Arx Fatalis PC

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 129
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  1. Jul 2, 2016
    9
    Really unique atmosphere and world. One of the first PC games I ever played, and one that has really stuck in my heart and mind all these years. Ja, graphics are a bit clunky but it doesn't matter if you are into the game. It still looks decent, on par with half life, perhaps. Give this obscure gem a go!
  2. May 23, 2016
    9
    This is a hidden gem.

    Warning: if you're a console kid, don't even look at this. It will break your brain. If you're an old-school RPG lover, you might like this. It is more Morrowind, than Oblivion. By that I mean that it is a quirky adventure, with a one-of-a-kind spellcasting system. If you loved Ultima Underworld give this a try. You can safely ignore any review of this
    This is a hidden gem.

    Warning: if you're a console kid, don't even look at this. It will break your brain.

    If you're an old-school RPG lover, you might like this. It is more Morrowind, than Oblivion. By that I mean that it is a quirky adventure, with a one-of-a-kind spellcasting system.

    If you loved Ultima Underworld give this a try.

    You can safely ignore any review of this game that is below a 6 as their points are not valid for normal humans (unless you're exclusively a console gamer or cannot tolerate games with older graphics. But, if that's the case, why are you reading or reviewing this?).

    I wanted to give this a 10 to overcome the poor souls that couldn't figure this game out and gave it less than a 5. But, my actual score is 9.

    If you enjoy games that innovate and don't mind older graphics, try this game.
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  3. May 15, 2016
    10
    The best game atmosphere, i have ever played. This game pulls you in and doesn't let you go. I know how old it is, but still works for me. I hope, i will play with Arx Fatalis 2 one day.
  4. Dec 29, 2015
    8
    I was a child when I first played this game, this game offers an alternative to the traditional brilliant medieval kingdom, a pretty good alternative, this game offers an dark atmospheric dungeon environment which is filled with traps, enemies and loot, this isn't a RPG for casual people, this game requires dedication, as the Magic System requires the drawing of runes which have a meaning,I was a child when I first played this game, this game offers an alternative to the traditional brilliant medieval kingdom, a pretty good alternative, this game offers an dark atmospheric dungeon environment which is filled with traps, enemies and loot, this isn't a RPG for casual people, this game requires dedication, as the Magic System requires the drawing of runes which have a meaning, Arx Fatalis was one of the hardest RPGs i've played, as everything can kill you, even with a decent armor, the combat system is pretty nice. Expand
  5. Dec 23, 2015
    4
    There is one thing that most people like in this game: the magic system, the do-it-yourself spellcasting. Another aspect that I personally enjoyed is the abundance of treasures as side-quests for thieves, making for good challenges.

    On the minus side, the game offers a limited world and a claustrophobic atmosphere, a bit of a letdown at a time when dungeon crawls were being replaced by
    There is one thing that most people like in this game: the magic system, the do-it-yourself spellcasting. Another aspect that I personally enjoyed is the abundance of treasures as side-quests for thieves, making for good challenges.

    On the minus side, the game offers a limited world and a claustrophobic atmosphere, a bit of a letdown at a time when dungeon crawls were being replaced by open worlds; and it's rather silly since the latter are of course a simple graphical illusion. Also contributing to the impression are the NPCs, who are static and strongly lacking in character.

    That still makes for a decent game however, worthy of a score of 6 or 7, until Arx Fatalis suddenly decides to alienate half its players by becoming an arcade game. An entire level becomes a linear platformer in which you have to run and jump, or die at the first mistake. That far into the game, I tried; of course I tried, them bastards; and cursed Jowood; and finally blacklisted them, because that's how it works, boys.
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  6. Sep 18, 2015
    10
    “... The sun had long died. Just went out. The kingdom of darkness comes. Bowels of the earth became our home. We humans once lived on the surface. Hardly
    , however, remains the man to remember and to tell these days. Once large and shining star is warming with its magical rays surface of our land. Once people, trolls, goblins, dragons and demons lived together, ignoring each other,
    “... The sun had long died. Just went out. The kingdom of darkness comes. Bowels of the earth became our home. We humans once lived on the surface. Hardly
    , however, remains the man to remember and to tell these days. Once large and shining star is warming with its magical rays surface of our land. Once people, trolls, goblins, dragons and demons lived together, ignoring each other, absolute peace and quiet. But suddenly the so-called sun began little by little to cool until he disappeared forever from the sky. Then came the eternal darkness, and the ground froze from chilling cold and eternal. Many died, while others sought refuge in the ancient dwarven mines and called them a new home.

