ArcaniA: Gothic 4 Catch-All

Didn't see a catch-all for this one yet. Just want to point out that a PC demo has been released (per Blues News). That reminds me that I never finished Risen...

Thanks

Downloading the demo now.

Beat the demo and I'm happy with it will probably be picking it up. The canadian witch was horribly awesome and the moon run jump was odd didn't realize my character came with low grav boots.

Just finished up the demo, glad it was fairly long. I'll admit that my expectations were low after a poor E3 showing but ... not bad at all. Not a grand departure from the last games but I like the simplified controls and utilitarian menus. I wonder how the 360 version will turn out.

Certis wrote:

Just finished up the demo, glad it was fairly long. I'll admit that my expectations were low after a poor E3 showing but ... not bad at all. Not a grand departure from the last games but I like the simplified controls and utilitarian menus. I wonder how the 360 version will turn out.

360 demo is up an apparently has some serious framerate issues.

I wasn't blown away by the PC demo, they took all the teeth out of the game, it's very very simple and easy. I'd easily recommend Risen over this, at least based on what the demo shows.

I played the 360 demo, and while the frame rate was a bit low, I thought it was pretty good. It started out really slow, but once I got into the last dungeon crawl of the demo, I was pretty much hooked. Consider my interest piqued.

It took me about 10 minutes of playing the 360 demo to realize this is probably not for me:

"You want to marry my daughter? Well go make her an amber bangle."

"I will make you a bangle if you get me the amber."

"I will give you the amber if you collect 5 blue toadstools in this cave."

"I will let you cross this bridge to get to the cave to collect the 5 blue toadstools if you go and kill these rats for me first."

So I'd have to kill the rats to cross the bridge to get to the cave to get the toadstools to get the amber to get it to my friend to make the bangle to marry the daughter? And she wasn't even that good looking??

I'm fine with fetch quests but something about the compounding of all of them here so quickly turned me off. It's very pretty though despite the framerate jankiness and the boring combat (but again, didn't play much).

And does there end up being an actual conversation system? The UI made it seem that way but I only ever had one response with people.

Okay, you can pretty much ignore my last post. I just watched my roommate play it and apparently I just wasn't paying any attention to...anything! And the later-game looks fun!

I went to download the demo, and realized I don't have a gold account anymore. Whoops.

I thought Risen was effectively supposed Gothic 4, so I was kind of surprised to see this, especially so quickly after. It's being developed by a different developer, so that's probably part of it.

I just finished the demo on the 360. I didn't notice any framerate problems. However, the controls didn't seem terribly responsive. I'd prefer it if hitting the melee button would switch to that weapon and strike, rather than just switch and require a second press to strike. The voice acting isn't great; the individual lines were OK (if blandly delivered), but they didn't flow well, and the tone was often wrong. It makes me wonder if each actor went in the sound booth individually, then had their lines spliced together after. Also, the subtitles don't match the voices in a lot of places. Usually it's a minor difference, but when you get to the cave, and ask how long you've been asleep, Lyrca tells you "a couple hours"; I was only half watching the subtitles at that point, but I'm pretty sure they said "a couple of days". Kind of a big difference.

Issues aside, I still enjoyed it, so I'll probably play it eventually, when I have fewer large games on my backlog.

Not too shabby. Goes a little overboard with the invisible boundaries but other than that I think I'll be all over this once it's released (PC version, of course).

Slytin wrote:

Beat the demo and I'm happy with it will probably be picking it up. The canadian witch was horribly awesome and the moon run jump was odd didn't realize my character came with low grav boots.

Ah yes.

Her.

I hate it when people laugh after every sentence (funny or not) at the best of times - tie in the awful, AWFUL, "I'll get you, and your dog too" witchy voice she made me want to gouge my own ears off.

Also, the hero with the English accent said "erbs" instead of "Herbs". Urge to kill....rising.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I thought Risen was effectively supposed Gothic 4, so I was kind of surprised to see this, especially so quickly after. It's being developed by a different developer, so that's probably part of it.

Risen is by the original developers of the Gothic games, but they lost the license so came up with something new.
I really have to go back to that game at some point. For some reason it vanished from the UK Steam store never to be seen again. I'm assuming though that since I already bought it and it still shows up in my library I can still download it?

