For completely screwing up the new Gothic game Trine Games - thanks.... NOT.
In case of the story, the game is supposed to be a bridge between Gothic 3 and Gothic 4. Seeing that Myrtana is drowning in chaos after the breakage, our nameless hero breaks out from Xardas, from another dimension and returns to his land to bring peace and unite the cities that have gone to small wars. The cities are ruled by old friends: Thorus, Gorn and others. Of course the fight with Xardas weakens him so much that he has to level up all over again.
I've felt negative about Forsaken Gods from the beggening. Here the legendary hero, slayer of the dragons, demons and many orcs - comes back, to once again save his people, and here some idiot orders mu to run trough the village and help local people to proove his good intensions. Seriously? A living legend strolls from hut to hut, runs errands, punches someone for debt, help get the noisy birds off the roof and then go get some herbs from the field for some idiot alchemist. That is really awful. Especially when right away you're welcomed by a mass of bugs and flaws, which make any fan swallow his tears of anger and despair.
Let's begin from the growth of our nameless hero. We start with a partially grown character that handles fighting pretty well and other basic tasks. Already in the first village you can do a bunch of simple quests and do a few levels. For the earlier mentioned quest with the birds... I've got 700 gold and 4000 experience points. For escorting a random woman from one end of the village to another, which took like 7 seconds and did not involve any danger or enemy encounters, I received 2000 experience points. In a matter of less than an hour I leveled up several times and collected many learning points. And thats not all of it. You also get permanent stats bonuses for doing some random-easy quest. Example: Beating some random dude gets me a permanent +2 str bonus. What's the joy of leveling a character if it's practicly leveling on it's own in lighting speed?
Another thing, that was constantly irritating me was... the hero. He became this crazy fanatic who throws annoying, elevated sentences. "Don't worry, I will save Myrtana." or "The law requiers that a betrayer like you shall not step my home lands". Even if supposobly this isn't because the authors suck but for story needs(in Gothic 4 our nameless hero will be a King that has gone nuts because he got overwhelmed with power) it does not change the fact that you grow tired very quickly of his constant uptightness and elevation. This is a very big flaw. Because how can you identify yourself with a character that irritates you and sometimes makes you feel repugnance?
The drop to the full cup are flaws and bugs, which the new Gothic is packed with in a unimaginable amount. I think the worst one is that from time to time a quest gets simply... broken. If you loose a duel on the arena the option of repeating it probably won't work. It happened to me in the main story quest. An important character just did not want to follow me which made it impossible for me to continue playing. If I correctly remember the thing that helped was to load a previous save game and repeating the conversation in a diffrent order. I snapped a few minutes later when the same NPC while running after me got stuck on a tiny rock, which again, made me load the game. Also enemies can get stuck, even up to five of them on one rock, you can simply get out your bow and their sitting ducks.
What's interesting is, while in Gothic 3 you had to avoid stealing others people property because getting caught red handed meant trouble, here in Forsaken Gods you can steal anything you want, anything really, even in the presence of the guards. In the early game I teleported to Vengard and robbed a paladin camp from a load of armors and awesome weapons worth a fortune. Also there are alot of small bugs that are less dangerous for the gameplay but their catch your eye easily and make you want to cry. Found an item you can't pickup? That's a left over from Gothic 3 - Trine Games didn't clean the game's world completely. A trader scammed you for a couple of thousand gold? Thats because before accepting the transaction you forgot to click the "Add Gold" button. You suddenly lost 700 gold? Too bad - the game did not inform you that it will happen when you choose a certain dialogue option. You see objects flying in the air and npc's "swimming" trough the streets(its moving but the legs ain't)? - It happens stob rubbing your eyes. There are many more of these. And I played the already patched version (1.06).
The title uses the same technology as Gothic 3. Though the engine has its years, it still generates some nice, sometimes amazing views. The engine was not optimized so the game loads very long. Forsaken Gods works worse than Gothic 3. From time to time it lags in a very nasty way (I've checked on two good pc's). The higher the details the more often will the hick-ups be. In extreme situations the lag lasted from a couple of seconds to 2 minutes (!). There was no such thing in Gothic 3. Congratulations Trine Games, you've managed to even screw up something that even wasn't there.
The ONLY thing that Forsaken Gods can be praised for is music. But not thanks to the authors, they just reached for the Gothic 3 soundtrack by Kai Rosekrantz from Piranha Bytes. As a fan of the series I say this with an aching heart - this game is a tragedy. All of it's copies should be buried, somewhere on Mars.
The funny thing? JoWooD's excuse is that the fans wanted the game as fast as possible. Well thank you very much you can shove it you know where.