Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Image
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 321 Ratings

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  • Summary: Populated with elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, Arcanum, a Tolkienesque fantasy world, exists in an unsteady equilibrium between the emergence of industrialized cities and the decline of magic. This debut RPG from the core "Fallout" team finds the player "on vacation"Populated with elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, Arcanum, a Tolkienesque fantasy world, exists in an unsteady equilibrium between the emergence of industrialized cities and the decline of magic. This debut RPG from the core "Fallout" team finds the player "on vacation" when he becomes responsible for the fate of this world. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Although the characters you meet along the way try to guide you through the game, Arcanum really leaves most of what happens up to the player.
  2. 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.
  3. One of those games that deserve to be played for a long while.
  4. New features and a solid storyline should keep even the most veteran players busy for quite sometime.
  5. 80
    There truly is a deep, rewarding, and splendiferous RPG behind Arcanum’s dated, clunky machina…but only the most intrepid RPG fanatics will have the patience to dig it out.
  6. Suffers from a host of rather serious flaws, including an overall lack of polish, which can end up making the game disappointing more often than enjoyable for some players. These problems veil what's an otherwise captivating and immersive role-playing experience.
  7. 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.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. 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 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
  2. ScottW.
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    Outstanding game with one of the best worlds ever conceieved, a deceptively simple combat system, and nearly unlimited customizeability. 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. Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2019
    10
    Arcanum has its fair share of flaws. Yet it is high up amongst my favorites, because despite its flaws it manages to hit all the right notes.Arcanum has its fair share of flaws. Yet it is high up amongst my favorites, because despite its flaws it manages to hit all the right notes. A high fantasy world in the throes of an industrial revolution with a lot of steampunk thrown in for good measure, accompanied by a great and perfectly fitting soundtrack. Likeable companions, a great villain with a well-reasoned motivation to his actions, interesting lore, and a nice twist on the usual Chosen One routine. What Arcanum does best, however, is reactivity. Not only do mages, thieves, inventors, etc., differ in how they play, but also in how the world treats them. Furthermore, almost every choice you make is acknowledged in some way, be it your in-character decisions, stats, abilities, race, gender, companions, or even the things you wear.

    If you can stomach the boring combat and the occasional tedious dungeon crawl, give Arcanum a chance. You will not regret it.
    Expand
  4. 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 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
  5. 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 butThis 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. Expand
  6. 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, goodOne 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. Expand
  7. 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 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. Expand

See all 51 User Reviews