I have played a lot to this game with the community patch installed. It plays smoothly and bugs are very few. With the community patch, you can forget every negative review based on the fact that Gothic III is bug ridden.
Personally, I preferred Gothic III to Risen, though it may simply be a matter of taste. I'm very excited at the idea of playing it again on a newer computer. Thanks GoG!
The question I'd like to be answered is if the patched version sold buy GoG is or not the community patch applied to the game. Because GoG says that its version of the game has its bugged fixed, though no official patch has ever really done it.
So GoG, how did you fix/ptach Gothic III? With the official, or unofficial patch?
I've played through Gothic 1 twice, Gothic 2 at least 3 times & a 4th play-through with the Night of the Raven G2 expansion (included in the G2 GOTY edition, which is the one GoG is selling); and I am on my fifth or sixth play-through of Gothic III. Notes on each:
1) Gothic 1. A classic RPG experience. A bit too dated even for my very generous tastes--a very good game but my least favorite of the Gothic series thus far.
2) Gothic 2. This is truly a great RPG that serious devotees of the art owe it to themselves to play. And please, play it the first time, if possible, with the Night of the Raven expansion--it adds *a lot* to the G2 game and rules base, and if you avoid cheating and do what you are supposed to do (not cut corners just to race the clock) you'll get ~130+ hours plus out of it! The NotR expansion adds so much to G2, and enhances it so much, that it really is a different, better game than vanilla Gothic 2, imo. This game oozes character, and even though at first I laughed at the some of the voice acting because it was so horrific, it really does grow on you!....;) I grew to actually really dig some of the cheesier voice overs in the game. Lots and lots of fun.
3) Gothic 3. Oh, man, what a game! It's huge, and there are a number of ways you can play the game right from the start, and the decisions you make definitely impact the way the game plays. G3 is actually my favorite of the series so far. I'll have more time logged in with this play through of G3 than I had with G2:NotR!
4)Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods. I know that Gog isn't selling this one yet. It is, however, available from Steam in an Enhanced version. I have the game but have not yet played it so I cannot comment. BTW, Forsaken Gods is not an expansion for G3--it's a stand-alone game.
5) Gothic 4. JoWood's last crack at making money from the Piranha Bytes' Gothic properties. I bought it and played this one through--and it's nice if what you want is RPG "lite" because "lite" is what it is. Also, JoWood would have done better to have named this game something besides G4 because it doesn't in any way, shape, or form play like the Gothic series or resemble the Gothic series--except in some few very superficial ways--affectations thrown in as afterthoughts to try and make the game more "Gothic like." Fortunately, the Gothic IP has reverted to Piranha Bytes once again, post JoWood, so it will be interesting to see what PB will do with the IP moving on past Risen 2.
Mods, Mods, Mods:
This is *the* site to see for all of your Gothic-related needs--textures, play mods, etc.: Great Gothic Resource
I have the Steam versions of the G2:NotR, G3, and G3:FG games, and all three games will accept and function fine with the community patches and mods
available from the above linked WorldofGothic site! I would be very surprised if the GoG versions proved any less hospitable to updates and mods. In my current play through of G3, I'm running the Content Mod 2.3 (English) which adds bunches of stuff to the G3 game version 1.74--which is the Enhanced Edition done by the community and is designed to install on top of PB's last official patch for G3, 1.6x. Make no mistake about it, for both G2:NotR and G3 Enhanced Edition, you *must* run the latest community patches
for superior game play of the kind you expect. Again, everything you need is available from www.worldofgothic.com. These patches fix oodles of broken/malformed quests in addition to lots of other neat things and new content they bring to the games.
THE REASON that neither Valve nor GoG offers any of the community patches for these games beyond the last official patches the developers made available for them is because, first of all, the community patches belong to the community members who made them and not to the respective game developers or their publishers; secondly, the publisher cannot be responsible for whatever the community patches do since the publishing deals for the IP don't include the rights to distribute the community patches
. It is good enough
, I think, that both Valve and GoG are selling the game in a fully moddable configuration so that their customers who buy the games can use resources like WoG to mod and update their games from 3rd-party sources! That's very important. And, not all games get this hands-off treatment. I also bought the Witcher 2 from Steam, and the Steam version *cannot* be updated by 3rd-party community patches and/or some 3rd-party mods--even CDPR's very own commercial patch for W2 won't install into the Steam version of the game. A copy of Steam Witcher 2 can only be updated through Steamworks.
Whew! I hope this helps a few people. Lots of text here, but these games are H_U_G_E...;) And I do not mean "huge" in the sense of Oblivion in that sometimes you feel you are in this gigantic world teeming with atmosphere but very little to do...;)
But I will say this in closing: if you don't plan to avail yourself of the community updated game patches and mods available from WoG and a few other sites--I really wouldn't bother buying these games, because the fan base for them has had years to improve the games and they've certainly taken advantage of the time to improve them substantially. Don't miss out on the fun, especially at these prices!