Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
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  1. Oct 20, 2010
    Arcania is a good but not excellent RPG, that tries to continue the legendary Gothic-franchise. To achieve this it unfortunately lacks lots of the gameplay-elements that fans loved in former times. Arcania is still no bad game, but surely too casual for players who are used to other titles of that genre.
  2. Oct 20, 2010
    On one hand, ArcaniA - Gothic 4's gameplay and the technical things are really good, but on the other hand you can finish the game easily in 15 hours.
  3. Oct 20, 2010
    A shallow but entertaining adventure. The world is wonderful to explore, but a lack of depth keeps this from achieving greatness.
  4. Oct 20, 2010
    It's a solid game with strengths and weaknesses, fans will check this one out at any rate. Fact is, you'll need a pretty good PC; that said, it's typically Gothic all the way.
  5. Oct 27, 2010
    Gothic games have been bemoaned for their graphical bugs and sloppy code but things are a lot cleaner and tighter this time around. Gone is the open-world of previous titles, replaced by mundane, rote, disappointingly shallow RPG that lives and breathes in an engaging, beautiful, and invitingly realized world. But for an RPG-as in life-just being pretty isn't enough.
  6. Oct 22, 2010
    A classic and complex roleplaying game has become an entertaining and enjoyable adventure in a fantasy world. Despite some flaws, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a highly recommended game.
  7. Oct 20, 2010
    It's not going to please hardcore D&D purists or gamers looking for the next Elder Scrolls, but as a middle ground between deeper entries and linear adventures, Arcania: Gothic IV hits its stride.
  8. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 13, 2011
    Arcania is more of a restart of the series then a regular sequel – some dedicated fans will be disappointed by its overall simplification but it does not make Gothic 4 a bad adventurous experience. [Issue#197]
  9. Jan 11, 2011
    Though similar in title, Arcania: Gothic 4 bears little resemblance to its predecessors. It is a traditional action-based role-playing game, which lets you play as an adventurer in the battle against ancient evil forces. The story and graphics are among the game's strongpoints, while almost every other aspect is bland and unorigonal.
  10. PC PowerPlay
    Dec 25, 2010
    An able-bodied RPG in the land of bland, but one hardly worthy of the Gothic name. [Issue#185, p.64]
  11. Oct 22, 2010
    Arcania: Gothic 4 is an action/rpg adventure with strengths and weaknesses. Probably it isn't what anyone thought Gothic 4 would be.
  12. Oct 20, 2010
    Arcania: Gothic 4 is a polished action adventure, well produced, visually attractive and very solid at the technical side. However, on its way it has lost many of the aspects that defined the series, with the purpose to embrace a new public and make the game more open to everyone. But for the seasoned RPG player, the new idea around Pinata.
  13. Oct 20, 2010
    Arcania isn't what anyone thought Gothic 4 would be. It's a marginally competent action/RPG with all the depth of a kiddie pool, not the huge open-world role-playing epics the series was previously known for.
  14. Oct 27, 2010
    Linear, simplistic gameplay with no multiplayer component limits replay value.
  15. Jan 11, 2011
    So on the whole I'm unpleased with Gothic 4. It's a wonderful graphics engine with an adequate combat system hampered by dull quests and a lack of action. More action would have put them into the action RPG realm, which I personally think is somewhat under-populated on the PC platform. Of course, more mainstream RPG fans are going to be turned off by the lack of common RPG elements. You'll likely be better off picking up Dragon Age on the discount rack if you, like me, haven't played it yet.
  16. Oct 21, 2010
    Gothic IV is not a a great RPG. Gameplay is too simple (too similar to an Hack'n'Slash), story is uninspired and characters are dull. Linear and straightforward, it offers at least some kind of visual magic.
  17. 57
    ArcaniA is functional, it looks good, but it offers nothing special in its 20 or so hours. And if this is the bright future of the series, I can already say "May it rest in peace".
  18. Oct 22, 2010
    The last born in Gothic series maintains the trademark atmosphere, suffering however an excessive simplification of the gameplay mechanics and a heavy, flawed graphics engine.
  19. Dec 22, 2010
    Like an MMO, there's an undefinable something that keeps you playing, probably far beyond what your sanity can properly stand.
  20. Apr 20, 2011
    If you seek a simple game with breathtaking scenery and a ridiculous number of weapons and armor, then Arcania Gothic IV is for you.
  21. Oct 20, 2010
    More a hack 'n slash than an RPG, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a game with good graphics and some flaws on the narrative side. The lack of complexity and substance are the primary faults of this title, which is probably not the worst chapter of the saga, but surely not the best.
  22. Oct 20, 2010
    Quotation forthcoming.
  23. Oct 21, 2010
    Beneath Arcania's often outstanding art direction and technical achievement lies a dry spreadsheet of must-have RPG elements, none of which is sufficiently developed to compel and all of which fail to balance against one another.
  24. Jan 15, 2011
    Besides the handy automap and the journal, the only other positive thing about Arcania is that it's at least better than Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods.
  25. Oct 25, 2010
    In the Gothic games I once knew, to grab the teeth of a Razor, you had to know the required skill. To cook meat, you had to sit next to the fire and get your frying pan out. When you entered a house to steal something, you were promptly tossed outside by the owner. To progress, you had to study the factions. There was life, there was atmosphere. ArcaniA : Gothic 4 is but an empty shell masking no RPG, but just a poor action game with an undead story. What a waste.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 461 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 461
  1. Oct 24, 2010
    As a fan of Gothic 1, 2 and (somewhat) 3, I didn't enjoy the game. From the start, it was failing one by one all expectations I had for a gameAs a fan of Gothic 1, 2 and (somewhat) 3, I didn't enjoy the game. From the start, it was failing one by one all expectations I had for a game promoted under "Gothic" brand. Among the major disappointments:

