Arcania: A Gothic Tale E3 Previews

Spellbound's Arcania: A Gothic Tale was on display at this year's E3, so it comes as no surprise that several hands-on previews are now available on the 'net.

First up is GameSpot:
Weapons in Arcania will include bows, as well as all of the usual melee suspects--both two-handed and one-handed--that can be used in conjunction with a shield. In addition, you'll have access to a number of different magic spells that run the gamut from a simple fireball to changing the time of day and the weather. Much like the control system in Fable II, spells, ranged attacks, and melee attacks will each be mapped to a different button on the controller, enabling you to switch among them on the fly. You'll perform different attacks depending on how you push those buttons as well. Tapping the button will perform a light attack, holding it down will charge up a slower, more powerful attack, and when using melee weapons, it'll be possible to perform combos by timing multiple button presses with visual cues (your sword glowing briefly, for example). It's an easy system to pick up, and we can report that the puny fireball--once you've leveled it up and charged it up--becomes a pretty spectacular explosion that causes damage to all enemies in a large area. The game incorporates a lock-on targeting system that makes combat even easier, but the flipside is that when you're locked on, attacks do half as much damage as those when you're not.

The second is at IGN:
Initially you start out on a small island and learn the basics of movement and combat, but soon unlock different sections of a larger island and meet with seven different cultures throughout the game's run, which is supposed to be 70+ hours or so. Associated with each pocket of culture will be distinct armor sets and weapons, each of which you can pick up and outfit on your character. You'll get quite a few bits of equipment as you move through the game, from one handed swords to larger two handed maces, as well as axes, bow and arrows, and lots more.

The third is at RPGamer:
Combat is exactly what is expected of an action-intensive RPG. Switching between melee, ranged, and magic attacks is done with a simple button press and gives the player massive variety in attacks. The hero may lock on for a guaranteed hit with less damage, or those cocky enough to wing it will gain additional bonuses to damage when not using the lock on option. As I hacked through a variety of enemies, my sword would glow, and if I timed my next swing right I could chain together multiple combos for a devastating amount of damage. I was almost sad when something died....

The fourth is at GameZone:
Arcania has three status bars in the player UI stamina, mana and life. The stamina is aligned with certain attack skills, defining how big a skill you can use, while the mana is tied to the magical skills. Both the stamina and mana bars regenerate over time. The health bar, though, needs spells, potions or rest to regenerate.

And the fifth is at GamingExcellence:
Boasting several different cultures, at least three hundred quests, highly improved graphics and a storyline that continues from where the previous game left off this is a game for all types. As a non-Gothic fan this is a title that has gathered my attention and something that I'm planning on following until it gets released. Arcania looks like it's poised to draw some attention to itself with this game and bring some good mainstream attention to itself.