Gothic 3 goes some way to improve on that fighting system, but still hasn't quite got it right. On the default difficulty level (easy's a bit too easy), it's often grossly unfair: it's near impossible to successfully counter after you've been hit once, meaning the enemy can land a flurry of death-dealing blows before you even recover from the first. The ability to cope with groups by directing your swing helps, but it's not ideal. Initial weapons and armour are pretty weedy and all the promise of being able to string light and heavy attacks together amounts to nothing more than frantic button-bashing. And, bizarrely, it's far easier to kill a man than it is to kill a wolf. Something to remember in life in general as well, we feel.
But if combat's just a part of the experience, Piranha Bytes have thankfully countered that persistent gripe by making overall progression far easier and slicker than before. As well as being able to outrun any beastie before it chases you halfway across the map, more than before a good deal of quests won't even require you to unsheathe your weapon. Missions are generous and experience points are given out willy-nilly, sometimes just for talking to people. For that reason, you'll fair shoot through the early levels earning enough learning points and amassing cash to buy up the various stats and skills that make you a stronger person pretty early on. It's not as much of a chore anymore, but it's also balanced enough not to completely break the challenge.