A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The goal of the game is to protect a town from evil, but this noble aim is outweighed by the player's engagement in bloody violence and exposure to coarse language, tobacco, and alcohol.
Positive Role Models
The lead character is a likable guy who has a sense of loyalty and pride. He also has a love interest, who we meet early in the game, and is willing to help townsfolk out with their tasks. He's not a bad role model but uses violence to solve most of his problems.
Ease of Play
The PC version of the game is very easy to play, using the WASD keys to move around the world and the mouse to attack. It's quite simple -- too simple for some, perhaps.
Violence & Scariness
This game features plenty of hack-and-slash, bow-and-arrow, and magic-based attacks. Blood spurts from fallen enemies, both human non-human (such as goblins and trolls). However, the amount of blood is not copious, and there is no gore.
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Swear words can be heard occasionally in dialogue sequences, including "s--t," "asshole," "damn," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters consume alcohol and smoke. In one mission players move mead from one part of the town to another.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Arcania: Gothic 4 is a fantasy role-playing game that focuses heavily on combat. That said, the fighting isn't gory -- players see only a small amount of blood. Players fight other humans, wild critters roaming about, and larger creatures, such as goblins, trolls, and other mythological beasts. There is some drinking and smoking in this game as well as the occasional instance of foul language.
Is It Any Good?
Those looking for a challenge won't find much of one here. The game's simple mechanics and formulaic RPG conventions are fun for a while, but missions grow repetitive, with many focusing on fetching items or eliminating some threat in the area. There is a skill system, plenty of inventory items, and numerous weapons and armor choices, but combat is simply a point-and-click exercise. It's worth noting, though, that there are some nice graphical touches such as varied locations, weather changes, and day/night transitions.
If you're looking forward to a straightforward action-heavy fantasy game you'll likely enjoy Arcania, but those looking for something deeper should adventure elsewhere. Note: the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game are the same.
Online interaction: This is a single-player game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.