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Arx Fatalis

MobyRank MobyScore
Windows
80
3.9
Xbox
74
4.0
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Description

Arx was a once a prosperous place. However, after one night the sun of the world of Exosta never rose again, and the blistering cold forced their inhabitants into the dwarf mines. There, a new city was built, and humans, trolls, goblins, dwarves, and other races lived along peacefully, until the scarce resources proved to be too few for everyone. The animosity started to build up, and conflict between races ensued. The protagonist starts the game dazed out, being dragged into a cell by a goblin. Where is he? Why did he end up there? Who is he? With only that in mind, the adventure starts...

Inspired by the Ultima Underworld series, Arx Fatalis is a first-person role-playing game taking place in a vast underground world. All the locations and interconnected by passages, tunnels, and stairs, with eight levels altogether. Despite their dungeon-like appearance, locations also include populated settlements such as the city of Arx, where the player character can buy and store supplies, as well as other non-hostile areas. The player, however, is free to attack and possibly kill any non-player character encountered. While several main quests must be completed in a specific order to unlock a new area, the player can access and explore certain locations freely at some points in the game. There are no dialogue options, but some missions can be completed in different ways, and there are also a few side quests.

The player generates and builds up the main character by customizing his main attributes (strength, intelligence, dexterity, and constitution) as well as various skills, which include close or ranged combat proficiencies, technical skill for lockpicking and disarming traps, and others. Vanquishing enemies and completing quests yields experience points, which are converted to attribute and skill points when the protagonists levels up and can be allocated manually. Much of the combat in the game can be avoided, and the player may opt to develop a stealthy character, a spellcaster, a ranged attacker, as well as the traditional physical type.

Combat in the game is action-based. The player can press down the attack key to build up force in order to strike more efficiently. It is also possible to execute several types of melee attacks by combining them with directional arrows. One of the unique aspects of the game is the spell-casting system, where the player uses the mouse (or the directional pad in the Xbox version) to draw the runes constituting a particular spell. The most complex spells can be performed by combining runes. Spells can also be readied and cast simply by pressing a corresponding key. Casting spells depletes the protagonist's magic points.

As some places lack light sources, players can take advantage of the darkness to stealthily move in the shadows, or use torches to lighten up a room to search for some object or find their way in a path. The game's world offers interactivity by allowing the player to pick up, drag, and place most objects. Food must be collected and eaten periodically to prevent the protagonist from dying of hunger. The player can combine various items to create new ones, as well as modify their properties. For example, it is possible to cook food, bake bread, use tools such as pickaxes and shovels, and brew potions.

Screenshots

Arx Fatalis Windows The alchemistry of spell brewing factory
Arx Fatalis Windows One of the many NPC's in the game, they hand you additional quests and react to your behaviour
Arx Fatalis Windows Note the detailed face. It seems to be a single texture, though, no polygons
Arx Fatalis Windows Beautiful scenery of havoc

Alternate Titles

  • "地城守护者" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Arx Fatalis. Последний бастион" -- Russian spelling
  • "Arx Fatalis: Return to the Underground" -- German title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Arx Fatalis Pays Off For Patient Gamers Windows Steelysama (106)
Arx Fatalis - Deadly City? Windows Alex M. (1020)
Was it good for you too? Windows ShadowShrike (309)
Arx brevis, vita longa Windows אולג 小奥 (168604)
Remake of Ultima Underworld? Windows Mattias Kreku (423)
A badly planned and executed "Underworld" game Windows worldwideweird (54)
Good unbalanced rpg Windows Vashna (19)

The Press Says

Pixel-Heroes.de Windows Jul, 2004 10 out of 10 100
PC Zone Benelux Windows Dec, 2002 87 out of 100 87
Play.tm Windows Oct 23, 2002 86 out of 100 86
Game Chronicles Xbox Mar 05, 2004 8.4 out of 10 84
GameSpot Windows Nov 22, 2002 8.4 out of 10 84
GameSpot Xbox Nov 17, 2003 8.3 out of 10 83
Fragland.net Windows Apr 29, 2003 81.5 out of 100 82
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Windows Mar, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Xbox Exclusive Xbox 2003 8 out of 10 80
Gamesmania Xbox Feb 26, 2004 78 out of 100 78

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Trivia

European and German version

In the German PC and the European Xbox version all blood effects and the possibility to cut off limbs (along with limbs used as level decoration) were removed.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Sleeper of the Year

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by POMAH (33052) and rstevenson (815)