Gothic: Why the remake still worries us and why it is not an easy task

Gothic: Why the remake still worries us and why it is not an easy task


Actually very good news: Gothic, which is technically very old, is to be revived in modern splendor. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, we worry. Because if the remake flopped, the cult brand could be put back into the Sleeping Beauty slumber. That is why the Gothic remake is a tightrope act between a phoenix from the ashes and a total crash.

Table of contents

1 Shattered masterpiece: Gothic 2 A breath of life, the revival of Gothic 3 The hurdles of the new Developer - An Outline 4 THQ-Nordic, Necromancer of Licenses? 5 A hopeful look to the future?

Shattered masterpiece: Gothic

You can love or hate Gothic, the little German Piranha Bytes has definitely made history with the brand. An open world RPG with a dense, dark atmosphere and strong voice acting, developed with love and sweat. Fantasy, of course, but the tone is not grandiose artificial, but filthy honest - Ruhrpott-Schnauze instead of "Your Highly Born", that is the core of Gothic. Fans desperately asked Piranha Bytes for a new offshoot of the series after the disastrous release of the third part and legal chaos with publisher JoWood. In spite of everything: the Risen trilogy followed and later Elex. A new Gothic was simply not on the agenda. Despite everything, there was still a vague hope.

A breath of life, the revival of Gothic

Then, however, the year 2019 made waves in the Gothic scene. Because suddenly there was hope for a new, fresh Gothic (buy now € 4.66 / € 15.99). Piranha Bytes was officially bought by THQ Nordic, including rights to the brands Gothic, Risen and Elex. And completely surprisingly, THQ Nordic announced at the end of the same year: The time has come, Gothic is being revived as a remake, with a new development team. Yes, it gets even better, the fans are explicitly asked for feedback on the proposed new vision.

Old setting, new graphics. Feedback from the Gothic community was explicitly requested by THQ-Nordic as part of the Playble teaser. Source: PC Games

The playable teaser for the Gothic remake caused a sensation. If you want, you can play the two-hour long teaser for free on Steam, provided that any Piranha Bytes game is available in the Steam library. The idea is plausible - before the development of the reboot of Gothic begins, the community should approve the newly drawn image of the newly established Spanish studio. The response: A new edition, yes please, a free adaptation with a new vision including Zorro-Diego, no thanks. The biggest changes in the teaser contradict the actually grumpy setting of Gothic: Instead of the classically gloomy mining colony, we can expect rich, bright colors, invisible walls, pompous mountain ranges, fine clothing and a battle-tested monologue hero who comes up against wolves and equipped guardsmen . Mechanics such as stealing important key items or knocking down NPCs were dropped. The newly organized Barcelona studio had a vision. But for many fans it deviates too far from the original.

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The hurdles of the new developers - an outline

The newly founded studio Alkimia Interactive really did not get an easy task. Because especially for the Spanish developers the question of the closeness of Gothic arises. Why? Because many of the strengths of Gothic lie in the finesse of the texts, the setting of the dialogues and the not-so-friendly atmosphere. While the Polish translation delivers very well in this regard, the English version in particular lags behind in some places. If you want to get a picture yourself, you are welcome to compare the original and the translation. Whether it's the iconic provocation dialogue at Kharim or the first conversation with Guardsman Bloodwyn in the old camp, the tone and mood differ in English, even if the translation was literally correct. To repackage the Ruhrpott charm for the international market in English was and will not be easy. Capturing the unique atmosphere is not easy. Neither in the appearance nor in the details of the characters. Source: PC Games Still: Gothic is alive again and, according to the feedback from fans, should actually be true to the original, thinks at least THQ-Nordic producer Reinhard Pollice. Part of the voice output of the 2001 classic is even supposed to be adopted. In the German and Polish versions this is even conceivable in places, but less so in the English version, due to the aforementioned difference in atmosphere and quality. A new setting and translation into English therefore seems inevitable. Deeper interventions are not only conceivable, but also necessary.