    Over the years, things have calmed down and everyone found its place under the ground. However, our existence was unfortunate. I have forgotten the taste of real food grown under the rays of bright sunshine. But one thing I know for sure - it is far more tasty than that which we are forced to grow with the help of magic. Today the only people who come to the surface of the earth, are members of the guild of wandering. They walk the icy areas hoping to find any sign of life. But will hardly succeed ...“

    (excerpt from the unofficial chronicle of the Kingdom Arcs)

    To everyone's joy Arx Fatalis
    is not just another nondescript and bland RPG, which was spawned in the market. Arcane Studios development team manages to carry us into a world reminiscent of the dark, illuminated only by the flames of the torches finally oxidize, dungeons of classic games like Ultimo Underworld and Stone Keep. World populated with creatures that exist only in fairy tales and legends. A place where the magic of honor and is considered an integral part of everyday life of each creature.
    The protagonist in Arx Fatalis , ie you suffering from total memory loss. At the outset of the game he wakes up in a prison cell.

    Prisoner in the kingdom of goblins and no memory of who he is and how he got here. Your task is to get him out and help him recover his lost memory. Contrary to his will, he will become a mercenary King Lanshaya
    r and little by little you will find that the whole world who knows, faces a huge threat - a powerful demon named Akba's eating death, misery and sorrow of the people.

    Naturally, you are the one who has to prevent his desire to reign eternal chaos. The smell of stale It lies in the narrow, low and dark corridors. The only places at which air leaks are small and narrow shadowy tunnels associated with the surface of the earth. This game can definitely astound you with their mind-blowing setting. The very thought of life underground, the fact that you will not even see a single ray of sunlight more terrified me. Generally, the atmosphere in the game is very depressing. But after a half hour game these small, narrow, low and stinking of stale air corridors are starting to look comfortable and feeling of claustrophobia disappears completely.

    Perspective in Arx Fatalis is a first person and the management does not differ in anything from that of most role-playing games of this type. On the other hand, the more familiar with her world, the stronger will realize how rich and interactive it is. You can interact with almost everything Which you glimpse the sight. A small example of this is connected with the eating habits of our man.

    For example, your character will not want to eat raw fish, so it can not hurt to improvised a little fire and bake aquatic creature. And a plurality of possible combinations of food products. If mix water and flour to make the dough, which you bake. Then we will get bread. But there is another alternative. If your hand is rolling pin, you can roll out the mixture to add an apple and put the resulting slow fire. The end result will be apple pie. If you just starved to death and there is nothing more appropriate to eat, find simple rod and combine it with a rope. This will give you a hook to help you to sialic little fish from the nearest stream.

    If you at a later stage of the game it turns out that you need a rope, just use the weapon and cut the cord imaginary - that you already have again rod and rope. I think you convinced how amazing is interactivity, but these are just small examples of opportunities in this game.

    As gameplay Arx Fatalis remind briefly and Thief, because often you can choose whether to sneak quietly near his enemy or use brute force. At the outset of the game, while in prison, will overhear conversation between two goblins who discuss their dissatisfaction with dirty dishes. To make them angry and set them against their other brother, quietly replace the clean dishes on the table beside them dirty, then enjoy what will follow. The system for doing magic It is a mix of Ultimo VIII and Black & White. From the dungeons of Arx Fatalis are scattered dozens thoroughly well hidden runes.
    Their correct combination (unfortunately this happens automatically) leads to a different standard for role-playing games, but still useful magic spells. Each rune is triggered only when using the mouse redrawn typical of her character.

