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Arcania: Gothic 4 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition

Platform : Xbox 360
Rated: Teen
3 customer reviews

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Xbox 360
  • Day Night / Weather Cycle: a unique environment model with dynamic and controllable weather system and day night cycle
  • Layered Armor and Crafting System: allows the player to design and forge the equipment they use in game.
  • Mounts Abilities: Not just your average beasts of burden, the mounts in Arcania provide different advantages to the various gameplay mechanics.
  • Time of day, season and the day of year all impact NPC routines and reactions, creating a world that is dynamic and realistic.
  • Offers a gradual learning curve that evolves into a complex multi opponent model that strives to break free from the button mashing system in other games!
12 new from CDN$ 19.33 6 used from CDN$ 14.50

Game Information

  • Platform:   Xbox 360
  • ESRB Rating: Teen Teen
  • Media: Video Game
  • Item Quantity: 1

Product Details

Platform for Display: Xbox 360
  • ASIN: B003BU3ZIU
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 13.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Release Date: Oct. 12 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,836 in Computer and Video Games (See Top 100 in Computer and Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Platform for display:Xbox 360 Product Description

Experience the breathtaking world of ArcaniA, the fourth installment in the highly acclaimed Gothic franchise.

From the Manufacturer

A Thriling & Unique Gaming Experience
Arcania is a Fantasy Action game set in a rich world that invites the player to explore all of its innumerable attractions and details. Different climate zones, abundant flora and fauna, subterranean vaults, and cities and castles with unique architecture await the adventurous player. Clouds darken the skies, weather effects such as wind and heavy rain influence the game world which remains endlessly fascinating with its amazing graphics, day and night cycles, and a stunning display of light and shadow.

Wonderfully atmospheric music and top-of-the-line sound effects create a truly immersive playing environment.

A multitude of entertaining and challenging quests, challenging combat, mysterious NPC characters and a sophisticated plot guarantee many hours of highly entertaining gameplay.

A unique environment model with dynamic and controllable weather system and day night cycle

Allows the player to design and forge the equipment they use in game.

Time of day, season and the day of year all impact NPC routines and reactions, creating a world that is dynamic and realistic.

The intuitive system offers a gradual learning curve that evolves into a complex multi opponent model that strives to break free from the button mashing system in other games!

The player can adjust the interface and quest helpers!

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By mariachi on Dec 29 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360 Verified Purchase
this is a nice simple rpg game, that has possibility to expand to better itself. i recommend it. the game require more flexibility.
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By keven gouin on Oct. 8 2014
Platform for Display: Xbox 360 Verified Purchase
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karasu on Oct. 18 2010
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I pre-ordered this game OVER A MONTH before it came out....sigh how can you not know how many pre-orders you have? how can you possibly not ask for enough to at least fill your pre-orders....I wonder how many people ordered after me and dident get it either? or before me for that matter....poor ordering on amazons part.

Great game though. If you like oblivion you should like this. not as good but still a fun experiance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
First Impressions: Arcania: Gothic 4 Oct. 21 2010
By Scott P. - Published on
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Gothic 4 was a purchase on a whim. I had a few days to burn until Fallout New Vegas came out and I was looking for something that would keep me occupied over the weekend. I had known about it for a couple weeks but didn't expect much from it. While at Gamestop, it caught my eye and I decided to give it a try. About a week later, I'm still playing the game and enjoying it immensely. It's got it's problems but nothing that kills it for me. Hit the jump to see my first impressions of Arcania: Gothic 4.

From what I understand, the Gothic series is pretty big in the UK but never really hit home in the states. We've gotten the games before but they usually received mediocre reviews with little fanfare. So, before it ever hit shelves, Gothic 4 had that going against it. Plus, throw in the fact that you probably never heard of it before me telling you (unless you're an RPG buff) and the game could float away into obscurity. If that happened, no one would notice, but you should. Why should you care about this game? Because it's not half bad and if you have taken a liking to games such as Oblivion - third person RPG's with swords, spells, and quests - you may very well find yourself enjoying it.

The game begins with a no named character who is a shepherd in a small island village. His wants to marry his girlfriend but her father forbids it. So, the father sends the man on three trials which basically teach you game mechanics. After your final trial and subsequent approval from the father in law to be, you and your betrothed make plans to set sail for the main land to go explore for their honeymoon. As you set out to meet your friend Diego who will transport you to the mainland, the village is attacked by an mad King's paladins as they ravage across the lands looking for a mythical shrine in the mountains that has some sort of holy forge. Tragedy strikes and your betrothed is dead and you are left with a burning hatred in your heart. Diego, who also survived the attack, informs you that he will take you to the mainland to search for this mythical shrine to keep it away from the mad King and to get your vengeance...and with that, Arcania: Gothic 4 begins.

