|Engine||Genome Engine with Emotion FX 2 character animation, SpeedTree foliage, and PhysX for physics simulation|
Gothic 3 is a fantasy-themed role-playing game for Windows from the German game developer Piranha Bytes. It is the sequel to Gothic II. Although widely available in English, the native release of the game is German. The game was released throughout the European Union on October 13, 2006 and became available throughout North America starting November 20, 2006. The North American release incorporates two patches that appeared after the initial UK edition.
The first part of Gothic tells the story of The Nameless Hero, a man thrust into the events of a penal colony. The colony takes the form of a natural landscape encased in a large magical shield known as The Barrier, much like an impenetrable dome. Over the course of the story, The Nameless Hero becomes acquainted with several characters, the most notable of which are Diego, Lee, Cor Angar, Lester, Gorn, Lares, Milten, and Xardas. Some of these characters are connected with the various factions of the game, which include the Old Camp, the New Camp and the Swamp Camp. Also connected with these factions are the water and fire mages, of which Xardas is an outcast. Xardas, a necromancer, plays a central part to the survival and advancement of the character. Ultimately, he galvanizes the character toward the ultimate goal of stopping the summoning of a beast known as The Sleeper, but the entrance was guarded by a camp of orcs. The hero was helped by an orc shaman named Ur-Shak, who made an artifact that would prevent the orcs from attacking him. The Nameless Hero banishes The Sleeper at the cost of nearly losing his own life.
The second part of Gothic sees The Nameless Hero resurrected by Xardas into a new setting. Now located outside the city of Khorinis, he is asked by Xardas to investigate a new evil that threatens Khorinis and the surrounding lands. Over the course of the story, The Nameless Hero reconnects with old friends from the first chapter while adjusting to changes in the faction structure. With the penal colony and its barrier a thing of the past, the surrounding lands have been invaded by orcs. Factions now consist of the Militia/Paladins of Khorinis, the Fire Novices/Fire Mages, and the Mercenaries/Dragon Hunters. Water mages also make a return. Having discovered the source of the evil threatening Khorinis, our hero assembles a crew of trusted friends and sails to a nearby island. There he battles a large undead dragon, completing the central quest of the chapter. The chapter closes with the hero and his allies sailing away from the island.
Gothic 2 also has an expansion called Night of the Raven. In the expansion, the Hero faced many new dangers and a new unexplored world. The Water Mages played an important role in the expansion. There was a new faction known as the Ring of Water, who had the same relationship to the Water Mages as the Paladins do to the Fire Mages. The main antagonist was Raven, who was second-in-command to Gomez, leader of the Old Camp, in the first game. Raven wanted to command the armies of Beliar, the evil one of the 3 gods, along with a new powerful weapon known as the Claw of Beliar.
The third part opens with the Nameless Hero and his friends sailing to a new continent overrun with orcs, arriving in the Myrtana, the central region of the continent. The hero lost all his stuff from the previous game when his ship is stolen while he's onshore with Milten, Diego, Gorn, and Lester. Presumably this is the source of the orc invasion that was launched on Khorinis during the second chapter. These lands have no physical connection to Khorinis or the ruins of the penal colony. In these mountainous forests the orcs have enslaved the human kingdom with only a few free humans living in the nearly uninhabitable icy northlands of Nordmar and the southern desert of Varant. The hero must decide whether to join the rebellion and stay true to the deposed human king, serve the Orcish usurpers in their quest to topple the last remaining human stronghold, or choose a path that serves his own ends. Throughout the story, he is accompanied by a number of NPCs, some of whom are old friends. While this chapter brings forward friends from the previous title (Xardas, Diego, Milten, Gorn, Lester, Lee, and Vatras) it also introduces two new major characters; King Rhobar the Second (who ultimately was responsible for sending the Nameless Hero to the penal colony in the first game) and Zuben. While the king has a strong past as a bold leader, he now faces a near defeat; his fame on the decline. Zuben leads the Hashishin that inhabit the southern region of Varant.
The player must complete quests and slay wild animals and monsters to earn experience and improve skills. The game is reputation centric allowing the player to side with a faction. While there are six factions in the game, only three are joinable: the Rebels, the Orc mercenaries and the Hashishin. The remaining factions are the Rangers, the Nomads and the people of Nordmar. The player is able to take advantage of missions to allow either side to take over towns. Dialog changes according to in-game actions and behavior. The game places a special focus on the interactivity of the environment. The game claimed to employ an unusual combat system which emphasizes carefully timed combinations of strikes, requiring the player to read the body language of attacking opponents. However, in practice, many players found the combat system lacking such unique features and have been known to describe it as a "button mashing click-fest." The most successful strategy during combat seemed to be to just click the left mouse button as quickly as possible: if timed correctly at the beginning any enemy could be defeated with relative ease. The controls have been altered slightly with a stronger focus on action. Navigation and combat are more mouse-centric, with each mouse button having a different combat action. The Nameless Hero can also now wield dual weapons or use a shield.
