|System: PC, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Spellbound Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: DreamCatcher Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
You can literally and figuratively get away with murder in Gothic 4. There's no one to judge you, and no CPU to police your actions. It's a free for all. It's virtually impossible to get killed. The worst that will happen is that you'll be delayed until you figure out what you need to get past the situation. All locks will open for you one way or another. There are no factions to fight or align with. There's no need for rest or food as recovery is instantaneous with the proper potions. Items don't need to be maintained. Your inventory is unlimited. See what I mean about the permanent cheat code?
If your PC can handle the new graphics engine, the Vision Engine 7, you're in for a visual treat. My PC is just a tad underpowered so I have to run it at a lower res, but it still looks great. Incredible draw distances with spacious environments are certain to send agoraphobics into a seizure. The villages are well rendered with great architectural detail. The NPCs are bland, functional but not very distinctive. The developers' talents clearly lie with environments.
The Gothic series has always been somewhat lackluster in the production department, so it's nice to see the new engine generating such amazing scenes. Perhaps the audio can be overhauled next time. The sound effects, particularly the environmental ambient sounds, are great. They are accompanied by a rich orchestral soundtrack that evokes the appropriate mood for the scene. But it's the voiceacting that kills me. There's the odd character that sounds believable, but most of them are atrocious. It's as though the actors just learned how to read. And with such awful dialogue that is also poorly translated, it's inappropriately comical. This is one time I wouldn't mind going back to the classic text-based RPG.
You make your own decisions in life. You don't really have to make a lot of decisions in Gothic 4, but at least you can make the decision to buy it or pass on it.
CCC Senior Writer