    At the very beginning it is interesting, but as the game becomes a bit tedious and even difficult. However, you can save once to three remade spells and use them quickly in the tense moments. Whether you scroll through the game as a brutal warrior, thief or subversive adept spell caster, depends entirely on you. Freedom of action and interactivity in Arx Fatalis, her catchy story line and claustrophobic atmosphere of a medieval type contribute to the overall, almost perfect image of the game. Adding to all this and more or less decent graphics and sound system, will receive one of
    the best RPG.

    Rating: 9/10
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  7. Nov 29, 2014
    10
    Really great RPG. My all time favorite. It does however, while being great have a few trade-offs.

    The game has a pretty alright story. It can be a LITTLE linear tho, as it isn't open world. The game takes place in 8 different levels ( excluding some areas like the bunker or crypts ). Overall tho, you won't be exploring it all at once. The game has a pretty nice atmosphere. It's not
    Really great RPG. My all time favorite. It does however, while being great have a few trade-offs.

    The game has a pretty alright story. It can be a LITTLE linear tho, as it isn't open world. The game takes place in 8 different levels ( excluding some areas like the bunker or crypts ). Overall tho, you won't be exploring it all at once.

    The game has a pretty nice atmosphere. It's not sad and depressing, but it has a dark feeling. Apart from when in the town or the tavern where there are people, the game will feel lonely, you will feel completely alone.

    In terms of interactivity, you can do quite alot. One of the reasons this game is awesome is because nothing is obvious. After many playthroughs, there are still some secrets and intractable objects I've not found or only recently found. This is pretty good saying there is only 8 levels/floors in the entire game.

    There is also the casting system. You basically hold whatever the cast button is bound to down, and click, drag, and release to make shapes that look like runes you've previously picked up. Casting several runes together casts a spell.

    The game however, has some major problems.

    For starters, balance isn't big. Playing a caster makes you extremely powerful. Playing a warrior will be fine for a while, but near the end of the game, you will struggle greatly unless you've got hundreds of potions. Similar thing with a stealthy build ( stealth build can still work ).

    The major problem with this title though, the thing that sets most people off is the buggyness. On some older systems ( 2000, XP ) The game might run fine. On newer systems though, you will get some serious compatibility issues.

    Putting compatibility issues aside, the game in general is extremely buggy. You won't see bugs like let's say... Someone clipping through a wall. But instead bugs of, dropping an item on the wrong object will cause the game to freeze, lockup and crash. There are also some lag issues on some systems.

    Not everything, but most of the bugs including crashes can be fixed with "Arx Liberatis", one of the few unofficial patches for the game.

    "What version should I get?"

    I've not tried the CD version, only GOG and Steam. While they are both very similar, I'd say GOG is the winner, as it's DRM free and mildly less buggy.

    Graphics are of course dated, but look quite nice for the time. It basically looks like morrowind, but slightly higher polygons, higher res textures, better shaders, minus the reflective water and shadows.

    Amazing game. Has flaws but in my opinion, the trade offs are worth it, and some/most of the bugs are easily fixed with a patch.
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  8. Aug 18, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Highly recommended for those that have played and liked games like Ultima Underworld or Dungeon Master (Legend of Grimrock).

    Apparently the developers wanted to created Ultima Underworld 3 but were unable to get the license from you know who, which is a shame. With stronger resources this game could have been very special indeed. For an old game (2002), the graphics are pretty good and sound in some instances quite amazing, the game engine has aged well. I played the game of Steam and in Windows 7 and it was more or less playable apart from some memory crashes - I learned to save often using all the save slots - you need to do this too. Especially when you move between levels. It is best to play the game without any background noise on such as the TV or radio - believe that. Not only will you get immersed in the game world, beautifully crafted by the designers, you won't miss key information said aloud by your character and then never repeated!

    It's a first person RPG/adventure set in a world where the sun has died so all races of the world live in a huge underground complex - the world is called Arx.

