User Rating: 2.9 | Gothic 3 PC
Gothic 3. It was a game with such potential, such ambition and such hard competition. With the likes of Bethesda's TES IV:Oblivion in the market JoWood could not afford to lose face by releasing a less graphically advanced game. This at least is something they managed.

The game is essentially broken. It seems as if very little or no beta testing went on before this game turned gold. Enemies (especially bestial creatures) within the game can perform inescapable attacks that hammer out about two hits in a second each taking off a quarter of your total health. Armour is so utterly broken that it makes no discernible difference whether you are wearing the max mitigation armour or the leather cuirass you start in. Melee combat has nice animation but it is essentially a battle of who hits first. If you hit the enemy first then you can simply spam right-click until they die as with each hit they stagger back slightly, unable to block or attack. If they hit you the same thing happens. So naturally when a creature like an ogre (with incredible reach) comes ambling your way, you had better hope you chose ranged combat.

It is also broken on the other side of the spectrum. Magic is massively overpowered. If you choose magic all you have to do is hold-down the left mouse button and unleash a seemingly heat-seeking projectile to annhilate your enemy from afar. Archery is similar in this aspect, as long as you continuously back away and aim for the head then the enemy doesn't stand a chance. Skills also make very little impact upon your ability. Levelling good archer to master archer makes no noticable difference on your damage, it merely allows you to meet the prerequisite for another skill.

The game is also very bugged when it comes to performance. Without serious '.ini' tweaking (to allow the game to allot the correct amount of RAM) it stutters and freezes continuously. Game saves and loads can take upwards of a minute, making the high number of deaths encountered whilst melee fighting unbearable. So how does this game compare to Oblivion? It is a shoddy unfinished shadow of what it could have been. JoWood spotted a game destroying bug in their game and postponed going gold for a mere two weeks, Oblivion noticed a similar flaw and spent 3 months trying to fix the bug so that they could release their game as the best it could be.

I am very dissapointed in JoWood to say the least as, even when patched, this game is at parts near unplayable. So be warned: If you buy this game you are paying £25 to become JoWood's beta tester.