We get a lot of traffic here from Evil Avatar, so several of you may have already caught this. But in case you missed it, Spunior has posted an excellent review of Gothic II. A comprehensive look over a game that's had terrific European success and is just making its way across the 'Big Pond'.
Gothic II offers a abundance of side quests, though, as mentioned about, you'd need to play the game thrice to see all of them. Almost all quests can be solved in more than one way. For example, if you're told to get item X from person Y, you have the option to be diplomatic, threaten her/him, beat her/him down or try to steal the item. The quest tasks won't surprise RPG veterans, but that doesn't mean they're boring. There are a few annoying "Collect X,Y,Z for me"-quests (with X,Y and Z being spread randomly across the island). Fortunately, the vast majority of such missions are optional, and you're under no obligation to suffer through them. There are plenty of quests to keep you busy and give you a few extra rewards, but not as many as offered by Morrowind.You know, it's just beyond me how anyone can learn a second or third language as well as Spunior seems to command the English language. Really impressive to me.