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October 11th, 2010, 21:33
The Computec Media sites and mags posted their reviews.
Cynamite tested the XBox version. They think Arcania is "a good action-RPG for roleplaying newbies. But the graphics in the XBox version are so horrible that even the good content […] can hardly compensate [quick & dirty translation; Ed.] for the technological weaknesses." Their fun was worth 7.5/10.
VideoGamesZone posted an abridged version of the same article. Less article, less fun. So this time Arcania (XBox 360) only deserved 73%.
PC Games gives 79% and thinks it's no real Gothic but quite okay for people only looking for a solid RPG. "A lot was promised, not much delivered." The story is weak, the quests boring and the game short.
Buffed on the other thinks Arcania has a compelling story without fantasy cliches, there's some real roleplaying and enough "Gothic" left. Therefore the game receives good 80%.
Austrian mag Gamers.at writes "Arcania is […] a good but not very good RPG" if you can ignore its Gothic roots. They speculate that a lot of content has been cut in the second half - a whole city is unused - and a quick add-on might be on the way. - 79%
More information.
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October 11th, 2010, 21:33
Are these "average to good" scores? They don't seem that bad from here - but I'm used to 6/10 is average etc. And I know that there are huge differences in rating systems… I still assume that combat can't be as slow and ponderous as it was. I'd love to hear from someone here whether it is better in the actual game …
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October 11th, 2010, 21:40
I tried out the Xbox demo over the weekend. Unimpressive overall. It felt old, slow and clunky. The running and jumping animations are bad and feel like your character is doing a lazy jog instead of running. It looked dusty brown and washed out. I get that you're starting out low-level and poor in a small village. But throw in some visual interest or color please. Gothic 3 on fairly low settings looked better to me. Lazy design I'd seen a dozen times. The menus were OK.

I never tried Risen, so I can't compare it to that. But I'll probably pass on Arcania, unless I can get it cheap and I'm really bored for an RPG on the Xbox.

booboo- those number ratings are just stupid if you ask me. 7.5 out of 10 is seen these days as a low or only so-so score. Ridiculous.
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October 11th, 2010, 21:46
Arcanaawho, Arcanaawhat . . . this game is dead to me.

Actually the reviews seem pretty decent and it's looking like a nice game to pick up sometime next year, in particular after all the patches are out.

But alas, I'm getting my grumpy, survivor mindset fixed for Fallout Las Vegas.
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October 11th, 2010, 22:03
… and it's looking like a nice game to pick up sometime next year, in particular after all the patches are out.
+1

I think they'll have to add in some missing content, too.
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October 11th, 2010, 22:06
DLC FTW!
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October 11th, 2010, 22:16
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I tried out the Xbox demo over the weekend. Unimpressive overall. It felt old, slow and clunky. The running and jumping animations are bad and feel like your character is doing a lazy jog instead of running. It looked dusty brown and washed out. I get that you're starting out low-level and poor in a small village. But throw in some visual interest or color please. Gothic 3 on fairly low settings looked better to me. Lazy design I'd seen a dozen times. The menus were OK.

I never tried Risen, so I can't compare it to that. But I'll probably pass on Arcania, unless I can get it cheap and I'm really bored for an RPG on the Xbox.

booboo- those number ratings are just stupid if you ask me. 7.5 out of 10 is seen these days as a low or only so-so score. Ridiculous.

I think they are being very forgiving with these ratings… I tried both the PC & xbox demo and was not impressed at all. In fact, I was horrified, because I had placed a lot of faith in this new "Gothic" game, thinking that it was going to blow Two Worlds 2 away. Its seems the opposite is happening! The graphics looked like it has A LOT of potential, but lacks the final touches - I noticed quite a bit of graphics popping, especially with the grass, and the shadows "stuttered"(both demos) across the ground instead of moving slowly, ect. I just assumed the reason for this was that it is a demo, however, it looks like the demo and final game are the same piece of crap!

Overall, the game sounds like it is a very weak RPG, and not the powerhouse that it was being marketed as. I just don't understand, after all the time they had over the past few years and after saying that they have been "listening" to the fans, they still put out a crappy game. I wonder did the devlopers actually sit back and say to themselves, "good job people, thanks to the hard work, its a great game"??? Did they fool themselves? Or maybe they thought they would be able to fool enough fans to make enough money off of…

I think production ran into problems last year and what you see now is work that was completed a long time ago, and never improved much further. As time went by and getting closer to release, not much else was accomplished and then they had no choice but to publish the game in the state it is now. Remember the videos of pools of water collecting on the ground when it rained? This game was supposed to be a technical show piece, but again not much seemed to have been improved since those old vids. Jowood has lots of issues to deal with and this certainly won't help their situation.
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October 11th, 2010, 22:23
I guess the big question I want answered is whether the demo was actually a fair reflection of the final game play? I was underwhelmed by the demo like most others, but some things were so 'nerfed' that I couldn't believe the final version would have those same elements. I guess we'll have to wait for our friends in EU to play ita nd report back..
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October 11th, 2010, 22:43
Also- It's almost not fair to have a demo for a game like this. They should have made some kind of "sampler" of the game where it puts you down in various points through the game, to give you a feel of how the game is overall and not just at the beginning. The very beginnings of most RPGs tend to be slow and include some hand-holding to get the player up to speed on how things work.

