Click here to return to the main site.

PS3 Game Review

The Complete Tale


Format: PS3
Publisher: Nordic Games
Developer: Black Forest Games
RRP: £29.99
9 006113 002406
Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 31 May 2013

Being a hero in waiting is never easy, often your thoughts stray to marriage and settling down, especially if your girl tells you she's pregnant. Still, her dad's not too bad and, if you complete his mini quests, you might still get the girl. But then the life of a hero never quite works out and finding your beloved with an arrow in the chest and your village burnt is enough to release the inner hulk, even in the most unlikely farm boy...

Arcania: The Complete Tale, by Nordic Games, has been released for the PS3, which includes the original tale as well as the Fall of Setarrif add-on.

Review imageYou play a nameless farm boy who, following his recent tragedy, sets off to revenge his friends and family. Having had your inner magic released and with the help of your mentor and companion, Diego, you're off to spank King Rhobar III for his actions. You then take the well-worn road of a lot of fantasy games.

Along the way you can increase your weapons and powers, getting stronger each time you engage in battle, kill the monsters and you get more XP points. You have the main quest to get through with numerous side quests on offer.

I do feel bad for people who have obviously spent a lot of their time on a game only for it to look old before you’ve even played. There are some really clunky things from the get go. The script fails to engage and the vocal acting is bad, very bad. It took me about three minutes before I felt like skipping through all the exposition. The "I speak, we pause; you speak we pause" delivery of the dialogue really sucks the life out of the game. Waiting for vocal sequences to play out is a lot like watching paint dry and becomes annoying if you’re trying to get on with your current quest.

Review imageWith any RPG you’re looking for the thing which sets it apart from the competition - it might be an engaging narrative, a highly detailed and immersive world, or something special in the game play. Unfortunately Arcania, while not a total loss of a game, pales when compared to its rivals. Revenge is a good starting point as a motive, but the character development has to be stronger than this.

The game mechanics are pretty good, though the AI seems to break out, on occasion, into pacifism when they should be attacking you. Fighting is a case of button mashing, you can mix it up, but for the most part this isn’t really necessary. The world is expansive and fully explorable, but don’t think you’re going to be able to roam around breaking things with your sword, as neither people nor objects react to your mindless hacking.

Review imageThere are also problems right from the start with some of the logic. I had to get some amber, for an engagement present. Approaching the creature he informs me that he wouldn’t just give it away; I would have to either go on a quest for him or hand over gold. “I don’t have any gold” replies my character, when in fact I did have some. It may not have been enough, but you get the feeling that no amount would have done and that the game is more linear than the environment would indicate.

Overall the combination of poor vocal acting and pacing really lets the game down. If you’ve played through every available RPG then you might want to give this one a punt, but I think that most players would find the experience a frustrating one.


Charles Packer

Review image

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.