Review: Gothic 3 with the Community Patch 1.74
Last Updated on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 09:32 Written by OmniRoguelike Wednesday, 1 December 2010 07:50
Written December first, 2010.
Where to begin:
Gothic 3 is a game that sucks hard without the Community Patch. It is the only patch you need. Get it here.
With the Community Patch this is one of the best action based graphical RPGs ever made.
It removes the DRM of the original game so you do not need the original disc in the drive. (It does this with the permission of the owners and developers of the game, so it is not illegal in any way.) It includes all the changes of the patches before it as well, so you need not apply multiple patches.
Once you apply it and enter the game, enable the Alternative Balancing and Alternative AI you find in the main menu and in the options under difficulty as well. And if you are playing on a modern gaming system, go to the graphical options and enable everything. It will look beautiful too.
On my system, I set the resolution to 1920 x 1080 and set every last graphical setting to maximum except Anti-Aliasing. There is rarely ever a need to have more than two passes of AA in any game unless you like having greatly reduced framerate.
After setting up the options, we get to the actual game.
In the beginning…
First of all, let me say that the game is brilliantly stable with the Community Patch installed. I can and have played it for ten hours straight during a night of insomnia. Not one crash. Not one bug. I have nothing to complain about whatsoever.
I wrote the following in the comments of one of my other pages here on Geek Montage.
I played Gothic 4 last month and it was like playing a novel. There were no real choices whatsoever. In Gothic 3 I can accept quests from anyone and even betray them if I choose to. Everything *Feels* right. I feel involved. My choices have consequences. But even betraying the Rebels to the invading Orcs in one town does not mean you can not fight against the Orcs in favor of the Rebels in another. Things are how they should be.
I played Gothic 4 beginning to end in about thirty hours. I completed almost every last quest. I even bothered to explore every niche and cranny of the map to find the hidden artifacts that they put there to give you some reason to bother. What a waste of time. I could have had every bit of the fun I had in less than half the time if I just did not bother with that garbage.
In Gothic 3, the map is *HUGE*. Really easily three or four times the size of Gothic 4’s invisible wall syndrome maps.
The above text is entirely true. I may have to bother to write a hateful review of Gothic 4. But it would not be worth reading unless you like hearing how dissatisfied one can possibly be.
Tell me about the game already!!!
The game itself is huge beyond the scale of the largest RPGs made in recent history. And you the Player Character are not immortal. You can do what you want, but you will pay for it if you choose poorly. In the early parts of the game it may seem that all actions are as simple as they appear. And you will not realize the full scale of this massive game for days or even weeks of solid play.
Even the NPCs that are seemingly vital to the storyline are not immortal. (With few exceptions) You can learn a variety of skills and abilities and spells. But you can also ruin everything in an area or town rather quickly if you get caught stealing from the wrong NPC or going where you should not go. NPCs will commonly tell you that you can not go into a certain area because they do not trust you. You can usually find a bunch of tasks to do for them and those around them to gain respect and prove your worth to them. Then they may trust you.
The tasks are rather well thought out. They are not always the same “FedEx” quests where you deliver a package to an NPC far away. Most quests have several ways that you can complete them. Even the common “FedEx” quests are usually possible to solve in other ways. You can sell the package to another NPC that wants the package for some other purpose. You can tell them you are not their servant and refuse to carry the package anywhere. You can kill the quest giver in some cases, but that has to be done carefully to avoid limiting your options in that area or town.
You start the game in a small town full of wimpy slaves that are being heavily oppressed by the Orcish invaders. The Orcs are in charge. They have already won their war against the Humans. You start in a fight for the town against the invading Orcs. And you will later learn that this town is purely a tutorial. The Orcs here are the weakest you will ever face in the game by far. You could possibly lose the fight, but I fail to see how.
Once you have drove the Orcs out and claimed the town in the name of the Rebels, you have to walk around looting. Left click over a body of a fallen human or Orc and just press “Y” to loot everything. This will save you loads of time if you grow accustomed to it.
