This is a disgraceful place to see the Gothic series end up in. Completely stripped of everything we loved about Gothic!
This on the other hand... it's like Gothic for idiots.
Story is retarded... the entire set of intro quests has you focusing on trying to get married to some village girl. Couple that with voice acting that sounds like some condescending adults talking down to a retarded child.... enough said about the story.
Now the gameplay... this is truly horrific.
Gothic 1 was, one of the buggiest games of its time. It wasn't completely broken, but if we're honest, it was nowhere near a Gold release for retail sale.
THAT seems like perfection in the fact of this monstrosity. There are so many blocked areas to prevent you from dying... or so it seems. Do enough exploring and you'll start to feel like it's just lazy development. Doors that won't respond to keys unless you're standing at a specific angle... doors that won't open at all despite being a crucial part of a quest.
One of the worst things in all of this is that the starting area is locked off... you're stuck in a village. So until you're trusted to level up enough through the forced tutorial dross, you are denied any chance of running out into the wild and dying a horrible death because you encountered a higher level beast/monster/whatever.
Nor can you swim... that means you can't swim around any of these glitched gates in the terrain.
I think I can safely say that almost everyone that played Gothic 1 back in the day though it was the superior game again Elder Scrolls Morrowind. Gothic 2 just expanded on everything we loved and enjoyed from the first one.
And all those things that defined why we loved those first 2 games in particular have either been dumbed down or completely stripped out of Gothic 4.
If you are one of those with truly fond memories of Gothics 1 & 2, you'll have to play this simply to know how bad it is. I still haven't gotten around to trying Riven, but since the original developer is behind it, I'm going to assume the hype is true that THAT is the true successor to the Gothic series.