Arx Libertatis Released

RPG Watch is reporting that Arx Libertatis — a port of the open source Arx Fatalis engine — has been released.

So, what differentiates Arx Libertatis from the vanilla Arx Fatalis code?

The Arx Libertatis source code is based on the publicly released Arx Fatalis sources and available under the GPL 3+ license. This does however not include the game data, so you need to obtain a copy of the original Arx Fatalis or it’s demo to play Arx Libertatis.

Arx Libertatis is mainly developed on Windows and Linux, but has also been successfully run under Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

After over a year of work we are proud to announce the first release of Arx Libertatis. While some minor graphical glitches remain, the game is fully playable on both Windows and Linux as well as other platforms. There are packages available for Windows and Linux. On other systems you may still be able to run the game by compiling the source code yourself.

Besides porting the game to SDL, OpenGL, OpenAL and the amd64 architecture while maintaining native Direct X backends, we fixed some performance issues with newer operating systems, added more configuration options and improved the interface scaling for widescreen resolutions.

So in essence, it’s like Exult for Arx Fatalis.

If you have a copy of Arx kicking about, download a copy of Arx Libertatis and give it a try! They offer downloads for Windows, OS X, and numerous Linux flavours.

11 Responses

  1. Sanctimonia says:

    Ho-lee shit. I remember when I got my /. article posted about the source code being released, and it’s awesome to hear that some valiant souls have taken up arms to bring this project to reality. Funny too how we’ve been talking about how there are no viable UU remakes recently and now this news drops.

    A sign, perhaps? Long live the Underworld.

  2. Thepal says:

    I never did play it beyond a few minutes… I might have to have another go at it

  3. Sanctimonia says:

    Me neither. Here’s a gameplay video:

    Needs more physics-based interactions, but otherwise decent. Grimrock does rock the M&M aesthetic, but Arx Fatalis/Libertatis attempts to rock the UU vibe. Since it’s open source, ideas can freely be taken from it, including code.

  4. Sergorn says:

    Arx Fatalis was actually pretty good in term of interactivity. It reminded me of Ultima IX in term of how it handled things. In any case it was better than most RPGs.

    Its engine would be perfect to remake the Underworld games really… it basically has the same combat and magic systems too! But without any toolkit this would be an issue.

    • Deckard says:

      Grimcrock is going to be getting a full toolkit and scripting capabilities – might be the closest to a “modern” engine that would be suitable for the Underworlds.

      • Sergorn says:

        But Grimlock use a square by square movement approach, would the toolkit even allows to “switch” to a real freeform 3D movement ?

        Honestly I’m baffled by people likening Grimlock to UW. Grimlock is basically a Dungeon Master clone playing pretty much like it, but with modern graphics. And it’s quite different from what Ultima Underworld offers.

      • Deckard says:

        I think I read a developer comment that they could switch from grid to normal 3D, but they chose to make their first game grid-based for several reasons. Whether that will be in the toolkit or not, I don’t know. They are supposedly working on the Mac port first, and then the iOS/Android ports, so the toolkit might be a ways off.

        It is closer to DM, no argument there, but I’m just happy they are helping to revive dungeon crawlers.

        Is Arx Fatalis/Libertatis grid based?

      • Sergorn says:

        Nah Arx Fatalis is freeform 3D of course.

        Arx is very much an Underworld game at the core and plays very much like one. The only difference is that its dialogues are non-interactive (plan was to bring that in Arx 2 but its prototype was turned into Dark Messiah and the IP is pretty much dead I think since Arkane doesnt seem interested in proper RPGs anymore).

        Arkane actually wanted Arx to BE Ultima Underworld 3 but EA wasnt interested

  5. Petrell says:

    @Sergorn
    EA is not interested in selling any of it’s IP’s or letting anyone use them for anything no matter how much is offered. And considering their recent use of several prominent IP’s (Lords of Ultima et al), it’s hardly over concern for reputation of the IP. Still don’t understand the need to attach classic franchises to something completely unrelated just because you can.

    Arcane’s attampt does make one wonder what kind of game would it been like had EA licenced them the IP. How much of the original concept did they retain when they turned the game into Arx Fatalis.

    • Sergorn says:

      I’m not sure that’s completly true – it looks like Chris Roberts managed to make a deal with EA regarding Wing Commander for instance (it’s known for a fact he was looking for funding for an actual WC game last year, though I dunno if that move forward or not). Also NetDragon licensed Dungeon Keeper and Ultima (yes!) for new Online Games a couple years ago – altough there hasn’t been any new about this Asian UO oustide of forums opening last year.

      Bottom line though I think it’s more a matter of whether EA has interest or not in the IP – and Ultima remains IP they intend to use and don’t want to ship to other studios at this point in time.

      Obviously though, EA tends more to ship its IP to external studios rather than having studios asking to use a specific IP (Syndicate is an exemple of an EA IP that was developped by an independant studio, but EA offered the deal – and that’s what almost happened with Ultima and Obsidian a few years ago).

      To be fair though, Arkane was a new studio when they pitched the idea to EA, and Origin was likely still working on UO2 whenever they pitched it. I can see how EA wouldn’t have felt like outsourcing another Ultima game since they had their own plans, and how perhaps they wouldn’t have wanted to license the IP to a completly unproven developper.

      I’m not sure if they had concrete plan for Arx as UW3 beyond pitching the idea to EA. The game as it is feels very much like a remake of UW1 in many ways.

      • Infinitron says:

        I think it’s for the best that Arkane didn’t get the Ultima license because, while they nailed the gameplay, I don’t think they had what it took to write an Ultima game.

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