There is one word that sums up Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny: Unfinished. The developers are aiming to have things more complete in a month, but the truth is that this game shouldn't have been released as a full game on Steam. The game was made in Germany and the retail copy they released there didn't even start unless you had a patch. The version on Steam for English users at least opens, but it barely works and the bits that aren't broken are horrible. This 'remake/reboot' of the Realms of Arkania games is the worst full-release game I have ever played. What makes things even worse is that people have paid money for this, hoping for a game like the one they used to love playing, and instead this is what they got.
Upon opening the game, I was greeted with a mixture of German and English text. When I started a new game I was given a mess of options and character portraits with no indication of what needs to be done before starting. You can create a character, but mine seemed to vanish after I finally managed to get some idea of what the different classes and stats did, so I went with the pre-made team. You start off in a temple to do all the building a team stuff (not that you'd know you were in there, you are given almost no information as to what you should be doing), and look upon the worst NPC's to grace a game in 2013; even bad for a game from the seven years! You can't interact with most NPC's and it's probably all for the best, everything appears to be voiced by the worst narrator I've heard in a game. The dialogue sounds like some guy was sat down and told to read a bunch of pages out loud, and unbeknownst to him it had been recorded and put into this game. Most of the time it feels like placeholder voicework until they put in something else, but I doubt it is. There are also moments where he will read out the text but leave out quest-specific names which makes the spoken portions a mess. This is even stranger when he skips the quest information but reads out the text following it which I'm pretty sure isn't meant to be spoken.
Arkania seems to play like an old RPG where you needed a thick manual that came with the game so you knew what anything did, only this game is missing that manual. Unless you are very familiar with the old games from this series you will be lost almost instantly. Spells don't say what they'll do and the names of the spells are often obscure. When using talents the names are more obvious, but good luck knowing what they do until you finally get one to work.
For a game that looks pre-2005 it is way too laggy. For a game that looks the way it does my computer should have no problem running it on any setting, even at the lowest settings it is a laggy mess. NPC's are repeated to the point I suspect there is only a handful of different models and most of them just take up space with repeated animations, my favourite one being a bald man who keeps wafting something up to his nose like he was smelling his own farts. In the little time that the game was playable enough to play I mainly encountered barkeeps at the inns around the town. You can keep trying to get information about possible quests in the area. Taking part one of these quests I wound up in a dark room to kill some creatures. After some poorly controlled stumbling in the dark after my light spell stopped working I came across my first battle. While the exploring sections of the game are first person, the combat takes part on an isometric grid. Your party are barely distinguishable from the enemies and at no stage is there a tutorial to show you how you can fight. After trying to move around the grid I seemed to be barely able to move, and whenever I tried to attack it wouldn't let me. Either my magic was too close to use or not enough movements to attack, even though I hadn't moved! After the combat seemed to be not working I called it quits, this game tried to stop me every step of the way and even when I tried to explore while avoiding fights the quest didn't let me progress due to a bug.
This game is baffling on so many levels! How many people did this game have to go through before they decided it should be released in this condition. After people started contacting Steam how has this game not been pulled from the store. Arkania is broken and it's estimated to be weeks to address the many issues currently plaguing it, but with new patches there seems to be new issues so who knows how long it will take to make the game the one that people expected when they spent their money on this mess.
Plain and simple Realms of Arkania should never have been released in this state, even with the current patches it is still in a condition that should never have been seen by the public. Even once the many patches have been applied there will still be the awful narration, dreadful visuals and horrendous framerate. Maybe in a few months this game will be the one people paid money for, but this game wasn't on Steam's 'early access' and the customer should not have to beta test your final product so they can get what they paid for. Even once the game is fixed I have the feeling that it is a game for the fans of the original games, without prior knowledge this game feels inaccessible for new comers, regardless approach Realms of Arkania at your own peril.