Them Germans sure love mediocre RPGs
Gothic II first impressions: If you ever read my reviews, you would know that the worst game I ever reviewed (other than FFVII) was Gothic. Gothic was an incredibly tedious and difficult RPG, which made controlling your catnip-addicted cat a much easier task. Now, I'm heer to give my opinion on the sequel. Now, you may be wondering "why did you bother to play a game that's the sequel to one you despise?". Well, It's a long story, but I actually purchased Gothic II years before I purchased the original (which I was interested in at the time).
Anyway, lets get on with the review. Just like with the original Gothic, It's fun for the first moment, but then it turns into a tedious and frustrating experience. The main problem I had with the original was the extremely confusing controls. Thankfully they have been improved and are now more streamlined than the original (from now you will not be required to press crtl + up arrow key just to buy items). However, that does not mean that the controls are good in general. There's no cursor to select items, and you have to increase your mouse sensitivity to a maximum in order to get the (mouse-controlled) camera to work well.
Another problem I had with the original Gothic was the incredible slow pace to make any progress. Unfortunately they didn't solve this problem at all, which means that it would take hours just to complete a simple quest. The cause of this problem is contributed to two things: the difficulty and the weak character customization. You see, fighting enemies requires more trial by error than skill.
In the original Gothic, to fight enemies you had to use this complicated and unresponsive fighting system. This system is still available in the sequel, but thankfully you can change it to make fighting require nothing more than clicking on the left-mouse button. Sadly though, even with the button mashing option, the controls are still unresponsive. Even if it were responsive, the battles would still be incredibly difficult due to, what appears to be, the steroid-addicted animals that roam around the world, that you would fighting. In fact, one of the most difficult enemies that you will encounter is a rat.......that's right the monster that's used as a target dummy in most RPGs is now the equivalent of Darth Vader. And since most of the enemies you will encounter are animals, it's impossible to block their attacks (for whatever reason).
This is made more difficult due to the slow-paced character customization. You see, to actually do well in combat, you have to purchase strong equipment, sadly though it costs allot of money, and you have to meet the statistical requirements that are needed to equip the item. Sadly though, in order to meet these requirements, you have to go to these trainers to...well... train you (just like in the original). The problem with this is that every time you reach a level, you are given only 10 skill points and in order to make any significance in a certain statistic, you have to spend 5 skill-points. In other words, you can only choose to increase two stats every time you level-up. But in order to level-up, you have to kill monsters, but you can't because you don't the proper equipment, but you can't buy them because you don't have the required statistics, which you don't have because you didn't level up. GAWD DAMMIT !!!!! So instead you'll be spending most of your time completing these boring fetch quests just to level up.
Another problem I had with Gothic II are the choices available for completing quests. Yes, your options for completing these quests are diverse, and each contain their own rewards. Sadly however, there's no moral or reputation system implemented, which makes you feel that being a Goody-too-shoes throughout the entire, had no real purpose. For example, you are tasked to capture a theif that stole only to survive in this capitalistic society. You could either let him go with no rewards, or capture him to get money from the militia. So what was the whole point of letting the theif go in the first place, if I didn't increase my morale.
There are some good things to say about Gothic II however. You can join 3 guilds that effect the storyline and progression of the game....and.....there are small improvements over the controls.
You maybe wondering why I typed in "first impressions". It's because I was so bored and frustrated with Gothic II, that I stopped playing, and wrote this review to express my hatred.
I don't understand why the Gothic series is popular over in Germany. Maybe because no other RPG has ever been published over there, and they find comfort playing this generic version of one. Either that or "Piranha Bytes" is cashing in on the Gothic-subculture that's growing in Germany.