Photo courtesy of Steam
The Gothic trilogy has always been my favorite video game series for as long as I can remember playing video games. All three games, while having issues, are among my favorite games of all time, with the first game being my absolute favorite of all time. All three reviews of those games are linked below.
Gothic II: Night of the Raven (2003):
Rumblings of a remake have been circling the last few years with a shaky-at-best playable teaser that was released by THQ Nordic Barcelona in 2019. It came across as a very basic RPG that did little to resemble the original game I fell in love with.
However, on Friday, THQ Nordic (Darksiders trilogy) released a teaser for the actual Gothic 1 Remake that provides an overview of the modern Old Mine, ending up in a familiar spot to the original players: the Crawlers’ Nest. While on first glance it was not impressive, I noticed the second time around how much the layout resembled the original mine with even the pathways being identical. This time around, the mine looked darker, scarier and more realistic than it did in 2001.
On top of this, photos for the game have been released and immediately, I have fallen in love with the modern take on Gothic as it appears to stay true to the world of the original game. To establish the premise, you play as a Nameless Hero trapped in a prison colony run by criminals. You must survive, gain allies and learn about the world and from there, escape plans are being hatched by different factions.
With my excitement at an all-time high, I will list five things I want to see in the Gothic 1 Remake.
Have the fighting animation change like it did in 2001
One reason Gothic is so incredible is the fact that the fighting animation changes as you learn how to fight, shoot a bow and crossbow. The player’s attack speed is much faster with the opportunity to pull off more combo attacks with the correct timing. In modern day, many games have the same combat system with new abilities being added with experience. While this works for games like Final Fantasy VII Remake where Cloud is already an experienced soldier, the Nameless Hero starts off as a weak and inexperienced fighter. If the combat system, which will be done by Alkimia Interactive, can pull off making the hero inexperienced by increasing the animation as he learns, I will be very happy.
Have your group of friends spend more time together
In the Gothic trilogy, Gorn, Diego, Milten and Lester are considered the four best friends of the hero, all of whom he meets in the prison colony. Throughout the trilogy, you go on many adventures with them, but aside from the opening of Gothic 3, you don’t really interact with the group as a whole. In the first game, they discussed meeting places where they would spend time together. I want to see the hero and the group meet up at an abandoned campsite outside the Old Camp and discuss the events of the game together throughout the course of the story. Having this bond and close-knit group would make the story even more enjoyable, especially with the group all being from different camps. Hearing how they met would be a plus too as we never got that information in the original game.
Add more content to the random locations in the colony
Due to some of the limitations in the original game and a lack of time, some intriguing areas were left with little to nothing in them, making them feel empty. While it worked for the time as not only could you create headcanon for the places, but also the colony was hyped up as being poor, I feel like a remake could add much more content to explore, making the world feel even more alive. Two examples of this are the Skeleton Fog Tower to the west and the bandit camp near the troll canyon. All the tower had was a random fetch quest where you find books across the colony, only to find a corpse at the end of it and an undead ambush after reading the final book. The bandit camp was not mentioned by anyone and those bandits had nothing to say, including the one named bandit named Quentin. Adding more content to these areas would provide a more satisfying RPG experience and add to the incredible world that was built in 2001.
More cut scenes to add more context
While the original game had a couple cut scenes, most of the events of the game were simply explained to the hero in words and scripts prompted the events to play out as such. One way the remake can make the events of the original game even better is to show them happening as the hero is learning about what happened. One example is showing a scene of how the four friends met, or a novice getting mugged by black goblins, who had an almanac we need for a ritual. There are much better examples but I don’t want to spoil the events of the game. Doing this would add much more immersion and context, allowing us to see how horrible and dark the story can get.
Make Gomez a more developed villain
Gomez is the one that led the prisoner revolt when the magic barrier was created around the entire mining colony, allowing him to be the leader of the Old Camp, who trades the magic ore they mine with King Rhobar II. His presence in the game is miniscule if you do not join the Old Camp as he only appears for an optional story later in the game. Even if you join the Old Camp, he intimidates you before accepting you into the camp, which only lasts a couple minutes. One way the remake could make this better is when he becomes an antagonist, make a potential showdown impactful to the story and climatic considering he is hyped to be the most powerful man in the colony. Having a human villain in the story and giving him development would raise the stakes even more throughout the adventure.
Overall, I am very excited for the Gothic 1 Remake. THQ Nordic has had a solid track record with action-adventure games (Darksiders) and if they take their time with the game and add to what made the original game great, this might become one of the most satisfying gaming experiences of my entire life. However, since Gothic is a relative unknown in the gaming community, THQ Nordic must absoutely avoid releasing it alongside a headliner such as Final Fantasy XVI or Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic.