots of joinable NPCs, some tough decisions to make and lots of charm. The magic/technology dichotomy is handled very well and the narrative is more than respectable. I enjoyed it and if you can forgive its faults you will too. This game could have been a 10 and I don't think I will say that about too many games that I score an 8. Definitely worth your time. Collapse
  13. May 2, 2012
    10
    Amazing game, the setting is brilliant. Steampunk, with a focus on the conflict between magic and technology each of which negatively affects the other and bring their opwn bonuses. Surprisingly dark in places, with less intelligent but physically stronger races like the orcs being dragooned into manual labour for below minimum wage jobs in factories, and prejudice against magic users inAmazing game, the setting is brilliant. Steampunk, with a focus on the conflict between magic and technology each of which negatively affects the other and bring their opwn bonuses. Surprisingly dark in places, with less intelligent but physically stronger races like the orcs being dragooned into manual labour for below minimum wage jobs in factories, and prejudice against magic users in centres of technology for example wizards being made to sit in second class seats at the back of trains. Expand
  14. Apr 18, 2012
    9
    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,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
  15. Mar 19, 2012
    8
    This game is ugly (not because its graphics aren't cutting edge - it just looks bad), buggy, terribly balanced and in general gives off the impression of being rushed. Those rather large flaws aside it's an excellent RPG with a solid story, some interesting characters, a world with plenty of things to discover and one of the best character creation systems I've ever used in a CRPG. One ofThis game is ugly (not because its graphics aren't cutting edge - it just looks bad), buggy, terribly balanced and in general gives off the impression of being rushed. Those rather large flaws aside it's an excellent RPG with a solid story, some interesting characters, a world with plenty of things to discover and one of the best character creation systems I've ever used in a CRPG. One of Troika's great unfinished masterpieces. Three stars, four with the unofficial patch. Expand
  16. Jan 26, 2012
    10
    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.
  17. Nov 7, 2011
    7
    Arcanum by its concept is much like fallout 1. Fans of the Fallout games will find a similarly interesting setting, sense of humor and alternative solutions to quests. Fans of complex RPGs will be surprised by the depth and length of the game. However if you are more interested in a linear game like diablo or elder scorlls games, do not bother with this one. The steam-punk setting isArcanum by its concept is much like fallout 1. Fans of the Fallout games will find a similarly interesting setting, sense of humor and alternative solutions to quests. Fans of complex RPGs will be surprised by the depth and length of the game. However if you are more interested in a linear game like diablo or elder scorlls games, do not bother with this one. The steam-punk setting is fantastic and well-designed. The plot is long and involved. The system for using technology is quite fun. Characters can literally take bits and pieces of things and assemble them into everything from hand grenades to healing salves. The major disadvantage of this game is the combat. There are no party damage whatsoever, so you can just throw grenade everywhere without hitting yourself and party members which quite ruin the fun of combat. Critical hits and misses are too common, with sometimes drastic results, such as scarring or even crippled limbs. Also you can not control your party members directly, and their behavior will sometime frustrated you. Expand
  18. May 26, 2011
    9
    Although it initially got mixed reviews upon its release, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - a fantasy/steampunk roleplaying game made by many of same people who made Fallout 1 and 2 - has stood the time and is considered by some to be one of the all-time great computer RPGs. And there is plenty of justification for such a claim: it is a very deep RPG, with a great story,Although it initially got mixed reviews upon its release, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - a fantasy/steampunk roleplaying game made by many of same people who made Fallout 1 and 2 - has stood the time and is considered by some to be one of the all-time great computer RPGs. And there is plenty of justification for such a claim: it is a very deep RPG, with a great story, narrative, atmosphere, and rich characters set in one of most detailed and immersive game worlds in the history of computer RPGs. Unfortunately, the depth and detail does not extend to the combat system, which is too simplistic and boring. But still, fans of complex, nonlinear computer roleplaying games, games that are all too rare these days, ought to check Arcanum out, if they haven't already. Expand
  19. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    One of the best RPGs I have ever played, the setting is great, the writing is good, and the freedom is amazing. If you like Fallout 1/2 then this game is for you.
  20. Apr 5, 2011
    4
    So summarizing, it's ugly, boring gray cities, boring violin music, bad fightings system, bad interface, overall bad gameplay, plot i got to know wasn't interesting (up to where i need to go visit dwarfs mountain, i did a lot quests in tarrant and 2 cities below it, ZZzzzz), it took me much persistence and attempts to play it for around 15 hours if not more.

    Btw i loved fallout and
    So summarizing, it's ugly, boring gray cities, boring violin music, bad fightings system, bad interface, overall bad gameplay, plot i got to know wasn't interesting (up to where i need to go visit dwarfs mountain, i did a lot quests in tarrant and 2 cities below it, ZZzzzz), it took me much persistence and attempts to play it for around 15 hours if not more.

    Btw i loved fallout and fallout 2. baldurs gates, torment, icewind dale. THEY HAD CLIMATE THIS GAME TOTALLY LACKS.. It's just boring, no wonder it never had big success, developers made some grave mistakes when creating this game.
