This question keeps coming up time and time again, no surprise given the huge success that the Gothic game series enjoyed. We've sent our eager voulenteers out to find out the best new games to hit the shelves inspired by the Gothic series of RPGs.
After their introduction, role-playing games took the gaming world by storm as everybody wanted to be part of a quest. Forget the old simple games where all that was required of you was pressing a few buttons to align bricks or place cards on the table. Piranha Bytes went a step further and created the Gothic series, a role-playing game taking place in an ancient fantasy world.
The first Gothic was released in the year 2001 in both Germany and North America. The public adored it, and it didn’t take long (just a year) before Gothic two was available. In the year 2003, Gothic 2: Night of the Raven was released, and it took three years before Gothic three came out in 2006. 2008 saw the release of Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods and Gothic 3: The Beginning while 2010 gifted gamers with Arcania: Gothic 4. The latest of the Gothic series, Arcania: Fall of Setarrif, was released in 2011.
What I love most about the Gothic game series is the originality in it that is mixed with an authentic medieval setting. A good example is the first Gothic, which involves prisoners, kings, magicians, magical ores to serve as components for weapons and armor, and of course enemies, the orcs. There is nothing more exhilarating to a gamer than a game with a quest as opposed to one where you simply restart the game after finishing the only level. What’s better, Gothic is a series, and the plot thickens in the next game.
This RPG will have you reclined deep into your seat as you visit different worlds such as Khorinis in Gothic two and Jharkendar in the series that follows. The other games in the series also have their worlds, and you even get to have a flashback to before the first Gothic in Gothic 3: The Beginning. It is no secret that Gothic inspired most popular RPG in the market.Here are some of those games.
This single-player roleplaying game published in 2009 by Deep Silver is uncannily similar to the Gothic series. Despite being developed by the same company (Piranha Bytes), Risen still has a thing or two that set it apart from Gothic such as its availability in the Xbox 360 version as opposed to its PC counterpart. Also, it is very user-friendly compared to the Gothic game series, which most people term as the most hardcore RPG game.
Nonetheless, the similarities outweigh the differences by far with the environment, gameplay, and the style used by the characters to explore the kingdom looking horribly akin to those in Gothic. Director, Michael Ruve believes that even though the similarities may be clear, gameplay and plots have intensified in Risen and claims the Risen series, which already has Risen one, two, and three will be better than Gothic. However true that is, the gamers get to judge.
Just like in the first Gothic game, Risen takes place on an ancient island filled with magic, humans, and a wide range of creatures. Faranga Island is quite similar to the Penal Colony where the first Gothic takes place and is also inaccessible from outside. Similarly, you cannot just up and leave; players gain rank and experience by exploring the island and collecting gems.
While gamers face problems related to orcs in Gothic, Risen offers a better challenge in the form of Titans. As a matter of fact, the game starts with an attack on the player’s ship by a Titan then the waves carry him ashore unarmed. However, unlike in Gothic where the player is held as a prisoner and has to work his way up the ladder, you have options to choose from such as; joining the bandit crew and aligning with their leader Don Esteban, becoming a mage, and learning all the magical secrets or becoming a Warrior of the Order.
Whichever the case, Mendoza, the chief of the Warriors of the Order will task you with finding a way into the temple where the fire titan dwells. His intention is to control it but the spirit of the Titan Lord, Ursegor helps you collect all the items necessary to slay both the fire titan and Mendoza. Even after defeating the Fire Titan, other Titans still terrorize the island, and the game ends with a conversation between Gregory Steelbeard’s daughter Patty and the main character concerning traveling to the mainland and defeating the other Titans.
Sounds like a teaser for the next adventure right? Sadly, the story isn’t as open in Risen 2 although the sequel still elicits a sense of continuation. Personally, I would play Risen any day as an option for Gothic because it is not only detailed and comprehensive but also has better graphics and can be used on both PC and Xbox 360.
Arx Fatalis is an action roleplaying game compatible with both PC and XBOX. While Titans were forced to live underground by the gods in Risen and humans obliged to fight for their survival against ugly looking orcs in Gothic, Arx Fatalis shows a different path. In fact, this is the only thing that sets it apart from most role-playing games inspired by Gothic.
When the sun fails the goblins, dwarves, trolls, and humans living on the surface, they are forced to take up residence in underground caverns to ensure their survival. These caverns do not serve as homes alone but also as prisons and places where you as the primary player will find items ideal for your quest. The lead player escapes from prison alongside a few other men ad is tasked with finding some items to form a mighty sword.
