Sunday, April 13, 2014

ArcaniA: Gothic 4


Gothic 4 is an action RPG in a fantasy setting. The game is similar to the Elder Scrolls(Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim) series but is more simple. And actually, that's one of its better qualities. When I play an Elder Scroll game I spend a lot of time trying to optimize my character  and the game is so big I have the feeling of being  lost. In contrast Gothic 4's main quest takes you through a series of sandboxes each with its own optional quests. Also there is no classes or races, just a series of skill lines where you distribute points, its straight forward and unless you distribute evenly all your points you wont regret your choices (and even then I think the game will be enjoyable). I did get enough points before the end of the game to max lightning and fire skills, and put enough points in a melee weapon skill line to be able to swing my weapon continuously. I would equip two-handed swords with bonus magic damage, it was a lot of fun.

It seems that some quests have alternate endings which is great. Also there are many secret areas. I found some that were very hard to find and other times the game would tease me but I would not know how to get to a room.

The graphics are beautiful on my 5 years old PC, I just don't remember playing games with such great scenery.

The story and voice acting are what pull this game down in the rating. Its the typical prophecy/destiny story. At the end I was a bit bored and because of the way the story unfolds, I was thinking "OMG, can I kill the final boss already? Stop making me run around". 
Some error must have been made while recording the voice actors initially because sometimes the voice of an NPC changes. Its as if they patched their mistakes but sometimes had to rely on a different voice actor.
Also sometimes there are bugs when you speak to the NPCs in a specific order, they'll talk to you about something an other NPC has told you yet. 

The AI is stupid. It pretty much just charges at you. Often ranged mobs will trow missiles at you but will hit the mellee mobs which charge you.

It is a pretty, fun, relaxing game if you can get over its flaws but I can't just recommend it to everyone. It took me 24 hours to finish the game.