The island Faranga needs a new hero, you! Delve into a gritty, raw and atmospheric fantasy world in which every action has a consequence. In the epic world of Risen, filled with mysterious earthquakes, fearsome monsters and unimaginable treasures, forge your path with the sword, learn the art of staff fighting or become a powerful mage.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,258 reviews)
Release Date: 30 Oct, 2009

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Recommended By Curators

"The spiritual successor to Gothic. Challenging and unforgiving. Different gameworld - yet familiar; different story - yet just as charming. Very German."
Read the full review here.


“A compelling RPG experience...”
84% – PCGZine
“Risen is a solid, engrossing and beautifully presented RPG that's well worth your time and money.”
85% – PC Zone

About This Game

The island Faranga needs a new hero, you!
Delve into a gritty, raw and atmospheric fantasy world in which every action has a consequence. In the epic world of Risen, filled with mysterious earthquakes, fearsome monsters and unimaginable treasures, forge your path with the sword, learn the art of staff fighting or become a powerful mage.
  • Countless side quests and creatures to discover.
  • Over 60 hours of Immersive open world gameplay.
  • Alter the destiny of the island by the actions you take.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP™ (with Service Pack 3)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel® Pentium™ 4 Single-core Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB DirectX™ 9.0c compatible graphics card (nVidia® GeForce® 7900/ATI Radeon™ X1800 or better)
    • DirectX®: DirectX™ 9.0c compatible graphic card driver
    • Hard Drive: 2.5 GB free Hard Drive space
    • Sound: 100% DirectX™ 9.0c compatible sound card
    • Controller Support: Keyboard, Mouse
Helpful customer reviews
35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
26.0 hrs on record
Posted: 2 August
Risen is possibly one of the best RPGs I have played. It has flaws that other games, such as Skyrim, don't have, but it is one of the most immersive games you can sink yourself in to.

The only gripe I really have about this game is the way quests are tracked. Sometimes you will be left with a quest, while the questgiver was a little vague in explaining what to do, or where you need to go. There is a quest log that shows you the conversation you had with the questgiver enabling you to review what you have to do if you did happen to miss it. There are also plenty of guides to search if you still find yourself lost (like myself).

When it comes to RPGs, I look for the most immersive experience I can get. I love to feel as if I'm in the game world. While Risen is played in third-person, it is still more immersive than most RPGs I have played, possibly even Skyrim. The game is divided into chapters. Each chapter in a certain location. These locations have no loading screens and they flow together incredibly. For any Dark Souls 1 fans, the world feels almost like that. You can stand on a hill, and everywhere you see can be traveled to. The game uses a great use of focus which makes views absolutley amazing.

Exploration is encouraged in most RPGs, but never quite feels as rewarding as it does in Risen. Countless areas to discover, hidden paths, temples, coves and forest clearings are everywhere. With so much to see, I caught myself forgetting about quests altogether and just exploring the land, slaying monsters. Detail is incredible everywhere you look, and you will be sucked into the game world from the second you start.

Now I have read a lot of reviews that complain about the combat system in Risen. Combat is difficult, but actually pretty well done. It has almost a Dark Souls feel to it, enemies aren't killed in 2 hits, but you can be. Each enemy has a different attack pattern, and on top of that there are attributes to each enemy, changing their attack patterns and health bars slightly, forcing you to be patient and not run in hacking and slashing.

Leveling is a little different than many RPGs, but is interesting. You cannot use most skills from the beginning of the game and must pay a trainer to learn them and pay more to level that skill up. Using that skill does not increase the skill level, but rather your level. Upon leveling you are rewarded 'learning points', which are used with gold to level up select skills.

The story of Risen is unlike any RPG that I know of. It is mysterious and actually makes you want to search for answers. The dialogue is very well done and actually interesting to listen to.

