User Rating: 9.6 | Gothic II PC
I'm shocked at how "average" the reviews are for this game. I've looked all over the internet and everything, and there aren't many reviews (other than reader reviews) that do this game justice. To start off, the gameplay in this game is amazing. The game starts off slow, boring, and tedious at first, but I guarantee you that if you stick with it, you will love this game. Everyone I have talked to that didn't like it said they stopped playing after thirty minutes or so. Tough luck for them, because they just missed one of the most underrated RPG's of the past few years. At first when you try to fight a monster, you might just get your butt handed to you, because you have no idea how to swing a sword. It takes some getting used to, but when you get the hang of it, the combat system will be your new best friend. You can pull off a bunch of cool combos, and for once, combat in an RPG actually requires some skill and timing. What really makes this game special, though, is how it portrays itself as a real, alive world. All the NPC's go about their daily tasks instead of staying in one static place. You can be moving around town, and you can hear the smith making swords (you can see it as well) while the carpenter may be hammering a closet together. Also, everything in the game is spoken instead of a dialog box popping up with no sound. With everyone having a unique voice, it gives you a sense of every character being unique and actually having a personality. If you want to be immersed in a great fantasy world, Gothic 2 is definitely for you. There is one small gripe I have about the game, however, and that is the items in the game. There is a good amount of items, but it is still not up to par with some other PC RPG's. In many RPG's, I love it when I acquire some new armor and a new weapon. I also love it in this game, but it doesn't happen all too often throughout the game. The greatness of this game, however, overshadows the fact that there isn't a massive amount of items, weapons, and armor. As you can see, the gameplay is great in this game. However, the optimizing in this game, is not so great. The graphics are just fine, nothing great or anything, but they're not terrible. I have a very beefy rig, so I could handle the game just fine. If you like the long view distances, however, you will need a beefy rig, as I have played Gothic 2 on worse PC's, and well, the details had to be turned down pretty far, as well as the draw distance. The sound quality and all that may not be superb, but the reason the sound gets a 9 is because of all the different sounds around you in the game. Like I mentioned before, you have the smith smithing in town, the carpenter hammering, some people talking (even to themselves), but there's also lots of sounds around you in the wilderness. The amount of sounds around you really add to the immersiveness. I gave the value a ten, mostly because this game is awesome, but also because I picked it up for only $30 at Babbages (the price might be lower now). Finally, the tilt also gets a 10, because Gothic 2 is definitely in my Top 5 RPG's.