Why is it that the things I love most about this game are the ones the reviewers here hate?
But this game takes a realistic approach to RPG. RPGs are based on the principle of you going araound and exploring a realistic world. But still every enemy you meet is weak enough for you to beat him. But that's not real. In real life most people beat you and the only way to change it is learning. Now, that's Gothic. You will die a lot and that is because if YOU were transfered into a world like that it would happen to you, too. YOu walk into the wrong cave, you are dead. It's a simple as that and it makes the world feel more real.
As for the control scheme, it takes getting used to but that makes it fun to play. If you play (correction) When you play the game for the second time (if you finish it once you will play it again) you will find that you can beat enemies several level above you because you learned how to use the system. You, as player, have to learn to fight in the game instead of some screen appearing and telling you that you are the master of the universe now because you killed enough low-level oponents (there are still levels and they are important but the way you work is damn important, too).
End of line, you have to think tactically, train to use the conrol scheme and pick your fights carefully.
And btw, in my opinion this is the best RPG ever. ANd I challenge you to try it and then come back and tell me a better one (written July 2007). (I played it with the "Raven's Night" Add-On which is more like an extension to the game because it does not give you another campaign but instead integrates additional quests into the game and changes some stats for the enemies)