We were able to see Gothic II in action at this year's E3. Gothic II will be the sequel to the original Gothic, an open-ended fantasy-themed role-playing game that casts you in the role of a reluctant hero imprisoned in a time of unrest. In the sequel, you'll play as the same hero, and just as in the original game, you won't be forced to choose a profession immediately, though you'll eventually be able to take on a specific character class, such as a dragon hunter, a magician, or a paladin.
Following the events of the original game, the powerful dragons of the land have been freed, and it's up to your character to warn the authorities--though the local paladins have also been at war with fierce orcs since the original game. Just like in the first game, you'll be able to develop several different skills for your character, though you'll have to specialize in certain skills (such as picking locks or creating potions) to be truly proficient at them.
In the meantime, you'll be able to interact with characters and items in the same way as in the original game--simply facing a character or item causes that character's or item's name to appear overhead, and you'll be able click an action button to either use the item or talk to the character. Gothic II will also feature the same kind of dialogue trees as in the first game. You'll speak with a character and then continue the conversation by choosing a specific response, which, depending on how well liked your character is, may result in a reward or in being attacked. Like the first game, Gothic II will feature political factions (the new factions include local mercenaries and local militia, for instance) that you can align yourself with or choose to oppose. Regardless of your choices, you'll notice a considerable graphical improvement in Gothic II--the sequel looked far better than the original game did, thanks to its cleaner textures and more-detailed environments. Gothic II has already been fully localized with English dialogue, so the game will most likely meet its scheduled October 2003 ship date.