At the end of the day, I'd have to say Risen is one of the most addictive RPGs I have been lucky enough to play. Great environment, a story that will intrigue you, and challenging combat all make for an excellent game that I would recommend to anyone that is a fan of RPGs. It's cheap, not a huge install, and hours of fun. 9/10
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
73.5 hrs on record
Posted: 24 November
Annoying, old-fashioned and inconvenient

  • Detailed landscapes, always something new to notice
  • Nice lighting that adds atmosphere
  • Characters barely move their body and are very stiff
  • Faces are barely animated
  • Low resolution textures
  • Brilliant background sound
  • German voice acting very good but only average English voice acting
  • Sound makes game come alive whether it is animal growling from meters away before you see them, nearby waterfalls or the chitchat of NPCs
  • Player improvements are noticeable and satisfying
  • Tough combat that takes skill and getting used to
  • Game might be too tough for most players
  • Very small differences between classes
  • Huge world that you can explore whenever you want with no limitations as long you're good enough to fight enemies
  • NPCs react to you when you're close or call you 'Master' if you became a Master Mage
  • World feels very alive but static, could have been more dynamic
  • Good mouse control
  • UI is clean and not confusing
  • The action bar is inconvenient as it allows you to bind from 3-9
  • Huge, open game world
  • Took me 72 hours to finish
  • Immense amounts of side-quests
  • Many areas and things to explore, you get to know some of the NPCs
  • Achievements also available if you're into achievements
  • Many different quest tasks
  • Occasionally you get to decide how you want to do a quest
  • Too many collect quests
  • Story are too predictable
  • Every single ability is useful and you won't find one that is abundant
  • You have to specialize instead of just learning everything
  • You can strongly feel your character improve when levelling up and spending learning points which is very satisfying over the playtime
  • The system is too simple
  • Exciting combat that is tough but satisfying
  • Several weapon types
  • You learn new attacks instead of simply doing more damage
  • Enemies often have different tactics, even beasts, and there are even beasts who will parry an attack
  • Too many of the same enemies, there should have definitely been more beasts
  • Loads of items in the game
  • Collecting can become fun such as picking herbs to brew Healing Potions
  • There are very limited amounts of armour and weapons which can be a good and bad thing. Instead of just picking the best you find you can just target the best weapon and go and get it. This can be addictive but it gets tiring using the same armour for a longer period

Risen is a great game, it is, but it is also not for everyone. Risen is made by Piranha Bytes which is based in Germany. It is a small studio which is why you cannot expect a big franchise here. Piranha Bytes became famous with Gothic and Risen is Gothic through and through. If you're already a Gothic fan then you probably do not need to get told to buy this game. Unfortunately after Gothic 3 Piranha Bytes got into an argument with their old publisher, Jowood, and the rights of Gothic went to them. Piranha Bytes is a small studio and very passionate about their game which is why this was quite tragic. Gothic 4: Arcania was produced by another studio and became a mess. After Gothic 4 the rights went back to Piranha Bytes but it was too late since the storyline was already ruined with Gothic 4. Risen is an attempt at recreating Gothic from scratch and the game plays exactly like Gothic did.

This game is very old-fashioned and inconvenieent. Do you remember old games where just opening the map was annoying but you played it anyway because you get used to it? This is the type of game Risen is. The combat system is annoying when you compare it to other titles where you press a few buttons and you've gotten a few thousand kills while checking what's on the TV. As a new player you are going to die against any beast until you learn to double-tap S to dodge attacks. If you are someone who enjoys RPGs in general then get this game, you won't regret it. If you are someone who likes RPGs 'as long they're great' then just save yourself the trouble as you'll probably stop playing due to it being too annoying and you're not willing to adapt. If love RPGs then prepare to become part of the franchise as there are already Risen 2 and 3 that will advance in the story. I would rate this game 7/10 for reasons explained above. This is not a bad rating, it just simply is not for everyone. Personally I have greatly enjoyed Risen and am very motivated to begin my adventure in Risen 2: Dark Waters.

This game was played at maximum settings on this system:
Monitor: BenQ XL2420T
GPU: Sapphire Tri-X R9 290
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 4x4
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45
SSD: Samsung SSD 830

