Risen was originally released on PC and Xbox 360 on the 2nd October 2009 and was developed by Piranha Bytes, the same team that had previously done the popular Gothic series of video games. The now downloadable Risen has actually taken a lot of the gameplay decisions that Gothic had cemented at that point and has you play in a fantasy-themed setting with your nameless character and are tasked with playing the game in pretty much whatever direction you so choose.
You can download the full game from GOG.com or Steam. To start downloading hit the Download button below the review.
The Game Review
Taking on the role of a stowaway on a ship towards Faranga Island, the location the game takes place. During that particular trip, the ship is destroyed by a Titan, giant creatures that were once held at bay by the gods, but since the humans pushed the gods away, the Titans are free to wreak havoc once again.
After waking up on the island of Faranga, you are tasked with choosing one of three different starting options for factions: bandits, Warriors of the Order, and Mage’s. Regardless of the chosen faction, the High Inquisitor tasks you with exploring and understanding the ancient temples that rise from the very ground, suspecting that they might hold the answers to the Titans.
Gameplay in the game is that of an adventure-based RPG, in a 3rd person perspective. Depending on your chosen console, you’ll be expected to aim towards the target that you wish to attack in combat and use one of your hot-bar abilities or your basic attacks.
Using your skills will cost you mana, but basic attacks are completely for free, but won’t typically be very damaging, especially if you’re a mage. Throughout the world, you’ll find plenty of things to attack and gain experience from to level up, improving your character, and allowing you the chance to acquire some more loot as well.
Outside of pure combat, you’ll be left to explore the island, looking for side-quests to complete, areas to explore, and even NPC’s to talk to. A lot of the gameplay is that of your classic RPG adventure, but with a certain focus on the conversational system.
When you come across NPC’s, you’ll have a number of different conversational options to pick and choose from and that will end up defining how they see specifically see you in the game. Mess up your conversations and you might end up starting a fight that you didn’t intend to fight, but the reverse can be said – if you’re smart with your choices, you can end up solving a lot of problems by simply talking.
Risen was designed with classic 3rd person style RPG in mind. For instance, games like Gothic, The Witcher, and even The Elder Scrolls to some degree. It takes a lot of their gameplay choices from the latter two while using many of the same gameplay choices the developer learned from their previous games, the Gothic series.
Anyone that enjoyed any of Piranha Bytes titles are going to find something to enjoy in Risen. The game plays a lot like their previous titles and depending on your stance with Piranha Bytes, you may or may not enjoy what Risen has to offer.
- Fun conversation system
- Vast, interesting world to explore
- Interesting lore to go along with the world
- Camera can be a bit clunky
- Combat is simple, but doesn't have much impact
- Plays a lot like their other games, without too much change