@stevenmack

I knew it was something like that. So it sounds like Risen is a better Gothic 4 than Gothic 4. I haven't played Risen, or any of the previous Gothic games, but the Let's Play that RPS did of the early bits of Risen made it seem pretty interesting.

Regarding the accents, the whole "Everyone is British in the past" schtick that is so common in games and film is a bit wearying, but not terrible if it's consistent. I did not notice him saying "erbs", perhaps because the silent H sounds natural to me. What I did notice is that despite most people being "British", besides Orruk (who's an Orc, or something like it) and Diego (who is, uh, Spanish, I guess), there was also Halwen who had an American accent. The game justifies the different speech of Orruk and Diego, but Halwen just seems out of place.

Garden Ninja wrote:

Regarding the accents, the whole "Everyone is British in the past" schtick that is so common in games and film is a bit wearying, but not terrible if it's consistent.

That's most likely due to the fact that back in medieval times, the American accent was Native American.

Sinatar wrote:
Certis wrote:

Just finished up the demo, glad it was fairly long. I'll admit that my expectations were low after a poor E3 showing but ... not bad at all. Not a grand departure from the last games but I like the simplified controls and utilitarian menus. I wonder how the 360 version will turn out.

360 demo is up an apparently has some serious framerate issues.

I wasn't blown away by the PC demo, they took all the teeth out of the game, it's very very simple and easy. I'd easily recommend Risen over this, at least based on what the demo shows.

I'm about done with the 360 demo and haven't run into any framerate issues.

As for the content, I'm extremely mixed on the game.

Weird things I've noticed:

The dialogue is really awkward in spots. The voice acting isn't bad, but the writing could have used some work. The first conversation with Gromar was particularly strange.

In battle, your weapon makes a "clank" noise no matter what. I don't think an axe cutting into a wolf should sound like a pickaxe hitting stone.

The fourth skill on the ice tree says, "...13 to 26 damage and freezes the target for 15 seconds einfreirt." They a copy editor I guess? I should send a resume.

There...doesn't seem to be a button to sheathe your weapon/spells? I've hit everything and no-go. I also can't find a way to bring the control map back up after the start of the game.

It is very simple, as Sinatar said. I'm not sure it's a bad thing, but it could hurt the game's lasting appeal. The skill tree is particularly worrisome. I don't like games that let you be a master of all trades, I prefer specialization. Seems I'd be disappointed in this case.

One thing I really dig is that it is one of the few games that gives proper weight to bow damage. A fully drawn arrow to the chest is way, way more hurtful than most games make it out to be. I appreciate that this game seems to reflect that.

All that said, there is a certain charm to it. Overall it lacks polish. It's definitely not a day-one $60 purchase, but I'll keep an eye out for a $20 Gamefly sale or some such.

It's one of those games where you have to be willing to tolerate the negatives if you want to enjoy the good parts.

Negatives: horrible voice acting, terrible dialog, low resolution, bad framerate

Positives: reasonably good interface (amazing in a Gothic game), attractive environments, and fairly meaty RPG mechanics. It's not exactly an old-school RPG experience, but it's old school in comparison to that "interactive experience" that Mass Effect has devolved into.

Maybe the best way I can sum it up is that, despite all the groaning and nitpicking, I was surprised at how much I was enjoying it.

The game just felt so...uninspired. The starting village, the fetch quests, the mechanics, everything just felt very, very tired. Honestly, The Witcher set a new standard that RPGs of this kind should live up to...but I feel like they're not even TRYING. This is a definite pass - though I'll keep trying demos of these games to see if one will one day be able to stand up to The Witcher.

I was much more intrigued by Nehrim: At Fate's Edge, a total conversion for Oblivion which manages to be much more atmospheric and less cringe-worthy despite being on a 6 year old engine and made by a small mod team. Even the voice acting is better. Of course, it still uses a lot of Oblivion's tropes, so while the action itself may not be as fun, the wrapper seems much more interesting.

That makes me mad all over again that I couldn't get the Witcher running properly and that they never made the planned console version. Bah.

Judging on the three hours or so I did play of the Witcher, I think I like Arcania's combat better.

What's the word on the PS3?

@Blind_Evil

If you assign your weapon to the D-pad, pressing that button will equip it, and pressing while it's equipped will put it away. I haven't found another way than that.

Dirt wrote:

What's the word on the PS3?

Coming out the first half of 2011.