If you have any further questions or are still unsure if you should buy it feel free to ask.
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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
38.5 hrs on record
Posted: 30 September
Risen is a third-person action RPG game from the creators of the gothic-series (Piranha Bytes) in which we are a pirate. The combat system is boring but realistic. Each monster has a different way of defeating him other than just mashing the attack button. Lots of interesting things to do but they don't hold your hand in figuring it out, most of the time you are on your own. If you played Gothic and liked it, chances are that you will love this game.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: 9 October
I honestly didn't think I would enjoy a time consuming aged RPG after all this time. This game definitely has a very unforgiving level of difficulty (especially for melee fighters) that is unusual for games today and plenty of interesting characters. I did have a good time playing the game and "working" through it but some of the downsides include: repetitive backtracking, abusable ranged combat, predictable storyline, and far too simple puzzle mechanics. On the other hand being a power warrior wielding a two-handed sword in one hand (a trained perk) alongside a shield, a crossbow strapped to my back with a slew of magical scrolls ready (for those not trained as mages) was an enjoyable sight. Would recommend the game to anyone looking for a semi-difficult RPG action-adventure game, who doesn't mind not having everything handed to them on a silver platter.
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38 of 59 people (64%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: 23 October
Talked to the metal worker in the bandit camp.
He says he doesn't want an apprentice.....
ask him to teach me anyways....
he asks if someone has spit in my ear or has stolen my brain.....
the tells me to f*ck off
11/10 would get told to f*ck off again.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
50.9 hrs on record
Posted: 8 July
Great game! Amazing graphics, great storyline, beautiful world with plenty viewpoints which are simply astonishing!
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
261.2 hrs on record
Posted: 1 July
I love this game. The game mechanics are different than normal RPG's and it is very refreshing. Also there is constant decision making. I strongly recommmend this game to anyone that likes RPGs but I warn you, THIS GAME TAKES SKILL! You actually fight. Timing while doding, blocking, parrying are a big part of the game so expect to die, a lot couse its not easy.

Also, there are several different playthroughs depending on the choices you make.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
29.5 hrs on record
Posted: 25 June
The year is 2014, and the game was released in 2009, this is my first game from the team that made Gothica. Here goes my review.
At first I thought this game was bad it was overly difficult, anything could kill me, anyone i talked to wanted to ♥♥♥♥ me over and/or kill/rob/swindle/convert/enslave me. After some constructive help on forums, I am so freaking glad I followed through on this game, despite the fact I need break mainly because I havent slept in 2 days because of it.

First Graphics, 8.5/10 modern 10/10 back in the day for realism .well you MUST play these graphics maxed out, it's gorgeous. During the day the world is stunning, better then vanilla oir vanilla HD pack skyrim easily. grass physics, water movement,stormy weather physics all wonderful. it really sucks you in, and at night, the fog off the swamps and fields, shadows in dark caves, enemies moving just outside of of a realistic torch range. Shadow casting has saved my butt twice from ambushes, and i ean they were real shadows, like you would expect in real life.

Sounds, 7/10 world feels alive, you have to play for hours and hours to realize some of the noises are recycled, but noise becomes as important in combat as is seeing the enemy, you know when they may pounce or are falsely playing dead to bait you into a pack ambush.

Combat difficulty 9/10 it's not darksouls hard but it's rough. Don't think you are teh dragon born and can suddenly pick up an axe and drop 4 bandits at level 1, see that porcupine, while at the very start of the game you are ♥♥♥♥ed in the ♥♥♥, get to lvl 8 grab some armor, training and PRACTICE PARRY/BLOCK and he won't be such a ♥♥♥♥. Think a lizard man is easy to drop? Well if you let him get close you'll drop you in a hit, 2 if you're lucky, and while you are watching him you neve saw his buddy SNEAK around you and smash your ♥♥♥♥ up. you have to LEARN to fight, learn to engage, do damage at range and switch fighting stances/weapons and styles as they close in. Think you're an all poweful mage dropping an Ash Beast? I don't care if you ♥♥♥♥ thunder and crap lightning as a lvl 30, they have HP and while you damage stopped 2 the third just ♥♥♥♥ed your ♥♥♥♥ up. Welcome to as real fantasy like combat as you'd get with out getting sucked into another dimension. Once your butt stops hurting and you learn how to fight, you'll love every moment of it.

Story seems slow to start, well guess what you are not a chosen one, you are a shipwrecked stowaway with about as much sense, money, power and prestige as a sack of ♥♥♥♥, you have to work to earn, and suck up to get ahead, and when you do you'lll get into the meat of the story where I am now, i really felt like I accomplished something, not just got handed the Hero Sword in a dark cave and was told to save the princess. You come from ♥♥♥♥ and rise to greatness, and you really feel it too, I havent beaten the game yet. I'm 20 hours in and only now beginning to get an inkling of the world. it really is much larger then I originaly though, and it's built to have you explore.

Barring a few quick travels or events, the world has little to no load screens, want to break into the fully scaled town by levitating over the wall to skip the guards, go right ahead. See that mountain top, you can actually travel there, get isnide find a HUGE TO SCALE complex of tunnels that takes you underground to a lost civilization city, a real city, no loading screens or nothing.

