Gothic 3 - Why was it way ahead of its Time? @ C4G

ikbenrichard

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Well…I know my opinion is very unpopular in these parts, but I don't like replaying the Gothic games. I don't hate the games they are just showing their age nowadays.

Probably the main reason why I'm interested in the remakes from THQ Nordic.

gothic 2 is the only one i would replay. so you not entirely alone in the matter
 
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JFarrell71

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For me and my gaming tastes, holding up a game like Gothic 3 as being great because of its large, pretty map and its bountiful exploration is like celebrating a giant library that is full of nothing but Harlequin romance novels and horror movie novelizations. I don't care how much there is to explore in a game if I don't have any fun finding it. Pair that size and freedom with good writing and interesting quests and then you've got my interest. (Morrowind still accomplishes that in 2022 with the Tamriel Rebuilt mod, btw, though the combat is as terrible as its ever been)
 
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Shagnak

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I have never got far into Gothic 3 despite buying it on release because:
(a) It ran like a dog on my PC and I could not work out why - VDweller (who reviewed it for the 'Codex) had almost the same set-up as me and didn't have the same issues.
(b) Combat was awful - I think I described it as like "flapping some damp celery in the direction of the enemy until they fall down".

I (relatively) recently installed it with a fan patch etc with the intention of getting a bit further with it... but I never seem to get around to it.
 
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biggoron

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The orchestral arrangement of the Gothic theme from Gothic 3 will forever be imprinted on my brain.

That first battle would always be so laggy for me. I kind of curious if it still lags on my modern computer. The other that I remeber were the unmarked chests whose content was not tied to the particular chest, but the order you opened the unmarked chests.
 
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Lolozaur

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Shieeet, this is the game for i bought my new pc back in 2007, i wanted to play it with geforce 2 mx400 lol; i remember replaying first 2 games back then to catch up with the story and after 2 weeks with the old graphics from the 2 games, i was just drooling when i fired up g3 for the first time and was looking at the scenery hahaha.
I think they wanted to make it to the big league with this game if it had been succesfull
 
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KayAU

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@JFarrell71;
The quest design itself doesn't stand out as neither particularly bad nor particularly good to me. It's pretty standard Piranha Bytes stuff, where you have a mix of fetching, fighting, talking, and have some options as to who to help and how to get things done. It is made more enjoyable by how you are rewarded, as in addition to the usual XP and gold rewards, you will often get reputation boosts and stat increases which are relevant to what you were doing. Overall, questing is quite enjoyable in Gothic 3 (for me).

With regards to exploration, it is not just that it's big and pretty. It is also very varied, and it has the same hand crafted quality PB games tend to have, with lots of interesting locations to explore, and rewards to be had. For me, it may just be the most enjoyable game world I have explored, and also one of the most memorable. I remember so many places in Gothic 3, each of which has a distinct feel. Additionally, the soundtrack is exceptional, and really elevates the atmosphere as you explore.

As mentioned, I think Gothic 3 failed mainly in two areas:
* Technical problems, in particular the extreme performance issues. I had decent hardware at the time, but even on very high end systems, people where experiencing extreme lag and very, very low framerates. There were also plenty of glitches and bugs, and some quests which seemed to not have been tested at all.
* Writing, especially when it comes to the main characters and quests. I still remember how let down I felt when I finally tracked down Xardas, who I thought had a lot to answer for. It was extremely anticlimactic. We exchanged a few lines and he gave me a quest. And Lee…what the heck happened to his character? Barely any dialog and then off to kill the king, which you could do without anyone seeming to care.

I also understand that people were let down by melee combat. For me, I usually don't find melee combat interesting, so it was easier to ignore how bad it was. The only PB game where I actually loved melee combat was Risen.

As a side note, Risen seemed to be a sort of response to the criticism PB received for Gothic 3. It was polished to a much higher degree, limited in scope, and largely stuck to familiar ground, to the point where it almost felt like a remake of PB's most acclaimed game, Gothic 2. I enjoyed it a lot, but in some ways, I missed the big, beautiful, ambitious mess that was Gothic 3.
 