    You begin the game in a prison cell and yep, you guessed right, no memory of who you are! Wow, not seen that in a video game before. There follows an escape from prison and a gradual understanding of where you are and of your destiny. You escape your dungeon and then move onwards to different levels of the underground world, such as mining caves, spooky crypts, ice cavern (dragon) and a strange snake world! It takes a while to learn the mechanics of the game - give it a chance! Above all read and print off the manual so you have it with you. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this game was produced in the days where manuals actually were required reading and gave hints on how to traverse the game. Believe me it will answer about 75% of your questions.

    Your character has the normal ST,INT,DEX etc stats as well as skills to develop such as magic, technical skill, intuition. Combat is similar to that found in Morrowind where I often found myself moving in and out of combat and swinging whatever weapon I was using at the time. Not great but ok. The magic system is something else, it is rune based and you need to draw patterns on screen with your mouse. This is pretty amazing and at the beginning you learn a new PC gaming skill - let's face it - that is pretty unique. Runes can be found or purchased and your journal will update to show the new spells you can cast. Oh - you reckon it would be pretty damn impossible to cast a fireball as a giant evil looking spider is looking to bite your head off? READ IMPORTANT - you can pre-save three magic spells! Read the manual properly for goodness sake - just do it.

    Your journal shows your character stats, armour, inventory, magic book of spells and runes, map and some key information about the game interface and quests you need to complete. I stress "some". In following the game story - the journal is next to useless. Exploration is encouraged and the game engine allows you to do some innovative stuff. The map is pretty useless too. Use a fishing rod to catch fish and then cook them next to a flame. Combine water with flower to create dough and then bake to create bread. I think you can combine it with apple to make apple pie. Oh - you need to eat and your character will moan when he is hungry. Apparently hunger was pretty common in earlier versions of this game but I think the latter patches made this less acute. Saying that, I did go through a stage where I was baking and cooking stuff a lot! Later in the game I stopped hoarding food and just munched down anything I found.

    Your inventory is grid based and cannot be sorted, despite what some have said. You can stack some items and expand it later in the game. This could be better as you spend too much time on inventory management. On the first play through you end up hoarding. As you learn all the tricks and want to do another play through, it will be less problematic.

    The storyline is quite interesting, you have no say on what needs to be done and there are no dialogue options. At certain points in the story a cut scene will update you. There a lot of hidden items and locations in the game and exploration is encouraged. The world is beautifully put together and there are some real unique places and characters to interact with. It is quite complex and therefore some things are not explained properly and you will need to do some internet research to help you progress. Some tips:

    Buy the key ring and combine all found keys with it.
    Learn how to pre cast spells - especially fireball.
    Read the manual and print it off.
    Learn how to make potions - especially heal. Learn it. City of Arx Castle alchemist allows you to distil potions.
    Don't worry about cash - I ended up with about £35k.
    Some magic rings will disappear from your inventory after a while, these have a 12/20 or something. Ring of Regeneration.
    Read the 'Races of Arx' book before going to find the dragon.
    Find the activate portal spell in game or online and write it down in the manual - for some reason this spell does not show in your spell book.
    Your character needs decent magic to progress end game due to very difficult melee warriors that will polish you off in two whacks.
    Don't worry about hoarding food - just eat stuff as and when you find it.
    Save often.
    Shops are not always open, progress the story line and come back.
    Check the control options to ensure you don't waste all your healing potions when trying to crawl or sneak!

    Really is a great and unique game if you like RPG or first person dungeon adventure. World is quite amazing. Some difficulty with the game engine which most can be sorted by READING THE MANUAL. 40 hours+ on first play through and a few side quests not completed.

