ArcaniA is set in the world of Gothic game series and was originally announced as Gothic 4. It was eventually released as a standalone spin-off game with only minor connections to the main plot of Gothic.
Rhobar III, the king of Myrtana and the former protagonist of the Gothic trilogy, sent his army to conquer the Southern Islands. It seems that the king is possessed by an evil force. The protagonist is a young man from the island of Feshyr. As he prepares to marry, Rhobar's army invades the island, killing the protagonist's family. Now he's to become the new Nameless Hero like Rhobar once was. His goal is to avenge his family and to save the world from the madness of the king.
The game is set in a high fantasy universe. The world is open, however, it is divided into several regions, each of them serving as an open world in itself. To unlock a new region, the protagonist has to complete certain quests for NPCs that unlock new regions.
Despite not being the proper part of Gothic series, the game shows a strong similarity to the original trilogy. It is a 3D third-person RPG with a strong emphasis on action. Some of the game's mechanics became simpler. The creators scrapped most spells from the previous games, leaving only three (fire, ice, and lightning), although they can be upgraded. There are three character classes: Warrior, Mage, or Ranger. The protagonist levels up automatically, but to distribute his XP to certain skill is up to the player. Unlike the rest of Gothic games, ArcaniA doesn't use sleep to skip time and restore health.