Gothic 3 (Videogame) Review - A Disappointment

in #gaming3 years ago

Gothic 3 (13 October 2006)

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The Story

The Nameless Hero has defeated the dragons within the valley of mines, as well as their masters within the Halls of Irdorath. The civil war between the royal garrison and Omar's mercenaries on the island of Khorinis will prove meaningless as the Army of evil will swoop over all the island so the hero with his companions decides to set sail to the mainland.

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There is no sanctuary to be found on the mainland. The orcs have won the war and captured all the human cities. The king himself has sealed himself within a magical barrier that has engulfed the capital city. This was just in time as a horde of bloodthirsty orcs begin charging into the city.

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The Gameplay

The Controls

The controls have been streamlined to use the mouse more in favor of the keyboard. You fight and interact with the environment with the mouse. Talk to someone, pick something up, open something you use the mouse.

Movement

WASD Keys to move with holding shift allows you to run in place of the speed potions from previous Gothic installments. Alt to jump

The Combat

Right at the start of the game. It is one big confusing mess. You're thrown into a fight with a bow and sword in the place of a tutorial. You cannot die, only be knocked down.

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You are shown the controls once. If you forget that sucks for you because the developers didn't even bother showing them in the key binds.

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The attacks used to be fast, instant which made them flashy in their own rate. You could see the difference in the attack animations from the beginning to the game to the end. The time between your attacks got shorter and smoother. It felt like you learned something every time you went to a trainer. The attacks now are slow, it looks like you're swinging the air in front of your opponents. It doesn't look you're actually having a big impact on them. It seems like the developers understood this so they just made enemies fly into the air every time you kill them. Where did this momentum come from?

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Left mouse button is a regular attack that does lots of damage, right mouse button is a fast attack that does little damage. You can hold those buttons to do more damage, but they are so slow they are worthless. You may also hold your block by hold the right mouse button but don't even bother since animals and monsters are unblock-able, and humans and orcs sometimes do unblock-able attacks which knock you down!

Combat is essentially a spam fest into enemies. From the beginning to the end if you use melee you use spam regular attacks to stun lock and if they begin hitting you spam fast attacks to stun lock them back then continue using regular attacks. That is the optimum way to pay against beasts and humanoids. There's no skill or thing involved just stun locks.

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Combat is such a joke that it's easier to take on an ENTIRE ORC GARRISON than a pack of WOLVES. Wolves do these super fast unblock-able attacks when they get up closer that stun lock you. All you can do is hope you don't get hit while you spam into a pack in all directions so you don't hit in the back and stun locked to death. I found an exploit with the inventory where you can eat in combat and be in an invulnerable state while the enemy attack animations play. You even regenerate stamina when your inventory is up. You see yourself eating while the enemy attacks do zero damage to you. The eating animations are even skipped and you heal instantly when you're knocked on the ground. This is because there is no animation for eating on the ground.

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I found some dragons in a cave around the coast. They were stuck behind a pillar so I just kept doing scratch damage with my bow until I killed. I know that the dragons in Gothic 2 were disgraceful in their combat mechanics considering they were boss fights but come on, these were dragons. Good summary of the game when a pack of wolves is harder to fight than orcs and dragons.

The Atmosphere

Already from the beginning of the game the story doesn't make sense. You show up with your friends you destroy the orc garrison with the help of the townsfolk. Ok, I accept that. You and your friends have become extremely strong during your time in Khorinis. But look at the townsfolk who helped you.

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You expect me to believe that these scrawny, starved slaves put up a good fight against the orcs? Yes, I saw them fight I just don't believe that they really could. A skinny looking slave could not carry a big 2 handed sword like that. Where did he pull that sword out of when we started fighting? I don't believe the orcs would just let them keep weapons like that around. Three minutes into the game and I'm already questioning the narrative.

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Your friend Gorn knows where the rebel camp is. We just arrived from our to this village and Gorn already knows where the rebel camp is. Maybe he took a detour before we went into the village and- Nope.

