Arx Fatalis E3 Preshow Report

Dreamcatcher will have the Xbox version of Arx Fatalis on display at E3.

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There's another first-person role-playing game coming to the Xbox, Arkane Studios' Arx Fatalis, and it'll be on hand at Dreamcatcher's E3 booth. It's not designed to be free-ranging and branching like last year's Morrowind, but the PC version of Arx Fatalis released last year got high marks for being an atmospheric dungeon crawl that sounds and looks quite good.

At the start of Arx Fatalis, you wake up in a small cell and discover that your character has lost his memory. As conventional as that sounds, you'll soon discover a subterranean world filled with interesting, dangerous places to visit and characters to meet. Civilization moved underground some time in the past, after the sun fizzled out, so don't expect to see any outdoor vistas. Nonetheless, the dungeon environments are filled with interactive detail that keeps things interesting--you'll be able to pick up and look at almost anything--and makes you feel as if you're actually in the gameworld.

Arx Fatalis has all the character development you'd expect in an RPG of its type, and to customize your character you'll distribute ability and skill points at the start of the game and when you gain levels. There's a real-time first-person combat system that often puts attackers right in your face and an unconventional magic system that lets you cast a selection of 50 spells by selecting the proper combination of runes. As the game progresses, you'll negotiate vast labyrinth-like levels while solving puzzles, defeating enemies, and eating to stay alive. The Xbox version of the game is due out later this year.

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