In a world full of Skyrims and Dragons Dogmas there is scant space left for any other fantasy role playing game. Apparently the team at Nordic Games thought otherwise and that their 2010 release was ripe for a re-release, or in the PS3 case, a first appearance, with their fourth game in the Gothic series, Arcania 4, now under the moniker of Arcania: The Complete Tale.
Arcania has had a long history on the PC format and it really shows on the PS3, not quite granting players with a familiar console experience that other better known RPGs offer. That is not to say this is a bad game, though there is an awful lot wrong with it, it’s just that there are a lot better games out there to try out first. If however you have played every possible RPG and still want more, than this will sate you appetite until the next Dragon Age, though it isn’t pretty.
To start with the story is quite a mess, which is mainly down to the poorly executed cut scenes that appear out of nowhere and end just as abruptly, not really giving you much depth to the main quest; with your character out to avenge the death of not only his beloved, but the destruction of his whole village. The story will then send you on a quest to slay the king responsible, with you being continually being one step behind whatever you need to do; pretty much every quest falling into the category of I will scratch your back if you scratch mine across the many locations of the Southern Islands, from mighty castles, goblin infested woods, swamps and even dark and dangerous caverns.
Presentation is very hit and miss with the graphics themselves feeling very unsettled with constantly slow texture loads and characters walking into solid items or just "magically" appearing next to you. At times the game will look like a game running on the wrong spec PC before any sort of patching or modding but then all of a sudden the game will catch up with itself, creating beautiful landscapes. The land itself offers lots of wonderful sights when the game allows it, but given it has the hallmarks of an open world, it is surprisingly linear, often using paths that have impassable sides and a lot of canyons with the quests themselves sticking to the main path, even the side quests do not really stray too far. When there are chances to wander around there is very little to take in, no hidden surprises other than the collection quests of scouring the land for tiny little idols.