Group DescriptionGothic is a series of role-playing games with action combat, originally created by the German developer Piranha Bytes. The games are set in an unnamed medieval fantasy world, in or around the fictional kingdom of Myrtana.
StoryThe first three Gothic games are united by an overarching storyline. The nameless male hero is initially deported by Rhobar, king of Myrtana, to a prison colony separated from the rest of the world by a magic barrier. The first Gothic (2001) describes the hero's struggle in the colony, which ends in his escape. In Gothic II (2002), the hero travels to the island of Khorinis, trying to avert the advent of a fearsome dragon, and getting involved in a war between humans and orcs. Finally, in Gothic 3 (2006), aided by his friends, the hero reaches Myrtana and neighboring countries, where he must find a way to stop the war and discover the plans of the manipulative magician Xardas, who had been his instructor in the first two games.
GameplayGothic games are set in vast 3D environments, which can usually be freely explored. The protagonist is able to jump, climb, swim, and dive. Combat is action-oriented. Experience points are awarded for defeating enemies and completing main and secondary quests. Leveling up grants the player a number of ability points. However, the player must also find NPCs who would train the hero in various categories; the player can then decide into which ability he/she wishes to channel the gained experience. The protagonist can specialize in close combat, ranged weapons, and magic. Choosing one path does not exclude the others; theoretically, the hero can be trained fully and acquire all the skills in all three categories.
Conversations with NPCs and sub-quests play a significant role. Typically, the player must perform quests to gain the trust of NPCs and raise the hero's social rank. The player can (and often should) join some of the factions present in the games. Usually, joining a faction alters some of the subsequent quests, and might also influence the events of the storyline.
TriviaAfter developing three main games in the series, publisher JoWooD announced in June 2007 that they will continue development of the series with another studio. JoWooD now owns the rights to the name Gothic and the franchise, which was officially confirmed on June 6, 2007.
The official fourth game in the Gothic series, developed by Spellbound, is called Arcania: Gothic 4, and features noticeable gameplay changes compared to the previous games in the series. However, original developer Piranha Bytes has teamed up with publisher Deep Silver to release Risen, which looks and plays similarly to a Gothic game and can be considered a spiritual successor of the series, despite the fact that the developers were forced to invent a new world and new characters after losing the copyright.
Front cover for Arcania: The Complete Tale
Front cover for Gothic II
Front cover for Gothic Universe
Front cover for Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods
Front cover for Gothic II: Limited Gold Edition
Screenshot from Gothic II
Screenshot from Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods
Screenshot from ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif
Screenshot from Gothic II: Night of the Raven
Screenshot from Gothic 3 (Collector's Edition)