Gothic, Piranha Bytes’ venerable RPG, turned 20 years old yesterday. To celebrate the occasion, the developers released a new patch for the Steam version aimed at making the game run smoothly on modern systems. A lot of people seem pretty unhappy with this patch because it apparently breaks a few things, however, users can fortunately still opt into the previous version. Blunders aside, we also got some new tidbits of info regarding the highly anticipated Gothic 1 remake. Along with a pretty interesting piece of concept art.
The image in question shows a couple of Scavengers, the very first type of enemy you encounter in the original game. We already saw an updated version of Scavengers in the Gothic Playable Teaser that came out in late 2019, albeit those weren’t very good. This isn’t a 100% faithful recreation of the original creature either but it does look a lot better than last time. Hopefully, the Gothic 1 Remake can do it even more justice by getting the animations and sounds rights.
Along with the aforementioned piece of concept art, publisher THQ Nordic also revealed that the Gothic 1 Remake now has a dedicated Steam page where you can wishlist the game. There’s no official release date to be found there just yet, but we did get a bunch of new screenshots. There’s also a summary of the game and its main features. The main takeaway here is that this is going to be a “faithful full remake of the original Gothic 1.” Presumably, this means the developers won’t take too many creative liberties with it like they did with the Playable Teaser. Which ended up getting mixed reviews.
Myrtana or Myrta-nah?
A little while ago I put together an opinion piece where I discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Gothic Playable Teaser. You can check it out here. While I was glad that one of my all-time favorite games was getting a remake, the teaser didn’t give me much hope that it was going to be a faithful one. Or even a good one for that matter. First off, it was revealed that the project wasn’t actually handled by Piranha Bytes but rather a newly-formed studio known as THQ Barcelona, which was recently rebranded to Alkimia Interactive. Secondly, and much more importantly, the teaser felt almost nothing like Gothic.
Following the recent news, I can say I’m a bit more (cautiously) optimistic in regards to the future of the Gothic 1 Remake. Based on the screenshots found on the newly launched Steam page, The Colony now looks darker and more atmospheric. A good sign that the developers have taken fan feedback to heart. Unfortunately, there’s only one screenshot showcasing characters but it does reveal some important details.
The new version of the Nameless Hero already looks better in this simpler, more practical outfit than he did while wearing the flowery over-the-top get-up we saw in the teaser. Let’s just hope he also got some better voiceover to go with it. It’s difficult to say for certain due to the angle, but the other character in the screenshot seems to be Diego. Maybe. Diego was another character that looked ridiculous in the teaser and could use a major overhaul to bring him closer to the original version. Honestly, simply giving him Shadow armor and making him look less like some weird fantasy musketeer would be a vast improvement.
Good Combat at Long Last?
Piranha Bytes have always struggled when it comes to combat systems. The folks who made the teaser wanted to step away from the old combat systems of the past and put together a new one but things didn’t really pan out. In fact, the teaser’s For Honor-inspired combat system is arguably worse than anything we’ve seen from Piranha Bytes. Sure, combat in the original was clunky and unintuitive at first but you eventually got good at it with enough practice.
By comparison, the Playable Teaser’s combat was probably the most unenjoyable part of the whole thing. But things may have gotten better since then. The Steam page mentions that the Gothic 1 remake will feature a “modernized combat system that takes the basic premises of the original combat system to the modern age.” Admittedly, that’s a pretty vague description. But the fact that it’s listed as one of the main features indicates that the devs are aware of the importance of the combat system.
In theory, drawing inspiration from For Honor sounds like a good idea. Combat there is similar to combat in Gothic in the sense that it primarily focuses on timing and directional attacks/blocks. The problem is that combat in games like For Honor, Kingdom Come: Deliverance or Mordhau revolves primarily around 1v1 duels against human opponents. That doesn’t really work in a game like Gothic where you spend a lot more time fighting various creatures. Especially during the first half of the game.
We don’t have any info on how exactly Alkimia Interactive is modernizing the combat system but let’s hope they can make it enjoyable. Or at the very least somewhat passable.
New Info Coming Soon™
Although we only got a brief glimpse at how work on the Gothic 1 Remake is progressing, any piece of new info is welcome at this point. The good news is that more information will arrive soon according to THQ Nordic. As it’s often the case with these things, though, we’re not really sure what soon means. But now that Gothic 1 Remake has a community channel on Discord, you can check it out to stay up to date with the latest news. We’ll make sure to keep our ear to the ground for any new developments as well. Stay tuned!
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