Arcania: The Complete Tale is a dated game. There’s no getting around it. Everything from the gameplay to the graphics feels marginal. In fact, I have to wonder why it was even ported. Is there a crowd out there somewhere clamoring for this release? Arcania: The Complete Tale was already a mediocre experience when it debuted on the PS3 and without any improvements this title shifts from its lukewarm starting point to utter rubbish.
Arcania places you in control of a hero whose town is attacked by a mysterious group of sinister henchmen. Low-and-behold you are the sole survivor and it’s up to you to uncover the truth and seek vengeance. It’s a clichéd story that doesn’t do much to promote exploration, and it definitely didn’t make me care about the character or his quest. Arcania does its best to tell an epic tale of high fantasy, but ultimately falls short making the 23 hours I spent with the game feel wasted.
"It’s a clichéd story that doesn’t do much to promote exploration, and it definitely didn’t make me care about the character or his quest."
Arcania is a continuation of the Gothic series, but it doesn’t borrow much from any of the previous titles. If anything this entry is more accessible than ever, but that accessibility is something that contributes to its failures. In an effort to make the game appeal to a wide audience developer Spellbound removes everything that made the Gothic universe so intriguing and makes this title feel like generic fantasy nonsense.
One great thing about Arcania is its loading times. They’re almost nonexistent, which made world exploration a breeze. What’s unfortunate is the fact that looting, exploring, and questing is all standard fair that doesn’t do much to break the mold or create any sense of progression aside from noticing that overtime there are fewer and fewer quests on your log. In spite of its smooth loading times, framerate dips do occur which is unacceptable for a game that looks this dated, especially when you stop to consider the processing power of the PlayStation 4.
"I can’t, in all honesty, recommend Arcania. It’s just not good, even from a nostalgic point of view. "
A surprising thing about the PS4 port of Arcania is the amount of glitches it seems to have that didn’t exist in the previous version. Graphical hiccups, texture popping (which existed in the PS3 version, but are even more noticeable in the PS4 version), and sound glitches only further amplify the overall lack of quality that Arcania’s latest port has. It’s a shame, really. This title should have benefitted from a polished and more improved presentation, but it has only begun to wallow in its age, making every rampant problem I came across more evident.
I can’t, in all honesty, recommend Arcania. It’s just not good, even from a nostalgic point of view. Sure, you’ve got a decent 30 hours of gameplay (when factoring in the expansion, which is also included), but even at a discounted price point I can’t say this is something that people out there should buy. It’s an incredibly poor example of an “HD” last-gen port, and when there are so many other great games to play on PS4 why should you waste your time with this tripe?
Review by: Palmer Sturman | Reviewed on: Playstation 4