Gothic, the 2001 cult classic RPG from Piranha Bytes, may get a remake, depending on fan reaction to a new playable teaser. If the project goes forward, THQ Nordic will develop it, which acquired Piranha Bytes this year.
Piranha Bytes made a name for itself crafting mid-budget, idiosyncratic RPGs that never quite broke through to mainstream success but garnered devoted followings. After the Gothic series, Piranha Bytes went on to make Risen and ELEX, but many players still see Gothic as the developer’s best work.
THQ Nordic looks to be testing whether Gothic can draw modern audiences with a new playable prototype. Available for free on Steam to anyone who owns a Pirahna Bytes game, the teaser features a playable section from the Khornis mining colony, an early area in Gothic. The level is barely recognizable, having received a major facelift from the 18-year-old original. THQ Nordic has also updated the combat system and UI, thrown in a hefty helping of cutscenes, and generally modernized the game.
Still, the developer emphasizes that production on the Gothic remake hasn’t begun in earnest, so anything in the teaser is liable to change. If the game happens, it will be more than a simple remaster, which is evident to anyone who compares the original game to the teaser. According to THQ Nordic, the Gothic remake will be built from the ground up in Unreal Engine 4 will entirely new assets. Players receive a survey after playing the teaser, the results determining what happens next.
Anyone with a copy of any game from the Gothic or Risen series, or the more recent ELEX, will already have the 2-hour Gothic playable teaser in their Steam library. Also, several Piranha Bytes games are currently on sale for a few dollars each, and they’re probably well worth the price with or without the new prototype.