在我看来，《奥秘（Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura）》展现了 CPRG 所能创造出的最完整的角色扮演体验。机制和内容的深度与广度保证了一次通关是绝对不够的，甚至两次或三次都不能体验到全部的内容。
在《奥秘》中创建角色非常复杂。游戏采用了无职业的系统，所以玩家选择的不是职业，而是在超过 8 个种族和 50 个以上的背景中选择。这让玩家可以定制出风格独特的角色，同时还给予了角色扮演的精神。
Arcanum, in my opinion, offers the most complete role-playing experience of any CRPG ever created. The breadth and depth of mechanics and content ensure that one playthrough just won't be enough. Two or three won't cut it either.
The diversity of character options is immense, not just at character creation, but through gameplay and dialogue choices throughout the huge open world of Arcanum.
Creating a character in Arcanum is a very involved experience. The system is classless, so you won't pick a class, but there are no fewer than eight races and over 50 backgrounds to choose from, allowing you to tailor your character to very specific tastes and also getting the player into the role-playing spirit.
The effects of backgrounds range from the minor to the extreme. If you just want to tinker a little or add some flavour to your character, you could be an apprentice to a shopkeeper or a halfling orphan for some minor bonuses and penalties. But if you want to go all in, you could be a supermodel, or an idiot savant or even a Frankenstein's monster with huge bonuses and penalties across multiple stats and skills.
创建人物结束后会播放一段开场动画。你乘坐在 IFS 西风号（IFS Zephyr）上，这是一艘正在进行从卡拉顿（Caladon）到塔伦特（Tarant）处女航的飞艇。突然间西风号遭到了两架兽人（Orc）驾驶的“奇特飞行机器”（也就是飞机）的攻击并坠毁了。在失事地点，一个垂死的侏儒（gnome）托付给你一枚银戒指，告诉你去“找到那个孩子”。然后你会遇到一个名叫维吉尔（Virgil）的同伴，他最近刚刚改信帕纳利（Panarii）教，现在他宣称你就是远古神明纳斯鲁丁（Nasrudin）的转世。维吉尔提出带你去附近的巫山镇（Shrouded Hills）见一见他的上级，于是你在奥秘世界的旅程就这样开始了。
When you're finished creating your avatar, the opening cinematic plays. You are aboard the IFS Zephyr, a zeppelin on its maiden voyage from Caladon to Tarant, when it is attacked and shot down by two “strange flying machines” (i.e. planes) piloted by Orcs. At the crash site, you talk to a dying gnome who gives you a silver ring and tells you to “find the boy”. You are then engaged by a fellow named Virgil, a recent convert to the Panarii religion, who claims you are the reincarnation of the ancient god Nasrudin. Virgil offers to accompany you to the nearby town of Shrouded Hills to meet his superior, and your journey through the world of Arcanum begins.
Arcanum boasts a huge number of quests with several ways to resolve them, usually using the trio of solutions established by Fallout – combat, stealth and diplomacy. The complex character system adds a lot of depth here, as a beautiful elf in an elegant dress will have an easier time getting a murderer to confess, but an ugly mage can still try a charm spell, or even use necromancy to get a testimony from his victims.
The world is massive and very open, with few gates to pass through. There are many optional locations scattered across the map to stumble upon, from altars of old and forgotten gods to ancient dungeons, hidden villages and a few easter eggs.
A lot of smaller touches really add to the charm of Arcanum. For example, every skill in the game has an associated master. You'll have to find them and often do a special quest for them if you wish to be trained. You will also see your own actions, or the consequences of them, as headlines of the Tarantian, the most popular newspaper in Arcanum. You'll read and hear various rumours as well, that serve both as leads into obscure side-quests and as subtle hints about future areas and the game's antagonist.