Gothic II Complete Classic (Switch)

With talk of a Gothic remake, the original actually got itself a new release in the form of a port to the Nintendo Switch before, unsurprisingly, the sequel also received the same treatment with this Gothic II complete edition release. A worthy adventure to undertake once more? Lets find out.

Following on from Gothic which ended with your hero tearing down the magical barrier and releasing the prisoners of the Mine Valley, the days that followed seen these former criminals taking causing trouble by setting up shop in the forests & mountains around the capital of Khorinis. The town militia is powerless due to their low amount of force so outside of the capital everyone is helpless against the attacks of the criminals and bandits. Finally awaken, your hero is tasked with taking a message to the captain of the Paladins, should be relatively simple, no?

Luckily you don’t really need to be too aware of the original to ease into the story for this one, I can only vaguely remember the original myself these days. Sure at the beginning events can seem a bit confusing, but as you guide the story it becomes your own adventure. The open-world structure gives plenty to do as well with the swathes of NPC’s and the few factions ready to give you an odd job too, so you’ll be putting the time in to see the end – especially when factoring in the added Night of the Raven DLC.

You would expect an older RPG release like this to be perfect a match for the Switch, and that’s pretty much how things have turned out. There’s still a lot of charm to these 2000’s era games, the chunky character models and sharply textured environments are a staple of the time, This isn’t a remaster really, more a port, so you’ll still get times when the game looks lush, alongside others when it seems pretty sterile – just like old times

Audio fits the bill with a decent amount of typical ambient music during those quieter runs between towns. There is a surprising amount of voice acting in the game, more often than not a conversation has some, and it sounds amusingly AA. Surprisingly you are also given a choice of graphics or performance to suit your preference. Performance mode has some nips & tucks to improve the framerate, but I still left it on graphics. It didn’t actually seem that bad until further in when the FPS gets closer to 30 than 60. To be honest it is a shame the Switch can’t lock this up to 60 given the games age really.

Your adventure is your own to make, you start with nowt but a dagger and naff threads, There’s a fair bit to distract you from the main quest too. Be it odd jobs for folk or petitions from nobles, to side jobs like alchemist or blacksmith, there’s a lot of variety to keep busy and even level up your character for the journey ahead. When out on your adventure the variety doesn’t end either, enemy types have their own way to attack and can mix it up in groups, and then there’s the real-time combat itself. There’s so many weapons & spells to make use of that it can be overwhelming finding the right ones, but combat flows better when you do. Having magic & weapon draw mapped to the shoulder buttons probably helps with this as its easy enough on the fly, so long as your defence holds up or dodging actually works – or your AI allies don’t decide to get themselves stuck etc.

Issues can get in the way of enjoyment, mainly from minor bugs, difficulty or controls. Difficulty then is subjective, but I still found it brutal at times, turns out its most likely rebalanced from a later expansion that I never tried originally – may catch you out if you only played the original. Still you can persevere through it, just like the minor bug here and there as you’d expect of a release like this. Probably the main stickler to enjoyment for me would be controls. It generally plays fine, but occasionally inputs may end up bugged (during conversations in particular) and movement can feel wonky as the camera gets stuck. I still don’t understand either how a game like this doesn’t make use of the touchscreen for inventory management at least.

No doubt Gothic II is marked improvement over the first game, from its grander scope to the improved gameplay mechanics, but for me there was a few too many bugbears to enjoy it fully. From the odd dialogue bug to the wonky control, something would occasionally conspire to get in the way of your adventure. Still, outside of a heavily modded PC version you hope will boot on your modern system, this Switch port is probably the best way to enjoy a classic slice of Eurojank RPG goodness.



May just be a port, so the same warts and all of the original release, but its still a great RPG if you have the perseverance.

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Geoffrey Wright

Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.

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