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  21. Mar 18, 2011
    9
    Every so often a game comes along where you read the title, and you look at the box, and you just know it's going to be utter junk. Then on day you're bored, and you see it on the desk of a friend, and you borrow it because you don't have anything else to do and then you wind up never giving it back and paying your friend $20 for it. Arcanum is one of those games that when you think aboutEvery so often a game comes along where you read the title, and you look at the box, and you just know it's going to be utter junk. Then on day you're bored, and you see it on the desk of a friend, and you borrow it because you don't have anything else to do and then you wind up never giving it back and paying your friend $20 for it. Arcanum is one of those games that when you think about what's it's trying to do achieve from a design perspective there isn't anything special about it. In fact, the whole idea is trite. What makes the game so good is the execution. If the game was a band I'd say their music was 'tight'. And the music certainly is a highlight of this game. If you look at each piece of the game it's all good but none of it is amazing. Yet all the different elements of the game (questing, music, story, combat) feed and build off of one another in a synergistic way where the whole becomes much more than the sum of the parts. If there is one property out there that I think would make a fine addition to the MMO landscape it's this game. All the elements are there. Blizzard has proved that it doesn't take an amazing story to keep people (including me) glued to their seats. Toss some steam together with some magic and buff it up with a lot of shiny and you have winner. With Orcs flying in planes, in some ways this is WoW before WoW. A worthy game. Expand
  22. Mar 11, 2011
    9
    One of the best role-playing games in the world with Planescape, Fallout I/II and Baldur's Gate. Dialogues, many variants of playing, good story. Perfect for beggining of XXI century.
  23. 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 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 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. Expand
  24. AntonioD
    Dec 24, 2009
    10
    Easily the most underrated game out there, and unfortunately it's very unlikely it will ever get a sequel. It has almost everything the ideal RPG should have. Wish other developer teams would push this kind of complexity in their games. The players actions truly shape the character's relations and impacts on the game world. Everyone that doesn't mind dated graphics and and Easily the most underrated game out there, and unfortunately it's very unlikely it will ever get a sequel. It has almost everything the ideal RPG should have. Wish other developer teams would push this kind of complexity in their games. The players actions truly shape the character's relations and impacts on the game world. Everyone that doesn't mind dated graphics and and doesn't care that much about the combat all that much should give this one a try! Expand
  25. ScottW.
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    Outstanding game with one of the best worlds ever conceieved, a deceptively simple combat system, and nearly unlimited customizeability. Truly open-ended, the game not only allows you to be evil, but offers a great set of characters, quests and even weapons which will allow you to actually explore the possibilities of being evil. One of the most underappreciated PC games of all time.
  26. JB
    Jul 12, 2009
    10
    The Best RPG ever. You have to run it with the unofficial patch or its too buggy, but once you can get it to run right it is the best.
  27. AndrewN
    Nov 15, 2008
    10
    One of the four best RPG's I've ever played. It's up there with Planescape Torment and Fallout 1&2. Admittedly the game is flawed and can take quite a while to get into, but there are very few games which copy this level of non-linearity in story and have such a unique atmosphere. Out of Torment and the Fallouts, this game is also probably the most replayable - every game One of the four best RPG's I've ever played. It's up there with Planescape Torment and Fallout 1&2. Admittedly the game is flawed and can take quite a while to get into, but there are very few games which copy this level of non-linearity in story and have such a unique atmosphere. Out of Torment and the Fallouts, this game is also probably the most replayable - every game will be different and satisfying, with some very different endings. Also, check out the unofficial patch, it fixes most of the issues in the game. Expand
  28. Eu
    Jul 7, 2006
    10
    A fantastic and immersive RPG,with lots of different options,from the type of character you can make to how to act in the game,definitely one of the better RPG ever done,a truly masterpiece of this genre.
  29. DanR.
    Jun 22, 2006
    4
    The most accurate critique of this game is on "Angelfire". Clunky, quircky, and so unpolished, you might actually call it "unfinished". A huge disappointment after having played Fallout I and Fallout II. I was intrigued by the story, and tried to force myself to continue just out of curiousity, but finally could not put up with the bugs and the tedious interface, as well as the absolutely The most accurate critique of this game is on "Angelfire". Clunky, quircky, and so unpolished, you might actually call it "unfinished". A huge disappointment after having played Fallout I and Fallout II. I was intrigued by the story, and tried to force myself to continue just out of curiousity, but finally could not put up with the bugs and the tedious interface, as well as the absolutely pathetic hoax of NPC control. Expand
  30. EliasO.
    Jun 16, 2006
    10
    A great RPG, I have had alot of fun hours with this game, I really wish I had the time to play the game again. and again, and again.. Would be so cool to make a magic character, but I never got to that yet! lol! All the side quests..the main quest...oh lord, this game is just so much fun!
  31. 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 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 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
  32. EthanG.
    Apr 5, 2005
    10
    Hey Kel R? How can you expect the multiplayer of a primarily single player game to be so good? It would rely on the community. It was just giving one more mechanic for players to toy around with. If you bought the game for it's multiplayer option then you don't know nearly enough about RPGs to rate them.
  33. FrostyL.
    Aug 7, 2004
    9
    Yer single player is wicked but multiplayer stinks you carnt get a worse multiplayer game!!! but the single player is highly addictive.
  34. SanchezK.
    Aug 7, 2004
    10
    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.
  35. MichalK.
    Dec 30, 2003
    10
    Fantastic RPG game from creators of Fallout. I highly recommend it.
  36. KelR.
    May 3, 2003
    0
    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.
  37. [Anonymous]
    Apr 20, 2002
    10
    Very addicting!
  38. May 4, 2012
    0
    This game has a lot of faults, some of which are quite annoying but from a RPG perspective it is absolutely top notch. Fantastic character creation and development, great replayability, lots of joinable NPCs, some tough decisions to make and lots of charm. The magic/technology dichotomy is handled very well and the narrative is more than respectable. I enjoyed it and if you can forgiveThis game has a lot of faults, some of which are quite annoying but from a RPG perspective it is absolutely top notch. Fantastic character creation and development, great replayability, lots of joinable NPCs, some tough decisions to make and lots of charm. The magic/technology dichotomy is handled very well and the narrative is more than respectable. I enjoyed it and if you can forgive its faults you will too. This game could have been a 10 and I don't think I will say that about too many games that I score an 8. Definitely worth your time. Collapse
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.