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Default RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Impressions

August 31st, 2009, 13:13
Myrthos brings us his second preview from GamesCom 2009 with an overview of Spellbound's Arcania: A Gothic Tale. Here's a sample:
The game that was shown to us lacked a lot of things that apparently are in the development version but not in what was shown to us. The weather system was one of them, which they claim is a dynamic system that is completely controllable by the designer to allow changing the weather based on the situation and emotions they want to player to undergo. Other things that were not in were NPCs, monsters, a range of weapons, spells and a working combat system. All of these things will be in the first chapter, though. What was already in was that there is no loading time in a chapter; the only loading time you will have in Arcania is when you start the game and when you go to a new chapter. Inside the chapter there are absolutely no loading times, not even when entering buildings or dungeons.
Read it all here.
More information.

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August 31st, 2009, 13:13
Oh, boy. It's hard to enthused by an empty demo so perhaps some apathy is to be expected. Still, I think there are danger signs everywhere. I get the impression the chapters are not just story divisions but geographic areas…is that right? Certainly doesn't sound like a "real" Gothic.

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August 31st, 2009, 13:25
Not very promising IMO.

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August 31st, 2009, 13:26
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Oh, boy. It's hard to enthused by an empty demo so perhaps some apathy is to be expected. Still, I think there are danger signs everywhere. I get the impression the chapters are not just story divisions but geographic areas…is that right? Certainly doesn't sound like a "real" Gothic.
My impressions are almost exactly the same.
The chapters seem to be very Witcher-like.
Also the last time I read somewhere, the combat system seemed also very Witcher inspired.
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August 31st, 2009, 13:29
Not much to go on, there. It could turn out to be…

…a faithful continuation of the Gothic series (a bit unlikely, IMO, given what they say about the chapters)
…a great game, if a bit of a break from the Gothic series (always possible — and it'd be interesting to see how crowd that proclaimed that they would've been cool with Fallout 3 had it not been named Fallout 3 will react)
…a derivative, boring, bug-ridden, short POS (also possible).

JoWood/Spellbound sure aren't doing a great job at communicating, whatever the situation is.

(I liked the look of the bloodfly, though.)
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August 31st, 2009, 13:32
Indeed, dividing gameworld areas into "chapters" made many alarm bells ring in my head. An other thing which made me worry a bit was the estimate number of quests per chapter. I don't want to sound hysteric here, but the number looks horribly low on paper. Hopefully they atleast last longer than the average sidequest in a rpg game. Lastly lack of trainers doesn't sound very gothic-like to me even how much they seem to defend this choise.

All we can do is wait obviously and hope they get it right.
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August 31st, 2009, 13:34
We don't know much, really.

The first two Gothics had chapter divisions as well, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.
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August 31st, 2009, 13:56
Originally Posted by Dagon View Post
Also the last time I read somewhere, the combat system seemed also very Witcher inspired.
I'd like to hear more about that, since the combat system alone will probably make or break the game for me (not that there isn't much more to a game than the combat, but I'm hopeless at most "real-time" combat, so if I can't play it, the rest of the game won't matter at all).

I enjoyed the Witcher, since the combat was easy enough for even me to play it. And in the Elder Scrolls games, there were ways I could buff my character and play.
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August 31st, 2009, 14:00
I've read somewhere that the combat system has made significant progress since the E3. I think it was at WoG, by somebody who has seen a slightly more advanced version.

Arcania is about a year away. It's too early to say something definitive.
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August 31st, 2009, 14:22
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
We don't know much, really.

The first two Gothics had chapter divisions as well, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.
True, but "it is impossible to go back to any of the previous chapters. They implemented it in this way to make sure that the player is not running around in previous chapters with nothing to do" sounds quite a bit different to story chapters. This sounds very much like geographically exclusive areas, which isn't in line with Gothic. Neither are the lack of trainers or the focus on reaching a wider audience but that's another story.

