Not really Gothic, but…

User Rating: 8 | Arcania: Gothic 4 PC
Not really Gothic, but that's not to say it's a bad game. I am a ways into it, I just got the pass to Silverlake from the Baron of Stewark. So far, I am enjoying the game. I played the demo and read some reviews before buying the game, so I kind of new what to expect going into, and had accepted the fact that this was a Gothic game in name only.

The environments are beautiful. My first glimpse of Silverlake and the snow caped mountain above it from the hills east of the Cleaved Maiden blew me away. It's probably one of the most jaw dropping scenes I have yet to experience in a game. That said, some of the character models and other objects in the game are only average. Also, the weather effects are very nice, but it seems to change a little to quickly and often for my taste. My god, it seems to rain all the time!

These beautiful environments come at a cost, and performance can suffer. I have an i7 overclocked to 3.8 ghz and dual GTX 285's in SLI, along with an SSD hardrive, and I have seen my fps drop down below 30 at certain points in the game, with everything maxed out. I am averaging in the 40's (this is with the performance hotfix installed).

Fighting is simple and easy. It seemed too easy on normal difficulty, so I bumped it up to hard, and it's a bit better (creatures do more damage now). Not a lot of options when it comes to skills and spells.

The interface on the PC is slick. Switching from melee to ranged and spells is made simple thru the hotkeys. Being able to heal yourself while in the middle of a battle doesn't seem realistic, but you can always just role-play and choose not use this option if it bothers you.

Quests are your normal mix of hunt and fetch so far. I turned off the quest markers, which has made the game a little more enjoyable. The story is very linear (no open world like Oblivion or the previous gothic titles), but I have enjoyed it so far.

Overall, if you go into the game knowing that it's not really a gothic game, then it can be an enjoyable experience. I played the first 2 Gothic titles and loved them. I tried playing Gothic 3 many, many times, but I could never get into it (even with the community patches, and I really wanted to enjoy the game). I could never get over the horrible combat. It simply was not enjoyable.