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Pladio

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Shieeet, this is the game for i bought my new pc back in 2007, i wanted to play it with geforce 2 mx400 lol; i remember replaying first 2 games back then to catch up with the story and after 2 weeks with the old graphics from the 2 games, i was just drooling when i fired up g3 for the first time and was looking at the scenery hahaha.
I think they wanted to make it to the big league with this game if it had been succesfull
And if they had reduced the scope to two areas. Instead of three and focused on performance after that they might have succeeded.

Now they're in the same loop over and over the again
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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I never played of the whole series more that the first half of Gothic 1 - but wow, what an impression this left on me !
 
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JDR13

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With regards to exploration, it is not just that it's big and pretty. It is also very varied, and it has the same hand crafted quality PB games tend to have, with lots of interesting locations to explore, and rewards to be had. For me, it may just be the most enjoyable game world I have explored, and also one of the most memorable. I remember so many places in Gothic 3, each of which has a distinct feel. Additionally, the soundtrack is exceptional, and really elevates the atmosphere as you explore.

I wish I could say I had the same experience. Compared to most of their other games, the world in G3 felt somewhat empty to me. The settlements are well done with lots of NPCs and content packed into them, but the outside environments didn't have a whole lot other than the pretty landscapes. There are caves and dungeons with literally nothing in them but a few enemies. The whole thing had a sort of unfinished feel to it.

The exploration is still better than some other open-world games I've played, but I found it lacking for a PB title.
 
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bjon045

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The settlements are well done with lots of NPCs and content packed into them, but the outside environments didn't have a whole lot other than the pretty landscapes. There are caves and dungeons with literally nothing in them but a few enemies.\

100% agree. It was like every cave and forest felt the same. There was a lack of uniqueness. In Gothic 2 I think there was only one cave with a shadowbeast you could go into in the early chapters. There was bones around the outside of the cave and a unique weapon inside next to one of skeletons in there. Every cave felt different. Meanwhile, like you said, Gothic 3 gives you tons of copy and paste caves populated with random enemies.
 
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KayAU

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The whole thing had a sort of unfinished feel to it.
I do actually agree with that. I personally still loved the exploration, and I don't think the density itself was an issue. Gothic 3 has many settlements, and having some land in between which was just...land, made sense to me. There's nothing inherently wrong with some forested areas with just plants and animals in them. That said, there were quite a few locations which felt like they were *supposed* to have something more to them. I think PB simply ran out of time. I had the same feeling about the main story, it feels like there should have been more dialogue, more choices, but they ran out of time and had to wrap it up quickly. The technical issues and untested quests point in the same direction as well.

PB didn't properly finish Gothic 3, and it makes me wonder what could have been if they had 6-12 months more development time, or if they had been given the opportunity to make a NotR-style expansion to fill inn some gaps. As it stands, I think Gothic 3 is still great, but there is a lot of untapped potential in that game world.
 
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JDR13

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PB didn't properly finish Gothic 3, and it makes me wonder what could have been if they had 6-12 months more development time, or if they had been given the opportunity to make a NotR-style expansion to fill inn some gaps. As it stands, I think Gothic 3 is still great, but there is a lot of untapped potential in that game world.

Oh absolutely. I think Gothic 3 could have been a defining open-world RPG with more time. It was their first game developed with the Genome engine, and I suspect they had some struggles there.

They also could have been more efficient with the time they had imo. Despite the world needing to be more fleshed out, and the lack of polish in the combat system, the game still had a lot of boring fetch quests and kill X amount of these creatures type quests.
 
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Gorath

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A complicated topic. Yes, they would have needed another year, and with hindsight this would have catapulted them to the next level as a company. Even the buggy Gothic 3 sold 500k copies on PC within a few weeks. So it was a big success, and with a year more to finish it up, we would have been talking about a million seller for full price.
But on the other hand JoWood already gave them a year more than planned. And JoWooD was always in financial trouble. It's entirely possible that there was no alternative to shipping the game, from their point of view.
Anyway, PB wanted to make an add-on and use its budget to fix the game with a mega-patch. Negotiations failed and PB and JoWooD split.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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I think we had all this Gothic 3 stuff covered very much here at the Watch. One just needs to go back into the older News and discussions here.
 
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Morrandir

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Do not cite the deep magic to me witch. I was there when it was written.

(I wasn't.)
 
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Couchpotato

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The gothic games at the time of their release brings back to much nostalgia. I had to import both game because of Jowood and legal problems with the expansions.

Anyway yeah read the old news-bits and articles if you still need opinions.
 
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