Arx Fatalis PC

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 126
Buy On

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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.
  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"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. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
    Expand
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  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. 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
  14. 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
  15. EthanL.
    Apr 30, 2007
    8
    I don't see what the hate is about. The spellcasting system is awesome, and although the controls are hard to get used to, once you do it's not very hard. There were a few frusterating moments, but overall this isn't a bad game at all. Also, one thing that's hard to find in games made at the time this one was made, was good voice acting, Overall Arx Fatalis is a good I don't see what the hate is about. The spellcasting system is awesome, and although the controls are hard to get used to, once you do it's not very hard. There were a few frusterating moments, but overall this isn't a bad game at all. Also, one thing that's hard to find in games made at the time this one was made, was good voice acting, Overall Arx Fatalis is a good game, especially for its price of 10 bucks. Expand
  16. PhootsyPhootsy
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    It is along involved came, however the pay off is sooooo worth it.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Ja
    Nov 21, 2007
    9
    Game is great, if you know how to enjoy real RPG.
  20. MikeO.
    Apr 12, 2007
    3
    Let's ignore the graphics as the game is old. I found that the controls were indeed quirky in a very annoying manner. Combat, normal point and click could have been combined into one system, but it wasn't. And managing your inventory? Just as annoying. Space is very limited even if you get two extra bags. The magic system? Terrible. Not only do you have to draw out the spells, Let's ignore the graphics as the game is old. I found that the controls were indeed quirky in a very annoying manner. Combat, normal point and click could have been combined into one system, but it wasn't. And managing your inventory? Just as annoying. Space is very limited even if you get two extra bags. The magic system? Terrible. Not only do you have to draw out the spells, you have to deal with a casting time as well. Granted you can memorize up to three spells for quick access, three is certainly not enough. My biggest complaint is that the monsters do not spawn fast enough. You can be litterally stuck waiting for monsters to spawn so you can *try* to gain a level so you can build up your skills just so you can pick a lock to advance in the game. And one of the side quests? Buggy as heck. It won't spawn the notes so I can finish it. The only real redeeming thing about this game is the voice acting. It was done fairly well and it shows. It's too bad that same level of quality wasn't put into the rest of the game. Expand
  21. PedroS.
    Apr 1, 2005
    10
    IS the best game in the world, maibe more. I live for this game.
  22. 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
  23. [Anonymous]
    Apr 6, 2007
    0
    The poor play control alone makes this game cumbersome to say the least. The graphics aren't much to write home about either.
  24. NicF.
    Jul 10, 2007
    0
    Those who gave this game a higher rating then 5 have obviously not played oblivion.
  25. JohnE.
    Sep 20, 2005
    9
    Ultima Underworld update anybody? Well this is it (but not from Lord British(!) It's all underground, the AI, graphics, story and character building are excellent and its got that "thing" that keeps you coming back for more, going "ooh!" and "ahh!" and whatever you say when you jump at a surprise!. The game can change from play to play (and with so few full on RPG's being Ultima Underworld update anybody? Well this is it (but not from Lord British(!) It's all underground, the AI, graphics, story and character building are excellent and its got that "thing" that keeps you coming back for more, going "ooh!" and "ahh!" and whatever you say when you jump at a surprise!. The game can change from play to play (and with so few full on RPG's being released - that is great!) The graphics, sharp and very lifelike in the gloom, the speech (everything is spoken not typed, like MW) is excellent with fine acting and correct Orc grunting(!) The story is v.good with lots of twists and turns and the puzzle elements in dealing with problems are spot on and keep the world quite real. As this game can be bought quite cheaply now, you should go out and get it straight away. It will easily keep you going until Oblivian comes along next year (yes, I do think it will be delayed!) - an easy 9/10 for me! Expand
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. GypsyD.
    Jun 19, 2007
    8
    The interface was very awkward at first, but after a while I grew to like the game.
  29. DougE.
    Feb 14, 2008
    8
    Really liked the game. The continuous fatal memory error was the only annoyance.
  30. 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.
    Expand
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.