Gothic series have all been about a large open world that is begging to be explored, characters that meet though out all of the games, and in the end being the lone hero that has to defeat a great evil. Although I have not completed the game yet, I estimate that I have about five hours until I reach the end. Forsaken Gods takes place two years after the events in Gothic 3 where Myrtana has been split into four regains, North, South, East, and West and war is starting to break out again. Xardas and the nameless hero are watching these unfold and the two starts to argue. The argument eventually breaks into rage and a battle ensues, after the battle the hero goes back to Myrtana to combine the four regains and bring piece. However, he is weaken from the battle with Xardas and attacked on a road and wakes up in Silden. This is where the player gets to assume control of my favorite hero.
Right off the bat I went out to see the world of the new game, it does take place in Myrtana so all the locations are familiar to me. Silden look almost the same, it does have a wooden wall around it now, same street layout though. The outside looks lush and vibrant, the colors seem a bit brighter in Forsaken Gods than in Gothic 3. The game runs smooth (without any .ini tweaks), even with everything on max and I am not running top of the line hardware either (dual core 5000+, two 2600XT in crossfire, vista 64, 4 gigs of ddr800). Gothic 3 would lag on my current setup. It is the same Myrtana from Gothic 3 but you can't go to Nordmar or Varant, an invisible barrier keeps you out of these areas. I always thought that the Genome engine that Gothic 3 used was beautiful, such lushes fauna and picturesque country side and Forsaken Gods keeps up with that same quality. The wilderness does seem more wild and denser than Gothic 3. Some of the cities have been rebuilt such as Vengard and Gotha and others have been let go such as Okara and Reddock.
Combat for the most part is the same, it is left click slow and powerful swing and the right click is quick and weaker. If you play as a melee fighter then you can really just right click your way to win most fights. Bows are still good at distance and you can usually find a place to fire that enemies can't reach and they will just stand (as close as they can get) and take arrows in the face until they die. The magic in the game has always been my favorite way to combat and it is a much fun to use as it was in all the previous Gothic games. On a side note to level up in this game requires you to complete quest. To receive your first level up you have to gain almost 6000 experience points, which it a pain when most enemies only give you 25 to 50 points, a quest completion will yield 4000 or more experience.
As with all Gothic games this one does come with its fair share of bugs. I played this on version 1.06 and I did find it easily playable but defiantly not perfect. I did read one other review of Forsaken Gods that mention that there was bread all over the ground and that he thought that it was a bug and was meant to be mushrooms. This is actually one of the quests as anyone who really plays the game will find out. The other review did mention some other valid points though. Characters do get stuck in walls; random objects are found suspended above the ground or floor. These are just a nuisance and do not impede the game at all. The only bug that I found that did impact the game was the journal did not keep the quest organized by city or main. You have to show all the quest in order to see what you need to do which becomes a hassle when you have 20 or more pending quest. Also when you complete a quest it sometimes does not move over to the completed quest tab in your journal, that just causes you quest list to look even longer. I am sure that the journal will be corrected in a future patch but it can take some time to figure out what you need to do if you leave an area and plan to come back to it later.
All in all I really enjoy playing Forsaken Gods and will go though it again in a few months win a few more patches comes out and the moding community has some time to play with it. I enjoyed going back and seeing old characters and I can see how this will set up Arcadia with a good follow up. I am assuming this will be the last time that I get to play as this unnamed hero and what a ride it has been.
If anyone important reads this it would be nice if JoWood would release a creation kit for Gothic 3.