That said, this still seemed like a shoddy product.
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October 11th, 2010, 22:53
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
I guess the big question I want answered is whether the demo was actually a fair reflection of the final game play? I was underwhelmed by the demo like most others, but some things were so 'nerfed' that I couldn't believe the final version would have those same elements. I guess we'll have to wait for our friends in EU to play ita nd report back..
booboo, if you watch the gameplay vids posted in last Fridays list you can see real game play from the German version. I forget wich vid it was, but one of the German guys was fighting against some little monsters with his bow. You could see 2-3 of the enemy up the road a little from his character and when he shot is arrow and backed up a little, only one monster followed. The others just stood in place inactive. Then he killed the monster and went back up a little to "pull" another and again, only one monster followed… thats very weak combat AI, and the same AI we saw in the demo.
Last edited by spiraling69; October 11th, 2010 at 23:07.
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October 11th, 2010, 23:05
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Also- It's almost not fair to have a demo for a game like this. They should have made some kind of "sampler" of the game where it puts you down in various points through the game, to give you a feel of how the game is overall and not just at the beginning. The very beginnings of most RPGs tend to be slow and include some hand-holding to get the player up to speed on how things work.

That said, this still seemed like a shoddy product.

I agree. To me the game seems to be targeting a younger market with little knowledge or interest of the past Gothic series. Its a very dumbed down rpg that although may be a little fun to play, it certainly is not the game that most were expecting and hoping for. In short, they sold out and I think they will pay the price in weak sales for doing so.

I wonder if the NA release delay has anything to do with the knowledge that the game immediately needs a patch. I suppose one will be out this time next week in time for the NA release.
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October 12th, 2010, 02:41
Watcher , you nailed it , this game is for kids on there X-box. I cant beleive this game has been in production for so long it is a real shame where rpgs are heading i blame it on the console market.
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October 12th, 2010, 05:15
The big issue driving me away is the short time you play it. 20 hours for 50 bucks just seems a bad ratio to me. A deep RPG story and a vast world needs more space & time. I want a big RPG meal not some weekend snack.
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October 12th, 2010, 05:45
I know everyone's disappointed by it not being a true Gothic game, but what I'm not getting is why so many people are shocked by the fact that they're targeting a casual audience. This, to me, seems like their smartest move in years. Yes, they've pissed off everyone (pretty much) who played and loved the Gothic games… but how many people is that, exactly? I'd guess oh about half a million or so. Likely fewer than that bought G2 or even G3 (I don't have sales numbers, but considering some AAA games never sell a million units on PC alone, this is likely not too far off). For the sake of argument, let's say there was half a million gamers who would have bought a 'hardcore Gothic' game. But between the 3 versions (PC, 360, PS3), there's likely to be about 2 million casual gamers (or possibly more than that if you consider NA + Europe + Japan) that might think a reasonably open world, casual RPG is up their alley.

Granted, this is all conjecture. But my point is: casual + multiplatform = more sales. Hardcore + PC only = fewer sales. Generally, anyway. Bad games can sell well if they're marketed to the right audience.

And for a company like Jowood that's currently in financial dire straights, this seems like the only thing that might keep them in business.

That all being said, I still expect this to garner about a 53% Metacritic rating within 2 months of release.
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October 12th, 2010, 09:07
Very genereous scores, unless the full game is far better than the demo. I don't get this:
"The story is weak, the quests are boring and the game is short - 79%"
What's the redeeming quality bringing the score up to 79%? The combat (which offers no challenge)? The game world (which you may not freely explore)? The NPC interactions (which seem extremely limited)?
I am also confused about the "enough Gothic left" part…what is left, besides the names of things?

Anyway, this is looking pretty much like the worst case scenario for the Gothic series as far as I am concerned. A pretty weak game which receives critical praise.

Kay
Last edited by KayAU; October 12th, 2010 at 11:45.
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October 12th, 2010, 10:05
That's just the inflated scores problem. Most review sites keep inflating them because they get more of a "buzz" if they reward a game 10 out of 10 or 9.5 out of ten instead of 8 of 10…… so a bad game like Oblivion can still get 10 out of 10 just because of this inflated scores system. A game that deserves 5 ( which would mean a medicore game ) gets 8 and so on. I found it extremely stupid to have a 100% scale or a 1-10 scale when they only use a 6-10 scale… 6 being abmyssal.
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October 12th, 2010, 10:13
I think this game will be "spored" like CIV 5

Not exactly on topic but all sites give +90% while in civfanatics,com everyone is crying , even in publisher's forums the game is trashed!

Once again it is proven that we must never trust reviews .

About the "not feeling Gothic" i hate all Gothic games , deeply (this includes Risen as well) and thought that not being Gothic enough would mean that this game is for me , i am not entirely sure that i hated the demo , if archery wasn't that dumb i may have played it farther.
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October 12th, 2010, 11:43
I find it quite amusing that all of a sudden everyone is a Gothic fan, complaining about Arcania lacking Gothic features. Since when did Gothic become a critically praised game?

If I recall correctly, the non-stop whine about the controls/difficulty of the original Gothic prevented it from ever getting the praise it deserved.
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October 12th, 2010, 12:05
Originally Posted by spiraling69 View Post
I agree. To me the game seems to be targeting a younger market with little knowledge or interest of the past Gothic series.
In my opinion that - or the mass market, which might not know much about Gothic as well.

Maybe they tried some sort of balance between "dumbed down mass market" and the Gothic market ?
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October 12th, 2010, 13:00
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I find it quite amusing that all of a sudden everyone is a Gothic fan, complaining about Arcania lacking Gothic features. Since when did Gothic become a critically praised game?

If I recall correctly, the non-stop whine about the controls/difficulty of the original Gothic prevented it from ever getting the praise it deserved.
QFT!

I think most are using Arcania as an excuse for taking potshots at Jowood.
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