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Gothic II

Score: 65%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Media: CD/3
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:

On the average, Gothic II's graphics are pretty good. Most of the landscapes are well laid out with mountains, farms, rolling hills and the like, and the inner cities are what you would expect from this type of fantasy game. Your character and the characters around you have fluid movements most of the time, with only the occasional strange moving creature lumbering around on the map. The only real bad part is that most everything you can pick up, items and such, seem like they are camouflaged, which makes things very difficult when looking for that vital piece of shrubbery.

The sound is another matter altogether. The voice acting is lame and really detracts from the experience. Unfortunately, there is a lot of it. The sound effects also leave something to be desired. A lot of the bells and whistles in Gothic II seem to have been shortchanged, which leads to a most displeasing experience.


To say Gothic II closely resembles games like Morrowind would be an overstatement. It would appear to be trying to pull off something like that in the beginning, however it falls desperately short of the mark. You begin the game as a main character from a confusing story line that has flowed over from Gothic I. As you set out on your quest to do whatever the hell it is, you invariably unwind more of the uninspiring and twisted plot line.

As you travel the world of Gothic II, you will meet many strange people and creatures, and some of them will have various tasks you can perform for them. This is basically how you progress through the game, and of course there are many different ways to go about doing things, reducing the linearity of it a bit. This is probably the best aspect of the game, because it actually rewards you for digging deeper into things to find either the easier route or the more rewarding way around a situation.

Since Gothic II is heavy with RPG elements, such as character stats and equipment, there are of course different classes and skills you can learn and use to your advantage. Unfortunately, here is where a major pitfall arises. There are only 3 different classes you can become and each of these basically turns you into another class when you reach a high enough level.

>From these different classes you can learn new abilities, but they are also meager in number. And, surprisingly enough, so are the weapons and equipment. In fact, once you get right down to it, there really isn't that much substance in this game except for the amount of territory you can explore.


Gothic II is more frustrating than it is hard. You'll walk into traps, walk into the same trap again, and then walk yet again into the very same trap thinking you had the right idea on how to get out of it. This, along with a difficult control scheme makes the game a little hard to pick up, and then even harder to stick with. There are some real challenges, however, like taking on tough monsters or thinking your way around difficult situations, but that's where the line is drawn.

Game Mechanics:

Gothic II has got to have one of the worst control schemes ever seen in a game, and you can't reconfigure the control setup. Everything, and I mean everything, right down to not using the Enter key for anything at all, has been changed from normal game schemes, and not in a good way. The developers have taken what works in the past and mangled it into an unrecognizable beast that certainly doesn't work here and probably never will in the future.

The worst of it all is the fighting system. This, too, has been horribly corrupted, as everything that should be simple seems to have been made deliberately difficult. This was the straw that broke the donkey's back. Gothic II reaches just under par on almost everything it contains, making for a very lackluster experience that will afford most people only a couple of minutes of play time.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/XP, 700 MHz Processor with Video Hardware T&L, 256 MB RAM, 2.2 GB Free Space, 32 MB Video Ram

Test System:

Windows XP, 1.4GHz AMD Athlon, GeForce FX 5200 128MB video card, 40 gig hard drive, 56x CD-ROM, 256MB DDR Ram, Sound Blaster Live! sound card, T1 Internet connection

Windows Global Operations Windows Hearts of Iron

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated