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 (160 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2002

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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.


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
22 of 24 people (92%) 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
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14 of 15 people (93%) 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
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12 of 13 people (92%) 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

+ 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

- 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
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Great game play with a good story
Posted: July 19
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4 of 8 people (50%) 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;

Posted: July 4
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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.


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.


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
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