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Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura (Windows)

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79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  aiolos (6)
Written on  :  Jun 18, 2006
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Troika is dead, Long Live Troika

The Good

As was with Fallout 1+2, the gameplay was, by and by, the main attraction of this game. The options for character development are massive; they put the majority of other games on the market to shame. The character creation is simple (and full of easy ways to waste your points if you haven't played the game before, or haven't consulted a guide), but as the game progresses, the player is given a massive range of options for character development. One of the nicer points about this game is that it is impossible to even come close to mastering more then a handful of the wide range of skills and abilities, it makes replays of the game a completely different experience.

Also worth noting is the great Steampunk setting, that is integral to the story, and also allows for a huge range of environments and characters for the player to explore and interact with. The background graphics add to the atmosphere; your characters explore everything from a industrial revolutionized town, to ancient elven cities in trees. The story in this game is also well done, but often is ignored for long stretches of time in lieu of exploration and sidequests.

The Bad

The character graphics were abysmal for their time; the animation was jerky, the detail was low, and, in addition to that, the style was weak and generic feeling.

The battle system is good, but flawed. It is very close to Fallout's system, just not as well planned out and executed. There is also a "real-time" setting that is worthless except for the easy battles, as it moves far far faster then the player is able to command his character. Also, even with it's final patch, the game still has terrible crashes and will occasionally eat a save game.

The Bottom Line

A brilliant RPG that needed just a little bit more polish to have achieved true classic status.