Arx Fatalis RPGDot
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Arx Fatalis was a one-of-a-kind RPG game played in a first person view for the Windows and the Xbox platform in 2002. It was surprisingly advanced for its time, with a gameplay formula that's evolved and adapted by newer games. Now, you can see similar titles such as the vaunted Elder Scrolls series, the Gothic series and the Ultima series.
New games similar to Arx Fatalis RPG
We played this game since its launch in 2002. We loved Arx Fatalis because it had an engaging story and because it had customizable RPG elements. The perspective of being in a first person view led to a more immersive experience for me. It was like you were outside the world of Arx and looking in to the computer monitor. Each sweep of the mouse and each step led to your character glancing up at the skies, looking around for items and walking towards the next quest. Needless to say, we were completely hooked.
Arx Fatalis certainly had its flaws, which was the slow movement and the rather cumbersome survival mechanic. Newer games have long since copied the first person view and improved upon its RPG elements. Fast teleportation became the norm. So was item diversity and more interesting combat and skill mechanics. Playing these newer games made you wonder why you put up with the tediousness of slow travel and boring swing-and-hit combat.
Enough with the introductions. Here are 4 new RPG games that are like the Arx Fatalis RPG:
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
TES III Morrowind came out the same year as Arx Fatalis and it enjoyed greater success. So if you're looking for a similar game, then you can't go wrong with Morrowind!
Bethesda's third installment of the Elder Scrolls series has the expansive RPG world down pat. Interestingly, you start off in the same predicament as in Arx- inside a prison, with naught but your wits to save your life. You recover your memory and get caught up in a power struggle that can shake the world to its very core, etc. etc.
I played TES 3 Morrowind and remembered it for the gameplay and not so much with the story. You get to play and meet different races and wield epic weapons. The world seemed vibrant, alive and reactive to every move you make. There were consequences to each action you do in the world of Vvardenfell. Content was staggering because there were infinite villages, temples and points of interests to explore. You could spend hundreds of hours just walking around and ignoring the main quest. In fact, that was what I did when I started playing the game!
In hindsight, 2002 was a good year for first person explorative RPGs, isn't it? We had Arx Fatalis, Elder Scrolls III and Gothic II. Gothic II slipped by my radar because I completed Arx and TES 3 first. I played the game after a few years of its release. The Gothic series gained traction because of this game and the subsequent expansions.
Gothic II is somewhat par with Arx Fatalis in that you experience an immersive 3D world and the freedom to explore an open medieval setting. Like many other players, I probably spent more hours just walking around and trying different things just to see what would happen. The fondest memory of Gothic II was my character traipsing by the wilderness being chased by extremely challenging beasts and monsters. The addition of the expansion, Night of the Raven brought more RPG content such as more quests and items. I'd not have finished the main quest, but then I stumbled upon it by accident and said "Oh, what the heck, I should finish this and move on."
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
I've known Might and Magic in the earliest days, way back when it was an RPG, then a turn-based RPG with Heroes of Might and Magic. Imagine my surprise when Arkane Studios, the same company that created Arx Fatalis, made a first person view game with the franchise!
The game was released in 2006 with promise of more exploring and more ways to kick monster butts. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was perhaps an improvement of Arx Fatalis in almost all aspects. You now get a convenient travel system that takes you where you need to go. Combat takes on a more exciting approach- I slashed, stabbed, shot arrows and magical orbs on unsuspecting enemies, and I loved it! You can get creative and use the environment for a "Finish Him!" effect. Throw your opponents off cliffs, into bonfires or spike beds. The fun is knowing when to deal death in the most satisfying way.
Oh, and there's a branching path to the end game story. You can strive for 100% completion by getting all 4 endings, much like Chrono Trigger. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is a fun-filled romp through an immersive, open world.
The latest game in this list, Dishonored came out in 2012 and was a poster child of collaborative efforts between Bethesda and Arx Fatalis developer Arkane Studios. Dishonored takes on a darker, stealthier approach similar to that of the Thief, Hitman and Deus Ex series.
If you're more of the up-front, warrior's way of tackling games, then you may want to step back a bit and take on a mindful, silent approach with Dishonored. In-your-face melee battles just don't work here- either you die very quickly or the mission immediately fails. Still, it's great fun and great challenge when you play the game to completion.
Think Assassin's Creed but with a steampunk setting. Each mission is truly unique because the NPCs and the enemies exhibit different behavior each time! I've read that it was possible to finish the game without ever laying a hand on anyone, but I wasn't able to get to the ending that way. The pleasure of killing enemies they couldn't see appealed to me more than the pacifist's ending!
Dishonored holds a special place in my heart because the gameplay was superb, and the story was truly engaging. The satisfaction of hunting Her Highness' killer and revealing who the betrayer was kind of hit me in the feels. I was vengeful from start to end!