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Oh but maybe we were waiting around outside the village or on the ship and we found the rebel camp beforehand. Maybe he ran off and found the rebel camp and just happened to appear with us while we were entering. Unlikely. How would he even know to look for a rebel camp. Why wouldn't he just tell us before we came to the village. Keep in that last time we heard, Myrtana was a war zone. He probably wouldn't want to split off with us even if it's just scouting. Don't people wait for their scouts before making a move?

Let's just accept that Gorn has intuition or some psychic powers and knows where the rebel camp is. We later found that two separate orc patrols totaling around 8 orcs cannot find Reddock. It's not as if the orcs don't know about the rebel camp's existence.

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Let me show the entrance of Reddock

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That's right. It's not in some secluded place covered by vegetation or a door in some rock somewhere. It's just, a big stone stair from which you can see rebels working. Do orcs have problems with their eyes? Keep in mind that they have human mercenaries in their employ who are suppose to be looking for Reddock.

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No chance of that. There is a trend of people knowing stuff they're not suppose to know.

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At the start of every Gothic game there is an excuse to reset the hero to zero. Let's see what they came up with.

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These guys went into a war zone and didn't bring their best equipment. Take that in for a moment. The Nameless Hero should have at minimum paladin armor, heavy mercenary armor or high magician robes and a magical ore blade. I accept that rune magic is broken and the hero can't cast spells.

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At least the hero still remembers how to sneak around. Archery and crossbows now require manual aim although spells still have automatic targeting.

The Quests

The quests are a letdown. Far from the creativity of the past quests boil down to fetch me x and destroy y.

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Yes, in Gothic 1 in there was a quest where you had to either kill or beat someone up and in Gothic 2 there was a quest where you had to kill some bandits by a light house. Those quests were led into better and few and far between. People didn't just continue standing around after giving you gold and experience. A merchant leaves for the New Camp after getting kicked out by you and the lighthouse keeper stays in his light house after you clear it of bandits.

It was never bring 10 wolf skins that are for no explanation scattered around Cape Dun or having the hero clear a cave passage of dangerous beasts despite already having a garrison of armed rebels idling around under your command. There a quest in Gothic 1 that had you gather mine-crawler plates and in exchange you got significantly better armor not just do a bunch of fetch and search and destroy quests in exchange for reputation so that you get the privilege of talking to someone who would give you yet ANOTHER SEARCH AND DESTROY QUEST. There are a bunch of arena quests would play out exactly as you'd expect considering the combat system.

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Exploration

It's a beautiful map to just walk around and explore on the surface. When you actually try to get to the meat of it's very hollow despite its views.

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A few bandits and animals scattered around. No good loot of course

Look at this map so much could have done in here. Not only Myrtana but the Nordmar and the lands of the Hashinin, land of cunning desert folk.

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Big empty spaces with nothing but fetch quests. All caves are just this copy and paste green.

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There is nothing in the Gothic 3 like the Temple of the Sleeper in Gothic 1 or the crypts in Gothic 2. I don't even know how to describe my disappointment to find a behemoth of a temple only to find a few short corridors and NO LOOT. If you're looking for some shallow views this is the game for you, if you're looking for a real adventure don't play this game. Play Gothic 1 and Gothic 2: NOTR. I have put some reviews for them. Those games actually make you feel great about playing them despite the outdated graphics.

Gothic 1 Review https://steemit.com/gaming/@badcaptain/gothic-1-videogame-review

Gothic 2: NOTR Review https://steemit.com/gaming/@badcaptain/gothic-2-notr-videogame-review

The Verdict

Honestly, if I was trying to be as generous as possible and looked at this as a standalone game instead of part of the Gothic saga I would consider it a very mediocre game. Just a bunch of fetch quests and search and destroy missions. Truly, since it has a reputation to live up I would advise that you do not play this game. Yes, there were quality of life improvements such as showing if you have already looted a chest but that's not good enough to save this game. If Gothic 3 was like to Gothic 2 to what Gothic 2 was to Gothic 1 it would be a highly rated game. All they had to do was bring the graphics to what it is now, add a few quality of life updates and they would be smooth sailing.

If you're determined to play Gothic 3 I must warn you that it suffered many bugs upon due to a rushed release with fallout between the publisher and developer.

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