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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Gothic 3 » Why the bad reviews?

Angry Why the bad reviews?

November 1st, 2006, 00:00
Is it just me, or are most game reviewers, button mashing console game lovers who love fast mindless action and linear on rails games opposed to games like the gothic series that is nonlinear and free flowing, has heavy dialog, lore, makes you think about your decisions.

I just read the review at rewiredmind from the front page of this site. A 2 out of 10 they gave gothic3. Is that guy retarded? G3 has been an incredible experience so far. The game has got me glued, to think of someone giving it that low of score makes me question the reviewers integrity and wonder what kind of games he likes. It wouldn't surprise me one bit that he likes linear console titles like fable, god of war etc.. PC games are where all the innovation and great games get made, why do these reviewers give a lot of great pc games bad scores, (sometimes they drop massive points on the score because of bugs, but what the hell they get fixed.) Anyone else think many game reviewers today give crappy console games good marks even if they suck, while games like Gothic 3 get trashed? Gothic 3 is a remarkable milestone in crpg gaming, how can anyone give it a 2/10?
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November 1st, 2006, 00:14
I can only live in a world where such atrocities occur due to bias, impatience, closemindedness, and ignorance (or an inability to see beyond temporary bugs). Thus, that is what I tell myself…

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November 1st, 2006, 00:28
Ah they just put a new review in on the front page of this site. Jolt online gaming gave a great review, and wasn't rating the game based on bugs(they know they can and will and have been fixed!) They gave it an 8.1 and said that it is a much more believable world then Oblivion. Check it out. Maybe some reviewers aren't that bad. I'm sure sites like gamespot will give this game a 6, as they don't seem to like any pc games unless its also on the xbox360 and even then the console always gets the higher score and more coverage. ERRRRR I hate the consoles and the stupid retarded kids that praise them! I am 27 and love a good pc rpg, (and some good old school console (ps1,snes,nes,gen,) rpgs) They need to make you think and not hold your hand throughout more then the first couple minutes.
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November 1st, 2006, 01:02
I think the first sentence of your first post was spot on!! Playing Gothic takes time and intelligence….. no further comment is really necessary!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 1st, 2006, 01:19
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I think the first sentence of your first post was spot on!! Playing Gothic takes time and intelligence….. no further comment is really necessary!!
I agree completely!
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November 1st, 2006, 02:00
A Gothic game doesn't just provide some entertainment but an experience.
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November 1st, 2006, 02:03
Every review starting with "Oblivion defined todays RPGs" is automically in the trashbin for me before I read another word, simply because Oblivion lacks everything an RPG is supposed to have - consequenses, real actions, reactions from people, a feeling that stuff you do actually matters or has some sort of impact. It's a good game, a great actionadventure, but if you compare Gothic to Oblivion as RPGs, you've missed out on the entire point of an RPG - it's NOT as simple as "throw in levels and xp and loot and it's an RPG". RPG means RolePlaying Game; you can't roleplay in a world where nothing ever changes or has any sort of impact.

To me, most reviewers make this very misstake - they let Oblivion define what they consider is an RPG, and if so, then yes - Gothic is not a great game. Problem is, their whole definition of an RPG is wrong, so the very analysis is also wrong.

If you think up is down, and down is up, should you be working with physics trying to calculate gravity, and how fast things fall?

So, in my opinion, Oblivion is a great actionadventure, and Gothic 3 is a great openended action RPG - they are two very different games meant for very different people, so whenever they are compared on equal terms it always looks wrong for either one.
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November 1st, 2006, 02:06
It's an indication that selling unfinished games are unforgiveable, and it's sad that Gothic 3 have to be the game that is made an example out of.

I really pity PB. Gothic 3 had easily been one of the best RPG's of the year had it been finished.
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November 1st, 2006, 02:25
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Every review starting with "Oblivion defined todays RPGs" is automically in the trashbin for me before I read another word…
Talking about spot on, Maylander has won the first prize. When the author tries to compare the two games, he is automatically showing how incompetent he/she is to be reviewing RPG titles.
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November 1st, 2006, 09:56
And hello to you too hwfanatic, good to see you are around here as well!
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November 1st, 2006, 12:15
@Maylander — the thing is, Oblivion *does* define today's CRPG's. Stating that is simply noting a fact. What you think about that fact is another question altogether. (If you ask me, it's a cryin' shame.)

What's more, the Oblivion-G3 comparison is an extremely obvious one to make, since both are third-person-3D free-roaming fantasy titles. If you just look at the screenshots, it can actually be hard to tell the two apart. Lots of people are familiar with Oblivion too, so explaining how the two are similar and how they're different can be a quite a reasonable tack to take in a review.

