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With the innovation Arx Fatalis brought to the RPG table, its a damn shame it has not aged well.
The reason being is, all the ideas Arkane Studios formed with Arx Fatalis have been overshadowed by their latest game Dark Messiah.
It hard to go back to a studio's previous work when their newest offering is the same price and 10 times better.
So for me Arx Fatalis was great when it came out, but Dark Messiah Brings a dark shadow to this old dungeon crawler and smashes the support beams.
funny, I always thought of ArxFatalis being the better game of the two. Dark Messiah was so light on exploration and story, light on simulation and rpg-systems and it had that aweful difficulty spike in the last levels that made certain character builds totally underpowered. While it was fun and the fighting system was ace I take ArxFatalis over it anytime.
I keep waiting for them to make an Arx Fatalis sequel with the freedom of the first game combined with Dark Messiah's incredible combat, but all they have done recently is some work on BioShock 2. First-person, combat-heavy RPGs are really popular right now so hopefully their new owner Zenimax will be able to make this happen in the near future.
afaik they do work on an undisclosed game at the moment. Is it a so-called "triple A" title, an XBOX arcade title, an iphone game, Is it a new IP, is it Arx Fatalis 2 ? Nobody knows. And yes, a combination of ArxFatalis and DarkMessiah would be awesome but I rather see what new Arkane has come up with after those years.
Post edited May 06, 2011 by Mothra
Both great games..I prefer Arx for its depth.
As for aging well, hah...I'm the first to discard games that don't age well but I love this one..I think it holds up well. Gothic on the other hand..
Dark Messiah is an action RPG with a linear story, a set character, limited exploration and a very short campaign.

Arx Fatalis is an RPG with a nonlinear story, a character you can develop in any possible way you want, more open and free exploration and a very long campaign.

To any hardcore RPG fan. Arx reigns leagues over Dark Messiah.
Yeah... I wouldn't have placed dark messiah and arx in the same genre. One is a hack-n-slash fps, the other is an rpg.
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ArxRocks: Arx Fatalis is an RPG with a nonlinear story, a character you can develop in any possible way you want, more open and free exploration and a very long campaign.
wait, what? Am I thinking about the same game?

Isn't Arx Fatalis the game where you have to play as a white male? Isn't it the game with literally zero dialogue choices, such that story is completely linear?

EDIT: er, sorry for being so rude :-/ I mean, I like it, but it's far and away the most linear RPG I've ever played. Even the original Diablo, that shallow hack-n-slash from 1996, gave you some control over the dialogues and gave you the option to play as a female character.

I guess that I should avoid Dark Messiah :)
Post edited June 12, 2011 by fjdgshdkeavd
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fjdgshdkeavd: Isn't Arx Fatalis the game where you have to play as a white male? Isn't it the game with literally zero dialogue choices, such that story is completely linear?

EDIT: er, sorry for being so rude :-/ I mean, I like it, but it's far and away the most linear RPG I've ever played. Even the original Diablo, that shallow hack-n-slash from 1996, gave you some control over the dialogues and gave you the option to play as a female character.

I guess that I should avoid Dark Messiah :)
Arx Fatalis has many quest choices but they are all done through your actions rather than a list of dialogue options, so you won't know about them until you experiment. Most quests can be solved in multiple ways; failure is also a viable option since the quest outcome plays out differently rather than just forcing a reload as in many games. Quests can't be broken by killing crucial characters either; this instead opens up alternate solutions (some of which you can also access by pickpocketing the person in question rather than killing them).

While the endgame is always the same the events of the story up to that point depend on your actions (even if they seem very minor at the time), and you would need to play through at least three times to see all possible variations in the major plot points. Some events in the main storyline only occur if you do not bother completing optional quests that tie into it.

The lack of gender selection is to be expected in a game with full voice acting for the player character; almost all games that have allowed player gender selection do so at the cost of the player character never speaking. In Dark Messiah the lack of gender selection is due to the nature of the plot.
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ArxRocks: Arx Fatalis is an RPG with a nonlinear story, a character you can develop in any possible way you want, more open and free exploration and a very long campaign.
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fjdgshdkeavd: wait, what? Am I thinking about the same game?

Isn't Arx Fatalis the game where you have to play as a white male? Isn't it the game with literally zero dialogue choices, such that story is completely linear?

EDIT: er, sorry for being so rude :-/ I mean, I like it, but it's far and away the most linear RPG I've ever played. Even the original Diablo, that shallow hack-n-slash from 1996, gave you some control over the dialogues and gave you the option to play as a female character.

I guess that I should avoid Dark Messiah :)
It's a RPG that focuses on exploration and interaction with the environment, not character crafting or dialogue trees. As such, most of the freedom lies in the different ways you can effect the world, not in the different "choose your own adventure" choices you can make or the number of sliders on the character creation screen.
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ArxRocks: Arx Fatalis is an RPG with a nonlinear story, a character you can develop in any possible way you want, more open and free exploration and a very long campaign.
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fjdgshdkeavd: wait, what? Am I thinking about the same game?

Isn't Arx Fatalis the game where you have to play as a white male? Isn't it the game with literally zero dialogue choices, such that story is completely linear?

EDIT: er, sorry for being so rude :-/ I mean, I like it, but it's far and away the most linear RPG I've ever played. Even the original Diablo, that shallow hack-n-slash from 1996, gave you some control over the dialogues and gave you the option to play as a female character.

I guess that I should avoid Dark Messiah :)
White male? In Dark Messiah you play as a white man too...

Who cares for zero dialogue choices? It's the actions that matter and you can change the story in many ways. For instance, you can betray the rebels to the snake women, you can tell the king where is daughter is, you can give the princess to the snake women or you can send them all to war against each or even kill them all yourselves. Further more, when you're sent into the Crypt to look for the Shield of Ancients...well you don't need to do it, you can simply kill the rebels or use stealth and sneak into their treasury to get the item that you need.

It has so many more choices than TES since that is a game with a very linear story with very linear quests. Arx Fatalis is actually very non-linear and as Arkose said, you can even complete the game even when you've killed important characters.