Gothic 3 (PC) review
"Bigger. Badder. Not quite as buggy."
The first two Gothic games chronicled a warrior (who made up for his lack of name with a +2 beard of fluffiness) as he did battle on the island of Khorinis; a holiday hot-spot that included a magically-locked prison that Beardy once called home choked with homicidal maniacs, overbearing guards and power-hungry mages. Even when he found a way out of said death-camp, he discovered the outside world was filled to the brim with bloodthirsty bandits, hostile wildlife and snappish dragons that ate first and asked questions later. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise to see that in Gothic 3, he gets the hell off the island and moves towards the mainland.
What's the worst that could happen? Myrtana presents a much bigger world (four times bigger, to be exact) to explore; one filled with open plains, dank mountain passes, sandy deserts and vast forests. It's also been overrun by an orc army that threatens to push humanity to the brink of extinction. The few humans that survived the initial attack found themselves split into two main groups; the first fleeing to the outskirts and hidden corners of the land to form a resistance against their new green overlords while the second group now works besides them as mercenaries. Anyone not strong enough to fall into these categories is either a gladiator in the arenas set up by the orcs for their own viewing pleasure, a slave, or a corpse.
What category the nameless warrior falls into is entirely up to you, but interesting to note is that, unlike many other open-ended RPGs, is that no choice perfectly categorises a good or evil path. The rebels might seem to initially have the more just cause in recapturing their homes and lands, but you'll soon discover that the orcs are not the bloodthirsty horde that many fantasy games depict them as. Instead, they're a nomadic race that places high emphasis on honour and even respect the rebels that fight so valiantly against them. Most of the human mercenaries on their side aren't money-hungry traitors, either; instead they're just normal people trying to make the best of a bad situation. But even then, Piranha Bytes ensure that neither camps are dipped in purely black or white, but differing shades of grey: some orcs abuse and slaughter their human slaves for kicks, while many rebel camps are tainted with infighting, needless violence and overreaching greed.
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