Arcanum

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DeadPoolX
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Arcanum

Post by DeadPoolX » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:54 pm

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura was published by Sierra and was released in 2001, so I think it fits in this category.

Anyway... how many of you played it? I did, and so did Maia, and although we have very different experiences with it (she played as a decent, law-abiding person who helps people while I was a bloodthirsty psychopath), we both enjoyed the game quite a bit.

Arcanum had some really neat ideas in it, such as an incredibly robust stat system (with very in-depth roleplaying), a choice between real-time and turn-based combat, and the dichotomy between tech and magic. The fantasy world set in a Victorian-era Steampunk setting which makes it unique among RPGs. In most RPGs, the setting is almost always medieval, which can be fun, but it's also been done to death.

The only recent RPG I can think of that places you in a different setting is Greedfall, which is set in the 17th century during the height of colonialism.

Sometimes Arcanum was unintentionally funny, too. Magic used stamina to cast, but if you ran out of stamina you'd collapse. That's not inherently humorous, but the way that was depicted was hilarious: you'd just fall over like a cartoon character.

That said, Arcanum did suffer from major flaws, not the least of which were bugs.

One notable problem was that it was overly complex. Just managing your stats and abilities was a task in and of itself.

Another problem was that some bits in the game almost relied on you knowing what's going to happen before it happens. A good example is when you get near one particularly large city (I can't remember the name of it) you HAVE to know to head in a specific direction to find a dog that's being attacked by people and save it. The dog isn't important to the story, but if you save him then he'll become a very useful party member and no one likes people who're abusive towards animals.

Both Maia and I didn't realize this and only later came upon the dead body of a beaten up canine. Loading a game to go back would've meant redoing a lot of stuff, so we just pressed on, but it still sucked because the only way would've known about this was having played the game before or read a walkthrough/guide ahead of time, which shouldn't ever be necessary for any game.

LINKS:
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura on Steam and GOG.

GreedFall on Steam and GOG.
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Re: Arcanum

Post by Tawmis » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:04 pm

I've not played Arcanum before - but I love games with those kinds of choices. I watched the trailer on the GoG site, which does nothing to tell what the game is about. The screenshots look like a much older game than 2001. :D But 5.99 is pretty cheap. May check it out.

Greedfall looks amazing, but I can't drop 50 bucks for a game right now.

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Re: Arcanum

Post by Collector » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:36 am

There are a bunch of fan made patches and mods for Arcanum. https://terra-arcanum.com/downloads/
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Re: Arcanum

Post by Rudy » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:20 am

It's been ages since I played it and even then never really played far. I should give it another shot. From what I understand it's one of the most replayable Sierra games as you always run into different circumstances depending on your character selection and path choices. it's supposed to be immensely diverse.
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