The story isn't the games strongest point but that doesn't mean it's not manageable. The characters are a little dry and there are plenty of issues with the text (some not matching what's being said and others not making much sense) but the story isn't bad as a whole. It continues the story and gives you clear objectives to complete. You will always know what you need to be doing and in most cases, where you need to go to do it.

The gameplay, as I mentioned earlier, is a lot like Oblivion. It's not as detailed or open world as Oblivion and the quests are more straightforward, but the gameplay and the way you deal with villagers is the same. You will begin the game (after the tutorial) by going to a village and completing quests. You will have one main quest and a couple side quests. They can all be completed together since the world isn't too big, but you can skip the side quests if you don't want to be bothered. When you finish the main quest, you usually get some nice armor of the region (for your specific class) and then you can move on to the next village where you will rinse and repeat. Each stop at a village brings you one step closer to finding out about this temple with the forge in the mountains.

There aren't classes in the game, but you can sort of make your own. For instance, there are three types of "classes" you can make along with any combination of them. I usually go with melee characters so my guy has a shield, a one handed sword, and the heaviest armor. I could have also gone with a ranger type class and used leather armor with bows and knives. Finally, there is a mage type class that wears robes and dishes out spells. Each time you level up, you will be able to choose from a pool of talents where you would like to grow your character. There are health and strength for warrior type classes, precision and agility type talents for the rangers/rogues, and all manner of spells for the caster. This allows you to create a unique character and play any way you wish.

The graphics in Gothic 4 aren't that great. It's workable, but it won't be turning you head as you cross a vista or walk into a valley for the first time. I even caught the occasional pop in of grass trees while running through a zone. Don't let this deter you from the game though. It's not broken by any means, just not up to snuff with some of the AAA titles you see on the market.

Combat in Gothic 4 depends on your "class" that you have chosen. I wield my sword and shield so I do a lot of hacking and slashing. I also have access to my bow and magic spells by hitting the RT or RB respectively. If you played a character other than the warrior, you would rely on one of these instead of the sword and just use your melee weapon as a backup. The combat is streamlined nicely and you can hit LT to target an enemy, bringing up it's health bar and auto locking onto it so you can keep up with it's movements. Enemies dead bodies can be looted and you can keep/sell anything you find in the world, much like in other open world games.

I have to say, I'm kind of shocked by this game. I didn't expect it to be as enjoyable as it is. I thought it would be one of those games you play for a weekend and then trade in because it doesn't have the depth to keep you occupied. That's definitely not the case. Arcania: Gothic 4 is actually a pretty good tale that has fulfilling combat and a nicely fleshed out world to keep you busy. Don't go into it expecting to to find the next Oblivion. If you do, you'll be upset. Instead, look at it as a smaller developers attempt to create something new in an already overflowing game type. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Even If It's Not Exactly Like the Franchise It Ties Itself To, It's Still Not a Bad Game. Oct. 23 2010
By Timothy Beaulieu - Published on
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I've never played any of the Gothic franchise on PC, but I've always heard people rave about how great the games were and about how open-ended and immersive they were. The most open-ended and immersive game I've ever played on a console was Oblivion and I loved it (still do from time to time), so I was curious when I heard that this was coming to the Xbox 360.

Now, from what I understand, this game takes a step away from the previous games in the franchise in order to, 1.) Appeal to a wider range of players than just the 'hardcore' ones devoted to Gothic and its particular quirks and, 2.) Give a company other than Piranha Bytes a chance to show what it can do with the Gothic title. Piranha Bytes took their original concept, tinkered with it a little bit and came up with Risen (itself an excellent game) and I've read that THAT one is almost exactly in the same vein as the original Gothic, albeit optimized for the console systems. Playing both, I can tell you there is a huge difference between these two.

I can see many players of Gothic dissing this game for taking such a departure from the originals and I can understand their point; if something's not broke, don't fix it. Still if you take this game and judge it on it's own merits (and I think that's what Jowood was trying to do by listing the main title here as 'Arcania: Gothic 4' instead of being JUST 'Gothic 4'), it's really not a bad one at all if you're the type that enjoys western-style fantasy roleplaying games.

