Gothic 3 lets you travel to the realms of the mainland, where invading Orcs have enslaved the human kingdom. There are only a few free humans living in the nearly uninhabitable icy northlands of Nordmar and in the southern desert of Varrant, and a handful of rebels hiding in the mountainous forests of the Middle Realm. Players can choose to join the rebellion and stay true to the deposed human king, serve the Orcish usurpers in their quest to topple the last remaining human stronghold, or choose a path that serves their own ends. Every decision made will have an impact on the game world and tip the balance of power. There is no simple linear story in Gothic 3 - every game will be different and unique, with the player ultimately deciding the fate of humankind. Advanced and complex human behavior AI for hundreds of individual characters, all featuring high quality audio dialogues
At the end of Gothic the nameless hero destroyed the Avatar of the god Beliar known as the Sleeper. But although his body was gone, the Sleeper wasn't ready to give up and chose an undead dragon as his new form on the world. So in Gothic II the goal was to defeat his four minions, which he left behind in the mine-valley, and the sleeper himself with the power of the Eye of Innos.
In Gothic 3 you've now reached the kingdom of Myrtana and despite the efforts of the mining colony on Khorinis, the orcs won the war and enslaved the humans that wouldn't acknowledge their rule. There are now three main factions on Myrtana: The rebels who are still loyal to King Rhobar and want to defeat the orcs, the orcs themselves and the mysterious assassin-guild of which no one really knows for whom they work. During the game you need to choose which side you are on and help them to fulfill their goal.
To make things even more difficult, all rune-magic has disappeared from the land. Only the magic of the ancients still works but for that you need to find the magic scrolls well hidden across the land. Your goal is now to find out what happened on Myrtana and find Xardas as there are rumors which say that he's the one who helped the orcs win the war and some even say that he is the one behind the disappearance of the rune-magic.
To do so, you're free to roam the world from the start (even so it's not wise since many animals will eat you for breakfast). You begin your travel in a small town in Mittelreich which you just helped defend against the orcs, in the north you can find the icy region of Nordmar and in the south there's the desert of Varant, where the assassins chose to live.
The game is much like its predecessors. So you still have to level up your hero, learn new skills and talents with the learning points (and much gold) you get at each level-up or invest them in current skills so that you can e.g. fight better with a one-hand sword.
Since in Gothic 2 you defeated everything from a Bloodfly to a Undead Dragon on the island of Khorinis, in Gothic 3 you start your life already as a full grown hero and a good weapon called Orcslayer. But, you're still far away from really beating the hell out of anyone in Myrtana. So on your way through the main storyline, you can also complete many side-quests for even more experience, gold and better items.
Besides the whole new graphics-engine, the main difference to Gothic II is the new fighting system. You've now many more combos available and it is fully controlled by two mouse-buttons instead of the old, keyboard-control-system. But if you preferred the old system, you can easily remap your layout. For the first time in the Gothic-series you can now also use shields for better blocking. Additionally there are way more talents to learn for which you need to increase your basic skill in that area. For example if you want to learn the "Pick heavy lock"-talent you need a thief-skill of at least 30.
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