What if you took Piranha Bytes' much-loved RPG Gothic 2 and made it four or five times bigger? That's the question that a fan-made mod called Gothic 2 Returning claims to answer, adding more than 300 new quests, 100 named NPCs and enough swords to bring down an army of cave trolls.
The mod comes from a small group of Russian fans, who recently released version 2.0 alongside a video showcasing the project in action. The team claims the new content adds up to more than 250 hours of gameplay. I'm pretty amazed by the ambition of it: it adds dozens of new story lines (and plot twists to existing ones) and reworks the game's ending. You can visit eight new locations, and the team have also completely redesigned and expanded the main environments from the original.
The mod allows you to play in new ways (you can be a necromancer, for example), and lets you join guilds that you weren't able to in the base game, including the Templars or the Traders. Join a guild and you'll have access to special abilities and quests.
Naturally there's a graphics face-lift, too, with most of the objects in the game given high poly models, and there's fresh animations for combat.
The main catch is that the voice acting is in Russian (with English subtitles), and at the moment there's no English installation guide. If you speak Russian or German you can follow the instructions here or here. You'll need a copy of Gothic 2 to install it. You can obviously auto-translate them if you don't mind filling in some of the gaps, but the creators are creating an English guide soon, alongside a let's play of the mod.
Check out the video at the top of this article for more details of this massive project.