The controls are very well thought out as well. I suggest trying to get used to the default controls before you make any rash decision to change everything just because you are not familiar with these controls.
The standard WSAD controls are the usual move forward, move backward, strafe left, and strafe right respectively. Q and E are a bit different from most games. They turn left and turn right respectively. The Left Alt key is the jump key, and the left Control key brings up and hides the quickbar. The quickbar does not have to be showing to work. You can hide it at any time. The T key is a bit troublesome for me. Since I kill loads of things and have to use the Y key to quickly loot everything they had. But the T key changes between first person view and third person view.
Most everything is controllable through the left mouse button. Like looting. Press the left mouse button while targeting the thing to loot and press left mouse to open the loot menu. Then one press of the Y button will loot everything they had and close the loot menu. The Middle mouse button is the toggle for fight or normal modes. You can not loot or talk to or operate anything while in fight mode. And being in fight mode is usually a certain way to have guards warn you to “Put away the weapon” or “Stop doing magic” or whatever else they say. If you ignore their warnings they will usually attack you.
And speaking of attacks…
Usually, unless you actually kill someone or make an enemy of someone or just really mess up in a very bad way, no-one save monsters and certain groups of Humans and Orcs are ever really trying to kill you. They will fight you, and beat you like a red-headed step child. And then they will take a bunch of your stuff as their own. Sometimes you can run away and they will just give up and let you get away with whatever you did to incur their wrath. But that does not mean they will be warm and forgiving to you when you return.
You also have the OPTION of killing them or not. When you use most melee weapons you can fight Humans and Orcs until they fall and then loot them and take their weapons as well. But to kill them with melee weapons you have to stand over them and press shift while left clicking them. Then you will kneel down and impale them. However, note that fighting with magic or ranged weapons is ALWAYS fatal. Even for you.
Sounds and Voice Acting:
The sounds are great. The Voice acting is also great. This is the way games are supposed to feel. Do not expect the lips to sync with the words. That is just stupid beyond my understanding. This is a GAME, not a MOVIE. Everything feels right in the audio. Really. When I fight with a sword and shield. I swing the sword at a tree and it sounds like I just hit a sword to a tree. It is not the cheap garbage that other games do. Other lesser games use the same generic *Clang* sound of a sword hitting another sword for everything a sword could hit. This game has the class to even have different effects for different weapons. I have not tested all of them, but hitting an Orc with a staff does not generate the generic sounds I heard when I hit an Orc with a sword. Spells are similar in that they have unique sounds for most spells. I can not say all because I have not managed to get every spell yet.
The following is again a quote from the comments on another page. And it perfectly describes the music.
Even the in game music is great. Do not quote me on this until I find a reference, but I believe all the in game music was recorded from the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. I normally disable music in games, but in this game, the change of music can tell you that you have entered combat. (I.E. Something is trying to hurt you.)
The best of all: The Storyline and Plot:
The game is huge. Beyond huge. It is simply massive. How massive? Check the maps from the World of Gothic site:
Why two links? Because they have the maps separated into those rendered in the game itself and those made outside the game.
The plot is a touchy subject. I do not want to spoil it for you. It is a great game. And the plot and story are things that you really have to discover in the game itself to appreciate. And you will appreciate it if you give it a chance. It is NOT an easy game though. You will be challenged. You will find that unlike most games that claim to have replay value, this one really does. I started playing on the side of the Rebels. I tried to be a “Good” guy. But in time I saw that the game is too complex to have a “Good” side and a “Bad” side. It simply has sides. Not just two. Not just a handful. You are your own side. Do what feels right. And on your second and subsequent playthroughs you can again do what feels right and have a very different experience with the game.
I rarely ever recommend a game to anyone. But I recommend this game with the Community Patch to anyone who wants to play a very long action RPG with nice graphics and good sound effects thrown in just to make it all the better.
Comments are welcomed. They remind me that someone is reading these articles. Please take the time to say something. Even a well worded insult at least tells me you read the article. Be well everyone.
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