Finally, I agree with JemyM as well: it's a real shame that the game was released in the state that it was. I think 2/10 is too harsh, but IMO 6/10 is not unreasonable, certainly not for the game in the state it was before the patches, and 8/10 is pretty generous. Fix the bugs and do some serious rebalancing all through the system (quests, rewards, combat, magic) and it would be worth an 8 or 9 in my book… but not in its current state.

Both Oblivion and Gothic 3 are badly broken in some critical ways, although IMO the flaws of Oblivion are more fundamental than those of Gothic 3. To really work, a "living world" style game like these should actually have a living world — AI that's slightly smarter than "run in a straight line at the enemy and attack until victory or death," social dynamics that are slightly more complex than a single numeric score per city or faction (e.g. reputation could be modelled on "fame" and "infamy" scores per faction, it should spread over time between related factions and areas, and NPC's should modify their behaviour towards you depending on it — it's just plain silly to (a) liberate a city and then (b) have one of the liberate-ees rush you with a sword for picking up a loaf of bread, or some similar idiocy), and a real sense of consequences for your actions. I'm pretty sure this kind of system could be modeled, but until it is, more traditional, more linear, more purely script-based CRPG's will probably work out better. The Fallouts didn't have any AI to speak of, yet they worked out… just fine.
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November 1st, 2006, 12:41
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
@Maylander — the thing is, Oblivion *does* define today's CRPG's. Stating that is simply noting a fact. What you think about that fact is another question altogether. (If you ask me, it's a cryin' shame.)
That is very good point Prime Junta. It is certainly (at least to some degree) true that Oblivion defines today's CRPG's (mostly for similar games, for example NWN2 is not that much influenced). And I would say it drags RPG's in wrong direction in which Gothic 3 doesn't seem to fully participate which I appreciate.
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November 1st, 2006, 12:46
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
@Maylander — the thing is, Oblivion *does* define today's CRPG's. Stating that is simply noting a fact. What you think about that fact is another question altogether. (If you ask me, it's a cryin' shame.)
For me these games define CRPGS:

1) Planescape Torment
2) Betrayal at Krondor
3) Fallout 1+2 and Wasteland
4) Wizardry 6-8
5) System Shock 1+2
6) Ultima 4,5,6, 7 - all 4 parts and Underworld 1+ 2
7) Gothic 1 und 2 + Nacht des Raben
8) Albion
9) Amberstar + Ambermoon
10) Might & Magic 2-7
11) Daggerfall
12) Baldurs Gate 2
13) Darklands
14) Jagged Alliance 1,2, Deadly Games, Deidranna Lives, Urban Chaos
15) Nordland Triologie = Realms of Arkania 1,2,3
16) KOTOR 1
17) Vampire Bloodlines - The Masquerade
18) Dungeon Master 1+2
19) Bards Tale 2
20) Icewind Dale Series

recommended for gaming dinosaurs:
Ultima 5 Lazarus (Freeware - you need the Dungeon Siege 1 engine)
Geneforge 1-3 / Jeff Vogel (Spiderweb)
Avernum 1-4 / Jeff Vogel (Spiderweb)

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November 1st, 2006, 13:01
@HiddenX
You are of course right in that your list is what would most of us like to see as source of today's CRPG's. However most developers look for high sales and Oblivion was successful. This - not the quality of the game - is why it is used as definition of "how we should develop it so it is success".
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November 1st, 2006, 14:23
You can't define what a car is by using an airplane as an example. Anyone defining RPGs with Oblivion simply knows nothing of what an RPG actually is, and should therefore not comment on the subject at all. That's like trying to define first person shooters with monkey island - it's just wrong.

Great sales or great reviews still doesn't make it an RPG, unlike Gothic 3. The games are in completely different genres, in fact, Oblivion has far more in common with GTA games than Gothic 3:
- Open world
- Lots of freedom
- No consequenses
- Simple, mindless combat
- No urge to actually do the main quest, nothing driving you towards it
- You pick up weapons, armor and "vehicles"
- No actual roleplay, no sidequests with multiple solutions, no difficult decisions
- Pointless "factions" that serve as a questhub and nothing more

In fact, the only things that seperate them are:
- Graphics, Oblivion is more "beautiful" while GTA is "cool".
- The xp system in Oblivion
- The setting(fantasy VS modern)

Gothic 3 is completely different in almost every way except the big, open world.

