Gothic II Goes For The Gold!
Gothic II Gold, takes Gothic II and adds the Night Of The Raven, content, which not only makes it a longer game, but it also slightly changes the story. So if you have this version of the game but have not yet played Gothic II, play it without the expansion first than play through it again. You will have to begin again, but this way you will know what the new things are.
In Gothic II, you are once again thrust into the role of the Nameless hero of the original game. Summoned to Xardis’ Tower, he informs you that the battle at the end of the first game with “The Sleeper”. Was just the beginning, now the ancient dragons are awaking. And only the “The Eye Of Innos”, can help defeat them so it’s off to the city of Khorinis, to try and claim the eye and stop the new threat.
But first you must become a citizen of the city. To become a paladin, or skip this and become a mercenary. As in the original what ever faction you choose you will have to prove yourself. Fans of the first game will want to play as a Merc, as many old friends are now under there employ. This is also the better choice as it is the faction that leads to the most powerful Dragon Hunter class.
The plot thickens when the Orcs plan an invasion. You eventually return to the areas from the original game. They are smaller now but it is cool to see them again. Over all the play area seems bigger, in Gothic II. Perhaps that is due to it being more diverse than in the prequel.
Gothic II is an action RPG. That means you almost always travel alone. And fights take place in real-time. Where you can slash, stab, thrust, block, and parry. Combat can be daunting at first but gets easier as you improve your skills.
Skills include, Weapon, swords, axe, etc, magic, strength, agility, etc. Most skills can be trained over 100. It takes a little doing but it is well worth your time and effort, as even the most powerful foes will fall easily before you.
In Gothic II, you earn EXP points. And upon a level increase you are allotted skill points. These are used to upgrade various skills from trainers in the world.
The Main Quest is quite long, about 50 hours, with tons of side quests to complete. As well as non-official ones. For instance, you can find skins for gold, this is not a quest per say, but can make you a good amount of cash. You can also make your own weapons, often more powerful than the ones you can buy.
The Graphics are good, but are a little dated. But at least that means most PC’s can run it.
The sound department is solid. The sound effects are all nice and fit well. The voice overs are done well. No big names here but they all do a excellent job. The music is epic and seems to have high production values.
I think that the way that the expansion works is a little stupid. This is the only game that I can think of that the expansion content happens during the game and not after.
Getting started is tricky. And the controls take a little getting used. But are improved over that of the first game.
Gothic III looks to good, so I probably will not be able to run it. Gothic II is a system hog. It needs about 5 GIG of hard drive space. This is not to much of a surprise however as even simple adventure games take about a GIG now.
The Bottom Line
Gothic II, is a great game. It may even be better than the first game. And with or without the expansion it is a very long game. And a very enjoyable one.