I'll say this right off the mark; the game is heavily directed in leading you to the end. It's got one big story and it WANTS you to focus on it. The island of Argaan that you find yourself on is quite large in area to explore, but it's partitioned off in segments related to how far you've progressed through the main quest and until you've completed certain plot points, you will NOT be going to those areas you can see off on the horizon. It does give you enough to do in each of those segments to take up anywhere from 3 to 4 hours of adventuring, whether it's for running around killing monsters to grind for experience or picking up ingredients to brew potions you can make when you receive the appropriate recipes or just mapping out the place and seeing the sights, although if you get tired of travelling by foot, there are teleportation circles that activate that you can use to reach any previously explored areas. The game won't let you kill any non-combatants, so you don't have to worry about any guardsman running after you for any accidental wrong-doing and apparently none of the communities you visit have any sense of personal property, because you can walk into someone's home in the middle of the day, pick the lock on a chest sitting in the middle of the living room in front of them and not have to worry about whether that person's going to raise a hue and cry for the city watch; they won't. There are merchants that you can buy from, but most of the best gear you get in terms of weapons and armor are when you progress along the main quest that's received from prominent figures in the various areas and, at least at first, your best gear equips automatically when you procure it and much of it has a regenerative function, so you heal over time. The main use of those merchants is in the side quests they can give you for the experience upon completion so you can level up.

The challenge level has been toned down in relation to other fantasy games (ESPECIALLY when compared to either Risen or Divinity: Ego Draconis or most Japanese roleplaying games). I never really felt threatened in combat except for a couple of times against boss opponents. Anytime else, no matter how badly I got swarmed, I went through the fight fairly easily. I'm assuming playing at higher difficulty levels mitigates this. Arcania also sets up invisible barriers when you come up on a ledge. You don't have to worry about falling off accidentally. You can JUMP off to the area below, if you choose to commit suicide (so to speak) if the fall is long enough, but the game engine protects you from screwing up by mistake. Usually, you injure yourself slightly and your gear will heal you back up in a short period of time. This is useful if you're weaving around in combat, but you want to be careful around certain objects, like the trees is the marshlands next to the Great Tree, because you'll find yourself shooting up those objects like you're on rails and have to jump back down, again possibly injuring yourself in the process.

The roleplaying aspects of this game are in the skills and spellcasting abilities you can obtain and improve over the course of your adventure. You won't find statistics like Strength, Agility or Intelligence which define your character (indeed, that seems to be the current trend in roleplaying games these days). You have three basic attributes: Stamina, Health and Mana. Stamina is the endurance you have to attack with special melee moves. Health is the amount of damage you can take before you die. Mana is the amount of magical energy you possess to cast spells. The skills are 'Mettle', which affects the damage you cause to opponents in a fight and your stamina recovery, 'Discipline', which determines how many blows in a row you can rain down on your enemy, 'Vigour', which is how much punishment you can soak up before keeling over and 'Precision' which governs your accuracy in ranged combat. 'Stealth' simply allows you to move around without attracting undue attention and possibly setting up ambushes against enemies. 'Zeal', 'Serenity' and 'Dominance' are all spell-like abilities which enable you to affect your environment and enemies with elemental forces. As you adventure, you gain experience. When you reach an experience threshold, you gain a level. This increases your basic attributes by a certain amount and you get 3 skill points to use to increase your skills and abilities. If you take the effort to investigate each area of the island in depth you can level up quite quickly. I was 18th level by the time I reached the area with the Great Tree.

STORY-4 Stars
The plot, while fairly generic, isn't half bad. The King of Myrtana, Rhobar III, has become possessed by dark forces and has launched a campaign to conquer the rest of the world. You play a lowly shepherd who's trying to woo the daughter of one of the village elders. In the process of performing various tasks to prove to her father that you are the right man to take care of her, your home is attacked and destroyed by the king's soldiers. Left destitute and without much hope, you travel to one of the neighboring islands on a quest for revenge against the king and, in so doing, start on your own path to greatness.

SOUND-4 Stars
The musical score is classically epic and fits your adventures quite well. The ambient tunes that are in the various establishments are appropriate and go a long way to set a fantasy mood. It differs depending on whether you're questing during the day or at night and becomes appropriately gloomy when travelling through the underground caverns. In short, a job well done.

The voice acting could use a little polish. Some of it is portayed with a classic British accent, while others are unmistakeably American. Most of it is fairly high-quality, although there are a couple of instances where it comes out as over-the-top foolish.

