+ The graphics were decent for a game that was released in 2010. There are quite a lot of details on characters. The areas look pretty neat as well.
- Many characters are clones and animations could be smoother here and there.Sound:
+ The music is good overall but really not as amazing as it was in past Gothic games. The voice acting in the English version is completely horrible and makes you cringe at times. Stream should allow players to decide themselves which sound packs to install. The german voice acting is much better.
- The environment does not make too much sound. You would expect to hear animals and other things.Balance:
+ You can clearly feel that your character is developing and there are 4 difficulties.
- The 4 difficulties are meaningless. Having played the game on 'Gothic' which is supposed to be the hardest difficulty I have never felt like the game was hard. I have never died a lot except for the last boss which was the first time I started using pots and buffs. Funnily enough I only died 3 times on the last boss which isn't even a lot.Atmosphere:
+ Many dialogues are neat if it wasn't for the horrible voice acting. You can feel part of the world. You keep meeting characters you met before and NPCs seem to be moving with you. You also meet old characters from past Gothic games which is a big plus for fans of the franchise.
- The world is very stale and boring. There is nothing to explore except things that you are meant to explore. You can only quest in the area you are meant to quest. All areas are cut off and you can only progress once you do the required main quest. The atmosphere is long not as brilliant as in past Gothic games.UI:
+ The UI is decent and I never had issues with controlling my character. You can put up to 10 items and spells on your bar which is more than enough. In addition you can bind the keys.
- The character gets 'stuck' pretty often when he shouldn't be. Sometimes he gets stuck while simply running which forces you to jump occasionally.Content:
+ The game is somewhat long. It took me 40 hours to finish but that's including doing extremely boring quests which forces you to run through the entire world to look for hidden artifacts.
- Many areas have nothing special in them. Sometimes you run through a jungle area in which you do nothing at all except run. Why not put one quest where nearby orcs have stolen or killed a friend? Instead there are just random little camps with orcs which you clear and move on. A lot of potential was lost. There are also barely any side-quests at all. Quests:
+ The questing is very bad in Arcania. There are nearly no side-quests. However the story starts off in an interesting way.
- Most quests are only about either killing a few monsters or bringing the NPC a few items. The quest stories are also very boring and even when you can do it in more than 1 way it has no effect on the story or even the rewards.Charactersystem:
+ The charactersystem is decent. Most of the abilities are useful and you can specialize in things.
- However the system is very simple and boring. You barely have a choice in what to specialize in since there are so little abilities and you will learn all by the end.Combatsystem:
+ The comatis fast and interactive. You have to dodge certain attacks which you cannot parry. Other attacks can be parried if you are fast enough.
- The AI is horrible. Many monsters simply keep hitting you with special attacks which force you to dodge. They also hit so slow that it is no challenge to get away from them before they hit you. There are also only 3 spells in the game which make being a Mage pretty boring.Items:
+ There are many items and you can craft a lot of items yourself.
- The crafting is useless though. I played the entire game on the hardest difficulty and have never crafted a single pot. When the game was over my inventory was still filled with all kinds of materials. I only crafted around 3 items to wear. Many items were simply useless. You also get new armour very rarely when the game decides you should get a new armour.Conclusion:
I have played Gothic and Gothic 2 in the past and was highly interested in Arcania. Sadly I found out that Jowood and Piranha Bytes had an argument which is which Jowood removed them and took the rights to the game themselves. They paid another developer team to work on Gothic 4 which is why the game is completely horrible compared to the other Gothic games. I would even say that they ruined the Gothic story. Even though you meet old friends you don't actually seem to work with them that much. The game turned into a drag half-way and I just honestly wanted to finish it which is why I did not even obtain the best armour available. Worst of all is that they end the story abrubtly. The DLC of the game is required to really understand the story. They obviously cut the game off before release just to sell the DLC of the rest.
I would only recommend this game to real hardcore RPG fans and fans of Gothic but not to anyone else.
I have played this game on this sytem at maximum settings and very high FPS:
GPU: ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 16GB
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45
SSD: Samsung SSD 830