This game is REALLY old, but back in the day I loved it so much, that I decided to write a review so maybe a few old-school game lovers might still consider trying this out. So let's begin.
Talking about Arcanum- the game is really old ( out in 2001), but its spirit is still in hearts of thousands of its fans. The grapics might not interest a modern RPG lover and they might not play the game because of that, but they're missing much, because Arcanum is one of a few 'intellectual' RPG's. Game developer- Troika Games, publisher- Sierra Online.
The tale of your character (whether it's human, elf, half-elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, half-ogre or half-ofc) begins with the crash of Zephyr airship.
Your path in the game- choose on your own. Want to be a noble hero, or maybe a heartless bandit? What's your choise: magic or technology? Or maybe both at the same time? Any way, it will significantly change the storyline. Such nonlinearity is what makes Arcanum special. The plot of the game fully depends on you. Every thing you say, every place you go is different depending on how you get to it.
In Arcanum, you can literally LIVE. If you want to rest after a long adventure- no-one is holding you from visiting a local pub and getting drunk. Or maybe you want to visit a Ma'am Lil's brothel in Tarant?
Of course it's more comfortable to travel with some friends behind your back. In Arcanum, there's a whole lot of people willing to follow you in your adventures, whether it's a mage or a gnome-technologist.
But be ready for fights inside your own team, because every companion is individual and will only agree to follow you under special circumstances.
Magic and Technology
Arcanum is a game of the rare genre 'Steampunk', where both magic and technology have to live together.
Eternal opposition of magic and technology is the point of Arcanum and the Universe itself. Arcanum is provided with techological innovations such as subways, trains, telegraph, electricity etc. But along with them in big cities like Tarant you can easily find a shop that sells magic scrolls, staves, amulets and other magic attributes. This generates magical-technological conflicts all over Arcanum, growing into massive wars.
Some characters have a disposition to magic/technology ever since you create them. So you shouldn't think that gnome, who has grown among steam engines would start doing magic out of nowhere, just as an elf wouldn't easily make a grenade.
Like any RPG, Arcanum is filled with quests. Starting with blatant bring this bring that and ending with investigation of a murder. Your reputation also changes availability of several quests. Some quests are only available for characters with 'evil' reputation, while the others are only for characters with 'good' reputation. And if you start one quest, the other won't ever be available for you to complete.
In Arcanum, just like many other universes, has its own Gods. You can pray to them on an altar, and, if you do everything correctly, you'll recieve a blessing, which will boost your features. But you should be careful, because between some gods is a feud, and if you pray to both of such gods, you might get cursed.
To make your gameplay more comfortable, the game includes many different skills to train. For example, if you're tired of stepping onto traps throughout your adventures, train specified skill to be able to disarm the traps.
If you're interested in firearms- train that skill to make your shooting more accurate and efficient. But if you're interested in pickpoketing- train the skill and, believe me, you won't regret it. Or maybe if you're interested in trading- train that skill to learn all the merchant's secrets. There's a whole lot of other useful skills to train.
Well, there is a whole lot of great features I can talk about, but this much of text will not interest many players, if such an old game will bring any interest at all.