This critically acclaimed first-person RPG takes the player on an amazing journey into the fantasy world of Arx. The game mixes intelligent story with immersive and actual medieval surroundings. Arx Fatalis allows the player to feel that all his actions have a direct consequence on those around him.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (392 reviews) - 89% of the 392 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 12, 2002

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Reviews

IGN Awards Arx Fatalis an 8/10

"The spell casting system (...) is probably the most fun I've had with magic in a game in a long time."

RPGDot gives Arx Fatalis a 91%

"Clever dungeon design, exciting story and challenging puzzles makes this the most intelligent RPG around"

About This Game

This critically acclaimed first-person RPG takes the player on an amazing journey into the fantasy world of Arx. The game mixes intelligent story with immersive and actual medieval surroundings. Arx Fatalis allows the player to feel that all his actions have a direct consequence on those around him.

The goal of the game is to destroy the secret cult of Akbaa, the god of destruction. As a player, you must prevent the return of such a cruel creature to the physical world. Should you fail, Akbaa is bound to impose its terror upon the world of Arx.

You will become the hero of an underground world - with weapons, spells and magical items to defend against goblins, trolls, rat-men and other vicious opponents.

Besides brute force, stealth and the "onscreen gesture based magic system" are the three alternative ways to succeed. Using the mouse, flaming runes can be drawn in mid-air. A combination of these gestures can create powerful magic spells that will protect you or empower you to defeat opponents and pursue the quest.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Windows XP, 500 MHz Pentium ® III or compatible, 64 MB RAM , DirectX 8 or higher, DirectX 8 compatible sound- and graphics card with 16 MB, 750 MB fixed disks

    Recommended: 900 MHz Pentium ® III or compatible, 256 MB RAM , DirectX 8 or higher, DirectX 8 compatible sound- and graphics card with 32MB, 750 MB fixed disks

Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (392 reviews)
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222 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
306 of 318 people (96%) found this review helpful
325 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2015
If you dug Morrowind's oppressive atmosphere (and ultimately totally op magic) but want a far more narrowly-focused experience with sexy snake women, a surprisingly immersive gesture-based magic casting system. Simple trolls wearing sumo diapers - then you have very specific tastes, and while this game does provide those things, you should probably lower your standards in general for your own wellbeing.
You lovable nut.
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123 of 130 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
42.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2015
Challenging and highly atmospheric, if also heavily flawed, dungeon crawler/immersive sim that is in many ways highly reminiscent of Looking Glass Studios classics. You'll journey trough decaying underground world filled with dark ritual, bloodthirsty enemies and eldritch horrors.
Patience, experimentation and careful exploration are often rewarded, and also quite often -required- in a way that is rarely seen in modern games: Arx offers little to no hand holding to players during their journey through its sprawling, interconnected dungeons - thorough exploration and paying attention to clues and readables are keys to making any sort of progress!
Game isn't without flaws tho: magic system, while original and also quite impressive in a sheer number of offered spells and their possible effects, is also somewhat clunky, and spellcasting is often unresponsive. Controls & interface in general will take some time to get used to.
While game offers to player a freedom to develop his character in many possible directions, some skills are definitely far more useful than others, and some playstyles are far less developed than others. Stealth system for example is quite unrefined, and while it is sometimes useful and at some points borderline required to sneak (say early encounters with dreaded Ylside warriors), stealth tends to be rather useless and unsatisfying.
There is quite a bit of different types of fun-to-use melee weapons, each with their own pros and cons. Ranged combat on the other hand, while quite useful at times, is made unnecessarily monotonous by the fact that the player is offered all of -two- bows, second one being pretty much unreachable on first playthrough without any outside help.
Still, I'd say this game's assorted shortcomings are -very much- worth dealing with, and are far, FAR outweighed by its many qualities.

Pretty much recommended to anyone with some patience and willingness to deal with game's flaws and idiosyncrasies.

Also, i highly recommend using Arx Libertatis: it offers additional bug fixes and eliminates issues with modern hardware.
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88 of 91 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2013
This is definitely a title I'd say is "underrated". It's a relatively obscure RPG title that gives a fairly interesting setting and good mechanics.

The game is good overall, but it's definitely rough around the edges.

