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    SLCentralArticlesArticles May 30th, 2020 - 1:49 PM EST
    Arx Fatalis Preview
    Author: Drew Lanclos
    Date Posted: March 2nd, 2002


    The demo weighs in at a whopping 150+ megabytes, but a good amount of that data is in the high-quality textures used in the game. The graphics engine still needs a good bit of work, but when all is in order, you'll simply be in awe of the smoothness *and* roughness of the walls (bump-mapping at work), the fogging and smoke effects, and the dynamic lighting. Spider webs dangle and wave in the breeze. Probably the most impressive thing you'll see at work in Arx Fatalis, however, is the spellcasting system.

    Previously, UW and UW2 would make use of the Ultima runes to cast spells. Simply open up your Rune Bag and select the combination of runes to cast a particular spell. Arx Fatalis preserves the rune usage, but the implemenation differs somewhat. Instead, you must hold down the magic key and "draw" the runes in the air using your mouse. The effects and sounds your arm makes as you write the glyphs in the air is spectacular, and the spell effects themselves can be a sight to behold. Try using Magic Missile and you'll see what I mean.

    The sound in the game so far is very ambient and usually carries a subtle, yet dramatic feel to it. Most of the demo has no background music, though it's hardly necessary. The ambient sounds of sloshing water, frogs croaking, and miscellaneous other noises…all are appropriate for the sealed underground crypt you find yourself trapped in. Character voices are pretty good too, though *nothing* syncs with the speakers' mouths yet. This one distraction proved rather annoying to me, as I was really getting into my character and his interaction with the world.

    >> Gameplay

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    1. Introduction
    2. Background
    3. Graphics/Sound
    4. Gameplay
    5. Work-in-progress
    6. Conclusion

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