Gothic 3 review
In my opinion its like playing Morrowind all over again, in being quite hard to get to grips with at first, and the fact that you start off weak and unable to kill even a wild boar (although it does kick off with an awesome skirmish in a village with some orcs where providing you get used to the combat, is a joy to play) but as the game progresses especially into the 4th hour or so, you really feel you're advancing in the world of Gothic, being kitted out with new weapons (like a cheap but cool flaming sword - got on about my 3rd hour :D) and armour, and therefore its really a very rewarding game to play.
Combat in the game i find works really quite well - left click is a standard attack, hold it to make a heavy attack and right click is a quick attack and holding it blocks. It works very well in comparison to the recent Oblivion and you're very quickly able to string attacks together to form a fluid combo. You do look really quite graceful attacking multiple enemies, dancing from one to enemy to the next, and provided you don't get hit yourself, you can dispatch 4 bandits in under a minute.
However i do often find once hit by a creature, its quite hard not to continue to take multiple hits by it, ie: the block isn't perfect, and you can quickly find yourself, especialy if outnnumbered, taking a lot of hits, unable to fight back. The long loading times don't help either. The sound is moving at times, but most of the time is just there to set the fantasy mood and could be improved in certain dialog converstions involving the main plot, for example when a plot hint is given away.
The game revolves around a day / night cycle, with equal hours in both. Unfortunately this means that when its dark at night, it lasts for maybe 1/2 an hour. This is a small gripe, but the game world looks so much better at day, and is nicer to play in the day, so walking around the countryside at night with a torch for half an hour can get a little tedious.
The graphics are very pleasing to the eye, i prefer them to Oblivion's, however its a matter of opinion as they are definitely similar, other things such as water and sky effects are not so good. However it is more forgiving on your computer than Oblivion, i'm getting much more FPS on standard settings which is certainly a bonus. The vedgetation in the middle realm is ok, if a little similar after a while, however its more varied in the desert kingdom to the south, and the snowy kingdom to the north.
For value, whilst of course i have only played it for a few hours, i would say its very good - i have maybe explored 1/5th of the middle realm, and then there's the snowy north **** and desert south. I've only just purchased what can be called mid range armour, and my weapons and attributes still need to be greatly improved. With the 3 different factions you can align yourself to and therefore 3 different outcomes, i can see this lasting me well over the said 80 hours. There are also minor factions, and you also get reputation with the different cities.
Overall a very good game, building on the previous 2 games, and providing for the more hardcore rpg fans a beautiful game with a massive 3d world. Yes the world is smaller than Oblivion's but the fact there's no fast travel means the game world feels much much bigger. With its excellent combat and now manageable controls gothic 3 is my personal 3rd favourite game of all time, after deus ex and morrowind.
Hard, but rewarding.(hope my first ever review was ok - :D)