PROS:

The game is pretty immersive, with full first person and complete view of limbs and equipment. There are plenty of things to loot, plenty of things to kill. The game is also very atmospheric: lots of dank caves with dark ambience playing. The RPG elements are mostly good, but there's not much character interaction, no real dialogue trees. I have a lot of fun exploring dungeons in the game, they can go pretty deep and pretty wide. There are lots of immersive touches, like having to drag things manually into the inventory, to manually drawing runes to cast spells, to even staking zombies to make sure they stay dead. It helps make the game feel alive.
_____

CONS:

The game barely conveys any information to the player; I've had to rely on walkthroughs extensively. The journal is worthless, it tells nothing about current tasks or reminders of where to go. If important details from dialogue are missed, they can't be found again. Navigation is nightmarish as there are no clear paths to get to locations, everything is located on separate underground levels. The game also is unbalanced in terms of combat and specialization. Playing as a thief or as just a warrior is suicidal, as a certain kind of enemy late-game cannot be easily killed with brute force. I had to restart my game to play as a sort of battlemage build, and now everything is easier.

_____

It's a pretty mixed bag overall. If one likes RPGs with somewhat original settings, compelling mechanics, plenty of immersion, and plenty of loot, then this game is good if one can look past the glaring flaws.
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73 of 77 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 2, 2015
This game is absolutely amazing. For the game from the year 2002 it has really interesting mechanics, the whole casting by drawing spells is an interesting idea. The cooking mechanics are also something I didn't see in any other RPG yet.

Recently I installed it again because I discovered the Arx Liberatis mod that fixes the game for the modern computers (adds FullHD resolution, fixes spell casting - be sure to have v-sync on)
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62 of 64 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2014
Arx Fatalis awesome awesomeness

one of my favorite rpg´s, innovative gameplay as a sample how you can interact:

" Bottle of Water + Flour = Bread Dough + Rolling Pin = Uncooked Pie + Apple = Uncooked Apple Pie + Bottle of Wine = Uncooked Apple Pie with Wine + Source of Heat = Apple Pie with Wine " one of many things you can combine in the game world.

The game world is authentic and its very exciting to explore.

Atmosphere is great and often creepier than Stalker.

Story is Epic and better than gothic 1 (gothic1 is my *1) sidequest´s are very nice too.
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58 of 62 people (94%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2015
If you consider yourself a fan of the RPG genre and still haven't played this, it's time to get on it.

This is one of my favorite games ever and I could go on about this game with a big lengthy post but it's easier if I just point out it's only flaw:
There's no sequel.
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45 of 47 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2015
The game with the most dense atmosphere I ever experienced. Intresting scenario and story, plus very specific controls.
I can recommend this game for any RPG and adventure-games fans, but only if you can look past the very old graphics.
ATTENTION! Arx Fatalis doesn't work well on newer PCs and crashes very often, but luckily the free patch Arx Libetatis fixes all the bugs.
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42 of 51 people (82%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
best $5 I ever spent for a old game
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37 of 43 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2014
This was a serious sleeper game.

I bought it on sale and found it to be a true gem.

From the unprecedented magic enactment system to just the feel of the entire world to the flow of gameplay...

There is a reason Bethesda bought the studio behind this. They are truly talented.

Highly recommended.
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
74.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2014
Score: 4/5; I recommend Arx Fatalis

PC; Win XP 32-bit; Arx Fatalis v1.21
completed; playing time: 74 hrs


Pros:
+ An interesting storyline, NPCs, and quests
+ A wide choice of spells and weapons
+ The locations are varied enough, each with a distinctive atmosphere and decor
+ Immersive sounds and voices in the background, especially in dungeons and catacombs
+ You can use a shovel to dig stuff out of the ground or a pickaxe to get stuff out of rocks and graves, and knock down walls*
+ You can use some weapons to carve wooden stakes to finish off some undead monsters
+ You can steal, break into houses**
+ Over time, you get hungry and need food
+ You can cook your own food, catch fish, pick mushrooms, and prepare potions on your own (of course, you can also buy them)

* not everywhere, only in some locations
** the success depends on how you develop your skills when you level; if you don't develop the right skills, you won't be able to do it successfully


Cons:
- The spell casting mechanism is extremely annoying. Each spell consists of several rune letters. In order to cast a spell, you need to literally draw the runes on the screen with your mouse. In theory, it seems innovative and sounds like a lot of fun. However, it's not practical. You really need to be very accurate in drawing the runes; otherwise, you'll fail to cast your spells. It's extremely hard to do it in combat, as being under pressure (and battered by monsters), you often feel unable to focus on drawing, and usually fail to draw the runes accurately enough to be able to cast successfully. Luckily, you can pre-cast a few spells, but even pre-casting can sometimes be quite laborious. I would sometimes spend literally minutes trying to cast some spells consisting of the more difficult runes. For me, this was the most irritating part of the game.
- Some aspects of the game seem to be a little unbalanced, e.g. Ylsides are extremely fast and strong, and they kill you within seconds - you can meet them early in the game, but you won't really be able to deal with them successfully until very late in the game; also, towards the end of the game, you may run out of life potions - you won't be able to buy them or find any plants to make them on your own
- There are a few bugs and glitches here and there...
- NPCs and monsters have a tendency to get caught in between various objects, like parts of walls, doors, etc. They simply get stuck and can't move. Well, that's how I killed a few Ylsides...
- When saving, once I gave a name to a save file, I couldn't change it later
- It's a 2002 game, so don't expect visuals like in Skyrim...


