The first dungeon might prove to be too hard for many beginning players, especially with the awkward scheme they've implemented. Moving around is pretty tough, and you are prone to being attacked from behind quite often. You'll have to rest and save frequently, because dying is taken quite literally. Once you get the hang of things, the game becomes a lot of fun as you move around the world, gathering information and doing jobs and the like. Still, you have to listen very carefully some times, as the journal doesn't provide you with much of anything, and the map you have to tag all by yourself. Sometimes you'll get attacked at random in a town, so always be prepared. At this point, you can see that it is definitely the first Elder Scrolls game, but where in the hell does the title "Arena" come in? I'll get back to that, for now, -2½ points for not telling me what to do very well.
Understandably, this game is very large, and it's only 1994, so it's not going to exactly "excel" in the graphics department. While it's perfectly playable as a game, it's almost impossible to tell where you're going sometimes, as there's a thick fog covering anything within 20 feet of you. There's a multitude of 2D sprites like trees, fountains and people, never changing their plane of existence, always stuck in their limited dimension. However, the cutscenes are pretty good, the textures are pretty nice, and there's a lot of other things that strike my interest like how it changes from day to night. Pretty cool stuff. -4 points overall, though.
Very atmospheric, the game really helps get you along with nice music and lots of sound effects. I wish that sometimes there was some talking though, -3 points for me being dissatisfied.
Overall: 7¼/10Why is this game called Arena, anyway, I haven't come across any sort of gladiator-fighting or coliseums or nothing. Oh, it's because they rebuilt this game from an old project, adding in RPG elements and the like, only to scrap the original Arena gameplay, and still to leave the title. That doesn't make any sense. Either way, if you're a Skyrim fan, you should be checking this out, Bethesda graciously gives it out for free from their website. You'll probably spend a good moment on it, and experience gaming history as it once was.
http://www.elderscrolls.com/arena - Download Elder Scrolls Chapter One: Arena
http://www.svatopluk.com/arena/manual/ - Arena Player's Guide