User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 101
  2. Negative: 11 out of 101

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  1. 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
  2. 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" 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
    Expand
  7. 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 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
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. 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.