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RPGDot 2001 Awards
Best Single Player RPG

The RPGDot Team, 2002-01-10

In the last weeks of December 2001, you had the opportunity to vote for the best RPGs released in 2001. Nobody knows better what these are then you the player and as such The RPGDot 2001 Awards will look good on any game receiving one.
We thank all those who entered their votes and helped us in making it possible to select the best games.

Best Single Player RPG

So what was the best game in 2001? What did we liked to play most of all? What kept us stuck to our computer for days and nights.......

The winner: Wizardry 8
After almost 10 years since the release of Wizardry 7 – Crusaders of the Dark Savant, Wizardry 8 marks the twilight of the CRPG Gods Sir Tech. Financial woes and extremely strange fact, that no publisher could be found, delayed a game, that offers all a Computer RPGamer wishes for.

Combat is comprehensive, turn-based and very configurable, magic is well balanced, the game is quite bugfree and the story is very exciting, concluding the Dark Savant Saga started in Bane of the Cosmic Forge.

Music is written by Kevin Manthei, who did the score for Vampire – The Masquerade – and who created some very fine tunes for Wizardry 8 as well.

The only downpoint is the Grafx, which looks very nice in dungeons, but outside, where the viewing range is naturally longer than in a cave, it reveales its waekness: Far away objects pop out of nowhere, which adds a sometime strange look to a great game.

After waiting almost a decade on the follow up of Wizardry 7, a highly atmospheric game has seen the light of day. Despite the somewhat outdated graphics, Wizardry 8 offers a great gameplay that will keep you occupied long enough to want for more when it's finished.


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Runner Up: Arcanum - Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
It wasn't a game the knocked you off your feet at first glance - but it was one that one was able to fall in love with after some time spent with gaming: Arcanum - Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a worthy runner up for the award.

Troika did a fine job in creating an RPG that blended the common fantasy theme with new ideas: a world of magic and machines, of industry and alchemy. While it doesn't have the greatest look and feel of all, it is sure a game that lets you embrace its world.

One thing worthy to note is Arcanum's music. It differs from what you are used to in RPG's - and in a very nice and positive way. While there isn't much diversity in the music, it is really different and thus remarkable.

Arcanum is slow-paced, something that might have added to the fact that it didn't sell a great lot of copies. It's a fast world - and games that take time (Arcanum surely does) seem to be an atavism.

Arcanum - of Steamworks and Magick Obscura comes with an editor - but this isn't one you can handle after a few hours. So far, the mod scene has been relatively quiet, with about 10 or so modifications to be found at various sites.

I enjoyed playing the game, although I have to admit that I didn't finish it. After some weeks, I got lost in the story and the quests, and real life had me to abandon the game. I will turn back to Arcanum eventually, because I think it is rewarding and fun alike.


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Second Runner Up: Gothic
This one is THE Surprise RPG of the year. Created by the before unknown German studio Piranha Bytes, Gothic is often claimed to offer what Ultima 9 did miss:

A massive and complex 3D world, which looks as good as the final Ultima part, to say the least.

The escape from the magic prison did keep many gamers busy, but often it was mere fun to walk around in the beautifully rendered gaming world.

Music & Sound are very well done as well and the story is quite good for an action RPG.

The game combat was a bit too easy in the end, where our hero did in fact became too powerful, but Piranha Bytes is already working on a sequel – let’s hope, they fix the very few points that need to be fixed.

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The Numbers

To make it complete we now give you the top 10 as voted by our visitors:

Wizardry 8
Arcanum - Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Fallout Tactics - The Brotherhood of Steel
Pool of Radiance - Ruins of Myth Drannor 4%
Summoner 3%
Anachronox 2%
Blade of Darkness 1%
Throne of Darkness 1%
Etherlords 1%

And 32% of those who participated were unable to select one of the games.

We, the RPGDot team casted our votes also, so here is our top 3:

Wizardry 8 27%
Arcanum - Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

A similar outcome but in a different order.

Note that percentages are rounded to the nearest number.

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