sparky_buzzsaw's Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura (PC) review

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Classic RPG in the style of Fallou 1 & 2

The isometric turn-based RPG was a specialty of Black Isle, and Arcanum was another excellent addition to the genre.  Unfortunately, bugs and glitches marred the game, and the closure of the studio after its release meant little official tech support to address these problems.  However, Arcanum is still a great RPG if you're willing to track down some home-brewed tech fixes and unofficial patches.


The overall quality of the world and its characters ultimately wins out over rehashed textures, objects, and sometimes choppy animation.  Any modern-ish PC will run this with no problem or slowdown, but Vista users may have to tinker with compatability options in order to alleviate some oddities in coloration and edges.

Stylistically, the game is fantastic.  The steampunk universe looks gorgeous, and while you'll see a lot of similar objects and characters, there is definitely enough variety to hold your attention through the massive game.  There is lots to see and do, and while it's not exactly breathtaking, you'll still find yourself drawn into this fun world.


Again, if you've played Fallout, you'll have the basics down pat for Arcanum.  It changes things up, and introduces a fantastic (if ultimately underutilized) character development system.  Each character class feels very different, and you'll definitely want to play through as multiple classes to see the different ways to solve puzzles and interact with characters.  As stated above, the world is massive, filled to the brim with characters and quests.  The world creation is awe-inspiring, as the myth and lore of the land is well thought out, has a ton of depth, and is affected by the player's actions.

Unfortunately, while the game is a blast, it is marred with numerous bugs and glitches, one of which can affect you not even ten minutes into the game.  Homebrewed unofficial patches have fixed most (if not all) of these problems, but still, take care to save often.


If you're looking for a fun RPG, try to find this game on Amazon or another dealer.  It's a hell of a good game, but remember to take the time to patch it first, or else you'll run into some major headaches down the line.

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