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The Good, the Bad, and the Gothic

The 2001 RPG classic Gothic is looking to face what happens when a company can’t churn out new content: get a remake. The difference this time is that the fans get to decide. That’s right. THQ Nordic has made a short teaser/demo of the new Gothic for players to test and offer feedback. The players vote on if the project should exist, and if so, what should they change about it. It’s like beta testing, except bad reviews will kill the game before it gets released.

A Good Plan

Honestly, voting on the Gothic revival is a stellar idea. Reboots can’t often capture the magic of the original work, but remakes continue to get thrown at consumers in all industries. I could rant about how the new Star Wars trilogy copies the original too much, but that is its own post. Reboots usually aren’t good, so it is refreshing to get a choice. Additionally, this procedure saves the developers from losing money by releasing an ill-received game. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Is Gothic Worth It?

Games have come a long way since 2001, so comparing the reimagined Gothic to the original is a little unfair. THQ Nordic has taken significant liberties in terms of combat and dialogue. Combat follows the For Honor style of play with a focus on directional inputs with smaller-scale fights than the original. Fans are unhappy with some of the new combat mechanics. Even fewer agree with the dialogue.

The new Gothic employs a dialogue wheel instead of having a list of choices like in Dragon Age: Origins. An understandable complaint, but the biggest I saw involved the player character themself. They narrate everything. I mean it. Your nameless convict acts like he has a full audience of blind people that he must describe the game to. This and several other features that only serve to corral players are significantly hindering the developers’ goal of release. This is only a two-hour teaser, so don’t despair! These nasty flaws aren’t here to stay. Die-hard fans can still have hope.

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