Seriously I don't understand why my fellows Gamer Malaya don't play Gothic. May I say that the game kicked Oblivion's ass many times over and the fact is that I was a strong supporter of Oblivion once (ok, I have to confess that I would probably play the next Elder Scroll game anyway). The game stood in balance between open ended and scripted elements and there is so much thing to do and so much quests in between.
Sure, the combat was a little too simple, the voice overs were cheesy (european games. you have to understand) and the storyline was not that great but the weaknesses was overcome by the sense of RPG fulfillment of playing the game. The quest are numerous and smartly scripted so that you won't feel lost after completing certain quests.
You can learn blacksmith and make weapons, gather herbs and learn alchemy to create your potions, learn hunting and gather animal's body parts to make other things related to those other skills. You can play as mage and learn magics (pretty standard stuffs) or concentrate on thieving skills to play stealthy and dirty. In short, in term of skill system, it was WoW before WoW.
In every Gothic game (3 have been produced so far) you were always be given the choice of which faction that you want attach yourselves with. In Gothic the first, you can start with any 3 of the factions given. Gothic 2, again you have to join one of the 3 given factions and in both games, however drifted apart you found yourself while playing the game, you will always return to a common storyline which ended in basically a rather "happy" ending. Gothic 3 was a little bit different. This time you were given the choice of 2 factions, which will then lead to 3 separate endings (ok, I was just starting to play the game. to whomever played the game as well, I am now doing some quests at the rebel hideout of Okara by the time this article is written).
JoWood didn't pay me to write a review of the game. Pyranha Bytes didn't coerced me into writing this article. I just feel it's a waste of a good RPG game if my RPG pals don't play this game. It's a good game. It's a good RPG game since...I don't know, Planescape: Torment, maybe? IMHO, that is...
Wikipedia's article on Gothic series of games:- Gothic Gothic II Gothic III