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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Gothic 4: Arcania first impressions

Default Gothic 4: Arcania first impressions

October 15th, 2010, 09:55
Figured I could make a topic for people playing Arcania to voice their opinions on the game. Keep in mind that people interested in knowing whether or not they should buy Arcania might also read it, so keep spoilers in spoiler tags.

In any case, I got it yesterday and I've played through the first part of the game now. I'm about level 10, and I've completed most quests in my first major city (a big castle, rather cool looking).

Currently focusing on melee combat, mainly because it seems the most interactive - dodging, swinging, blocking, it's actually quite fun once you get the hang of it. I'll probably play through it as a mage afterward, but not as a ranger; I don't think Arcania is the kind of game I can replay three times in a row.

I should point out that I more or less agree with the review Vox wrote, but I'll take the time to discuss certain specifics regardless.

Options
On to the game itself. First of all, there are a lot of options, so you might want to check out the options page before starting to play. If you turn on "Roleplaying activities" and Gothic difficulty (it's above Hard, which sounds about right), turn off all the handhelping stuff (quest markers etc), you're getting close to the "Gothic feeling". Personally I'm playing on Normal for now, though it is a bit easy so I might bump it up to Hard. It's nice to see that they've added such options.

Graphics
The graphics are splendid, especially the weather effects. I don't really have anything to add here.

Sound
Solid, through and through, with the exception of certain dialogues. For some reason, the intro section is the worst (by far). I like this Diego better than any other except the original one.

Gameplay
Melee is pretty fun at least, though a lot of enemies are a bit too predictable. Ranged enemies are the only real problem so far, but according to Vox it gets worse later on.

The formula of going to a new zone, doing quests, new zone, doing quests gets predictable and repetitive, which is a shame, as the zones are generally worth exploring and a lot of fun. With a more flexible teleport system and more reasons to go back or explore freely, I suspect Arcania could've turned into some of a classic.

In fact, if they pull a NotR on this one and add more content/expand the existing world, Arcania could actually turn into a very good game.

I'll add a bit more info once I've actually completed it. If others are playing it and have opinions, feel free to chime in.

Bottom line: So far, so good. I enjoy it. It's not on par with Risen, but above most similar games. My end verdict will most likely be that it's around or slightly above Two Worlds and Div 2, mainly because the story is actually somewhat interesting.

Edit:
I have a question: Is the game non-linear? It would seem that way based on a choice I made yesterday (it might not have been an actual choice, but a classic BioWare/Bethesda illusion of a choice):
Spoiler
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October 15th, 2010, 10:04
Thank you for that review Maylander. It sounds somewhat like what I expected.

How's the AI? Is it the same as in the demo? Do you know if the ranged combat is broken like in the demo?
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October 15th, 2010, 10:24
I haven't tried it no, but I don't think there are any big changes in the AI. Well, at least not on Normal difficulty - according to the description on Hard/Gothic difficulty it does say that enemies attack more relentlessly.
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October 15th, 2010, 10:38
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I haven't tried it no, but I don't think there are any big changes in the AI. Well, at least not on Normal difficulty - according to the description on Hard/Gothic difficulty it does say that enemies attack more relentlessly.
Ok, I'll probably try this on hard at first.

It's just that I found the "feel" of archery in Arcania pretty damn good, but I won't have much fun if it means obliterating enemies without any kind of effort. I also liked the ability to fire arrows from stealth, which is something most games tend to ignore.

There's something appealing about being a stealthy archer - and it's what I always play in Oblivion (with mods).
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October 15th, 2010, 11:30
The guys in the GameStar vids said that everything below Gothic level is piece of cake easy. And the AI reaction does not improve, it's just that they hit harder.
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October 15th, 2010, 11:32
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The guys in the GameStar vids said that everything below Gothic level is piece of cake easy. And the AI reaction does not improve, it's just that they hit harder.
Sigh…. Who the hell tests this crap….
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October 15th, 2010, 13:59
I'm playing it too and I feel about the same as Maylander.
The game is not bad, actually it's fun. Yes, it looks too easy on normal, I haven't died so far at all. And I'm playing a melee/electricity hybrid.
Ranged weapons… Dunno, but if you can't hit a rabbit or a deer with a spell, you'll need some arrows or bolts. I haven't used ranged weapons on nonneutral mobs. Yet.
As Maylander noticed, looks as the only real danger are enemy spellcasters and bowmen, but honestly so far not that big problem to me - cast a chain lighthing then charge to spellcasters first (especially if you have the fastmoving rune from the first island, and I bet you have it).
Area unlocking is something I dislike. This is a huge stepback generally. Someone in some other post compared Arcania with Mass Effect and Dragon Age… Hell, you can virtually go to any area there. Ok, not true, but then again, you don't see some border or something that prevents you from going somewhere.
Linearity and lack of choice impacts on the game… Not that I care that much. It would be more fun, but then again, that's not something I can't live without.
I'm not sure if you feel like I do, but all areas look a bit unfinished. Somehow you come to a beautifully designed area, but it lacks of life going on. Perhaps I'm too spoiled with other titles.
And new teleport system is bad. Totally.

