Gothic 3 - hands-on

Victorious in our battle against the Orcs on our home islands in the previous Gothic games, we set sail for the mainland only to discover that those green menaces have taken over the entire mainland of Khorinis in Gothic 3. To make matters worse, their leader Xardas has managed to somehow destroy all rune magic, rendering brave paladins and fierce fire mages across the land useless. After freeing a small village from their cruel Orc captors, we set off on what will surely be an epic adventure.

At first glance, Gothic 3 seems to be a simple "humans versus Orcs" affair. But after spending more time with an early build of the game, we're beginning to understand that Gothic 3 will be much more open-ended than previous games in the series. After the Orcs conquered Khorinis, many humans decided it would be best to serve their new masters rather than risk certain death by joining the human rebels who oppose them.

You can actually do the Orcs' bidding and raise your reputation with them this time around. Better yet, you can also choose to raise your reputation for both the Orcs and the human rebellion, and play both sides against each other for your own purposes. In one area, we accepted a mission from an Orc shaman to gain his trust. After gaining entry to their castle, we made use of our thievery skills to steal some valuable artifacts and sold them off to a human trader for a handsome profit.