THQ Nordic has pulled a surprise rabbit out the hate with the launch of a Gothic Remake playable teaser, which is available to download and play right now on Steam.
As you can probably guess from the title, the Gothic Playable Teaser is a full overhaul of the original Gothic, a Germanic fantasy title which originally came to PC all the way back in 2001. It laid a blueprint which would eventually give rise to ELEX and Risen but it was always the rough and ready Gothic franchise which has garnered the most esteem.
The premise of Gothic Remake is pretty simple. THQ Nordic are experimenting with taking that old, obtuse, and often uncompromising game, and re-imagining it two decades later in Unreal Engine 4. The changes are just intended to be visual either, including a dramatically overhauled combat system and reworked quest design.
One of the big things to be aware of is the original developer, Piranha Bytes, has nothing to do with this new project. Second to that, full production of Gothic Remake will only go ahead if the community demands it based on the prototype.
As for how you can get your mitts on it, the Gothic Remake prototype is a 2-hour long demo available to anyone who already owns a Piranha Bytes game. This includes any game from the Gothic or Risen trilogies, and Elex. We’d imagine most PC RPG fans have at least one of these games sitting in their library but, if you don’t, picking one of them up will grant you immediate access to the prototype.
The Gothic franchise is probably the archetypal cult classic. It’s never really kicked on either critically or commercially but it’s an old-school role-playing franchise which has picked up an ardent group of fans. In many ways its lack of hand holding flies in the face of modern game design, and it’s the sort of reason why its fans fell in love with it in the first place.
It’s going to be interesting to see how THQ Nordic hopes to marry up what the series’ fans love with what’s, sadly, probably necessary to expand its audience to something more mainstream.
Has anyone had a play with the Gothic prototype yet, what do you make of it? Do you think it should remain pure to the original, or is some modernisation desperately needed? Let us know!