In a world ravaged by war, the remnants of humanity fight to survive. Battling over resources and land, the struggling survivors fight to overcome harsh deserts and deadly automatons. Arc of Alchemist follows the story of Major Quinn, the leader of a small battalion sent to retrieve the Great Power – a mysterious power said to hold the ability to save the Earth.
In the brief 10-15 hour story, you learn of humanity’s attempts to save the Earth before generations of environmental abuse pushed it to near extinction. The attempts were not successful, and Earth has become a near endless desert with minimal life and dwindling hope.
Arc Of Alchemist Review
Unfortunately, that’s about as far into the story I can venture before touching on spoiler territory. It’s a very short story for an RPG, with much of it feeling rushed and unfinished due to the lack of time given to invest into the narrative. As you begin your adventure, you’re introduced to Major Quinn and her battalion of fighters, each brilliantly voiced but lacking in visual character and charm. It’s a group that clearly has a history, a reason for being so loyal and caring toward one another, but it’s an aspect of the narrative rarely explored.
During certain parts of the game, when you return to base, you’ll often see a conversation or event between some of the characters. However, these are so detached from the main story that it often undermines the seriousness and tone of the adventure. There’s nothing like a pointless, comedic conversation between a man and his cat to really undermine the fact you just lost a battle that could have doomed all of humanity to extinction.
Arc of Alchemist’s shortfalls continue, and are present throughout the entire experience. The visuals are poor, the animations rigid, and any hope of being visually impressed disappears when the game struggles to maintain a decent FPS. Using a PlayStation 4 Pro to play a game that would not look out of place on the PlayStation 2, and still suffering serious frame issues…there’s no excuse. It’s embarrassingly poor from a technical standpoint.
Sticking to the trend of feeling outdated and lacking in creativity or innovation, Arc of Alchemist’s combat is mindless hack and slash with very little variety. There’s a good selection of weapon types, but each falls into the same mindless trope: a primary attack, a secondary attack, and a couple of combinations. Almost every enemy encounter is over in seconds, until the game decides to randomly throw a boss at you, often wiping your party out in seconds – forcing a tactical retreat and a rethinking of tactics.
That in itself could be rewarding, but it’s a simple matter of returning to base and spending some resources on increasing your parties stats, learning new passive abilities, and improving the facilities at your base to purchase higher tiered gear and items. The entire game is the same from start to finish. You run around needlessly huge areas, void of anything interesting, gathering materials, only to eventually encounter a difficult enemy before returning to base and improving your stats and equipment.
Hardcore JRPG fans will likely enjoy customizing the base, upgrading the facilities, and perhaps even the simplicity of the combat. However, for anyone looking for a worthwhile RPG experience, Arc of Alchemist is not it.
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