10 most popular posts of the past 90 days

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1. Skyrim – Constructive criticism at its best

People are usually unable to express their opinions without coming across like toddlers stamping their pudgy little legs and screaming, “But I want …”

2. First impressions: Arx Fatalis

I’m not very good at wielding a bone. Hell, I’m not even good at throwing them for dogs.  Continue reading

The fun will come out “tomorrow”

Speculation is rife after Bethesda cryptically tweeted out this image today with the word “tomorrow”.

I doubt it’s the anticipated Fallout 4, since they tend not to announce games until they’re pretty far into development and Skyrim has only been out for a matter of months. It’s too high quality to be from an MMO, so that rules out any clues from the mysterious Zenimax Online (what are they doing? WHAT are they doing?), and it doesn’t look like DLC for Rage or Skyrim.  The most intriguing idea was that it might be a new Doom game.  Continue reading

First impressions: Arx Fatalis

I realised within about two and a half minutes of starting up Arx Fatalis that it is a UWAW game. Unplayable Without A Walkthrough. I find that’s the case with most games that came out before about 2004, and Arx Fatalis was released back in 2002. Newer games often just come with a two-page insert with a diagram reminding you where the controls are: the rest of the game is instinctive. You just pop the disc in and go.

Arx Fatalis does have a tutorial, but it’s tricky to get used to. For a start, you can toggle between mouse-look and directional arrows, but in order to interact with anything you have to flip back to the directional mode (and this isn’t actually explained). Beyond that, it falls somewhere in the middle between being entirely intuitive and outright fiddly. About half of what it does works the way you expect it to, which isn’t too surprising given its age.

It looks like Thief, though it’s a first-person RPG released the same year as Morrowind. The Looking Glass connection is explained in Arkane’s assertion that they intended Arx Fatalis to be Ultima Underworld III, but couldn’t get the licence.

Continue reading