We’ve read for months just how mind-blowing Oblivion is, so here’s something—Gothic 3 may be even better. After you’ve played Oblivion for a dozen hours, I dare you not to notice how Bethesda’s magnum opus starts frittering away depth for breadth. Oblivion may be visually jaw-dropping and gi-normous, but once you’ve scoped a few of its dungeons, churches, taverns, guilds, forests, and hellish alternate dimensions, you’ve pretty much done them all.
Gothic 3 on the other hand maintains a handcrafted distinctness that’s stitched into every last inch of its capacious go-anywhere game spaces, from the overhanging pine-draped cliff tops sheltering decrepit strongholds, to the vast honeycombed grottoes concealing an ostensible ecology of subterranean critters. Imagine a more deliberate, less random version of Oblivion without the beautiful but often empty-headed characters and look-alike locations and you’re glimpsing Gothic 3.