As strange as it might sound, I never quite enjoyed playing role playing games for a long time, especially because of some bad memories from the past: system lock-ups and errors from The Elder Scrolls, a lethal virus for my computer which I was sure it came with an RPG called Silver (of course, it was not true… but still). Anyway, the idea is that I considered role playing games “crap” just because I had only played a few and those did not fit my taste.
But everything changed when Piranha Bytes created Gothic, an RPG that was going to completely change my view on RPGs and the gaming world – until then, unfortunately, I was what you could call a “boring” gamer, playing point and click adventures all day long, with short breaks for Championship Manager (as the actual FM is now known as) or a strategy. Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s better this way.
Because Gothic really popped into my life out of nowhere, just like that was my destiny: to see the game and let it change me forever. Because I would’ve never bought such a game because it was an RPG. Thankfully, my friends were not that narrow minded and one of them purchased it and kept talking about it for two weeks in a row. I was exasperated and eventually I accepted his invitation to come over to his place and check out the game – I did that hoping that he will finally shut up. But I was the one who said nothing while he played.
I don’t remember exactly what bit of Gothic he showed me, but it was like nothing I had ever seen: it had incredible graphics, it had a pretty solid story (as far as I could tell from that preview) and most important, it didn’t seem like a “click the left button like a mad man” kind of game – something I can’t play today either! I was put under the game’s spell and that was the moment I decided to give it a try. Today I’m glad I did that.
Because after purchasing Gothic I felt, for a couple of weeks, exactly as most of you have felt at least once in your “gaming career”: completely obsessed with the game, dreaming about the current quest, imagining all sorts of fights, getting huge black bags under the eyes because of endless sleepless nights. I was living, breathing and feeling Gothic, hating myself for ignoring RPGs for so long, but at the same time happy to have finally seen the light.
Today, I wouldn’t consider Gothic I as one of the best RPGs ever made, but I still believe that if I were to start playing it once more, I’d lose a few nice again. Because it’s simply addictive. Because it’s well done, because it’s pure RPG and slowly you will simply blend with the action. Especially because you’re not “Ben” or “The Mighty One” or whoever. You’re the nameless hero, your name is not revealed and that adds to the illusion that it could really be you. It’s you playing yourself in a game you mold and create. That’s what I felt while playing Gothic. That’s what you should feel when you play a great game and, if you haven’t felt like that since you started playing computer and video games, you simply missed the most important part of gaming. But keep searching: it will eventually come to you – I myself had to wait some long years before experiencing this nirvana of gaming. But it was totall worth the wait!