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Short thread: they play a lot worse than I remember
Long thread below

I’m amazed at how bad these games hold up because I remember them being fucking pinnacles. But playing them again makes me realize just how far gamings evolved that’s made me appreciate new games a lot more than I thought i would. Those RPGs barely function as games and the inflated map size is barren not due to any game design things(see cube world) but do to the fact that the devs filled the open world with literally just terrain and nothing else, no wildlife, no NPCs, no encounters, no caves nothing, just emptiness to look deep without
Deep and the list of problems goes on with shit like the controls being visibly awful, massive sections straight up looking unfinished the low res music fucking with my ears but turning it off with nothing to replace it causing feelings of isolation and legitimate fear. It’s terrible man terrible oh well still really good RPGs for their time


Daggerfall was always empty as shit. Unity remake has some mods that try and fix that.


I had a similar experience with Arcanum and JA2, a completely abysmal new user experience when going back into it from a fairly standardized modern gaming mindset. Arcanum iirc is hardcoded to be a pain in the ass to play, while JA2 is manageable if you can be bothered spending ages rebinding every single hotkey (providing you already know how to play).
Last time I went to play JA2 I just quit on the first mission after realizing all the default controls are bullshit. Although these games didn't have the benefit of being made when everyone had pretty much settled on a best practice for how players should interact with the game.


Now these two games are still perfectly playable. Only thing I don't like about Arcanum is the way you have to set up travel points on the map and there's a limit.


I can't even remember what it was that annoyed me about Arcanum, does it have some antiquated mouse setup or something?
Whoever came up with JA2's default control scheme needs to be permanently removed from being able to design control schemes, it's absolutely terrible.


There is lack of hotkeys in Arcanum, yes. Not that big of a deal really. It's weakest point was and will always be combat, but that's not why people love it.


The combat in arcanum wasn’t necessarily bad it was just different and more tactical and focused on the story telling aspect of the moment

Daggerfall and exile 3 on the other hand did flat out suck hard
In daggerfalls case having the weapons be apart of the ui itself on top of making enemies and NPCs sprites with sprite hit boxes made hitting anything borderline impossible even if you were using always hit mods
For exile 3 it was just that it was way to sterile, their really was no way for your inputs to be registered without text on the screen explaining you did anything


Combat is garbo since you either spam Harm or cripple yourself. As a melee character, fighting the golems in the mountains is always a pain. And if you go for guns, that can be decently fun I guess but magic is just way better. Also, enemy placement is all over the place, there wasn't any thought put into it. One of the best examples of that is the sewers in Tarant, if you ever play it again see for yourself.


Overall, for me the best era of PC RPGs starts with Fallout 1. Before that there's just a few games that I still like. Ultima Underworld 1/2, Lands of Lore, Anvil of Dawn. The Bard's Tale Trilogy is also neat, the remastered version specifically. Wizardry games are solid if you are into dungeon crawlers (I played the PS1 versions of 1-3). Might & Magic 3-7 (I like 8 too). And Dark Sun games, the first one especially. That's about it for me.

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