Arx Fatalis: Yet another really impressive RPG?

I took a friend of mine to play one of those VR-helmet-wearing games at a local mall. It was fine for me (although the game totally sucked), but he quit after about 2 minutes and came out of there staggering, nauseated, and literally a light shade of green. I didn’t think people really turned green–I thought that was just in cartoons. But they actually do a little bit. It’s weird the way this sort of thing affects some people so much more than others.

Finally got around to playing this game demo. So far, yuck. Feels like a FPS, and I hate mouselook.

Maybe I’m getting to old to play games…

I’m lucky enough to be semi-immune to this kind of thing. But there are a handful of games that make me feel like the top of my skull has become slightly unscrewed, and I get just a touch of that from Arx.

Here, I think it actually adds to the mood. Just out of my cell and dropping down a pit into goblinland, I -shouldn’t- have much sense of equilibrium.

The motion in the original Turok made me sick to my stomach. And some of the the high-speed cars in the Free Ride Extreme mode of Mafia come close.


Since GoGamer has it on sale and its had some patching is this something that any players who have this would reccommend now? Does the patching fix it up enough?

Well I’ve played it, its definitely a good game. A good amount of bugs were fixed with the patches. The game is in a sense very linear since you don’t have any dialogue options at all but their is usually more then one way to go about solving a quest. The game also requires that you feed your guy when he is hungry, some people are annoyed by this, I found it cool. The selection of different weapons and armor is somewhat fairly limited, I found myself using the same sword for a good duration of my playing time so far which is around 16 hours. You can create weapons and armor though but it has to be a non-magic item and you can only use one enchantment for it.

The game has some nice spells and easter eggs tied to the way you cast spells. I don’t really mind having to draw my spells out, but it does make it almost useless during combat since it’s hard to draw the runes for the spell right and remember which runes to draw. You do have three quickslots that you can add spells too, but its one time uses only, so you’d have to add them back again when you used up a spell. The spells themselves are actually useful through the whole game unlike some rpgs where you might end up using a few spells only once throughout the entire game.

A few quirks I have so far is the way they implemented merchants. I’m one of those pack-rat type players and I ended up carrying so much stuff that when I sold my stuff to the store that the store ran out of space to buy my things. What I mean by this is that in a store, you have chests (usually a store has about 4 total) that you open to buy whatever the store sells as well as selling your stuff. Since a chest only has so much space, once its used up, you’re left with a lot of stuff in your inventory that you can’t sell. Its also hard sometimes to know if certain items you pick-up are important or are for a quest or not. I also get the nausea that some people experience. In the end, I’d recommened it for any rpg lover because it really is a good game.


I really didn’t get too far in it. I usually play melee characters or charismatic talkers or thieves when an RPG gives me a chance, but I decided with the spell drawing feature to play as a mage.

After the character selection screen (I was disappointed in the lack of in-depth choices there – just points into generic categories, no specific skills or perks or anything), I spent a couple hours in the first dungeon. The graphics were OK, definitely NOT as good as Morrowind IMO – then again, the whole thing takes place underground so there wasn’t the same sense of MW’s scale either. My main problem was that I had no offensive spells to cast for the 7 hours I played. I probably missed finding a rune early or something, but there I was trying to hack away at monsters that could kill me in 3 swings or something and so I had to go to the old save/re-load. This was incredibly frustrating.

I finally got out of the first dungeon area and found a tavern stop seemingly in a no-man’s land location - I really didn’t understand what it was doing there, there were no signs pointing to it and I didn’t know what it was until I got in. At least, I thought, maybe I can buy some runes here to help me out, or just scrolls or something. I think they had bread and that was about it. What, there aren’t any NPCs selling me stuff or anything? Just when am I supposed to be able to buy what I need to survive, like health potions and fish and such?

I have to say, I felt this sort of reaction a lot of the (admittedly short overall) time I played. I was frustrated, unsure where to go, and most especially irritated that one of the 3 ways to play (melee, mage, and stealth I think) that I had picked seemed completely untenable in the early stages of the game. Also, the locations were all directly connected (as in no overland map separations) so the distances felt completely off to me; human outposts were right next to goblin dungeons were right next to ogre bridges and they all had doors to each other like it was one big college campus and not a sprawling system of underground civilizations.

Maybe that all changed when you get to the first major city. I don’t know because I realized I wasn’t having fun and stopped before I got there.

My mind is too smart to be fooled by head-bobbing and similar tactics. I never get sick…

Heh. Seriously, though, does anyone know WHY some people get sick and some people don’t?

I don’t, but I have always been subject to motion-sickness, so I guess it’s no surprise that head-bobbing can do it to me.

My cursory understanding is that the sickness effect is a result of the sensory mismatch between your visual cues and your inner-ear. Apparently flight simulators (the real ones used to train pilots) cause this problem quite often.

I think that the way head-bobbing is done in games is sort of dumb. In the old days it was just your gun moving about. Later they started moving the whole view, but that’s not what happens in real life. (blah blah realism in games blah blah) I guess that’s why my inner ear doesn’t get confused.

  • Alan