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Critic Reviews

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Digital Chumps (Oct 25, 2010)
In a week with the release of Dragon Age: Ultimate Edition and Fallout: New Vegas, I'm reminded that I personally have yet to play either series, not to mention Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls. There are several reasons for this, one of which I would attribute to accessibility and the time it can take to get fully in tune with those series'. Another would be the diversity and sheer combination of endings and character paths. Which is why when I fired up Arcania: Gothic 4 which I have been playing this week, I was pleasantly surprised and nearly instantly hooked on a very satisfying and addictive RPG in the vein of an Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age. Perhaps it's no surprise, but I haven't played any of the previous Gothic titles before (although I've read that they are well received). While not as polished, deep, or epic (for lack of a better word) as some of its counterparts, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a solid open world RPG experience that embraces newcomers and veterans of the genre alike.
Game Captain (Oct 25, 2010)
Während Gohtic 3 vor allem mit seinen Bugs zu kämpfen hatte, sind solche Technikmängel beim offiziellen Nachfolger eigentlich kaum ein Problem. Stattdessen hakt es beim Rest. Nicht zuletzt angesichts hochkarätiger Konkurrenten, die eben genannte Dinge deutlich besser machen, wirkt das Spiel oftmals altbacken und verschenkt viel Potenzial. Wer gern ohne großes Kopfzerbrechen eine überwiegend hübsch anzusehende, abwechslungsreiche Fantasywelt samt schöner Soundkulisse bereist und Spaß an unkomplizierten Beutezügen mit ausgeprägtem Hack&Slay-Anteil hat, kann an Arcania trotzdem Gefallen finden, und nicht zuletzt auch Einsteiger werden angesprochen. Ein echtes Gothic ist es aber nicht geworden. Wer kann, legt sich die PC-Version zu, welche dem Xbox-Pendant grafisch deutlich überlegen ist.
IGN (Oct 12, 2010)
Arcania: Gothic IV does very little to progress the genre – particularly in mission structure and storytelling areas – but what it ultimately does deliver is a loot-heavy dungeon crawling experience that doesn't tax your skills, but instead lets you leisurely enjoy the world and kill a lot of goblins and swamp flies along the way. In this way, the Gothic series has always filled in a more casual space than similarly minded RPGs. The combat has a decent level of depth, the island is sprawling - but certainly not truly open-world, and varied and detailed. The story is distracting and disposable – kind of enjoyable but never subtle. It's not going to please hardcore D&D purists, or gamers looking for the next Elder Scrolls, but as a middle ground between deeper entries and linear adventures, Arcania: Gothic IV hits its stride.
GameFocus (Oct 22, 2010)
Arcania isn’t a bad game. It just feels like it should have come out a few years ago. An overused story that’s poorly delivered, some technical difficulties and a decisive lack of RPG staples make this a lot more of an action game made for the 2006 crowd. Fortunately, the combat is solid and in games like this, that’s usually not the case. Overall, Gothic 4 won’t stand out on any scale, but it does hold it’s own int he middle of the pack. You won’t pick this up before grabbing Dragon Age, but if you’ve already moved past the RPGs released over the last few years, Gothic 4 is an easy going and serviceable runner up.
ZTGameDomain (Jan 17, 2011)
If looked at as a jumping off point for newcomers to the western RPG genre, Gothic 4 is an enjoyable if shallow romp that will entertain less demanding fans with solid combat and a good amount of loot. Longtime fans of the genre, and especially fans of the Gothic series, will be disappointed in the games lack of depth and emotionless narrative. Games of this style are difficult to get right on consoles, as generally developers walk the fine line between simplifying the game to work with a standard controller and presenting enough depth and complexity to keep things interesting. If this series makes another appearance on multiple platforms, hopefully they'll be able to better strike this delicate balance.
MS Xbox World (Oct 26, 2010)
For a company to follow the typical medieval fantasy fiction in an RPG the title needs to offer features that stand-out; unfortunately, Arcania barely offers a game that is respectfully presentable never mind unique. Arcania Gothic 4 may contain homage content for the authentic RPG player - and a substantial amount of that content to play with - but holding traditional value in a lot of character grinding and looting is not enough for the needed refurbishment of the Gothic series.
