I believe they should change game's name because it has little to do with gothic series.
The two elements that are most ostensibly missing from Gothic 4 are skill system and quest depth, precisely the two things that made the gothic series unique. Gothic 4 is much more simplified in a obvious attempt to make the game appeal to wider audiences (*cough***consoles**cough).
Gothic's old system of character's attributes and skills was scrapped in favor of much simplified system of advancement in areas like melee, ranged weapons and few types of magic spells. I agree with other reviewers in that sometimes it feels like game was not finished: supposedly you can learn sneak skill, but it's pretty useless given the fact you can walk into any hut and steal anything without anybody even raising an eyebrow.
Don't count on plethora of quests and dialog choices in Gothic 4; most of the times when talking to NPCs you are presented with one choice to advance the plot. There are few areas in the game when you are presented with choice to work with one party or another to accomplish the same goal but it hardly hides the painful fact how linear the game is.
This linearity is also gets in the way of exploring the world. Instead of being left with huge world to explore you "progress" from one area to another by solving key quest. So you mostly spend your time running along beaten paths doing fetch type of quests and if you try to venture into area the game doesn't want you to be in you are stopped by very annoying invisible wall.
That is not to say Gothic 4 is complete failure: you can still enjoy it provided you forget that it supposed to be latest game in gothic series and just take it as it is. Graphics is looking great and I never experienced any crashes. Combat is simple and fun, although I find it little bit too easy. I have not fished the game yet but I've heard people reporting that it takes no more than 20-25 hours to finish, which would be way too short for 50$ RPG.
Bottom line is this: if you are looking for continuation of gothic series, play Risen instead of this game. But if you are looking for light action-RPG game, you might like gothic 4.
6 2.8 MHz AMD processors with 4 GB of memory and ATI HD 4850 512 MB graphcs card, 32 bit windows XP. Game runs smoothly on 1600x1000 resolution with graphics detail set to high.