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At its core Gothic 3 is an amazing game. But the countless bugs and glitchs completely destroy what could have been one of the best games of the year. First, be warned ths is not a game for your average gamer. This game is time consuming and difficult to master. Right from the start your introduced to the difficult and slightly confusing interface as you arrive home from adventures at sea. You do not get a greeting party though, instead you discover that all the humans have been enslaved by orcs, who invaded while you were gone. The heroes promptly liberate one nearby city which acts as a bit of a rushed tutorial. Afterwards you are introduced to the rebels and you are confronted with a choice between two factions. I think there is a third faction, the slavers but I'm not sure how much that plays into the main quest. From this point on you can side with either the Rebels or the Orc Mercenarys.
My favourite thing about Gothic is also my LEAST favourite thing. The world is extremely dynamic. If you side with the rebels at the start, you will liberate an enslaved town (with difficulty and much time) and it will be changed. Same goes if you side with the orcs and destroy the rebel base, it stays dead forever. This is also a bad thing because vital NPCs can be killed. You don't even have to do anything sometimes they just die and your unable to continue the main quest (this happened to me and I was unable to load a game where the NPC was alive, fun fun fun). Another annoyance that marks this as one of the hardcore RPGs is that quests have no waypoints or clear objective. The only direction you get are the worded ones from your quest giver (sometimes these directions arn't even recorded in your journle, or repeated by the quest giver). You can imagine how hard it is to find a hidden cliff side cave with only the direction "North east of here". You better not forget that little direction either!
The level and quest system is pretty good though. Quests, although sometimes difficult to locate, give good rewards in money, experience, items, or a combination. As you level up you gain points which you can pump into strength or hunting and I think one other attribute I can't recall at the moment. Now these base skills don't do anything but they allow you to learn new moves. For instance 100 strength is needed to learn heavy weapons, ect. All of this is very costly, each base point costing money at a trainer, as well as the bonus charge for each skill learned. But its at a tolerable level and works as a good game mechanic, spend wisely!
Combat is very difficult in this game. Not because the game is difficult (although at some parts the difficulty spikes, I recall having to fight a troll the size of a house at a very low level). The combat controls are very unresponsive and have enough delay between click and action that it becomes very irritating. In combat you can strike, block, or use a more powerful attack. With a ranged weapon, you just shoot arrows or bolts. Most of the time button mashing with a melee weapon will kill any human enemy because they will be stun locked (they stagger and stop after each hit). But animals are nearly impossible to kill because blocking doesn't work against them and they do NOT stagger when hit. If you were to be a ranged character animals would be easier but this would also make humans or orcs very difficult to kill, and its too expensive to be both a good melee and ranged character.
If you can endure the tedious dialogue, hidden quest objectives, frequen game ruining bugs, and the insane amount of TIME this game takes, its actually a good play. I could only handle these things for a while and eventually gave up on the game, which was sad. Because really its an amazing game. I recommend this only for the most hardcore gamers who are long accustomed to being punished by their games.
With invading Orcs enslaving the human kingdom, only a handful of rebels remain hiding in the forests and mountains of Midland. Choose between joining the rebellion or serve the Orcish Usurpers, but you will ultimately tip the scales and decide the outcome of the last war to save humanity. Gothic III provides a living world where the players can freely choose the way they want to play; whether exploring the world and enjoying its rich and enchanted atmosphere or following a darker path, and even ultimately destroying it. Every choice and action the player makes will directly echo and affect the world of Gothic, creating a life-like environment and allowing for complex character interaction.