Potential that has not been used. Lovely world - great creature designs but boring skill selection and weak story.
I haven't played the previous Gothic parts, but I'm not sure that this is the reason that the story seems unfinished and the cutscenes... mediocre at best. After playing your way through lovely design landscapes, you suddenly reach the next chapter and are confronted with a cutscene from someone else's view or in some other time and never really find out why. Overall - it just feel unfinished and without much love.
Also disappointing was the amount of armor available for the character. At certain points of the story line you will receive one out of three types and that is it - until you reach the next point. As for weapons, yes you find a lot of those - most them of them are junk and good for sale only and you will just rarely switch your weapon after several hours of gameplay - because you already found the best that is available for you at that moment. It just feels like a very meager selection.
The skills are also very limited and you will not be able to max out a whole bunch, so you have to be very careful what you choose and I suggest sticking with one general direction. The variety of special attacks or spells is very small - so don't expect filling your hotbar with plenty of special skills and attacks.
Crafting is very simple and doesn't have the charm of previous versions and the use of items and furniture like beds or alchemy tables are simply cosmetic and do not have any effects on the gameplay.
Despite all the negative aspects; the little jokes, the landscape, the decent music and the very amusing comments from the stressed and annoyed hero kept me playing until I finished the game. I won't waste much time on describing my dislike of the ending - as this my personal taste and maybe will actually like it - but maybe you should be warned about a little disappointment.
Don't approach the title with very high hopes. It's a stable (at least for me) and decent RPG but it doesn't live up to what the genre could have offered. Additionally, I think the replay-value is relatively small due to very limited choices concerning individual gaming style (the linear story) and the just as much limited variety of character development.
P.S.: Yes, I played the real deal - yes, we in Europe had for once an earlier release, me thinks. Don't kill the messenger! :)