Risen is a game that should appeal to anyone who used to play any part of the Gothic series. The Piranha Bytes team copied the same ideas that we know from the previous games. Typically there are factions (guards, knights, mercenaries and mages, standard stuff), join one, move the storyline forward, do a mass of side quests, acquire skill points and develop our hero.The game still is playable to this day, it was released in 2009 but I believe every RPG fan should give this one a try.
This game is made by ex-Gothic series developer and it was supposed to be a franchise that would be even better than Gothic, to which they had no rights. Sadly, it has the same issues as first Gothic had, without learning anything from the sequels. First of all, tutorial is incredibly sparse and poor and if you never played Gothic before, you will be dead fast. Second of all, pretty good fighting system from 3 is pretty much gone, and you are stuck with the stiff one from the first game - it doesn't feel as fluid as in Gothic 2 at all. Also, animals, especially wolves, are your worst nightmare, because AI can bug out and kill you quick, because the game won't let you attack. While the graphics are nice, music is relaxing, there are some interesting things happening and atmosphere is just as good as in previous Gothic games, it looks like anything they learned from previous games went straight to trash. Also, voice-acting is incredibly poor. Overall, though, it's good game, just not as great as any Gothic made by them. Thankfuly, they learned their lesson with this one and later games got better.
This game is hard. Not because it's unforgiving, but because it really don't hold your hands. In itself that would be fine, but at the same time it acts like it does. There is kind of a tutorial at the beginning, where they teach you to cook and stuff, but what they don't tell you is how to fight properly! If you've never played a gothic game before, the wildlife will literally murder you, and it's just humiliating, when a giant butterfly kills the hero... So yeah, if you're a newb like me, you better look up a guide, because otherwise this game will be frustrating, and you won't even know why you suck. Now, how about when you can actually play the game? Well, Risen is a decent enough rpg, with a great variety of enemies, quest, and factions, that you can totally slaughter as you please...if you can of course :) The game also looks rather nice. If you liked Gothic, this is way better than arcana...Though i recommend that game as well.
When i first got the game i didn't know what to expect. That quickly turned toward a better image as i was hacking and slashing my way toward the end game titan. It was so fun to play the game and get to choose between the factions. RPGs like this need to exist more, where your hand is NOT held and you just go and do what you do.
Risen was the best of the trilogy because it has the best island to explore and the better combat system. It also felt the most challenging of the three. It felt like a slower paced game because of all the parrying, but I much preferred it to the button mashing battle system of the two sequels. I also liked the story in this game best as the two sequels never really went anywhere or got exciting. The island you traverse in this game feels more varied than everything in both sequels. Early on in this game you make a choice if you want to be able to use magic or not, but otherwise the game really didn't change much at all. You still did the same levels and got to the same cliffhanger ending. The exploration in this game is great, especially if you haven't played a game like this before, because there's just so much to do and so much to see. It still pales in comparison to Gothic and Elder Scrolls, but I enjoyed Risen far more than Two Worlds, and I spent a lot of time playing Risen between the release of Oblivion and Skyrim.
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