Gothic II (or Gothic 2, whatever) is one of those sequels that does everything the first game did, except it doesn't restart the story, it pretends you lost your memory and, with it, your skills. That said, Gothic II is a vast improvement over Gothic.
In Gothic II, you still play as a nameless hero, and you still roam aimlessly through wilderness to train your skills before encountering the real enemy. This game is hard, though, and if you're not ready for a very difficult game, it could frustrate you.
I want to point out that the graphics are very bad by default, yet it can be improved with custom settings. The screenshot shows the default settings with the default resolution of 800x600. Before anything else, you should increase the resolution to something more suitable for your monitor. Then, you can adjust model detail and other visual enhancements. All of the settings are changed within the game, too, so you will not have to exit the game to change settings.
As far as I can tell, the control scheme has not changed much from the original Gothic. I even tried playing with the "use Gothic controls" setting turned off, and I did not notice a difference. Perhaps, I missed something? Anyway, the controls are a little better, making better use of the mouse and giving us WASD movement. Nothing great, just a tiny bit more comfortable. I imagine this game could work fairly well with a gamepad, but I have not mapped the controls and honestly do not want to put in the effort.
Unlike the original Gothic, Gothic II allows you to sit in chairs and junk like that, but don't get too excited... you can't interact with everything. I just think it's cool that you can sit in chairs, because few games give you that sort of interaction. Even Two Worlds II lacks that kind of depth.
The dialogue in the first game was actually a little more fun to me, but the dialogue in this game is a little more dangerous. If you're not cautious, you could anger someone or follow a bandit to your doom. The non-player characters (NPCs) are all very basic AI, but the dialogue options are very in-depth. You can skip anything you don't want to listen to, as well.
The music is a little more noticeable this time around, but again, it's not worth listening to. I ended up playing my own music and turning the game music off. Sound effects and voices are all superbly executed. I love the game's sound design.
The menu system is terrible, but it is an improvement over the original Gothic, so I give it props for that. If you liked Gothic's menu, you will probably love Gothic II's menu. It is prettier and allows for a variety of control schemes. It is far from comfortable in my opinion, but it is an improvement, and it is functional to a degree.
Unfortunately, you have no shortcut keys for potions or anything like that, and you cannot pause combat to open the menu. As hard as it is to fight swarms of enemies, you need to heal frequently, and you will end up running away from enemies very often.
Overall, for the price, Gothic II is a brilliant addition to any RPG collection, and it plays well on modern systems, too. I highly recommend it as a "bargain bin" game. You can get it on Steam or GOG for $9.99. I recommend buying the GOG version, because it includes the original manuals and some other bonus content, like wallpapers. Plus, it is DRM free.
Another thing to look for when browsing PC games is the system requirements. There are really 4 things you need to worry about: RAM or memory, processor, video card, and finally, the hard drive space. Memory can be upgraded fairly easily, and it shouldn't cost much. We recommend having at least 1GB memory, 2GB if possible. Your processor needs to be fairly modern, and a Pentium 4 probably won't cut it. We recommend a 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo or better. Your video card should support DirectX 9 (or higher) and have a minimum of 256mb memory attached to it. We recommend 512mb or greater. Hard drive space is subjective, but we recommend having a fairly large amount of space. You could settle for as little as 40gb and be able to play most games, but we recommend having 80gb or more space to make sure you have room for multiple games at once. Most PC games don't run straight from their disc. They usually require an install process, and most modern games require around 8gb of free space to install.
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A lot of people complain about having to use a mouse and keyboard to play PC games. This isn't a requirement, fortunately, and we have what we call gamepads or joypads. Yes, we can use game controllers! We can even use Xbox controllers! That said, it's not as plug-and-play as a game console, and some games simply will not work with your joypad. Fortunately, Steam tells you if games support controllers, and if your favorite game doesn't support them, you can map the controllers to keyboard and mouse controls.
Just be careful when buying PC games. Read reviews carefully. If a game gets a 1/5, don't buy it. If your PC is a cheapie, don't expect modern 3d games to work. Read the system requirements very carefully. If you don't know anything about your system, you can find help in the PC Stuff forum.