First off, I would recommend playing Gothic 1 first, just so you'll become familiar with the world and gameplay, and then play Gothic 2. The Night of the Raven expansion not only adds on a whole new area of the world, but toughens up most of the monsters/creatures also. Yes, you do have to start the whole game over again, but the new characters make it more fun. Yes, the game freezes or crashes sometimes, so frequent saves are highly recommended, but the the game itself is just so much fun to play, that it's worth it. It does start out slow, you have to take your time and choose your battles wisely at first; if you come across something you haven't seen before and want to engage it, save first, that way if you get whacked quickly, you can reload at the same spot and retreat. As far as the controls being clunky; I say HA! BALDERDASH! Just go to OPTIONS then CONTROLS and you can configure which keys you want use to perform the actions you want them to, it's very simple. Overall, this is my favorite game, I've replayed it many times using one of the three character choices (mercenary, mage, or paladin) and I always have fun. Don't expect to start solving quests right off the bat; as in real life you have to take baby steps first before you learn how to run. To help make the game a bit more fun (and easier) search online for one of the walkthroughs that are available and print it out, they really help if you get stuck. And remember, it's just a game! HAVE FUN!