Play with the latest community patch installed and you are in for one of the best hardcore RPG experiences ever!!

User Rating: 8.5 | Gothic 3 PC
The Gothic universe has always been one of my favourites. It has a very distinctive own atmosphere which makes it unique. Moreover the series are notoriously hard and all achievements in the game feel really rewarding. And last but not least, there is always something to find in the rich, even though small world of Gothic. The third installment of the franchise takes a rather sharp turn in many aspects.

I first start with what I did not like in this game.

The combat system! It sucks! Fighting is much degraded since the last two installments. It is easier, yes, but not better. An attempt is obvious that they tried to improve it but they fell short. You can actually act out interesting duels if you like, but it is much easier to just abuse the LMB and win the game. And you will do a lot of fighting so this can really bore you at some point.

Character development is also botched in this game. You still earn experience which brings you learning points upon leveling up and then you spend them for everything you would like to learn from teachers - from basic atributes like strength and life, through special skills, to spells. The system worked great in the previous games because everything you could learn was useful and learning points were scarce. However, in Gothic 3 everything yields tons of experience and there must be over 500 side quests so half way through the game (which won't be fast, actually) you will be running around with 100+ unspent learning points and being a master swordsman, deadly archer and an experienced mage at the same time. Another problem is that most skills are completely useless - why would I ever want to be able to sneak on wild animals?! Or what's the point in investing in endurance when the thing is used only to determine how long you can sprint, but when you stop, it is recharged magically in seconds?

A good thing is that alchemy in this game could be useful, as is smithing. However, both are not necessary. While true that the most powerful weapons are self-made, they will never make much difference from what you can get from slain enemies.

A much hated thing in this game is how buggy it is. I understand that it is practically unplayable at version 1.0 which is the main reason behind low grades on the net but I must say that the guys from the community team have done a great job! With the latest patch on, there are neglectably few problems - mainly clipping issues that can be sometimes annoying but never too problematic and two or three bugged quests which is nothing to the number of side quests I mentioned above.

And now comes the good part - even though it has lost a bit of its identity, Gothic 3 still has this thick atmosphere that made previous games great. You would really feel like you are deciding in a world on the edge of ballance. First off, I started kicking orcs in the butts but then I realized they are no longer the mindless animals from the previous parts while the rebels started to seem too fanatic to me and I gradually changed sides leading to me killing the king who, although noble, was the one who threw me behind the barrier in the first place.

You will be deciding, alright, and some decisions are heavy. I was interested in the Hashishin fraction and wanted to enter their capital and meet their leader but in order to be admitted, I had to kill the Water Mages - familiar faces and friends from waaaay back in the colony in Gothic 1. Furthermore, if you help the rebels too much for example, soon the orcs will start attacking you on sight. The ballance is sometimes difficult which yields great satisfaction.

What is more, although much enlarged, the world of Gothic is still very interesting to explore. You will find many hidden caves, wandering characters and more. Some quests require you to get lost in the wilderness. Towns look fantastic and much alive. All sceneries are marvelous thanks to great artwork and beautiful graphics. The orchestral music is great but it will get old for the 150+ hours of gameplay. Sounds are dumb but the voice acting is still goofy and charming, may it be inappropriate for a medieval setting.

To sum it up, I highly recommend this game to all hardcore RPG fans now. It may have got low marks before but that was because of its D-cover. The actual product is an A which you can enjoy now with the latest community patch installed.