Gothic 3 Piranha Bytes’ Epic

Gothic 3 was the final installment of Piranha Bytes’ Gothic Series. It was the most ambitious game that the small German development team ever attempted. It was larger than any game that they had ever made. It was also the definitive end to the story of the unnamed hero. (Sorry JoWood, Forsaken Gods and Gothic 4 make no sense if you played Gothic 3).

What Was So Right

Gothic 3 starts at the end of Gothic 2, the hero and his friends sail to the mainland and find that the orcs have won the war with the humans. The king is locked away in his castle behind a magic barrier, and the orcs have begun to enslave humanity. Sounds grim, I know, but the orcs are actually giving the people a better life than the king ever did. So here’s the rub, do you fight the orcs to free humanity? Do you side with the orcs against the king? Or do you play both sides and just see what happens?

Gothic 3 had fantastic graphics. If your system could handle it, the world was beautiful. The story was wonderful, dark, but wonderful. The music was unbelievable. With some of the greatest symphony orchestras of Europe and some of the best singing talents of our day, the soundtrack was insane! I have still a few of the songs stuck in my head! The music changed with the surroundings, set the mood, and never got boring. No game has ever had as good of a soundtrack, and I doubt that any game ever will again.

The world was designed completely by hand. Every tree, rock, mountain, bridge, gave way to exhilarating views and sunsets. You cannot ever compare the world of Oblivion to Gothic 3, (which many reviewers tried). You will understand what I mean if you ever play it. Even with the few flaws, it’s unbelievable.

The game was not easy. You could die at anytime if you lost focus. Somehow that kept me coming back for more. I hate games that never present a challenge. There are three separate paths that you can take to win, which gives the game a certain natural level of replayability.

What Went Wrong

Gothic 3 was released early. Piranha Bytes was rushed to finish the game by the producer JoWood. The game was never optimized, so it ran poorly even on robust systems. Details were missing in a few areas, such as floating trees. A handful of quests have missing endings. And some of the character upgrades were never finished. The community patches that were released fixed many of the problems, but I cannot help to wonder what it would have been like if Piranha Bytes had just been given the last few months to finish. I believe that it would have been the single greatest RPGs ever created without question. I still hold a bit of hope deep down that JoWood will realize their stupidity, pretend that Forsaken Gods never existed, drop the Gothic 4 project, and give back the rights to Gothic to Piranha Bytes so that they can re-release Gothic 3 in its final form.

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