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Published on November 27th, 2010 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor

Arcania: Gothic 4 Review

Arcania: Gothic 4
Release Date: Oct. 26, 2010
Publisher: Dreamcatcher Games
Developer: BVT Games
Genre: Action / Adventure/ RPG
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PC

Ten years have passed since the events of Gothic 3. You are King Rhobar III, and your people are running rabid. After a period of isolation you are forced (as a tutorial mode) to confront demons.  You fight through only to wake up in your bed. Was it a nightmare, or a premonition? Welcome to Arcania.

You will notice very quickly that Gothic 4’s Vision Engine looks nice. There are some texture and frame rate issues, but this seems to be more of a polish issue than a technical limitation. You will notice some slow down when in combat with multiple enemies on the screen at one time. Although the world is nicely detailed, the choppiness becomes very problematic when progressing through the story.

The combat system had me very concerned going into the game, but fears were laid to rest when the tutorial opened up at the beginning of the game. If you are used to the combat system from previous Gothic titles, you will see many changes.  Even though the combat system is built solid there are still some minor issues that could drive traditional action RPG fans crazy. On the Xbox 360, your combat is done by button pressing in real time. You can adjust your inventory or stats like many other RPG’s by hitting the start button.  If you find yourself in a tough spot, simply hit the start button, choose a potion (which are hard enough to find), heal and return to combat. The action around you stops whenever you inventory your character which can make the game easy to play, again, for traditional RPG players.

Arcania is considered as an RPG, but plays and feels a bit more like a hack and slash game. This felt very close Silicon Knight’s Too Human but in a more medieval setting.  You have the ability to upgrade not only your character, but your combat combos as well. The controller bumpers are used as your spell menus and the D-Pad is your hotkey selection.  The menu system is radial, press start and jog your left thumb stick to surf your menus.

Arcania does feature a loot system that is very similar to Too Human which earns you drops from chests, and combat. Loot does appear to be level specific and experience specific. If you were looking to find an epic weapon to hold in your inventory until you are a high enough level, you will not find that here. That makes a lot of the loot you find from enemies very weak and just used as sellable items.

This game also lacks a morality system, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when the game offers the ability to kill town’s people and steal from stores leaves us scratching our heads. Many of the game’s side missions are repetitive, and follow the “get this item for me and bring it back” motif.  This is disappointing considering the genre has made bigger strides at this point in the game.

Final Truth:

Arcania is a decent attempt at a action RPG this year. Although there are better titles out there, this can fill the void until those games sequels are released. The environments, combat system, and game progression fires on all cylinders. However the game does lack the fundamentals that past games have already delivered on.  The story is very weak, and AI is poor. This game is more about adventuring the land, kill demons, and have fun with the different loot combinations. In that world, Arcania get’s it just right.

[xrr label=”Rating: 6/10″ rating=6/10]

+ Solid Game Mechanics

+ Music is Nice

+ Loot System

+ Environments are nice

– Lousy AI

– Frame Rate issues

– Texture issues

– Spell Menu can get in the way

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About the Author

I have been a video game enthusiast for many many years, and have been in the industry for the last 10 years. I love what I do and I love, well VIDEO GAMES! I have a degree in computer programming and currently working on a arcade/indie title.

One Response to Arcania: Gothic 4 Review

  1. Pingback: Arcania: Gothic IV “Fall of Setarrif” DLC | GAMINGtruth.com

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