Well, at least that's my opinion - the two games do not compare, because if you compare them for "fun factor for kids" Oblivion will win any day and make Gothic 3 look trash, and if you compare them as RPGs then Oblivion will get 1 out of 10 because it simply does not fulfill the requirements RPGs have.
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November 1st, 2006, 15:30
@Maylander — My point is that the meaning of a word is defined by usage. In current usage, Oblivion is a RPG. Deal with it.

Second, IMO Oblivion does qualify as a RPG even by a fairly strict definition (but what do I know, I've only been gamemastering PnP RPG's since the original D&D). (Also IMO, it's a piss-poor RPG, with badly-written dialogue, badly structured quests, and game mechanics full of holes you can drive a war elephant through.) Since you clearly disagree, though, I'd like to hear what characteristics in your view define a CRPG.
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November 1st, 2006, 15:31
Once again, I totally agree with Maylander. We have a saying around these parts: you can't compare frogs to grandmothers. That about sums it up.
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November 1st, 2006, 15:56
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Every review starting with "Oblivion defined todays RPGs" is automically in the trashbin for me before I read another word, simply because Oblivion lacks everything an RPG is supposed to have - consequenses, real actions, reactions from people, a feeling that stuff you do actually matters or has some sort of impact.
I agree - but there is some context there. Oblivion is clearly viewed as the top of the current RPG heap, and therefore all other RPG's, especially open-world types, will be compared. That actually makes sense in light of the mammoth sales of the game - would you review 'Saint's Row' without mentioning GTA?

Whether it *should be* is a different story … and I agree with your assessment.

Originally Posted by SirDeity View Post
I can only live in a world where such atrocities occur due to bias, impatience, closemindedness, and ignorance (or an inability to see beyond temporary bugs). Thus, that is what I tell myself…
Because I've not played the game yet I cannot comment, but there are a number of things that can *also* contribute to a bad review:
- Reviewer using a *true* 1-10 scale (most use the infamous 7-9 scale)
- The game is so buggy as to be unplayable. Look, this is real - if a game is released in a total mess of a state, it *deserves* to be treated as such. Does G3 have an 'auto-updater' or does it need to be manually patched? If manual, then many sites would dictate reviewing version 1.0, because history shows that many gamers won't hunt for patches.
- Mismatch between score and text of review - I only skimmed this review, as I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but it does seem that the review and score are in sync. But many times there is a disconnect.

Then there is always the possibility that the reviewer wanted something else, got G3, had some crashes and now has a tirade against the game.

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November 1st, 2006, 16:35
Well, speaking for myself I have in the past Dm'd ADnD Gm'd Vampire and Sg'd
Ars Magica (my favorite), though I havent had the time for PnP for several years
now. The only thing that I feel that my "experience" qualifies me to say is not
to expect to see anything approaching What I used to call RPG back then, in CRPG's.

Unless AI advances surprise us in the next few years.

Anyway, I have observed that when people refer to RPG elements in conjuction
with CRPGs they either mean:

#1 The possibility to make moral/and or character related choices that will have
an impact to the quest/game progression possibly resulting in different paths
(story or quests) and or XP/stat rewards/penalties

#2 The possibility to customize your character through stats and skills as you
gain XP/Level up, that changing his direction actually results in a different
gameplay experience/approach in solving quests.

(damn I must stop using so many dashes )

Both are valid in my opinion. There may be more but these are the ones I find
relevant.

Oblivion fails, imo , at both of them because:

#1 its quests are binary: Take it or leave it. finish with way A or fail the quest.
It is a massively open ended game with some of the most linear quests I have
ever seen. Mixing the order does not make them unlinear imo…

#2 It pretty much defeated the value of leveling and stats relevance with its
bad scaling implementation. Changing chars feels to me like changing from the
RailGun to the BFG in a shooter in the difference it does to my gameplay
experience (Ok I am stretching it a bit here to make my point )

Scaling also killed the exploration aspect that some I am sure would add as an
important RPG element in my two item list…

Well my 2 cents anyway….
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November 1st, 2006, 18:09
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
It's an indication that selling unfinished games are unforgiveable, and it's sad that Gothic 3 have to be the game that is made an example out of.

I really pity PB. Gothic 3 had easily been one of the best RPG's of the year had it been finished.
This is sadly true. One does not expect to have to work hard to get a game to start. Granted most people seem to be ok, but Gothic 3 is the first game I've ever owned that didn't work out of the box. I had to do some fairly technical muddling to get the game to start, and on behalf of someone who wouldn't be technically minded, that is unacceptable and could easily bias a review.
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