I’m a big fan of RPG games, as an early adopter of point and click adventures games back in the nineties, RPG’s have always felt like a natural progression from point and click. There are so many games now that either fall into the RPG genre completely or take many of the traditional RPG elements, but to be fair isn’t every game a role playing game in some way. This weeks entry is Arc of Alchemist, a somewhat more traditional RPG,
Arc of Alchemist begins with you being plonked in the middle of a desert because you have to find the Great Power, something that is key to saving humanity. Quinn Bravesford, on behalf of her kingdom, takes her allies to investigate the Desert of Beginnings, a desert that is spreading across the world and so, Quinn was selected to captain this mission. Quinn holds the Lunagear, the Lunagear is equipped to hold four Orbs, when all the Orbs are found then it will release the Great Power. Unfortunately, Quinn only has one Ord at hand for now. The Principality of Neuhaven, an enemy nation has sent their military in search of the Great Power, as well so Quinn and her band of merry warriors better find the Great Power quickly. Obviously life is never that easy, the desert contains many evil things that must be beaten.
Arc of Alchemist is quite a short game for a RPG, which is part of it’s problem. The main story is standard fare but as you progress through the various parts of the desert there will be times when you go back to the base and you are often presented with a cut scene that attempts to flesh out the characters. However these comedic interactions generally feel out of place whilst your hacking and slashing your way in the desert. The characters in Arc of Alchemist are never really introduced and because of that you never really care for them in any way.
The base building element of Arc of Alchemist is quite detailed and could have been quite interesting to play with. However, there isn’t a great deal of detail so you end up not really knowing what actions will benefit you. This is also the same section of Arc of Alchemist where you can pick your desert team and level up characters attributes. Investing into certain kinds of buildings will boost others depending on their location within your base, this management style could have been quite fun to get your head round but the lack of guidance is annoying.
The main part of Arc of Alchemist is wandering the desert wasteland trying to find the orbs. There are various enemies who generally spawn randomly when you approach certain areas. Beating them garner experience and other items. You have a team of 3 to help you in your adventuring. You can choose your team in the base section. Quinn is by far the most useful fighter compared to the others, combat is controlled by the AI for the other members of the team. You will find in Arc of Alchemist that your comrades end up getting into scraps you’ve attempted to run away from which is frustrating. The combat is fairly repetitive hack and slash which is fun for the most part, however when using projectiles or magic it’s pretty hard to hit enemies because the controls are iffy,
Graphically Arc of Alchemist looks a little dated. The animations are not smooth whilst there a few times when things slowed down the framerate, not ideal in this modern age. The base comes across well whilst the desert settings are reasonable to look at. Unfortunately the enemy models are nothing new, a mixture of bland robots and unimaginative animals. Musically Arc of Alchemist does really well, the sound sets the mood suitably, it’s just a shame the rest of Arc of Alchemist lets it down.
Arc of Alchemist is not a good RPG, it lacks some basic fundamentals that make RPG’s fun. The main story is reasonably interesting but you feel very little for the characters. The combat is fun in parts but held back by poor controls whilst the graphical issues are not something you should really experience in this day and age. If you love RPG’s then you may get a few hours of satisfaction but for the experienced role player Arc of Alchemist isn’t something for your bucket list.