Arcanum Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016

    I am putting up this game again because it remains one of the greatest video games of all time. I love Fallout 1 and 2 but damn if I don't consider Arcanum better. It is one of my continued frustrations about this game that it didn't become it's own franchise and wasn't eventually picked up to be remade. It's one of those properties like No One Lives Forever or Vampire: Bloodlines which should be revived.

    I also think it has one of the worst titles in video game history.

    Arcanum would have been better.
    So would "Steamworks"

    Anyone else love this game and being a Cockney Orc or Posh Half-Elf?
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  2. Alkuam

    Alkuam First time out of the vault

    Apr 4, 2016
    Wasn't there a tagline about being the only game where you can play as a shotgun toting wizard?
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Not quite true anymore but certainly a big appeal.

    I also like the very Obsidian-esque bit of theology where the villain is motivated by the discovery Heaven is real, so the logical thing to do is kill everyone so they go there.

    Did Chris Avellone work on this game? It seems like something he'd come up with.
  4. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Anything I can recall about Arcanum and Avellone is that he did LP of it around 2013. Sadly he didn't finish.
  5. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    That's a shame. Oh well, it's not like Tim Cain didn't have the imagination for it anyway. :)
  6. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    I hold FO1 & 2 in higher regard, but it's probably the third best RPG ever made.
    A bit easy to min-max though.

    Euhm, you do realize that the title basically means "mysteries of steampunk and magic" right? What's wrong with that?

    Arcanum alone would mean jack shit. That's like naming your game "mystery" or "secret". Wow, how telling.

    No, the current title perfectly lays out what to expect imo. A mystery filled game with tension between steampunk and magic.
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  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    The reason the title sucks is purely from my view it's not easy to remember or say. When doing a franchise, you should have something short and to the point.

    This is the equivalent of making it:

    Fallout: Of Radiation and Post-Apocalypse Survivia
  8. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    The game is mostly known as Arcanum. The rest I consider to be a florid subtitle that fits perfectly well with the kinda 19th century style of the game. It doesn't work with Fallout because Fallout is a different style.
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  9. SquiglyContiello

    SquiglyContiello It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 3, 2018
    This is both the best and least polished of Troika's games.
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  10. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    The title fits in perfectly, it's like reading a headline of three pages long article from antique newspaper left on table in upper class gentlemen club. Whole manual is written in the same style btw.

    Somewhat weak combat animations combined with endless areas occupied by dozens of the same critters is the biggest drawback for me, fighting through it felt really unsatisfying. WTF Tim, such a drag! Everything else rocks hard.
    Excellent gaem 10/10 would play again.
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  11. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I do have some criticisms with the game which basically amount to tone issues. The game reminds me a bit of "Bright" in the fact the high fantasy bits are a little too prominent and the game would probably have been better toning them down to make it more, "Upper Class Elves in tophats and Working Class Orcs in coal mines" and less, "Elves from Middle Earth next to cities from Victoria's time."

    I think the best part of the game was having books like "The Orcish Question" where we have conversations about how orcs get raised to be educated and respectable members of society, only to be treated like garbage so they just decide to act like villains as well as things like workers rights plus the rise of steam to replace magic.

    The bits which felt like they were from typical fantasy games just didn't work for me. They were also confusing as you had talk about how kingdoms of horses and knights were defeated by ill-trained guys with technology but--wouldn't the former have guys with fireballs, gryffons, and sorcery like WOW?

    The villain had a great existential plan but it's also something which has nothing to do with the themes of the game of science versus technology nor did the whole "Chosen One" plot. Basically, I would have preferred something related to the Victorian Era like someone building an army of airships or something.

    Hell, the "plot by the gnomes to breed a slave race of half-ogres" was more interesting than the main villains plot and could have ended up being a kind of hilarious subversion. Gnomes ending up planning to invade the world and them as the ultimate baddies.
  12. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dark side in da houssah

    Nov 22, 2009
    I remember the music being really nice. And the beginning of the game, a crash-landing zeppelin? Can't go wrong with that.