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Arcanum: of Steamworks & Magick Obscura - PC

Platform : Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 95
Rated: Mature
3.9 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews
Metascore: 81 / 100

Price: $15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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  • Automatic character management features let you delve into the quest at hand for action-oriented players.
  • Explore a huge game environment, with dozens of cities, dungeons, and towns to find.
  • Meet more than 300 unique characters and 280 different monster types across the land of Arcanum.
  • Multiple paths to victory abound in the scores of quests surrounding the main storyline.
  • Accurate day/night cycles affect the gameplay, from combat to thieving skills.
4 new from $10.49 20 used from $1.36 2 collectible from $12.50
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Product Description

Product Description

Arcanum is the first game to come from the development house Troika Games, LLC, started by former Fallout team members Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, and Jason Anderson. This team takes the depth of gameplay and world-building in role-playing games to entirely new levels of realism and excitement. Arcanum creates a compelling new world where magic and technology coexist in an uneasy balance. As Arcanum opens, the mechanical age has only recently arrived in this ancient land where Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and other races have learned to survive in the new sprawling industrialized cities. But this radical shift from magic to technology has created a potentially explosive situation. As the townspeople and other thinkers begin mass production of light bulbs, batteries, eyeglasses and guns, the Mages grow leery. This tightly wound setting is the starting point from which the character must set out on his quest. Classless, point-based attribute system allows for limitless creativity in guiding your character's development. Complex stat system underlies every event taking place within Arcanum


Imagine a place of wonder, where magic and technology hold equal sway, and an adventurer might just as easily wield a flintlock pistol as a flaming sword. A place where great industrial cities house castle keeps and factories, and home to dwarves, humans, orcs, and elves alike. A place of ancient ruins and steam works, of magic and machines, of sorcery and science. Welcome to the land of Arcanum.

Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00004TTHT
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches ; 0.8 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: August 22, 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,660 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Arcanum is a game that appeals to a certain audience. If you like figuring out alternate solutions to problems, you may enjoy this game. Fans of the Fallout games will find a similarly well-thought-out setting and sense of humor. Fans of complex RPGs will be delighted by the depth and length of the game.
If you thought Diablo was a great RPG, well, don't bother with Arcanum. The only thing they have in common is that you have a character that grows over time. Diablo was a linear hack-and-slash adventure with clearly defined characters and simple mechanics. Arcanum has a non-linear path and complex character options. Furthermore, if you try to bash through every situation, you will have your head handed to you, especially at the beginning of the game.
Specific likes: The setting, that of a fantasy realm going through an industrial revolution (with some Steampunk-like technology thrown in), is fantastic. The character creation options are varied and give you a great deal of control. The plot is long and involved. Some of the voice acting is quite good, and the background music is very appropriate, if a little monotonous at times. The system for using technology is a lot of fun. Characters can literally take bits and pieces of things and assemble them into everything from hand grenades to healing salves.
Specific dislikes: The combat system has a few odd points. Grenades and such somehow never harm you or your party, so you can throw them with impunity at folks standing right next to you. Critical hits and misses are ludicrously common, with sometimes drastic results, such as self-inflicted damage, dropped or damaged weapons, scarring or even crippled limbs.
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Comment 91 of 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I played Baldur's Gate, and found it lacking action and fun.
I played Diablo II, but became bored with constant hack-n-slash.
I played Arcanum, and fell in love with its combination of action, storytelling, and sheer freedom.
This game has an original and engrossing story, complete with great dialogue and written items the main character finds. There is unrivalled variety when creating and advancing your character. The game does a great job at balancing the effectiveness of magic and technology. The game gives the player a surprising amount of control in how the main character develops. Will the protagonist become a great hero (or despicable thief)? A crusader against technology (or magic)? A hero loved by the people (or villains)? The protagonist can be some of these things, or none of them, but not all. One thing I love about this game is how, if you choose sides, there will be consequences to your choosing. Do you take the side of the wizard being disrupted by the local steam engine, or an engineer, trying to keep his machines (and self) safe with saboteurs lurking about? Or will you avoid the situation? This game offers even more freedom than Fallout/Fallout 2 did.
There are decently long load times, which can be frustrating if you're a person who does not like to be kept waiting. Also, during gameplay, the game paused for a few seconds if my character was casting a spell that had complex grapics. This is nothing that will keep me from playing the game, though.
Buy this game, download the patch, and enjoy, my friend!
Comment 55 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on August 18, 2001
This game has A HUGE about of depth and options. It has an incredible amount of re-playability and a giant world. (it would take 48 real-time hours to just cross the world... thank god for the map function :) ) It is NOT a Diablo clone! although I can see how one might think so... if you are accustomed to playing Diablo you will play a character that has emphasis on fighting skills, and not on such things as building items, gambling, thieving and diplomatic skills. That is the great beauty of this game. You can play it as a Half-Ogre brute, a wealthy Human upper-class gunslinger, a spell-casting gnome that builds grenades on the side, a halfling mage that ran away with the circus and wears gnomish chainmail... just about any character that you can think up you can play. Also Arcanum has GREAT re-playability. It is possible to kill every living creature in the game and win. It is also possible to kill nothing and win. The great amount of options will make you want to play again and again. For instance, each NPC has a unique personality and will respond differently to you based upon your race, magick/tech alignment, background, how beautiful or charismatic you are, and a host of other variables. People that snubbed you as a Dwarf will greet you with open arms when you play an Elf. All this makes sure that no two Arcanum games are EVER the same. All I can say is... If you like RPGs you will love Arcanum.
Comment 40 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Having played through Arcanum, I can't really say I either love or hate it. It was definitely one of those games that inspired both feelings at one time or another. Since I think it's about average in general, I would recommend you wait until the price goes down to about $20 before getting it.
Let's start with the good things:
Your character is endlessly customizable. This is immediately evident from the point system, which has few restrictions. About the only thing you can't do is have magic and technology at once, but otherwise you have a free hand. There's also a lot of trait and race-specific things to explore in the game, which makes it fun to play again.
The story and quests are very well done. There's a TON of things to do, and you will actually have fun doing most of it. A lot of the quests are challenging, but none are impossible, especially if you're patient with them. You should find that you get at least double the experience from quests than you do from fighting, which goes to show just how many there are.
The setting is cool. Who wouldn't want to see a place where magic and guns exist together? It's definitely a unique world. I actually liked the graphics, and I think that anyone who complains about them should (a) play Fallout, and (b) start focusing on the gameplay instead. This isn't Baldur's Gate. It's not supposed to look gorgeous.
It plays like Fallout, for the most part. You really can't go wrong with a game that tries to emulate that one. In fact, the only places where it DOES go wrong are where it deviates from that tried-and-true formula. I wish the designers had stuck to the program.
And now for the bad stuff:
Load times are way too long. They're way longer than Baldur's Gate 2, which I find odd considering the simple 2-d graphics.
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