    Rated 8.2 and 77 on Metacritic
    Rated 20th all-time RPG by PC Gamer
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  9. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    This is an extremely underrated game A masterpiece Way better than Morrowind with arguably the best magic system in an rpg a phenomenal story challenging but not frustrating puzzles and an awesome system for assigning skills Go to steam and give this game a chance and I guarantee you won't regret it
  10. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    Only one question about Arx How the hell did I miss it on it's release I'm playing it in 2013 and it's one great RPG If you enjoy a good RPG, just ignore the bit dated graphics and give it a try. Will there be a number 2 sequel
  11. Feb 25, 2013
    10
    Now I really miss these times... times when you could get sucked in to the game completely. Years have passed but I still can't find game so deeply inspiring my imagination with sound, graphics and tale as it was done in Arx Fatalis. I still can feel those water drops, falling of cave ceilings here and there, you could almost feel the humidity of dark caves while moving deep into theNow I really miss these times... times when you could get sucked in to the game completely. Years have passed but I still can't find game so deeply inspiring my imagination with sound, graphics and tale as it was done in Arx Fatalis. I still can feel those water drops, falling of cave ceilings here and there, you could almost feel the humidity of dark caves while moving deep into the underground cities. I can't find any disadvantages, any things done wrong or just bad ideas in this game. The interface is easy, accurate and intuitive, magic system, done with an new idea was refreshing and interesting to master. Sound, minimalistic music, NPCs voices all fit to each other making the world real and alive. Expand
  12. May 5, 2012
    10
    I have replayed this alongside DarkMessiah in order to prepare myself for Dishonored. This is a great RPG with dark fantasy atmosphere and an interesting magic system. I love the dungeon design, creepy and non linear. The prison atmosphere in the beginninggis probably the best prison atmosphere in all games I played. 10/10
  13. Jan 28, 2012
    8
    For an old school game, this was pretty good. It's better than the majority of games made in the last decade. It still will hold interest. Plenty of challenge, stylish (if dated) sound and graphics, good story to hold it together and keep you investigating.
  14. Sep 10, 2011
    8
    Unique game. I like the spell casting system, and currently there is nothing like it. It is a bit slow though, but instead of one button spells, it actually feels you are doing the casting and even some skill is required. I am waiting for Arx Fatalis 2 with same spell casting system.
  15. Aug 2, 2011
    8
    Known as a cult classic among CRPG enthusiasts, Arx Fatalis was largely overlooked when it was released back in 2002 to PC and Xbox. Though visually, and in terms of contemporaries, it falls into the same period as the excellent, TES: III Morrowind, Arx Fatalis is a very different game, though solidly great. Sure it has it's faux pas, but on the whole Arx Fatalis has that "je ne sais quoi"Known as a cult classic among CRPG enthusiasts, Arx Fatalis was largely overlooked when it was released back in 2002 to PC and Xbox. Though visually, and in terms of contemporaries, it falls into the same period as the excellent, TES: III Morrowind, Arx Fatalis is a very different game, though solidly great. Sure it has it's faux pas, but on the whole Arx Fatalis has that "je ne sais quoi" that all great games do. The world and environments are intruiging, the storyline fascinating and original, and though the combat could use some work, there's enough going on that you won't mind. Expand
  16. Dec 6, 2010
    10
    One of the best RPG. The spell system is very powerful if you learn the runes. The ambient give the game horror atmosphere. Graphics are very good too.
  17. Aug 16, 2010
    9
    A lot of people have compared this game to Morrowind (and even Oblivion, god only know why?) and you really shouldnâ
  18. PhootsyPhootsy
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    It is along involved came, however the pay off is sooooo worth it.
  19. BobS.
    May 18, 2009
    9
    Great game! If you are a fan of Ultima Underworld or System Shock you'll love this one. Worth the time, good story, great exploration and interface system. Best of all is the magic system. This is a rare gem and a nice treat to play.
  20. BlairM
    Feb 23, 2008
    4
    Idea for spell interface is great, but not very well executed. It, the rest of the interface, and the levels themselves all feel like they weren't tested enough. I think if Arkane had spent more time polishing this game it could have become one of my favourites. The graphics are also dated, but the game fell (and would have risen) on the basis of the UI.
  21. AnonymousMC
    Feb 20, 2008
    5