    1) The hero is a wuss. Gothic games are traditionally built around rugged, self-reliant, morally ambiguous character. In Arcania, the character is a pathetic simpleton, whose life ambition is (you gotta be kidding me) is to get married. Also featuring charming looks of a stereotypical junior office manager. 2) The dialogs are a rip-off. RPG computer game is not supposed to be exactly a work of high art, but *dialogs are supposed to make sense*. Characters in Arcania drivel. Dialogs in the game are built from trivial statements, repetitions and linearity.

    3) Limited freedom. For example, in Gothic it was possible to attack any NPC in the game, usually with dire consequences (e.g. the whole town population became hostile). Psychologically, it makes the player feel responsible for his actions, which is an important part of game atmosphere. In Arcania, you are unable to harm NPC, unless he or she was specifically designated as hostile by the game. 4) Character development is a sham. It could be a minor point, if the game was good otherwise. For example, recent Mass Effect 2 also has a greatly simplified character development, but it is still a great RPG. For Arcania, however, it is yet another nail into the coffin.

    5) Poor performance on Windows XP. The saying is that the game was optimized for DX 11. On WinXP, with minimal configurations, it looks much worse than, say, Risen and runs slower. This problem is *not* fixed by the first performance patch (distributed shortly after the release). Probably, it will get better with subsequent patches. However, until then I strongly recommend against using the game under Windows XP.

    Don't get me wrong, though. The game is not all bad, it is just a huge disappointment for most of the old Gothic fans. If you are new to the series, you may like it. The graphics is awesome and the combat system is not bad at all. If you are a fan of Gothic series, try something else. Risen is real good unless you have played it already.

