Don't listen to the haters. Its a truly great experience for every RPG fan. Although it has its flaws...
(Review is based on experience by applying the latest community patch 1.75)
1) Game world is a true masterpiece. Handcrafted, incredible landscapes that deserve a screenshot and "set as background", uncountable places to visit and explore such as icy slopes, deserts, caves, gorges, forests, cliffs, valleys, lakes, slopes. You can simply explore everything you would if you went for exploration in the wilderness. Piranha bytes gave their best in putting detail even in the less accessible part of their world. And believe me, the world is just HUGE. You will need at least 30 minutes to travel from one part of the map to the other (if you know the way. if you don't it will take you an hour).
2) Gorgeous graphics, considering you have a strong machine and play at full settings. Some say its graphics are bad. Well, if you think WoW cartoon bubble graphics were good, then this game is not for you.
3) Great sound. Soundtrack could be easily be played at a new LOTR epic and is memorable. Probably the best soundtrack in a video game. Enviromental sounds were very realistic, especially in the northern parts of Nordmar with its frozen winds.
4) Very good, non-linear storyline, provided you already know the story of the previous titles (although this maybe a minus for new players). Very addictive. I am not a hardcore gamer, still it made me finish this game in a week, although it needs at least 70 hours to complete (Over 100 hours if you play every quest).
5) No quest markers. This can only be good. It provides realism, makes you feel helpless and find your own way out there, being afraid of dying in every corner. Not for console gamers.
6) Completing a quest needs strategy. There are times you have to wipe out a small horde of Orcs and this can't be done with out finding alternative ways to confront them (provided you play in medium or hard difficulty).
7) Many NPC's to interact, many guilds to join and beautiful cities to visit. Only minus here is that cities are not fully explorable, as they are in Skyrim or Oblivion.
8) Tenths of spells and abilities. Your character is fully customizable and you can turn him in whatever you want: Fighter, ranger, mage, thief etc You can adapt him in every kind of fighting you want him too.
9) Skills are fun to use. You can forge a weapon, extract ore from an ore vein, make poison, sharpen your blade, poison your blade, roast meat, cook, make potions etc
10) Great variety of monsters, ranging from goblins and orcs to sabretooths, shadowbeasts, demons and dragons.
1) Bad combat system. Very bad. If you are not experienced, you can be of level 20 and get killed by a boar. It heavily ruins the game experience. Still, using the bow is pretty fun and is the best in every game I have played.
2) Not a very big variety of armors and weapons. Piranha bytes could have given a bigger effort here.
3) First time I had played the game, was with only the first patch applied which wasnt bigger than 60mb. Those days, the game was simply BROKEN. It would crash ofently, saves wouldnt work, sound was bugged, quests were broken and triggers wouldnt work.... After replaying it some months ago with the latest patch (almost 2GB), its like the game has been remade. Smooth performance, high framerate, no stuttering, very few bugs (if any). So if you haven't played the game yet, do it, provided you apply the latest patch 1.75
4) Chest loot is randomly generated and does not reward players who spent time exploring the world. You may spent half an hour to climb a mountain, kill its monsters, enter its cave, break 10 lockpicks to open its chest and voila! You may get 10 arrows!!! As you would if you opened a chest in your first minutes in the game...
Well, the cons are few but prevented me from giving the game a 9 or even 10 as I did for Gothic 2. Still, its a memorable experience and no RPG fan should miss the chance to enjoy it. Just remember to install patch 1.75 before playing and you will have a great time.