So I load up Gothic 4, I am not sure what to except and to be honest after Dark souls I feel like a lot of action RPGs have missed the bench mark that now has been put into place. I feel like I have tasted that fine wine or amazing streak and now, well everything now seems so meh. Now I don’t hold high hopes for this game, but I do hold some hope so I will give it a shot and dive into the world of Gothic 4. I am met with a short cut scene that explains almost nothing I might understand it if I have played the last 3, but I have not. This cut scene really does not help the confusion, some king, invade and he is crazy is all that I got from it. So we start off as a sleepy old man, what is made clear is that he is insane and a king. He wakes up and you control him through this brown ugly cave, all the while random voices filter in. You are given no direction or instruction which I don’t mind, but some context as to why I am swinging a burning sword at skeletons would be nice, but I will let that side. Now as far as the combat goes it feels odd, each attack seems slow and combos feel random at best, the roll button is on the second mouse button and I think it may be the block button as well, which seems like an odd choice.
After fighting a bunch of random monsters that to be honest don’t feel much different from one another (They sit there and let me hit them as I take no damage. Then after killing what seemed like a weak mini boss I am awoken by a voice all of the sudden (Wait I woke from a dream twice? Inception you say?) So far I feel like I have wasted 10 minutes doing something that didn’t add to the story. What I can only guess is the character I will be playing (unless I wake up again), stirs from his sleep to a girl asking me to go meet a man called Gromar and that he has been looking for me. The conversation choice is end with two choices ‘Give us a kiss’ or ‘end’; I chose the first in hopes of getting some tongue action. Sadly she does not put out, it would seem a lonely field overlooking the ocean is not the right place for some heavy petting. After that I am put in the control of…. I am still not sure of his name so let’s call him Bill, a generic name for what feels like is going to be a generic character. So I get on the saddle of Bill and have a feel for the controls, his swings feel better and less sloppy, I am shocked to how a shepherd can move better than a trained swordsmen but I guess I am the hero after all so real world logic doesn’t apply . I start of by attacking the sheep, and laugh as they scream and go flying. Eh wow not the best way to start of playing the hero, maybe I can rehabilitate this lost soul from his animal killing ways. Anyway it is about this time I start looking around the world and I am shocked to say it looks nice I am not sure if it is because of how ugly the cave looked or if it really does look nice. Maybe not in the way that an AAA game looks nice, but the world feels somewhat alive, the sounds are well done. The map and HUD are out of the way, so it gets points for that. Everything is clear and neat, to be honest the only complaint I have is the camera angle and what seems like the lack of a lock on system. Okay enough dicking around, I have breathed in the sweet air and looted all the sheep, now off to town to see what this jerk wants.
So after killing what I believe may have been the village’s entire sheep population, I make my way to this unnamed brown mess of buildings. I like the game and as RPG starting towns goes is one is not too bad there is a random Orc just lazily lying on the road in, he seems the friendly sort. People are moving around and the houses have a lived in feel, well as much as a game can really do. I march my way to the center of town and meet Gromar. He doesn’t seem too bad, an old white haired man that might play the rule as a guide or father figure right? Ha wrong. I start my conversation with him and I am greeted with a name! I know right! We’re making progress with character development and all that. Oh wait he just calls me ‘Shepherd’, it would seem I am out of a job as my entire flock lies dead at my own hands. So screw you Gromar, why do I verbally flip of a character I have never met? Well he sounds like a dick, that name Gromar is not the name of a lovely man or sweet man, it is the name of a mean man. Where is my name!? ‘I know what you are doing behind my back’ he says in a commanding voice, I try to reply but sadly I stop mid conversation I sit around pressing some buttons in a vain attempt to work out what happen. This awkward silence feels forced but funny at the same time, what am I doing behind his back? Well ehh………….. After 5 minutes I give up and reload the game. After some heated dialog he sends me on a quest to prove I am worthy of marrying his daughter. Family tradition he says, well hell, I am not part of his family yet! Why do I have to be his bitch? Well before I go let’s see what the town has to offer. I search each house and steal what I can; well at least I didn’t kill any animals right? Ha wrong again I find some chickens and pigs and I kill them I hope you are happy Gromar, I have no sheep now you have no chickens! I make a note that the village has no doors if it rains and there is a heavy wind these towns’ folk are in for a rude shock. Maybe now that my sheep enterprise is gone to the fishes; I could start making doors and door repairs, this is food for thought. It is time to quest I am a hero after all! A hero that steals and kills farm animals, well maybe I am more of an anti-hero.
While trying to leave I run into my love to be and I start to think that well her face is maybe not worth this dagger hunt after all. But it seems that I have little choice in the matter, off we go my love to secure our marriage! Ah it has only been 15 seconds and already I am hit with a side quest, kill some mole rats and I get a free club. Okay farmer I will be your hero! He calls me shepherd as well, and I start to feel that maybe I should tell them that I am in a new line of work. Anyway now I have to secure my marriage, after that I can start to work on my business model and such. After my heroic fight with the giant mole rats I am down to 24 HP and feeling a little unsure of myself. How can I fight anything when these mole rats all but kill me, maybe the hero life is not for me and maybe I can find a woman with a father that is not trying to get me killed with these damn tests of manhood? But as I have little control over Bill’s life I guess I will have to follow the script. After killing a few more mole rats and fighting my way through another ugly cave I get my first loot a sword, shield and some gold. Okay now I look like a true hero and not the town drunk that clubs mole rats to death for fun. I leave the fields and head back to town, only to be meet by the farmer, who what do you know is also a dick to me. Maybe I missed a council meeting in which everyone decided I was free game for bullying. Maybe there is a secret club in which Knut and Gromar plan out ways to kill me. All jokes aside it would seem Knut was the one who sent the mole rats outside in an effort to stop me. What a cun……………….. I give him a few swings of my sword, but alas I am stuck on the rails of minimal choice, so today he lives. After completing my first two quests I hit my first level up, I have to admit I am excited to see what kind of character I can make and what type of build I can run. But I am let down in the little choice of the skills I am given, more unlock when I hit a higher level but again I am force along this narrow path of choice. I put one point into each as really I am not fussed about Bills build anymore. I get back to my soon to be father in law. He seems shocked I made it and has already plan for me to go on another dangerous quest. Chase out some smuggler that has made our island home, I hope Bill does no black out and kill something again. Also I wonder what Gromar’s plan is for when I finish the last of his tasks? But I won’t find out standing around here