Finished the PC demo and it didn't inspire me. Maybe if on sale someday during a slow period or if it gets rave reviews.

Likes:
Pretty enough
Combat was actually kinda fun, liked switching between magic and melee
Shot a goblin and when he charged me the arrow was sticking out of his head. Good fun!

Dislikes:
oddly paced, stilted conversations
chests in unrealistic places (i.e. fields outside). Not very Gothic-y
NPC's don't care if you steal their stuff, loot their chests (what's that Diego? Hold that thought while I steal your gold). Very un-Gothic like.
Strange/slow combat animations. You can roll out of the way and an enemy charge will miss you by 20 feet. Looks goofy. Same thing with fireball attacks. Maybe just slowed down for demo?
girlfriend was surprisingly unattractive

Played the 360 demo. For all it's manifold flaws, I think it's a game that I'd probably enjoy. Definitely a case of 'more fun than good'.

Framerate was shoddy too. I'll stick it on my Goozex list, wait for it get cheap, then pick it up as a game to tide me over between big releases.

Yeah... this pretty much sums up the demo for me:

Think I'm going to skip this completely, not that I was holding my breath, and wait for Risen 2.

I'm a sucker for a good action RPG. Having said that however, I never really paid attention to this series before. I tried the demo out and enjoyed it (I never realized what these games were about before I guess). I found the quests were pretty vague though, I'd say that's my main complaint. I enjoyed it otherwise.

Hmmm, yeah I downloaded the 360 version and the frame rate was pretty bad. Also, I felt the lighting and character models were a bit off. I found this strange since old PC screens I had seen a while back looked really good.

Maybe it's a PC game with a shaky 360 port?

Let me give some dialogue here as an example of my experience on the 360 version:

Me: How long have I been out?
Witch: For hours!
The text actually says "days"

Me: What do you need from me?
Orruk: Go get me five blue toadstools
The text actually says "six"

So what am I to do? Disable all the dialogue? I typically prefer to leave it in so I can read the ambient talking and because I sometimes find it hard to understand people with their terrible accents.

It played fine for me and seemed just as fun as I found Risen, but the dialogue was just atrocious and the voice actors need to be taken out back and put down. I would do voice acting for them for free that would trump what they have in there.

Omaha wrote:

I'm a sucker for a good action RPG. Having said that however, I never really paid attention to this series before.

Same here. Checked out the demo last night. Overall it felt kinda amateurish, but serviceable. Framerate was pretty bad, main character looks like a dipsh*t. I do have a soft spot for games like this, but with Fable 3, Fallout Vegas, and Two Worlds 2 all coming out within the next few months I think my action RPG needs will be well met.

@Mowens1984

I noticed the same subtitle issue also. I'm glad someone else noticed it, because I only caught it out of the corner of my eye and thought I made it up.

Based on his reaction, days makes more sense there. You don't freak out when you've been told you've been sleeping for a few hours.

Tried demo, it just made me think about Morrowind...and looked very like it, a seven year old game. PC controls were clunky, combat was uninspiring, quest arrows on the minimap were sketchy at best.

Before I played the demo on the 360, I tried it on my 5 year old PC to see how well it scaled down. The game loaded, but all the characters were stuck in the Vitruvian Man pose. When I reached the orc in the first village, he had no head. This is definitely something that I'm going to play, but not until I upgrade my PC. Besides, Dragon Age runs like buttah, so I'm good.

Blind_Evil wrote:

There...doesn't seem to be a button to sheathe your weapon/spells? I've hit everything and no-go.

I think you can press and hold A or B to sheathe your weapon (I forget which). It takes a few seconds to happen.

Mowens1984 wrote:

Let me give some dialogue here as an example of my experience on the 360 version:

Me: How long have I been out?
Witch: For hours!
The text actually says "days"

Me: What do you need from me?
Orruk: Go get me five blue toadstools
The text actually says "six"

So what am I to do? Disable all the dialogue? I typically prefer to leave it in so I can read the ambient talking and because I sometimes find it hard to understand people with their terrible accents.

It played fine for me and seemed just as fun as I found Risen, but the dialogue was just atrocious and the voice actors need to be taken out back and put down. I would do voice acting for them for free that would trump what they have in there.

Ha! I saw that too. I hope the final release is polished. But my money is on it being filled with bugs. I do like the game so far though.