The sword will help take down the god of destruction and stop him from manifesting himself in the physical world. The one thing I love about this game is its enormous amount of depth for character development. I mean, you can create a character based on melee weapons, stealth, and a variety of spells or a combination of all the above options. How awesome is that?
Also, while you are hunting down the items required to make up the sword that takes down the god of destruction, you can take up side missions to further develop your character. Not to mention, you can find other ways to finish these quests which can ultimately change the consequences in the main quest as the storyline progresses. This game reminds me of Gothic 2: Night of the Raven just by its appearance.
For a game released in 2002, the graphics are way ahead of their time. Which other game do you know from the early 2000’s that allows players to levitate rocks or cook meat in front of a fire? It’s true, barbecues have been there for a long time, but Arx Fatalis is among the first action role-playing games to provide such an immersive experience for gamers all around the world. One thing is for sure, the exploration, environment, and plot evidently picked a leaf from Gothic.
Neverwinter Nights was released in 2005 for Windows, but a Mac release followed a year later. It is the ideal third person role playing game for any gamer with incredible depth and refined RPG mechanics. Neverwinter Nights also has special built-in game tools that enable players to extend playing hours through content creation.
It is very hard not to mention this game when listing RPG games inspired by Gothic 2 seeing the similarity in graphics and the setting. Just like in Gothic 2 where all the action takes place in Khorinis, Neverwinter Nights starts and ends in one city called Neverwinter. As the main character, your task is to navigate through the city amidst evil, mystery, and many cults.
To make it even more fun, you get to indulge in a few more chapters after completing the main quest. However, do not mistake it for one of those old-school games where the primary mission lasts for about 24 hours. With Neverwinter Nights, you are guaranteed 50 hours for the main mission, if you are good enough, and an additional 100 hours from the chapters that act as subplots.
I bet you have come across those role-play games that are just too easy to finish and have little to no additional content. In most instances, when you run out of game time, you are forced to reset the whole game just to relive the experience, but it’s, never as exciting as the first time. Additional subplots not only create a diversion when a player is stuck at a certain level but also help better your game character so that finishing the main quest is made easier.
You can create your character based on race, skills, attributes, class or even alignment. This variety of options is welcome by most gamers because not all players have the same luck utilizing a particular character’s unique features. Neverwinter Nights is a classic in its genre and the many people fortunate to play it will attest this claim. It never gets boring, even after finishing the quest, you can pick another character and optimize them to give the game a whole new outlook.
If you have trouble finding the thrill and the difficulty that comes with roleplaying games, then Dark Souls is your ideal solution. Released in 2011, this game has unforgiving difficulty levels and can be experienced on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation 3. While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation versions were the original releases, the game finally made its way to PCs under the title Dark Souls: Prepare to Die.
The ambiance in the game is almost similar to that in Gothic as it resembles an underworld dungeon setting. During the main quests, players encounter a broad range of enemies. Unlike the other games discussed above, defeating these enemies is not easy, and healing is more complicated than just picking up a gem or passing by a particular checkpoint.
To heal, one must stand close to a bonfire (distributed all over the game). The bonfires also act as checkpoints where you get to save your progress as Lord knows finishing a single level is not easy. However, you have to be careful when using these bonfires because they respawn your enemies into the game world continually attack you until you are dead.
Not to worry though, you also get respawned as a dead version of yourself at the last checkpoint. However, you get only one chance to recover your body and gain humanity and souls failure to which the currencies you had collected in the form of souls and humanity are lost forever. I love this game because it is not only immersive, but it also requires calculation and patience to complete the quests.
Aside from the main quest, Dark Souls offers gamers a chance to beef up their game content through interesting and sometimes highly costly side quests. While collecting souls may be easy, finding humanity is another task altogether but the perks are very enticing. Humanity improves your item drop rate, weapon damage, and even boosts resistance against attacks from your enemies.
Technology has played a vital role in ensuring that role-play games reach the next level by enabling online play. With Dark Souls, you can fight with or against other players and their integration into its gameplay is seamless. A cooperative environment comes in handy when you are stuck in a certain level and could use some help. One of the biggest attributes of this game is the work developers put in to ensure that the levels are not annoyingly easy.
Many other games bear a striking resemblance to Gothic or at least seem to have been inspired by the incredible gaming series. These include The Lord of the Rings: War in The North, The Witcher series, Kingdoms of Amalur, Skyrim, and the Dark Souls series just to mention a few. Piranha Bytes did well to create a game embodying some of the things that define our reality such as tiered ranks, power structures, and familiar social settings.
These attributes were used as a cornerstone by most role-play games that followed Gothic. They have also been embraced to date not only in roleplaying games but other games such as the new technologically adept virtual reality gaming.