A game that you can't think about anything when you're playing it and mostly think about it when you are not playing it.
-Gothic has one of the best and more importantly non-cliche story lines in RPG history. It's not the good guy killing the bad guy or save the world kind of thing. Actually, the main aspect of the story is very simple. A king is trying to get ore to make weapons for fighting his enemies ( orcs ) and sends criminals to a magically protected penal colony with resourceful mines to prospect ore and the main hero of the game is one of them. People in PB used this simple background in the best way possible and made a story that completely affects everything in the game and always makes you want to know more about it.
-A great world with a lot of immersion. I really couldn't think about anything else when I was playing Gothic. Just the game itself.
-Great lore. I have seen magicians, orcs, gods, monsters , etc before. But I don't remember seeing them mix with each other in such a great harmony and coincidence. Nothing seems overdone or overflown in Gothic's universe. Everything ( from characters to inventory items ) plays its part perfectly in describing the world of Gothic without overstaying its welcome. Actually, the good thing is the universe is perfectly connected in Gothic games. One of the reasons I consider Gothic 2 my most favorite game ever was the fact that I played Gothic before it. Just seeing the perfection connection between two games was delightful and made me enjoy the game a lot more.
-Great and innovative RPG System. when you level up, you gain 10 learning points , but unlike many RPGs , you can't spend what you gained from your level-up right away. you have to go to a tutor and then spend them anyway you want. You can increase your attributes like Mana, strength, dexterity or increase your skills like working with Crossbow, 1 handed weapon, 2 handed weapon, bow etc. So you choose your class not by simply choosing it at the start of the game, but by advancing and making choices during your play-time. In other words, you choose your class dynamically.
-Awesome Graphics for its time. Playing the game on highest graphical settings in 2001 was a real treat I guess.
-Wonderful believable Characters who are all gray. You can't judge their morality just like you can do in other RPGs . Good and bad in Gothic universe has only meaning for Innos and Beliar. Two gods in the game's universe. Even Xardas who is a necromancer and servant of Beliar sounds like a fair old man most of the time.
-Great Dialogues followed by great voice acting (for a cult-classic European CRPG of course ) . Many people might think voice acting is cheap in this game, but I actually find it to be in greatly in harmony with the game's atmosphere and character's personality.
-Highly addictive. I couldn't touch any other game while I was playing Gothic.
-Artificial Intelligence is phenomenal both for enemies and NPC's. Their reaction to your actions is very well detailed. For example when you sneak, NPCs become suspicious and ask you why are you sneaking. When you draw your weapon, they will draw theirs too and will attack you if you don't sheath it soon. They talk with each other, they will go back to their home when the night comes, when you go to their house, they'll tell you to get out. Enemies spin around you, they won't attack you when you are blocking, they block your attacks, even humans and orcs have different fighting tactics, orcs are more aggressive and reckless due to their nature, but humans fight with more and care and focus on defense, Animals don't attack you if you just go away, wolfs mostly attack in packs, etc. I just could go on. But I think that proves how good AI is in Gothic.
-Killing every single enemy is a big enjoyment because of the challenge they give.
- A nice sense of humor which never gets absurd. Especially for the nameless hero's dialogues.
-Game Gives you huge freedom to become whoever you like. A fire mage, water mage, paladin or mercenary.
-Great armors and weapons and spells. ( of course some of them ARE useless...)
-Memorable Music. Kai Rosenkranz is a genius. The main menu music is perhaps one of the best music tracks I have ever listened. Absolutely epic and iconic.
Not much not to like about this game , but here are some few:
-Gothic is a bit short. (According to the fact that it's an open world game.) Personally It last around 38 hours for me with all of the possible side quest done as a Fire Mage.
-Very hard at first. You can hardly kill a scavenger (one of the weakest enemies in the game ) without constant savings and reloading at very first. Although this is not entirely a bad thing, because it just makes you really feel the power later in the game. But it's very annoying at first and probably the only reason many people couldn't get into the game.
-Some minor bugs. Although really not a big deal with the latest patch.
-Weird and Unusual controls. Although you get used to it.
Gothic is truly one of the biggest achievements in history of games. it was a very ambitious game for its time and didn't fail although it was its developer's first game. The good thing is that greatness of Gothic didn't just end with this game. Gothic 2 is better than Gothic in every possible way (except story and atmosphere), Night of the Raven made Gothic 2 even better. And Gothic 3 even with its bugs, made all of the RPGs around its time like Oblivion look like a student project to me. But just like all cult-classics, Gothic is not for everyone. If you want to enjoy Gothic, you have to be a patient gamer. You should not quit from the game in rage when you see you are getting squashed by your enemy before even having the chance of drawing your weapon. You should not get confused when you see there are lots of possibilities without any kind of guide ( except the ones in the Internet ) directing you which one to take and what's the consequence. In the other words, Gothic has a hard time holding the interest of gamers in general . But it will blow away the cult that follows it in the best way possible.