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THQ Nordic has officially presented the development studio behind the Gothic Remake. var lstExcludedArticleTicker = '1372876,1368043,1368699,1368457'; While technology is one aspect of the modern overall picture, a contemporary adjustment of details, for example in terms of political correctness, would present a completely different difficulty. Especially in a setting like the infamous mine colony. Women as pure slaves in 2022 could provoke one or the other online riot, on the other hand, these circumstances are the logical consequence in a penal colony run by violent criminals. Assholes stay assholes and we get thrown into this sullen world. To make this seem easy, you could add a few nuances instead of a complete departure from the dirty but honest original feeling. Maybe this time a beautifully written quest with the prisoner Velaya in the old camp? Or other complementary dialogues that give more than a dry "Psst, go on. You mustn't talk to me!"

Bigger, more gigantic and more bloom. The teaser didn't quite fit the original. Source: PC Games Getting the right balance between nostalgia and modernity is difficult. Alkimia Interactive would be the safest option, however, with an overwhelming proximity to the original and slight adjustments in terms of gameplay and quality-of-life features. A mixture, so to speak, between the adoption of old cut content and a modern content extension, maybe even with a choice in the area of ​​voice output and the soundtrack. What can happen, however, when a strange studio tries a new vision on old brands, we have already seen in earlier THQ-Nordic projects.

THQ-Nordic, necromancer of licenses?

AquaNox, Darksiders, SpongeBob - THQ Nordic likes to warm up old classics. With different success rates. The faithful SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated was less euphoric in the press, but more so with the fans. The sales figures were dazzling, players were satisfied and the good old sponge got a nice toilet wellness treatment. You take a new studio, embellish the original game and the rabbit runs. The AquaNox Deep Descent project, on the other hand, was less dazzling. Instead of a technical uplift, there was a new, artistically freer vision and implementation of the old brand, which then failed all the more colossally. Too bland story, too much wasted potential and a dreary aftertaste remained the result of the experiment.

The remake SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated stayed exactly the same as the original. Many players enjoyed this flashback. Source: THQ Nordic Not surprisingly: Economic success and expectations determine the life and death of a series of games, even if there are still fans of old games. The Damocles sword of the remake is the funnel-like coincidence of all the points already mentioned, which can lead to the chain reaction of the Gothic experiment. A German Ruhrpott-Schnauzen speech edition, translated into English, interpreted differently by Spanish developers (see Zorro-Diego), shaped under the pressure of the zeitgeist and created with more freedom, which could lead to a potential AquaNox Deep Descent. The result would be a test balloon that burst. With a subsequent euthanasia of the brand, as already observed a few times before.

A hopeful look to the future?

It is clear that true-to-original implementations á la Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Demon Souls can breathe new life into the brand and should please fans of a franchise series. A financially successful, modern new edition of Gothic can therefore also invite you to dream, after all, there are other potential successors to this project. With the reboot and the new team, THQ-Nordic has the opportunity to show the old strengths of the Gothic series to the new generation of players and later to create fresh offshoots. A completely different implementation of the third part would be conceivable.


Elex 2: We have seen the first gameplay - the role-playing game loadVideoPlayer ('83996', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured) is that good ', 12, '16: 9', false, 1372876, false, 16277, 260, false, 0, '', '', false); A prerequisite for this prosperous future, however, is the penetration and understanding of the essence of Gothic on the part of Alkimia Interactive. Otherwise, players would notice the lack of the Ruhrpott soul at the latest by release. The JoWood titles Gothic 3 Götterdämmerung and Arcania were already able to impressively show that the development of a role-playing game that bears the name Gothic but does not contain Gothic. THQ-Nordic should at least know that too. Gothic fans have often been promised the blue of the sky, the hottest shit since sliced ​​bread. And most fans were disappointed at least as often.

Instead of the classic christening of Bullit and his boys, three full-blown snapper awaited us. Like 20 years ago, Diego saves us, albeit in a more pompous manner. Source: PC Games In this respect, one could justifiably speak of cautious optimism. What remains untouched, at least forever, are the originals. No reboot and offshoot, no matter how bad it may be, the classics and the associated community will be able to break down. Whatever happens, it doesn't change the strong international fan base of the old games in German, Polish, Russian and the smaller English forums. Gothic lives on in the hearts of fans. A maximum flop would perhaps deny the new players the world of the Gothic universe and the brand would probably be placed in the Snow White coffin again. But what does it say in the end? Snow White was alive and well, the stepmother was driven out and in the end the nameless hero is waiting for us all with one thing: Everything will be fine! Even if the tightrope is still ahead of us.

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