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Arx Fatalis remaster mod indefinitely delayed due to lack of modders

Arx Fatalis can be finicky to play in 2024 and a remaster mod is coming to iron out any issues, but you might have to wait a long time.

Arx Fatalis remaster mod indefinitely delayed due to lack of modders: Some armored characters stand in a dungeon.

Arkane Studios is a developer responsible for some of the biggest names in PC gaming. Dishonored, Prey, and Deathloop all come from the veteran studio, but there are a few games among its roster that have been all but forgotten. Arx Fatalis is where it all started back in 2002 and despite reviewing well, it wasn’t a huge hit. Some fans have never given up on it, however, with a planned remaster and overhaul mod in the works for the game. Unfortunately it’s all hit a bump in the road, with the mod being indefinitely delayed.

If you haven’t played Arx Fatalis don’t worry – you’re not alone. The first-person fantasy game is set on a world years after a catastrophe, where all survivors have fled the planet’s surface to live in caverns underground. You awaken in a prison cell and from there you embark on an immersive sim adventure in a grim fantasy world filled with interactive gameplay mechanics and tons to explore.

Arx Fatalis isn’t just notable for being the first game from Arkane, it also acts as a bridge between the two distinct immersive sim periods. Before it we had Ultima Underworld, System Shock, the original Deus Ex, and the Thief games which offered huge playgrounds but were held back due to a certain clunkiness in approachability. The years after Arx Fatalis’ release saw things become slicker, with the newer Deus Ex games, Dishonored, and others nail down what we now think of as an immersive sim. Arx Fatalis tried to capture the ambition and sheer inventiveness of the earlier games while making them more accessible to play, and we owe a lot to its legacy.

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Some fans definitely agree which is why a team of modders has been busy working on the Arx Insanity Mod. Aiming to remaster and overhaul nearly every aspect of the game, it’s a breathtakingly ambitious mod but despite that, it’s made steady progress over the years. Unfortunately, that progress has stalled with a recent post by the modding team pointing to some issues.

“We had set multiple dates in mind, including testing phases to ensure a stable and polished release experience for the public. We were genuinely confident about these release plans. However, the unexpected departure of team members and the subsequent lack of staff have overwhelmed us,” the post reads. “The current situation has led to a crisis within the team. Dealing with difficulties, lack of personnel, time constraints and RL work or activities can be incredibly challenging. The overwhelming nature of the development process, combined with the burden of working alone on the mod for most of the time, has added to the complexity.”

It’s not all bad news, however, as the team has released several new screenshots along with some details of what progress has been made. In addition, the team is looking to the future and is planning on streamlining the modding process to make sure the project is finally released. “While the project has become ambitious with various ideas and add-ons, we understand that it’s time to prioritize and focus on accomplishing those essential elements to ensure decent results,” the statement continues. “To ensure a smoother and faster development process, we have made the decision not to introduce any new delays, unexpected ideas, or major changes from this point onward, allowing us to concentrate on completing the core aspects of the game.”

A screenshot from the Arx Insanity mod which shows a blacksmith working away in a smithy.

So while the Arx Fatalis mod has no hint of a release date just yet, there may be more positive news coming soon as the team doubles down on the project’s core. You can head over to the mod’s site to read the full post here.

If you haven’t played the original game yet, Arx Fatalis currently has 67% off until Thursday July 11, meaning you can grab it for $1.64 / £1.31 down from $4.99 / £3.99. Head over to Steam to check it out for yourself.

You can also take a peek at our recommendations for the best adventure games you can play, as well as our best classic PC games guide to know what older games are still worth your time.

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