    In general, Arcania seems like a step towards casual gaming, of which I strongly disapprove. It's certainly a bad idea to make a casual game from an epic, atmospheric RPG such as Gothic. Good casual games are many, good RPGs are scarce. Now it's one less.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 25, 2011
    When I played it for the first time, I was more disappointed than I thought I will. Spellbound did really bad job on that one.. It is a merelyWhen I played it for the first time, I was more disappointed than I thought I will. Spellbound did really bad job on that one.. It is a merely a continuation of previous Gothics. Only two good things that I am able to come up with are the graphics and improved fighting style (Compared to Gothic 3). Improved doesn't mean good though.. Most of opponents we face during the game we won't have any problems with. Character faces not only repeat often, but people all seem the same even when talking to them. I must admit I didn't beat the game, but I've played it for plenty of hours and I must say it is really monotonous.. The quests we do are boring and nothing we never seen.. "Go there, collect this.. kill him/it/them.. bring me that.. find me some of these.. talk to him.." As far as I've seen the storyline, I completely didn't like it. Bringing up some characters from old Gothics is only as much as it relates to previous series. Oh, this, and creatures from Gothic series. The world isn't really interesting to explore at all. We often are forced to visit caves and all of them look a lie and have the same schematics. We enter the cave, do a circle and come out just where we entered, only that we need to jump down. They made exits high so players wouldn't be able to go this way after entering the cave. And in each damn cave it's the same story. The world isn't open anymore, we unlock locations. We don't have NPC as teachers to increase our stats, we just choose what we want to improve after leveling up. Bah! We don't even need a smithy to make a sword. We can forge one standing in the middle of swamp. Same for potions any anything else. Makes the game way too simple, and makes it seem like developers made this game for little kids, for which previous Gothics were too complicated. One thing I also don't understand is that we are able to choose "American" version of colours and textures which make game to seem.. More.. Friendly.. Less.. Dark and evil. This really is ridiculous.. Well.. I played the game for a bit.. I was forcing myself to play it, hoping that it will get more interesting later down, but it didn't. This game disappointed me greatly, and is nothing like previous Gothics. I didn't like Gothic 3 when it was out to begin with, but Arcania... Arcania made me appreciate Gothic 3 now. Arcania made me realise how great continuation of Gothic 2, Gothic 3 is. After I seen how bad can continuation of Gothic 3 be. Gothic 4 just isn't fun. I am giving it 3, since I enjoyed it a little slightly bit at the very beginning. But the more I've played my hate for this game started to grow and grew more and more. It's just a waste of time. Let me do a quick summary. Pros: -Umm.. Graphics? -Soundtrack isn't bad.. Cons: -Monotonous. -Too easy, even on hardest difficulty. -It just isn't the same anymore... I rather call it Arcania, than Gothic.â Full Review »
  3. Oct 28, 2010
    Sword? Check. Shield? Check. Bow and arrows? Check! Stop drop and roll, to avoid the essence of mediocrity? Double check! Welcome to JoWood'sSword? Check. Shield? Check. Bow and arrows? Check! Stop drop and roll, to avoid the essence of mediocrity? Double check! Welcome to JoWood's second attempt at catching lightning in the bottle. It failed on Gothic 3, yet was able to capture that video game magic with Gothic 1 & 2. Sadly, JoWood dropped the ball once again, on game mechanic's, storyline and variety. The game is a technical gem to behold, I'll give the development team at Spellbound credit for that. Such an achievement should be the norm, in today's technology driven society. I'm a realist, JoWood is a entertainment, company they need to make money. Lowering your standards for game play for a broad spectrum of 'gamers' is today's 'money grab' for software publishers like JoWood.

    The game mechanics are horrid, the flow of combat, becomes a simple roll one direction, swing weapon once, roll backwards and fire off your three different versions of the same spell. Oh, I forgot you can use a bow and arrow to shoot monsters, it's a kiting riot! The game has hardly any active skills, most are passive. The weapon charge system is a dated concept. Multi hit is dated concept, it's a hack n slash principle. There is no riposte system, there is no flank system, stealth is a joke, you can't sneak up and back stab. There is no back stepping, unless you're using a bow and arrow. Running backwards makes your nameless avatar run with his back to the monster. Overall the game mechanics are sub par. The saving grace of this game, is the stunning atmosphere, but beyond that avoid this title until it drops in price. The game does offer good frame rates, on most top end video cards. The load times are quick. Thanks for reading.
    Full Review »