    The casting was cool but you have the most fuck up control step up ever attack targeting was bad pots where hard to use looting was time consuming no double click fast action when adding items to bag using pots but like i said i though the casting part was really cool thats why i gave it a 5 it was just that cool everything else seemed weak story was engaging but for the love of god why isThe casting was cool but you have the most fuck up control step up ever attack targeting was bad pots where hard to use looting was time consuming no double click fast action when adding items to bag using pots but like i said i though the casting part was really cool thats why i gave it a 5 it was just that cool everything else seemed weak story was engaging but for the love of god why is it always a prison. Expand
  22. DougE.
    Feb 14, 2008
    8
    Really liked the game. The continuous fatal memory error was the only annoyance.
  23. Ja
    Nov 21, 2007
    9
    Game is great, if you know how to enjoy real RPG.
  24. lucky225
    Oct 24, 2007
    1
    Lame! Game play is long and slow moving. While it has ok graphics, the play experiance is by far the worst I have ever had.
  25. ZoltanR.
    Aug 29, 2007
    10
    This game is a little bit old now - afaik it was released in 2003 - but its still FUN to play. (btw, this is what I really miss from most of the recent games...) Because of its age, Arx Fatalis might not appear as *shiny* as the new releases, but it has a gripping story, a great atmosphere and one of the best magic systems I have ever seen. (FYI, it is not like a pressbutton1forafireball This game is a little bit old now - afaik it was released in 2003 - but its still FUN to play. (btw, this is what I really miss from most of the recent games...) Because of its age, Arx Fatalis might not appear as *shiny* as the new releases, but it has a gripping story, a great atmosphere and one of the best magic systems I have ever seen. (FYI, it is not like a pressbutton1forafireball stuff... You have to understand the meaning of different runes and the system how to compose a spell from them. So if you want to be a wizard in the game, you must have some brain, and not just select the wizard character at the start. (if you understand the logic, you can invoke a few hidden spells on your own)) In sum: If you are to fully utilize your new video card's directx10 capabilities and/or looking for pointless massacre, this is not for you. If you are looking for a great RPG with unique magic system, great atmosphere and you are looking for gaming experience, this is a must have. Expand
  26. Lhetre
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    This game made me think of Ultima Underworld, one of the best RPG ever : everything happens underground, every NPC is *unique*, side quests are also unique, and you have several ways to solve them. Brute force is often a poor choice, be helpful and you will be rewarded ! The spellcasting does not hamper you once you master the system, moreover it isn't a hack'n slash game. You This game made me think of Ultima Underworld, one of the best RPG ever : everything happens underground, every NPC is *unique*, side quests are also unique, and you have several ways to solve them. Brute force is often a poor choice, be helpful and you will be rewarded ! The spellcasting does not hamper you once you master the system, moreover it isn't a hack'n slash game. You do have a hard time protecting the town against very though enemies once, but this seems to be part of the story, and succeeds in making you tense for the rests of the game. Every puzzle has its solution, if you look for it long enough, and if you need a higher level just come back later. The only really annoying thing is maybe the automap, not very useful because unclear. 10/10 just to make up for all this hate, it is really an engrossing RPG game which deserves your attention, a more suitable note would be 8.5/10. Compared to Morrowind (both 2002) it is shorter and a little bit less gorgeous, it offers less freedom but it has more various environments and places, NPC immediately idenfiable, humorous situations, and always a subtle solution to all the quests. Expand
  27. NicF.
    Jul 10, 2007
    0
    Those who gave this game a higher rating then 5 have obviously not played oblivion.
  28. MaikiI.
    Jun 29, 2007
    3
    This game has a really poor interface. Switching between combat, cursor, and mouse-look mode is a poor decision, and really hampers immersion.
  29. GypsyD.
    Jun 19, 2007
    8
    The interface was very awkward at first, but after a while I grew to like the game.
  30. BrianM.
    May 17, 2007
    9
    I loved the game. The dungeon design was exquisite and allowed for creative solutions to many problems. I found the story to be well written and compelling. I really hope they do more with this franchise. I would love to see an Arx Fatalis 2.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Computer Gaming World
    80
    It sounds great, it looks even better, and it's the most original RPG not named "Morrowind" released in 2002. [Mar 2003, p.94]
  2. An intriguing and wonderful game feature is the magic-casting system. You find or buy runes and then memorize the symbol and using the control key in conjunction with the mouse, draw the rune on the computer monitor to cast the spell. The effect is stunning.
  3. "Master of Orion 3: had better save me from all this crap, that’s all I’ve got to say.