Game Over Online (Nov 22, 2010)
So on the whole I’m unpleased with Gothic 4. It’s a wonderful graphics engine with an adequate combat system hampered by dull quests and a lack of action. More action would have put them into the action RPG realm, which I personally think is somewhat under-populated on the PC platform. Of course, more mainstream RPG fans are going to be turned off by the lack of common RPG elements. You’ll likely be better off picking up Dragon Age on the discount rack if you, like me, haven’t played it yet.
Console Monster (Nov 09, 2010)
Arcania turns out to be a passable RPG, it has pleasant enough locations and plenty of quests to get stuck into, even if they do feel a bit similar to each other. The timing of such a generic release couldn't have come at a worse time however, and with Fable III and Fallout New Vegas also vying for attention, Arcania is a pretty hard sell.
Xbox World 360 (Oct 21, 2010)
Gothic has traditionally been a PC title, and although Spellbound have included radial menus to make 360 owners feel at home, this is still a pretty poor conversion and it needs the PC staples of quick-saves, scalable graphics and a mouse to be worth the asking price. If the Gothic series is ever going to be a success on console, Spellbound have much to learn.
Xbox Mag (Dec 07, 2010)
Arcania : Gothic 4 alterne les hauts et les bas, mais parvient tout de même à enterrer une licence bientôt vieille de dix ans. Avec son côté RPG simplifié à l'extrême, une technique dépassée, et un monde bien trop petit, nul doute qu'Arcania restera une déception pour beaucoup. En revanche, ceux qui parviennent à passer outre les multiples défauts cités, pourront se surprendre à passer plusieurs heures à parcourir les plaines et les montagnes d'un continent qui ne restera malheureusement pas dans les livres d'histoire.
Arcania – Gothic 4 suffers from many problems, the least of which is that it doesn't come across in any way like a Gothic title. Save for a few characters and references, long-time fans of the series would have no idea they were playing the latest entry in an expansive CRPG series known for its difficulty and world interaction. With so many elements streamlined (crafting) or removed (factions), what's left is a lot of tedious nested fetch quests that will try your patience as much as it offers any adventure. Arcadia has the core elements of what makes CRPGs so exciting and addictive – discovery, pliable character advancement, and world interaction – they're just watered down and shoehorned in a rudimentary, repetitive design.
GameSpot (Oct 18, 2010)
Unlike its more interesting predecessors, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a commonplace action-RPG with boring quests, rudimentary controls, and dreary character development. All of these flaws make the game difficult to get emotionally involved in, which is the kiss of death for an epic RPG like this one that demands dozens of hours of commitment.
NowGamer (2010)
Despite all these problems, Gothic 4 is just about playable, but when there are far better examples of the classic RPG out there, wasting your time with this would be an insult to the time an effort those titles had poured into them.
ActionTrip (Dec 03, 2010)
To make things as short as possible, Arcania: Gothic 4 needs something to pull it away from the colossal bog of generic gaming, which is its current home. There's nothing distinctive about the world we're allowed to explore. Additionally, you have rather basic combat mechanics and a crude and uninspiring character development system. This is just another action RPG, destined to get lost in the ocean of other similar-looking games (did I say ocean, I meant pond... I said pond earlier, didn't I?).
30 (Oct 13, 2010)
Ich habe selten so viel Langeweile, so viel grausame Dialoge und so viel Unglaubwürdigkeit ertragen müssen. Was soll das bitte sein, Spellbound? Ein Deutschland-sucht-den-dümmsten-Helden-Wettbewerb? Oder Wie-portiere-ich-richtig-schlecht-auf-360? Die grenzdebile Verbeugung vor dem anspruchslosen Mainstream, der sich in einer Taverne gerne mit Klon-Reisenden unterhält? Ich habe nicht erwartet, dass man mit einem neuen Team genau das markante Spielgefühl anbietet, das Piranha Bytes mal ausgezeichnet hat. Ich habe allerdings erwartet, dass man mit "Gothic 4" als Untertitel nicht nur Markenhengste anlocken, sondern eine ehemals faszinierende Spielwelt mit eigenen Ideen kreativ bereichern will. Das klappt nur an der Oberfläche der urigen Festungen und der idyllischen Landschaft. Aber darunter ist nichts als die Kastration auf primitivstes Rollenspielniveau ohne Entscheidungen, ohne Fraktionen, ohne Entwicklungen, ohne glaubwürdige Reaktionen.