Do people want a remake of Piranha Bytes' 2001 fantasy RPG Gothic? Maybe, series owners THQ Nordic think, so they've made a prototype of a remake and last night gave it to fans to see what they think. This prototype looks all shiny and new, obviously, while also modernising other parts of the old formula. The company say that if people like this wee teaser, they'll go ahead with remaking the whole thing. If not, they won't. The prototype is available now to anyone who owns a Piranha Bytes game on Steam.
You can download the Gothic Playable Teaser on Steam if you have a Piranha Bytes game (Gothic 1-3, Risen 1-3, or Elex) on your account. That lets people play around in the Mining Colony of Khorinis opening bit for two hours.
THQ Nordic say they are "eager to learn from the players through a survey following the completion of the prototype, whether and how [we] should proceed with the production of a full Gothic Remake, or leave the heritage and the great memories associated with it untouched."
Our Sin wrote a Gothic retrospective a few years back, declaring that it "stands out as yet another special game with too few descendants." Dare THQ Nordic ruin the warm fuzzy feelings it still inspires?
Changes in this remake prototype include a new combat system, a Fallout 4-style dialogue wheel, a chattier protagonist, and less of an overall rude 'tude. Oh, and obviously everything looks shiny and new:
This "playable teaser" was not made by Gothic creators Piranha Bytes, though THQ Nordic did buy the studio this year. Instead, it's by new-ish studio THQ Nordic Barcelona.
I might think this prototype to be a publicity stunt, a jazzy way of releasing a demo, but THQ Nordic are adamant they're gathering feedback to see if it's worthwhile. "We will only start full production if the community demands a Gothic Remake," they say. "In order to do so, we will need to grow the development team and rebuild Gothic from scratch."
While the survey results are private, many players are writing Steam reviews. They seem not wholly thrilled with the modernisation's tonal shift.