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August 31st, 2009, 14:30
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
True, but "it is impossible to go back to any of the previous chapters. They implemented it in this way to make sure that the player is not running around in previous chapters with nothing to do" sounds quite a bit different to story chapters. This sounds very much like geographically exclusive areas, which isn't in line with Gothic. Neither are the lack of trainers or the focus on reaching a wider audience but that's another story.
The key being "sounds like".

You couldn't go back to previous chapters in Gothic 1/2 either, so there's still nothing definite about this implementation that we know about.

Until we know for sure, I think it's prudent to stay open - but that's me.
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August 31st, 2009, 15:58
No point in getting all worked up about something before there's something concrete. I must say, if the screen-shots are any indication of the graphics, I'll give it a go. Witcher combat was okay with me, though I do tend to like a Ranger/Archer type character. I'll just bide my time…
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August 31st, 2009, 16:13
Hmm. We'll just have to wait and see Nice screens though. Just the proportions of the hero's body are reassuring somehow, compared to Risen. In fact it seems a little better drawn overall doesn't it? Or am I being confused by the higher res or something.
Last edited by Alistair; August 31st, 2009 at 16:42.
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August 31st, 2009, 17:01
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Oh, boy. It's hard to enthused by an empty demo so perhaps some apathy is to be expected. Still, I think there are danger signs everywhere. I get the impression the chapters are not just story divisions but geographic areas…is that right? Certainly doesn't sound like a "real" Gothic.
It is not a real Gothic. It's Arcania - A Gothic Tale. And since I'm getting my Gothic…ah Risen this year I really don't care. I have yet to play a bad Spellbound game (I played Perry Rhodan: Operation Eastside (do me favor and make a bloody sequel already) and the Desperado games)

I hope this turns out to be a good game and I haven't hear anything that destroyed my hopes. This game is supposed to be the next step in a new series so why does it have to play like the last three games? Just look at the changes is some nearly holy RPG series like Ultima and Might and Magic.
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August 31st, 2009, 17:11
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
Hmm. We'll just have to wait and see Nice screens though. Just the proportions of the hero's body are reassuring somehow, compared to Risen. In fact it seems a little better drawn overall doesn't it? Or am I being confused by the higher res or something.
Only slightly.

Risen certainly looks better in motion than on pics. All PB games do.

Spellbound gets praise for the technology they developed for Arcania in many previews. It seems they're doing a good job on it, at least on the PC. The situation of the console conversions is unknown. Now let's hope they'll also make a good game.
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August 31st, 2009, 19:06
Originally Posted by Roi Danton View Post
I played Perry Rhodan: Operation Eastside
You mean from the neverending German pamphlet SF series?
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August 31st, 2009, 19:31
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
You mean from the neverending German pamphlet SF series?
Yeah, exactly. The game itself was a Master of Orion clone, certainly not the best but also not the worst. I liked playing it but there is a bit (okay, a huge bit) of a PR fanboy in me so you perhaps shouldn't take my opinion as unbiased.
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August 31st, 2009, 19:35
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The key being "sounds like".

You couldn't go back to previous chapters in Gothic 1/2 either, so there's still nothing definite about this implementation that we know about.
That's not what Dhruin is talking about though.

I have the same fear, I don't want a game where a new chapter also moves you to a different geographical region, with no ability to return to a previous one.
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August 31st, 2009, 19:36
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Now let's hope they'll also make a good game.
Yep. All this sounds to me like an Oblivion/Witcher (Unholy ) union which may provide
an enjoyable game if done right.

Since we have Risen for our Gothic gameplay fix I don't mind getting something different
(although I definately need a demo before I buy in this case) if its a good game.

I never really expected them to make a Gothic sequel anyway (no matter how many
familiar characters they use).
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August 31st, 2009, 20:01
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That's not what Dhruin is talking about though.

I have the same fear, I don't want a game where a new chapter also moves you to a different geographical region, with no ability to return to a previous one.
I know what he's talking about.

The point is that we don't know if Arcania locks you out of previous regions based on chapters.
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