I personally found the visuals quite appealing in Arcania. The draw distance is pretty much line of sight for everything but the most minor rocks, shrubs and trees. I saw very little pop-up when I was running around. The texture mapping is extremely intricate and the graphics engine makes good use of dynamic lighting and shadows. The character models are better than most of the RPGs out there, although I do wish there was a little more variety for the generic NPCs.

The one major problem I found was in the frame rate. It holds at about 20 per second and doesn't seem to improve no matter how much or how little stuff is on the screen (the positive side is that it doesn't seem to WORSEN when you're attacked by multiple enemies). The stuttering animation of the environment can get distracting and gives my girlfriend problems with her epilepsy and she ends up having to leave the room after a while. Dreamcatcher might have delayed releasing Arcania until Spellbound had a chance to tighten this up a bit more. Maybe they'll release a patch for Xbox Live.

REPLAY-2 Stars
This game has ONE story to tell and not a whole lot else. Arcania doesn't offer a lot of variety in what you can do differently if you're inclinded to go through this more than once, and with a total play time of roughly 30 hours (when the typical length for a roleplaying game runs at about 70 hours), I find it hard to justify having to pay what the going rate on what the average game of this type runs for. Let's hope Spellbound develops a good bit of downloadable content to help balance this out or they may find the volume of sales not quite at what they'd wanted when it's all said and done.

Sure, I might have some complaints about Arcania (just like I have with most of what Dreamcatcher puts out on the market), but there are a lot of positive things about it too. For all its flaws, this was not a bad game. It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. It was entertaining enough for me that I greatly enjoyed roaming around the island of Argaan during my off-hours, and because I can get something different out of a game every time I play it, I could very well see myself visiting the kingdom of Myrtana again, revenging myself upon the King. One and a half thumbs up.

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Gothic in name only, but stilla very nice game Oct. 22 2010
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Platform for Display: Xbox 360 Verified Purchase
I believe you'll read a lot of bad reviews of this game. The reason is not the game itself, but a situation around it. Pyranha Bites, a developer of Gothic sreies, had to give away the right to make this game after a nasty legal dispute with its former publisher, JoWood. After that PB went to develop a new title, Risen, and JoWood hired a european developer SpellBound to make a next Gothic title, Arcania. Fans of Gothic (and there are a lot of us, mostly in Germany, Russia, and Poland) were pissed beyond measure. From the beginning a lot of people were agains Arcania just because of this reason. They openly wished this game never be published and JoWood go bankrupt. So please perceive this egativity for what it is. I am a Gothic fan, but there are limits, you know. It is not decent to talk crap about the game just to make publisher to loose money, and it is not fair to a very decent game. Some german folks even show up here to write bad reviews. So take it for what they are.
Yes, a lot of elements from Gothic games have been lost, so Arcania is Gothic in title only, but the game itself is quite charming, actually. You will get a big (semi)opened world (each new section of the island opens after you complete the main quiest), but these sections are very big, so you won't feel claustrafobic. The world is great, actually. Beautiful sunrises ans sunsets, very well done architecture (castles are really superb), so you will enjoy just being there. At least I hope you will, because I am enjoying it and want to share. ;)
There are a lot of enemies to slain, of all shapes and sizes, from spiders and goblins to fire golems and demons. There are four difficulty settings to choose from, from very easy, to rather hard. There is a lot of crafting in the game, from weapons to potions and food. A great variety of weapons and armor as well.
The story is good enough, it is not crap by any means, and dialogues, though vary from funny to plain, do a good job of conveing necessary information. And some a real funny and enjoyable. Quests are mostly straiforward, but it does not make them in any way dumb. The compain takes about 25 hours (about 16 hours on main quest and the rest for secondary quests), and for me these were good 25 hours spend in a beautiful new world. Overall, I would say Arcania is worth every cent I paid for it. PC Games and Official XBox Mag give this game 7.6 and 7.5 respectively (good game). I give it 5 stars. Yeah, yeah, it has some flaws (not bugs, but as they say in their reviews, not enough RPG elements and such), but as long as I can totally loose myself in the game, I simply do not care.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not bad Oct. 12 2013
By michael - Published on
Platform for Display: Xbox 360 Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this game. It is not an open ended RPG like I had hoped. The game is very linear, however, it offers about 30 hours of game play and good graphics. Don't expect it to by anything like Skyrim or Oblivion, even though it looks and plays similar to these games. Those games offer 100s of hours of play.
The game also has some areas that you cannot enter. I looked around the net and found others asking the same questions and all I could find in the forums is that entry is impossible.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bad controls are the best thing about this game Oct. 8 2012
By Chris - Published on
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
This game is terrible. Maybe it's the Xbox version that sucks more than the PC verison, but it's just terrible. It's riddled with bugs (including glitched achievements that are unattainable and will never be fixed... a HUGE sore spot for a completionist like myself). And there's just nothing going for it.