To sumup so far… The game is really fun, if you want to play something before new Fallout gets released, check this one. Honestly, you won't hate it.
But Arcania is not something I'd ever call a masterpiece or a must have game. And I feel that once I'm finished, I'll never get back to it. So don't feel bad if you skip it. It's like a not bad movie noone should feel terrible for not watching it.
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October 15th, 2010, 23:54
I just got through playing it for about 2 hours and I find it a blast. The combat is actually good in comparison to Gothic 3. Think Fable. Only Fable is not as good. I don't think the ranged combat is that bad to be honest. It presents somewhat of a chellenge b/c the sway with the reticle is pretty large in area. I'm sure with the level up of a certain skill it decreases.

The one big thing I like that changed besides combat is the way health potions are used. Instead of having to run a mile away from what you're fighting b/c it takes forever to get one out and drink it….it now goes lickity-split. Not too fast that it seems ridiculous but he quickly puts away his weapon and drinks.

I'm pretty sure from what I've played so far that most ppl will be happy with the game. Unless you're the type of person who nit picks on everthing and compares it to other Gothic games and you hate everything.
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October 16th, 2010, 04:30
Yeah it's a good game. Melee combat is much more fun than Gothic 3. My own opinion is that the game is better than Risen, especially in the graphics department but also in player movement and melee. Also the world is more fun and more open to exploration. It's a fun casual RPG romp with lots to see and do. Thumbs up for Gothic 4!!
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October 16th, 2010, 05:25
As a Gothic fan I gag on the thought of it being better than G3 or Risen. More polished than G3 certainly … but much more shallow …

— Mike
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October 16th, 2010, 07:44
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Yeah it's a good game. Melee combat is much more fun than Gothic 3. My own opinion is that the game is better than Risen, especially in the graphics department but also in player movement and melee. Also the world is more fun and more open to exploration. It's a fun casual RPG romp with lots to see and do. Thumbs up for Gothic 4!!
Everyone else seems to mention the world feels more confined and less free. I noticed in the demo you couldn't really jump off cliffs, or climb, and the ocean was acid and instantly killed you…glad you're enjoying it nonetheless.
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October 16th, 2010, 07:48
I don't comprehend how anyone could think Arcania is better than Risen.
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October 16th, 2010, 11:59
I also agree with Maylander…

Played it alot yesterday and seeing all the negativity about the game i was happy to enjoy it. It is a good game i think. I was dreading the voice acting thinking it would be as bad as Two Worls. It wasn't.

I think the combat is fun, and the skill system is fun and influenced from Masseffect.
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October 16th, 2010, 13:08
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Also the world is more fun and more open to exploration.
What? Define "open to exploration" please.
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October 16th, 2010, 13:13
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't comprehend how anyone could think Arcania is better than Risen.
Well … As we know everyone is allowed their own opinions …

I played a few hours and enjoyed it more than I thought I would based on the demo. Better than Risen? No.

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October 16th, 2010, 17:46
I just completed it with my melee character. Will try out a mage now, and check the "choices" to see if they are illusions or if there's an actual impact.

All in all, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The story is somewhat interesting (far more so than Gothic 3), and there are plenty of references to the old Gothics.

The downside is the exploration in my opinion, which becomes rather predictable and repetitive after a while. Combat is fun through the whole game, and actually becomes challenging towards the end (as noted by Vox in his review - I agree completely).

The world is actually pretty massive, but due to the way the game is designed, you rarely need to visit the same area more than once. That is a shame - I honestly feel the design of the world is really good (especially places like Tooshoo and the Monastery).

I hope the add-on (or next game) adds a bit more "Gothicish" exploration - more open, yet with more happening in each area (even if that means a smaller world to explore). As it is, I feel as if I didn't get to know each place as well I wanted to.

Anyway, I'll add more after I've played some more.

PS. No, it's not better than Risen. Personally, I don't consider it better than G3 either, but I do understand people who feel that way - combat works better overall and the game itself is very polished. It's smooth to be honest.
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October 16th, 2010, 21:51
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The world is actually pretty massive, but due to the way the game is designed, you rarely need to visit the same area more than once.
You finished it in 2 days? How massive can it really be?
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October 16th, 2010, 22:24
Does anyone have any tips on how to defeat Knut the farmer? He has a massive special attack and killer damage resistance. Easily one of the most frightening opponents in the game.
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October 16th, 2010, 23:49
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You finished it in 2 days? How massive can it really be?
Around 16 hours seems to be the verdict…so, not really that massive.

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October 17th, 2010, 01:10
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Around 16 hours seems to be the verdict…so, not really that massive.
16 hours?? Are you serious?

Wow.. I had heard it was short, but that is truly pathetic for this type of game.
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