It’s hard for titles like Arcania to gain a real foothold in the RPG market these days. With big budget titles like Dragon Age and The Witcher dominating sale and headlines, mid-tier titles like Arcania tend to get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes it’s for good reason, as these smaller production games are often plagued with bugs, graphical hiccups, and game breaking glitches. With Arcania however, this is not the case. Coming to the Ps4 in the form of an enhanced edition, Arcania is a budget title with plenty of meat on the bone to entertain RPG enthusiasts who are not obsessed with only playing the biggest and the best.
After being released on the Xbox 360 and PC in 2010, and then the PS3 in 2013, Aracnia: The Complete Tale makes its way into current gen systems with slightly upgraded visuals, as well as with the DLC: Fall of Setarrif. The visuals aren’t really the big draw here, and the upgrade is nowhere near on the level of other past upgrades like on The Last of Us: Remastered–but everything has been given a little bit of polish to make it shine in beautiful 1080p with draw distance being improved as well as textures both up close and far away. The biggest improvement from a graphical standpoint, though, is the framerate. One of the biggest complaints gamers had about the original release was the terrible drop in framerate, and while I never played the original release, I can say that Arcanina: The Complete Tale runs about as smooth as one could hope for. I cannot even remember one hiccup along the way; which is impressive, because this is a very long game.
To complement its already hefty length (between 30 and 50 hours depending on your play style), the DLC–Fall of Setarrif–has been included, which can add up to another 8 hours of additional gameplay. The DLC is nothing ground breaking or spectacular in terms of storytelling or gameplay as it is essentially more of the same, but it is a great addition to an already lengthy experience for those of us that enjoyed our time with the main game, and the main game is really where this title earns its stripes.
While nothing that will make you reevaluate your outlook on RPGs, Arcania is a completely competent game that, while ensconced in all the traditional fantasy and RPG tropes, manages to pull everything off quite nicely–if not spectacularly. As is often the case, you play the role of a nameless hero fighting against evil to avenge the death of your friends. It’s something that we’ve seen played out many times over, but Arcania pulls it off admirably as it does so with a bit of a smirk and a wink towards the player. The main character is a bit self-aware of these tropes surrounding him and he will sometimes go out of his way to not give people his name, which I found rather comical. He’ll also moan and gripe about being an errand boy on so many fetch quests which, while adding a little bit of humor to the proceedings, still doesn’t alleviate some of the frustration for the player that much of your time will inevitably be spent running around and collecting random items for NPCs. Gameplay is solid however, and dialogue is entertaining, so it never becomes too much of a chore.
The thing I think I enjoyed most about this game, though, is that there seems to be a real “B movie” aesthetic surrounding the whole thing and it really does add to its charm. It actually reminded me of a slightly less successful Deadly Premonition (my favorite game of all time). There is a serious lack of different character models on display here, and it can be unintentionally hilarious to walk into a village wherein the citizens all share the exact same facial model. No kidding; they are often 100% identical. The voice acting also runs the gamut from fantastic to unbelievably awful. The main character, as well as many of the NPCs are voiced very well and to good effect, but many of the NPCs you run across are so laughably bad that I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not they were doing it on purpose. I do not find this as a detriment however, as it adds to the overall charm for me.
If you don’t mind mid-tier RPGs and do not feel the incessant need to only play games on the cutting edge of technology, then Arcania: The Complete Tale might just be for you. It is a meaty game, with solid control,s and both intentional and unintentional hilarity. With the packed in DLC and the budget price, you just might find it quite easy to look past its various flaws.
This review was written with the use of a review code provided by NordicGames
Get real time updates about future posts directly on your device, subscribe now.