The story is paper-thin. The game play itself qualifies as non-linear only in that the map is a circle. You start halfway up the west side of the island, you have to go around the southern tip, up the east side, to the north, and then back south to a western area just north of the beginning that you couldn't get to earlier in the game, and there's no way through the middle of the island. To compound the linearity, there are a couple of places at the north and south ends of the map where backtracking becomes difficult if not impossible. So if you miss something before crossing those lines, you can't back up to it. You have to fully circumnavigate the island again until you find what you missed. Aside from that, you can also go around small obstacles to get to your goal, which I guess also counts as non-linear? Maybe?

If you do miss something, going back around the island isn't that big of pain. It takes forever, but enemies never respawn, so if you've cleared an area you can just run right through it and not worry. This is both a boon and a pain. It means you have an artificially low level cap (seriously... what's the development world's facination with level 30?) But it also means that you don't have to fight the same inane battles over and over. By inane, I mean that there's no strategy to combat in this game. None, whatsoever. "Blocking" does nothing. It requires a ridiculously long and laborious animation during which the Nameless Hero puts away his weapon, pulls out his shield and holds it up. By the time it's in place, the enemy's attack to which you were reacting has usually already struck. To make matters worse, if you ever DO block something, it doesn't really absorb damage. To make matters even worse, blocking an attack causes both sides to recoil, but always in the AI's favor (when the hero strikes a blocking enemy, his recoil takes longer than the enemy's... when an enemy strikes a blocking hero, the enemy STILL recovers more quickly). To make matters EVEN WORSE, almost every enemy in the game - FROM THE BEGINNING - has an unblockable attack that they use just as often if not more so than their regular one. All of this together makes blocking - and the weighty presence of the shield itself - an absolutely pathetically useless hindrance to your progress. Don't waste any skill points on blocking until late in the game when you need the health boost you get from it. Until then, just don't block. In fact, just don't block ever. It's a waste of time.

This reduces combat to the same thing for EVERY enemy: shoot it from afar with your arrows and when it gets close, stick and dodge. That's the only way to survive, even on the easiest settings. After a brief journey into the world, enemies start showing up in groups of 3-6, and when you hit one with an arrow or a spell it pulls in the whole group. Spells are woefully underpowered until super-late in the game, and take far too long for very little damage output to make them useful in ANY melee, even against early-game enemies. The fire and ice spells have big area of effect versions at the end of the game, but they both suck. The fireball only does "real" damage (still very low) at the point of impact and the fringes are barely affected if at all (especially against the enemies at the very, very end of the game). Ice almost never freezes the enemy before it gets to you, and the freeze never lasts long enough. By the time you've cast your spell and gone through the idiotically long and unnatural sword-drawing animation, the enemy is unfrozen and attacking you again. Don't waste any skill points on fire or ice because they are underbalanced and suck.

This leaves lightning, which you can eventually charge up to unleash a version that bounces to nearby targets. This is only kinddasorrta useful because even on Easy, it misses its connecting flight more often than it makes it and never does enough damage to justify choosing it over an overdrawn arrow. Arrows almost always do more damage than spells, especially if it's a surprise attack in which case it deals (comparably) massive damage. If you open with a undetected arrow shot, you can usually kill the first target before the group gets to you. Once they're on you, you have to take little jabs and dodge out of the way of the attack (assuming you don't let yourself get surrounded). Since the Nameless Hero takes so friggin' long to unnaturally swing his sword, this is a serious pain. And if you use two-handed weapons, don't expect to live long at all because the swing animation just takes too long. Dodging can cancel your attack, fortunately, otherwise the game would be unbeatable because even on Easy, a group of regular enemies can kill the Nameless Hero in a single round of hits. Most hits will cause him to stagger, during which you can't do anything, which causes fighting a group to quickly turn into a painful snuff film on the first hit. This doesn't really work in the other direction though: there's only one weapon (some kind of mace) in the game that can actually stagger enemies with predictable success, but it mostly only works on low-level ones that you've already killed off by the time you get it. I don't remember feral enemies ever staggering and the demonic ones at the end just brush you off. The mace DOES work on the harpy-like enemies, though, so it's a good idea to keep it in your inventory once you get it even though it's relatively low powered and takes a bunch of hits to get a kill. Aside from that one very random case where you get an advantage, there is absolutely no standing your ground in this game, ever.

