Gothic 3 Enhanced Edition
Date: Monday, June 22 @ 01:35:33 EDT
Topic: RPG Reviews
Gothic 3 has been reviewed here in November 2006 (by Suislide) and he made the mistake of buying it shortly after release. Silly him! Everyone knows that Gothic games are great BUT ONLY AFTER A YEAR OR SO because the initial release is bound to be riddled with bugs and FIRST YEAR CUSTOMERS ARE JUST BETA TESTERS. Now there is an enhanced edition of Gothic 3 (which is basically Gothic 3 plus the community patch 1.7 and later), so it is time to look again at this game. The Gothic series is probably the best RPG game series out there, so this better be any good!
The renowned publisher, Jowood, showed its determination to support its games to the max and kept patching Gothic 3 until most of the bugs were history. It took them more than 2 year, yet they are really modest guys and do not brag about this. They even labelled the latest patches "community patches" so that we would think they did not do this, but we know better! Jowood, you are THE FINEST GAME PUBLISHER ON EARTH! This is the first patch I know of that has its own manual (!) and it weighs roughly 900 MB. Virtually all bugs have now been removed (except the meat bugs, LOL, I'm so funny) and the moniker "enhanced edition" in the splash screen seems jusitified.
Another reason to redo the review is that Suislide played the original unpatched version of this game for only 15 minutes before he ran into a show stopping bug. Since the original unpatched game took 10 minutes to load, Suislide had a total of 5 minutes playing time and this might just not have been sufficient for His Gaming Greatness to form a true opinion of this game. Rumour goes that Suislide had not even figured out the name of the guy he was playing!
Graphics: In comparison to Gothic 2, the graphics have been improved quite a bit. Particularly the wildlife and foliage looks much better now. It is nice that not all animals try to kill you on sight too. You still need a pretty powerful system to get decent graphics. The animations are sometimes quite silly, for example when you eat a plant it looks like you are eating a complete tree. But overall the graphics are pretty good.
Sound: Sound is basically OK. Voice acting is decent too, but nothing to get excited about. However, when the nameless hero (SHIT, SPOILED IT FOR SUISLIDE) dies in the game, his death scream is WAY too loud. Honestly, if I play this game at night I can manage to wake up the entire city simply by letting TNH die. It is ridiculous how much louder the death scream has been recorded in comparison to all other sounds in the game. I ended up switching speakers off altogether when health got low, it was so annoying.
Gameplay: The good news is that it is still a true Gothic game and those who liked Gothic 1 and 2 will feel right at home (and those who did not like Gothic 1 and 2 are not to be taken seriously anyway). Gameplay is basically unchanged, which is great. The other good news that Gothic 3 HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED ON ANY SHITTY CONSOLE, so no consolitis here!
The bad news is that this game has been severely dumbed down anyway. This time we cannot even blame the consoles for this! Face it: Gothic 1 and 2 got critisised by PC gamers (most likely Romanians who were not even paying customers, dirty thieving bastards) for having non-standard controls WHICH TOOK A WHOLE 5 MINUTES TO GET USED TO. This seems to be beyond the attention span of some PC gamers nowadays and the developers made the mistake to listen to those morons rather than stick to the trusty old control scheme. In the old combat system you had to time the swings just right to win fights and you could not defeat many opponents until you were quite strong; in the new system you just keep clicking your mouse buttons until the enemy is dead, and you can defeat Lurkers, Orc and even Shadowbeasts without having raised a single stat. In Gothic 2 you would not stand the slightest chance of surviving taking on a Shadowbeast in the beginning of the game (and that is how it is supposed to be). They could as well have adopted the lame Oblivion levelling up scheme, in which the whole world levels up with you. Even the lock picking system has been dumbed down (i.e. virtually removed altogether) because of complaints that it was too difficult in Gothic 2.
Story: I could not dream of beating Suislide's description of the story in his review, so I am not even trying. This translates to: I have not gotten far enough to say anything about the story, but my best guess is that it is comparable to those of Gothic 1 and 2, so pretty basic and fairly standard. Gothic was never about story anyway.
BTW Gothic 4 has been announced. It will be released on consoles too, it will be made by a completely different developer carefully selected by Jowood because of their HUGE AND IMPRESSIVE RPG BACKGROUND, it will be developed under Jowood's strict quality control scheme and they changed the name as well, so this one's going to be great!
Gothic 3 is good, but Gothic 2 was better. I'll give it a 8.5 / 10.