The Gothic formula has been oversimplified to appeal to the masses, and failed miserably.
A major difference between Gothic 4 and it's prequels, is the skill system. In the old games, you'd be required to consult a trainer to improve your skills in a specific area, even try and appeal to them. this would not only make your improvement more personal, but also affect the path you walked in the game. HOWEVER this is not in Gothic 4, which has a cliche skill tree system. (which does not include alchemy, blacksmithing or other skills)
The story is also very very unoriginal, your hero goes off to complete a task, and when he returns, his village is burned down, revenge and good times follows.
We've all seen that before
-The combat, while horribly inferior to Gothic 2, is better than Gothic 3, and is acceptable for the modern rpg's standard (but not the Gothic standard)
- I'll be honest, the game is insanely pretty, and I'm very positive towards the dynamic lighting and water.
- Legalized stealing
- Pickpocketing impossible
- Lockpicking is not a skill
- you cannot attack well intentioned NPC's
- Nothing innovative about the story
- even relative to the other Gothics, the voiceacting is bad
- It's hardly even Gothic anymore
Bottom line - Gothic 4 is a great example of how you cannot replace gameplay and story with pretty textures