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: Very Positive (163 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2002

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Arx Fatalis

 

Recommended By Curators

"Hardcore underground dungeon crawler in the vein of Ultima Underworld. A long and somewhat linear game with many possible playstyles."
Read the full review here.

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

Helpful customer reviews
1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
HELP!!! KEEP DYING TO GUARDS IN CITY DO'NT KNOW FIX!!!
Posted: October 23
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7.8 hrs on record
Exceptional game
Posted: October 25
Was this review helpful? Yes No
24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
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.
Posted: May 31
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Arx Fatalis is a good solid RPG. If you dont mind the slightly dated graphics I highly recommend you try it out.

If you go find Arx Libertatis, its a 'mod' for the game, it'll use the game files that you download through Steam, but optimize the game for use on newer machines. Unfortunately it didnt count me as playing on Steam so my game time counter didnt go up.

Initally I was a lil skeptical of the onscreen gestural magic stuff, I've never been good at drawing symbols with a mouse but the game lets you precast three spells to hotkeys so you can instant cast later which is awesome. Melee is basic but effective: hold mouse button, gem glows, more it glows the more damage you do, release mouse to strike.

Anyways sound is decent, graphics are dated but not ugly, theres a combine/crafting system so you can make things like a fishing pole from a piece of wood and rope, and theres potion brewing. You might need a paper and pen to keep track of everything, the journal isn't very helpful.

In closing definitely worth getting, especially at $5.
Posted: July 3
Was this review helpful? Yes No
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
74.2 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 20
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Great game play with a good story
Posted: July 19
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 11 people (36%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
holy fu/ck highly reccomended this sh/it is wack. like okay its one of those "its like elder scrolls games" and i hate makin that comparison but like sh/it it totally is. its cheap as fu/k and runs hella well on moden systems considering it's age. it looks kinda short-ish gameplay wise but fu/ck its a masterpeice and im totally still tripping out on the 2000s' nostalgia rn;

GAME OF THE YEAR, EVERY YEAR.
Posted: July 4
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 19 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
I can see why some people might like this game, but there are too many serious issues with it. Firstly, it's one of the least intuitive games I've ever played thanks to the multiple modes you need to activate to do anything. Melee combat is sluggish, difficult to aim (hitting a rat was an exercise in frustration) and yet forced upon you - I felt like an idiot for choosing to spec into magic because, more than an hour into the game, I had not found a single combat spell or indeed a ranged weapon. The voice-acting is atrocious (the main character in particular) and the script extremely stilted. I'm glad it only cost a couple of quid, because at least I feel that I haven't wasted too much money on this.
Posted: May 23
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 23 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
This game suuuuuucks so bad! First, you have to realize that this game is a bit old (2002), but that's hardly an excuse for the clunky controls and terribe hit detection. I love old-school games, and I still play games from the early 90's! But this game was just not made well. The goals are unclear, the weapons are stupid-looking, the attack animations are clunky, the combat is boring and repetitive, etc. Just don't bother.
Posted: June 1
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2.8 hrs on record
Arx Fatalis is a fairly decent dungeon crawler RPG. Not the best, but still very solid. It can be compared to Morrowind in the fact that it is first person fantasy roll playing game, however, it differs from the Elder Scrolls classic in its gameplay machanics and its setting. It is set mostly in confined dungeon areas. I like this approach especially since most games like this are set in an open world anymore. Unfortunately this approach tends to cause most of the game's areas look the same and not stand out. This game also has a unique set of controlls, but you will probalby want to reset most of them, especially if you are used to playing games like Morrowind. Overall, this game is a solid RPG that you are sure to have fun playing, assuming you don't mind the outdated graphics. I give it a 7/10.
Posted: May 15
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6.1 hrs on record
So much potential, but crashes as much as Helen Keller trying to drive.

7/10, worth a shot if you're a Retro veteran who saves a lot on instinct, because there's no autosave.
Posted: June 25
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3.3 hrs on record
Imagine a game between Morrowind and Oblivion with a nicer control system. Not a game for graphics ♥♥♥♥♥s. 9/10
Posted: May 14
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.4 hrs on record
fun and challenging game
Posted: July 27
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7.9 hrs on record
great rpg game.
Posted: July 18
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5.3 hrs on record
Pretty cool for its age. I remember I played this one after Morrowind but I liked Arx Fatalis better, even though it's not an open world and exploring is limited. The crafting and cooking were pretty awesome too. I actually haven't seen a cooking system in today's games like the one in Arx Fatalis. The casting system was hard to master but was also different from the ones in other games. If only this game was more mod friendly, though.

Apart from that, it's one of my favorites games and I still play it from time to time.
Posted: August 24
Was this review helpful? Yes No
44.3 hrs on record
Highly recommended for those that have played and liked games like Ultima Underworld or Dungeon Master (Legend of Grimrock).

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 such as the TV/ music 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 city is called Arx.

Arx Fatalis = fatal fortress (Latin)

The game does involve combat, magic and sneaking options. But most of the game requires exploring, adventuring, some puzzles (simple and fiendish) to solve, a lot of traversing to and fro.

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 the prison and then move onwards to different levels of the underground world, such as mining caves, spooky crypts, ice cavern (dragon) and a strange snake level! It takes a while to learn the mechanics of the game but you give it a chance as the rewards will be many! 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. Every time you level up these can be increased. 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". As an assistant 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 raw fish and then cook them next to a flame. Combine water with flour 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 the size 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. The castle in the human city has an alchemist which 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 keyboard control options to ensure you don't waste all your healing potions when trying to crawl or sneak!

There are some negatives. If you don't READ THE MANUAL, expect some frustrations with the game engine. The great magic system is limited as not all the spells are equally useful and I tended to play the whole game with fireball. However, you need to have decent magic to complete the game, do not go all out as a fighter or thief. Not everything is spoon fed to you, ultimately you can get where you need to go just by adventuring but sometimes a specific "go there" would be appreciated. There are only about 10 levels which you seem to traverse back and forward a lot, learn how to use the portals or this can be frustrating. The game world is complex and many things can be interacted with - this is also a downfall as often you need to make assumptions about how things work together.

Summary - 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. Repetitive towards the end as it suffers from lack of additional quests and locations which would allow greater use of spells and your character.

Highly recommended to those looking for Ultima Underworld 3
Posted: August 18
Was this review helpful? Yes No
68 of 70 people (97%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
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.
Posted: November 9, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No
48 of 49 people (98%) found this review helpful
41.3 hrs on record
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.
Posted: April 14
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Arx Fatalis is an amazing role playing game from the former half of the last decade. It features a very original world premise, it eternally snows so everyone lives underground in massive tunnel systems. it has a traditional rpg plot, but it feels immersive. Characters are seen as listless and antisocial, dreading their exile from the snowy abyss above.

The game has a very intriguing magic system that allows you to draw glyphs to cast spells. It feels very intuiative and as such if you play a mage character you get used to certain glyph formations.

Very recently Arkane released the source code for Arx and a source port named "Arx Libertatis" has been created, which finally allows players to play the game at a consistant framerate the way it was meant to be played when it first released.
Posted: October 21, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
135.2 hrs on record
Forget about todays standards - Arx Fatalis is a great blast from the past. The gameplay and context is solid and could easily be brought forward to todays tech levels to form awesome new games.
Posted: December 25, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No