This is my first serious (mind the end) and public review on Steam.Basic Infos
Gameplay lengh: About 300-500 hours if you want to level high and see everything. 150 if you play through most content quickly.
Required skill level: Experience with RPG games and knowledge in oldschool RPGs. Studing how the game mechanics work but also keeping a cool head for hours.
Please note even if I'm merely clocking about 50 hours of it on Steam as of this review, I've already played through the game with the DRM-free version of it and it took me over a month of playing this game daily without any rushing through.
Furthermore this review has been written considering the following essential
mod, depending on how you see it. It is about as detrimental for the game as the game itself.
- Gothic 3 Enhanced Edition Patch v1.75 International release
It is highly recommended
that you install this patch before you play this game.
There are a couple of other mods out there that enhance this game, like the "Questpaket" version 4.2, which has English subtitles available.About Gothic 3:
A lot of negative things can be said for a game like Gothic 3. It was released, as all releases of the Gothic series as a catastrophe. In 2006 at the time of release it was such a crash prone, bug ridden mess that almost nobody liked it, not even hardcore fans. Very similar to Gothic 1 it even was unbeatable because of the many bugs and problems. But since Piranha Bytes has a strong bond between them and the fanbase, they dicided to handle things over to the community. While some might argue that this is a rather lazy way of developing a game, a lot of others believe that the fans certainly knew for the best, sonsidering the unreasonably strict timeline publisher JoWood inflicted on Pyranha Bytes. After over 3 years of patching and care-taking, this game was finally able to become the greatness as envisioned by the developers but also the fans. It's considered the definite version of the game.
You also don't need to play through Gothic 1 and 2 in order to understand this games backstory. However, it can answer a lot of questions regarding the world, the Hero himself and his way to handle prople. Still, if you take your time reading through hundreds of pages of dialogues alone you can quickly grasps what happened around you.Gameplay:
Gameplay-wise this game has the typical Hack and Slash action formula with the twist of also adding role playing elements in a different way as people knew already from previous Gothic games. Imagine a Game like Diablo with the freedom from games like Fallout but in third person, and you get what Gothic 3 is supposed to be. That might be the best way to describe this game.
The main theme of this game can also be considered its main gameplay aspect, and that is the theme of freedom both in the storyline and gameplay-wise you'll find yourself in a world that doesn't explain much to you. Because of that you should properly always think about focusing your skills so you can live an easy life and Gothic typicaly this game is anything but easy.
For instance and without spoilering of course there are quests in which the player has to defeat hundreds upon hundreds of enemies with the help of maybe one Non Player Character. Quests can range from simple "Kill this Person or this Monster" and fetch quests, to whole adventures based on exploration. Even non Gothic fans know about the infamous "Where is the Guro?" questline that only people who truely enjoy exploration found as it's entirely optional regarding the entire game itself and the reward is to travel throughout the game while finding interesting and secret things. This doesn't mean that this game is boring, as Hacking and Slashing is the main focus and leveling up itself offers so many options to choose from.
To give a few examples, there are 39 spells to choose from, and there are 23 passive skills to learn just for doing physical attacks or to defend yourself and there are much more different skills ranging from smithing, to stealing from someones pocket. All of them need learning points and you get 10 of them with each level up and while this sounds simple it merely gives you free room so you tackle the immense hordes of hundreds of enemies in the middle game.
The Gothic series is known to be very challenging and hardcore games and the third incarnation is no exception from this. Almost all of the several hundred Quests are available from the start of the game where the only true requirement is to find them if the player chooses to wander around looking for important "named" Non Player Characters. It has to be noted that this game is totally MASSIVE. Apart from MMORPGs, most single player games don't come close to this in scale. This can be intimidating for newcomers of the genre, as there is no fast travel or any form of help other than a compass. It takes about an hour to walk from the lower left to the upper right corner of the entire game. About 40 minutes if you choose to run (about twice as fast as walking) and wait for the stamina to replenish.
As you can walk to almost every place right after the start of the game and due to the freedom of this game it's totally up to you on how to handle things entriely your own way. However, with this freedom a lot of considerable mistakes are bound to happen. As the Hero shapens the way you can desire to choose whatever you want so it's recommended to always think about your next step, like what you would like to skill next or if you really want to follow a specific quest.
I haven't yet tackeled the general setting, but thats just because that this game is focusing on hardcore hack and slash gameplay that even hundreds of quests aren't exactly this eye-catching. The premise goes like this, you either join up with either the Orcs or Humans and kill those who are in charge, of this entire ordeal. As every NPC is killable right from the start, it's up to you to kill EVERYONE, or follow the rules as set up in the beginning of the game. This may sound simple in paper but believe me its far from it, as you need careful planning to archive the main goals of this game.Graphics and Sound:
Graphically this game was amongst the prettiest in 2006 and as it actually stood the test of time says a lot about its graphical fidelity. To be honest the grass landscape of Myrtana alone looks almost as good as Skyrims and considering the age and budget gap of both games I believe thats surely an achievement.
In terms of sound however, this is one of the best games for the PC, ever. Seriously, if you even just enjoy good music you have to get this game right now. Kai Rozenkranz is a genius when it comes to creating atmospheric music that fits spot on into the game. However, there is one song that stands out negatively and thats the Battle music. It's always the same theme when you're fighting a usual enemy and after a few hundred hours this may get on your nerves. This is forgotten when the player finally reaches the city of Ishtar, where argueably the best music in the entire game plays and you'll find yourself again after spending hours upon hours of your free time into this game without noticing that it's dark outside already, in the real world of course. Verdict:
Gothic 3 is a very ambitioned game and I believe that its too bad the project was cut short for release due to the old publisher. With the user created patches and mods mentioned above however I believe that this might be one of those games that will stay fun even after decades to come. I highly recommend everyone to buy this game when a Steamsale comes along if you're still not sure if this game might be of interest to you. If you think this game is interesting and you enjoy huge in scale RPGs with an oldschool soul, get this now.Recommended food while playing:
German Beer with Sausage and hot mustard