Prior to its release in early October 2006, Gothic 3 was nominated as the best game of E3 by IGN. Since the release, most concerns have centered on bugs. Hyper's Daniel Wilks commends the game for its "ton of quests, rewards exploration and approachable combat". However, he criticised it for "system hogging, feeling unfinished and atrocious voice acting".
In the UK, the PEGI rating board has assigned the game a 16+ rating. In Germany, the USK has rated it 12+. In the US and Canada, Gothic 3 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB. The gameplay content is identical between each version released worldwide.
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (February 2013)|
Gothic 3 was initially developed by Piranha Bytes, like the previous two titles.
Release and Distribution
The game was released on October 13, 2006 throughout the European Union in English, German, Spanish and Polish (in Polish being released on November 3, 2006). The North American version was released on November 20, 2006. The English edition from the UK was released as version 1.04. The North American version incorporated two patches, the first being 1.07, in its initial release at version 1.12. A Collector's Edition was also released containing bonus collectible material.
Split between publisher and developer
After a release with many problems and bugs, a dispute between the publisher and developer lead to the separation of them in 2007. The game remained with the last released patch 1.12 in a buggy and unfinished state, and an announced further patch and editor were not finished.
Therefore, the copyright holding publisher Jowood granted access to the source code to developers from the game community to allow the fans at least take care of the significant problems and bugs themselves. In years of voluntary and unpaid work the fan community produced several Community patches, with an actual iteration version 1.75 released on April 2012. With this 1.5 GB sized patch significant enhancements and fixes were introduced, so that finally a playable state of the game was achieved. Also, a Community Story Project works still on fixing inconsistencies to former Gothic games and on filling of story gaps.
On November 21, 2008 JoWooD Entertainment released a standalone expansion, entitled Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods, developed by Trine Games. Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods was similar buggy as the original game and was later fixed in an enhanced edition by Mad Vulture Games a company which was created by developers from the game community.
Gothic 3 is powered by a custom engine called the Genome engine; it supports Pixel Shader 3.0, has a multithreaded design and includes dynamic lighting (including self-shadowing). Physics simulation is provided by Ageia's PhysX physics engine. It also uses IDV's SpeedTreeRT tree and plant software, Bink Video Technology from RAD Game Tools for the cutscenes, as well as the FMOD Sound System from Firelight Technologies for sound playback.
- Gothic 3 manual (all versions).
- Wilks, Daniel (January 2007). "Gothic 3". Hyper (Next Media) (159): 76, 77. ISSN 1320-7458.
- Piranha Bytes: Piranha Bytes und JoWood gehen getrennte Wege, press message from May 22, 2007 (PDF, german)
- Jowood Forum am 7. Juli 2007: Das Patch-Projekt (archived, german)
- JoWood Pressemitteilung (December 20, 2007)Gothic 3 Patch - Release Anfang 2008
- Schuldt, Rainer (2008-02-08). "Gothic 3: Fan-Patch 1.6 veröffentlicht" (in german). computerbild.de. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Gothic 3 Community Patch v1.75
- Sebayang, Andreas (2009-03-23). "Gothic 3 Community Patch soll fast alle Fehler beheben - Mehr als 700 Veränderungen im letzten Community Patch" (in german). Golem.de. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Bayer, Thilo (2010-01-03). "Gothic 3 Community Story Projekt - Update: Vergleichsbilder und Youtube-Video" (in german). pcgameshardware.de. Retrieved 2011-07-16. "Nachdem die Fans von Gothic 3 das Rollenspiel bereits mit dem Community Patch 1.7 verbessert haben, arbeiten die Modder nun am Community Story Projekt."
- Schramm, Peter (2010). "About MVG". madvulture.de. Retrieved 2011-04-03. "Being part of the “Community Patch Team” formed to fix the great but bug-baiten “Gothic 3″ game, Mad Vulture Games was taking care of major coordination work, 3D model fixing and lots of other work for the Gothic 3 Addon “Forsaken Gods” Enhanced Edition, also being the producing company."