All things considered, I experienced a lot more fun than irritation with this game. Therefore, in my opinion, the game is worth playing.
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Recently Posted
roger_muppet
2.7 hrs
Posted: September 28
I came.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
akabigd2002
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 26
Got an "invalid platform error, It's too hard to access any kind of tech support on Steam so I just requested a refund. That happens a lot on Steam. I buy a game, it doesn't work, I can't get any support so I request a refund. Sales would improve greatly if you had actual tech support instead of a massive database that is usually too massive to find anything relevant.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pwn3plays
23.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
CANT PLAY... MISSING A FILE SOMETHING ABOUT "NOT CLEANED UP" THIS HOLE SEVICE SUCK!!!!!!! STEAM IS A BIG SEAMY PILE OF "IT" MISSING THE "SH".....CANT BELIVE THIS.. AND NO REFUND CUZ IT USE TO WORK....
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Akkad G
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 23
I'm not going to throw ♥♥♥♥ at this game because it is a good game. I played it when I was a little kid, got extremely bored and got rid of it. I thought it would be a different experience as a grown up, but no. No.

I mean it was good for it's time, yeah, a good oldie sorta thing. But today? Sadly, it's not fun after an hour. The cooking system is good, spellcasting is revolutionary for the year it came out, backstory is quite interesting, voice acting is cool... So what? Lots and lots of games have been developed after this one came out, with most of these qualities.

We all waste almost all of our precious time on games and we will keep doing it, but better waste it on better experiences.

Because we're all going to die.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Elevator
1.3 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 22
I played through most of the game. It was kind of a trip, which is not what I usually say about game. I kept thinking, who even made this weird S***? It was a bit of a pain at times too though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trashware
36.6 hrs
Posted: August 15
Product received for free
Arx Fatalis is a true gem in the rough. The last time I experimented this specific kind of immersive, oldschool, slow burn atmospheric vibes was when I played Gothic 1 a couple of years ago.

* The mechanics and initial slow pacing take some getting used to and you need to invest some time in it to let it grow on you, but when the world unfolds and your character gets stronger it feels great and you feel right at home within the games setting.
* The story and lore are not the most elaborate ever and voice acting is not that great nor distractingly bad. But the world design in itself is actually pretty original. Level design is very solid and exploring real carefully not only feels very rewarding, it is essential.
* Graphically it looks dated, but surprisingly acceptable nevertheless because it renders so well on large resolutions. To me this is still a pretty game. Also the music and sound design are really good and add a lot to the overall atmosphere.
* Do note that unfortunately this game will NOT run without Arx liberatis, do look it up to get it to work. It's not much of a hassle, but really Steam should make sure the games they offer are actually playable right away.

This game is absolutely recommendable, as long as you're patient and take notion of that last point mentioned
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CedWinchester
8.3 hrs
Posted: August 13
Alright guys, all I can say is - if you love RPG´s that are immersive, dark and sometimes outright creepy, buy this game. What you waiting for? It´s 5 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ bucks for one of the best RPG´s of the early 2000´s.

While the story certainly isn´t groundbreaking, it does do a good job of keeping you going and you rarely have moments where you literally don´t know what you´re doing - but they are there and when they hit you, you will be stuck or looking at a walkthrough to see what you missed or what to do next. And that for me, is one of the key elements I like this game. Very little handholding, you gotta use your brain a little bit to get through.

No seriously though, do yourself a favor, tell your girlfriend/boyfriend you´re sick for a week and play this. You won´t regret it. 9/10 for me guys.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Catlord
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 10
:( this might not work on modern systems.

I am requesting a refund of this otherwise very desireable game because it simply won't start (DDraw object has non-zero reference count). I found that I am one of many Win7 - Win10 users who experienced that.

(e.g: https://steamcommunity.com/app/1700/discussions/0/360671352682425406/)

Unless this would be fixed I can not recommend buying the game if you're running a modern system.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
frank
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 7
This game doesn't launch.
this message pops up: "A DDraw object has a non-zero reference count (meaning it was not properly cleaned up)".
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shadow Ops
11.8 hrs
Posted: August 7
Arx Fatalis
fast game with modern day graphics with easy controls that moves from location A to B to C and so on

good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny