This is by far the best game you will ever play. I have personally never played a better RPG. I will now go into detail about why this is the best way to spend your money on a game.
First of all the story: If you have played Gothic 1 you will get to meet many of your old friends again. I personally played Gothic 1 after Gothic 2, and it didn't matter alot. Most of the dialogues give you the option to navigate around having met them before (in Gothic 1), but I surely do encourage you to play Gothic 1 before since it will greatly improve your enjoyment when meeting your old brothers again. The story continues perfectly with twists and new problem and adventures to explore. Honestly, the story is probably the best thing about this game, it just makes you love the characters, form realtionships, go on quests together and knock on baddies heads.
Now to the Wolrd and its design: Epic. That's the only word you need to describe Gothic 2s' worlds. Piranha Bytes has the best team when it comes to creating maps. Every inch is used to its maximum potential, there are a big variety of different locations, each one unique and special in some way. In every corner there is a secret to discover or a unknown Boss-Mob to defeat. In Gothic 2s' worlds every step feels special, there is always something you didn't notice on your first walk along a path.
Furthermore to the gameplay: Gothic isn't a game that babysits you through your playtime. You get thrown into the cold water (literally in Gothic 1 :) ), noone is there to show you where to go for a quest, no markers on your UI, no markers on the maps, nothing. It just feels like you are really in that world, wandering around not knowing where to go or who you will meet behind the next turn. It surely is a hardcore RPG experience, the controls might feel weird at first, but you will get the hang of it quiet fast. The combat might seem a little hard at the start, you will feel like your hero is good for nothing, you will get beat up alot. You are weak at the start, but once you get your first proper sword and armor, you can wreck **** up!
Gothic has a basic, but good level and skill system. Though I must say it's strongly unbalanced without the proper mods installed (I will get to that later). You can do anything that is possible in a medieval world: Fight with one-handed and two-handed swords, use bows and crossbows, shoot magic bolts, summon undead creatures or let fire rain upon your enemies.
A few personal notes about the game: I almsot can't describe the game in words, it's just the most epic, legendary, bestest, amazingest game you will ever play. If you don't give a damn about graphics like me and just play for the gameplay and the story, then this is perfect for you. Just ignore the graphics ( they were good for the time the game was first released ), once you are in a playsession nothing will matter to you but the game and the story. You will have at least 50 hours of pure joy during the story, if you only play through the story, if you suck out the maximum potential of the game you can spend atleast 300 hours trying out different guilds, different character skilling, exploring side-quest ( there is a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ), or just wandering in the wildness slaying mobs and gazing at the epicness of this game.
I think the addon could've been implemented better into the game. I am saying this as someone who has played the game withouth the addon first. I just didn't feel it in the addon, it seemed a little empty, but it surely offers A TON OF AWESOME LOOT and more old friends from Gothic 1 to meet. It just didn't, didn't do it, if you know what I mean, it felt kinda sloppy. The world could've been used more in the addon, more like the main map.
Now to the comability issues everyone is talking about:
If you think it just buy game, download, play, you are mistaken, soooooo deeply msitaken.
It is incredibly hard to get this game running if you have no idea how "modding" works, or if you are installing the game for the first time. You need 3 different communitypatches at least and a ton of configuring the game files. Thanks to the community over at WorldOfGothic though its not that hard, they helped me install it a couple of times too. It is definitly worth the trouble though, this game is so incredibly epic it just has to be played.
Continueing on that is the bad balancing the addon brings in, I STRONGLY advise to install a rebalancing mod (I use minimod balance), because the level/skill system is stupid in the normal state ( you will notice yourself though).
Finishing this long post:
Gothic 2 is the best game ever created and anyone not playing it is missing out on alot.
Thanks for reading my rather long review, it is my first and I just couldn't express how I feel about the game..
P.S.: sorry for any spelling-errors, am too tired to proof read this ;P