To compound this combat wierdness, some enemies have bizarre area-of-effect melee attacks: there's a raptor-like enemy that lunges and bites at you, and you Actually Take Damage Before It Even Starts Moving. This part always killed me because there's literally no collision detection here. If you are not dodging in the exact right direction, you take damage from this forward-moving attack - at the moment it begins, not even when the mouth closes! - every time, no matter where you are in relation to the enemy or its mouth. I thought I was crazy at first, so I rotated the camera to make sure and saw plain as day that I was taking damage from a bite attack that hadn't actually started when I was far enough away that I couldn't even hit the raptor with my own sword. This is a common effect in the game, especially against larger enemies. I don't know what happened, if the animations are just so slow and sluggish that the game gets confused and thinks the attack should have already connected so it just makes it do so, or if the developers really were lazy and made it a die roll or what, but a lot of enemies can hit you without actually hitting you. So you have to constantly dodge and hope that you land in a position where you can attack something nearby before you have to dodge again.

Even with the best armor, you'll get taken down by enemies in a heartbeat. Even with the best weapons there is NEVER a single-hit kill. Healing during combat? Dead before the spell finishes. Items? Even the best ones barely make up for what the worst monsters can do in a single hit. Even you do manage to get off a spell or use an item, everything is heal-over-time so you never get an instant save anyway. So it's always stick and dodge. Stick and doge. Swing and roll. Pray you never get hit. OVer. And. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Because. Nothing. Else. Ever. Works. After a very short while, that gets boring.

This isn't saved by the "quests". Aside from the bad explanations, tortured scripts, and bad voice acting, a lot of the quests themselves are very glitchy. You'll be exploring a new area, some crazy guy will run out of a hut and attack you and you kill him. Suddenly, you're in the middle of a new quest you never knew you started, with bizarre histories involving talking to someone you never met in a town you haven't been to yet. It's like the game didn't expect you to ever leave the road on your own and just put everyone right there with no real quest start trigger. Sometimes, you can get stuck because some quest givers won't move to where they're supposed to be to finish the quest if you haven't properly started it, and they won't give you the right dialog choices to finish the quest you accidentally started by accomplishing the goal, so you're stuck with a quest you can't progress. So I suggest stashing a save for EVERY new area to which you travel, and overwrite it every time you successfully complete a quest so that you have a recent enough save with a good state that you don't have to worry about losing anything. This may seem like a lot of trouble just so that you can finish each quest, but trust me, you'll want to finish as many quests as possible to max out that experience and get the rewards. You'll need the best equipment to stretch out your survivability even that extra 1/10 of a second. This is especially true of the items you get for completing all the relic sets. Get those! Use an online map if you have to, but get them because they're waaaaaay worth it. They still suck, and swinging them is just an ugly-looking process, but they suck the least and that makes them the least useless, which makes them the most useful. Convoluted?

Not so much as the animations, which I've mentioned are bizarre and stiff. From the laborious process of sheathing a weapon so that you can draw a shield, to the act of drawing a bow, to even jumping around, everything is just stiff and unnatural. Nothing is fluid, even enemy attacks. It gives the game a sluggish feel right from the start that you hope will get better as you level up and get more dexterous or whatever, but that never happens. Late-game enemies are big, and late-game armor is bulky to match, and the two combine to exacerbate the jostling animations. Since the camera follows the Nameless Hero, even through his horrible motions, it twists the games into this nasty swaying, drunken experience. I've been on lots of boats in my life, but I've never been seasick until I played this game. I had to stop one night close to the end of the game because I was literally about to yarf from the bizarre motion.

If you do make the mistake of getting this game, start off on the hardest difficulty. Combat isn't any different. You won't notice that the Nameless Hero is dying any faster. 1.32 seconds vs. 1.12 seconds of survivability isn't enough of a difference for my mortal, human brain to handle. So save yourself an unnecessary playthrough and get the difficulty achievement on the first go.

I might have been able to look through the bad bits if I had ever been a fan of its predecessors, but I was never a big PC gamer and I missed them all. But on its own merits, this game is bad and among the absolute worst I have ever played.

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Platform for Display: Xbox 360