Only story and dull voice acting ruin this otherwise classic western RPG
Many reviews and reception around this game is based around the fact that it isn't necessarily a "Gothic" experience.I can agree with that to a certain degree,but that,to me did not represent a problem at all.However if you,want a "Gothic" experience,well you're in for a surprise.
Let me start off by saying that Gothic 4 is a gorgeous looking game,it has excellent lighting,shadows and textures,and the art style of the game is pleasing and suits the game well.
The same goes for the sound effects,they're good but not mind blowing,though I would like to see some more inspiring music,which leaves something to be desired.
The story starts off simple enough,you're a man who is about to get engaged to his love on an island of Feshyr in which you both live.But soon,the war caches up to your home island and when you return from your adventure,you find that everything has been destroyed and looted while the enemy ships sail away.
You go out to seek your revenge and needless to say,things get complicated real fast,but fret not because this game,as much as it arguably might try to,does not focus on the story,and the story isn't deep like other western RPG's that came out that year such as Fable 3 for example.
That is to say,if you're looking for a deep story with interesting characters in this game,then look away because you're not going to find it.However,if you're like me and are OK with having a run of the mill story in this particular game,then chances are,you're gonna have a good time in Gothic 4.
The gameplay in the game is pretty simple,and accessible to anyone who has played an RPG before.There's loot,there's leveling up,there's skills,and combat.The menus are very streamlined and there are lots of customization options,like the color setup "European (moody)" and "American (bright)" which is pretty interesting.You're not limited by weight in the inventory,there are slots per item (any item),it's not like some items are bigger than others like in,say,NWN for example.
Like in your average medieval RPG,there are 3 types of combat paths(melee,range,magic),which you can customize as you desire and can mix things up as well.
The skill tree is rather small,there are no branches of skills,just an upgrade from the original with 3 special slots for a new ability/spell.
Each distinct combat path has at least more than 1 way of leveling it: for example ,if you're going for magic,there are 3 separate skills you can level for a different type of magic.
Overall,it has everything you'd expect from a western RPG and not a whole lot more,which isn't necessarily a bad thing.Worth buying,and worth playing.