NPC's feel like they were given a purpose and a life, nothing to tug at your heartstrings but more to let you know that what you do matters and has consequences, and it does. Maybe whacking the dumb bimbo for her stolen ring won't matter in the grand scheme of things ending wise, but the town remembers, her butcher remembers her uncle sly you never met on the ♥♥♥ end of the island will know what you did and when you're sent on a quest to find a whatever and he could make it 3 hours quicker and he tells you to ♥♥♥♥ off. Well you get the idea. Though killing the same person gets you a map, a ring of awesome i won't spoil and friends as well. Or you could do something completly different and not kill her, maybe picpocket, maybe bribe her. Who knows, you may end up her friend from the get go. the Choices are yours, and multiple playthroughs can be done.

What I'm trying to say is, this game is rough to beginners, but you give it half a chance, use forums and wiki some, and you will be a sleep deprived zombie like me. After I'm done writing this I'll go to bed.
A truly hidden gem with a cult following, that deserves much more recognition then it received.

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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
114.7 hrs on record
Posted: 26 September
After the technical disaster of Gothic 3, Piranha Bytes left their estranged publisher, JoWood, with the Gothic franchise. JoWood proceeded to prove that the failure was their own fault, by releasing the unspeakable horror that was Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods, and the complete snoozer that was Arcania: Gothic IV.
Meanwhile, Piranha Bytes started from the ground up with a new world, new story, and new publisher, and gave us Risen, an RPG which restored faith in their ability to provide an essential open-world fantasy RPG. It's not perfect, but compared to Gothic 3, it is a masterstroke. The combat is skillful, though the auto lock-on can be a bit irritating. The variety of spells adds more interesting options to combat and exploration. The NPC's are all well-written and acted, including characters voiced by film veterans Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, and Lena Headey. The world is not to Elder Scrolls scale, but is full of hidden loot, challenging enemies, and sprawling yet expertly designed dungeons. Altogether, the game stands as a supreme tribute to the first two Gothic games that made Piranha Bytes a revolutionary figure in the RPG genre back in the years around 2000.

Pretty much the only thing I really disliked about this game was how much it got me to love it. Unfortunately, due to questionable decisions and a hope to really try something new, Piranha Bytes sunk the franchise into relative mediocrity with Risen 2: Dark Waters, only to be slightly redeemed in Risen 3: Titan Lords.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
77.2 hrs on record
Posted: 6 July
The game calls you an idiot if you fall 3 times to death (archivement :P) .
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
231.7 hrs on record
Posted: 26 September
Love this game and works perfectly in Windows 8.1. It offers excellent chanllanges and makes you work for your gear. It takes some time to get, but once you do you'llfind yourself emersed in a very rich and detailed world.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: 7 October
It's a great RPG.
In 2009 I did not find it during the release.
But it's nice to pass such a great game.
Kai Rosenkrants creates a great atmosphere.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
88.7 hrs on record
Posted: 30 October
Great game, better than Oblivion/Skyrim. You start out very weak and even the local wildlife is a very big threat. Combat is enjoyable after you get your first shield and you have to accurately time your attacks in between enemy attacks. The world is big enough to explore but not so large that you get bored wandering around. Only bad thing about the game is there are two major times where they trap you in a town and you can't leave until you've completed certain quests. Would have preferred being able to leave when I wanted to.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
83.3 hrs on record
Posted: 1 September
Firstly I am going to say this is a decent game as I bought it cheap and ended up playing it for 80+ hours - to completion.

Apparently Risen was created by these guys who also made Gothic 1 and 2 - some sort of great RPG games of history.

The game is a third person adventure where you play the role of sarcastic stowaway who is shipwrecked on an exotic island in a world where the gods have left and now suffers from the Titans that were subsequently unleashed, creating havoc and destruction.

The graphics and sound are quite good and the island feel is spot on. We have beaches, waterfalls, night and day, thunder and lightning etc. The way you interact with the environment is pretty easy and well thought out, left click to engage, right click to block and middle click to engage combat.

Your inventory is infinite and therefore unrealistic. However, this means you don't have to worry about petty management but immerse yourself in the gameplay. Although many times I found myself carrying 50 swords and 4 shields! In your travels you can pick herbs as you would have in Oblivion and Skyrim. You can also harvest bits of dead animals that you kill. The system that allows you to create potions and spells from these activities is pretty basic but invaluable later on in the game.

I played the game in normal difficulty all the way through and I have to talk about the combat. It is brutal. Basically you are ship wrecked nobody and the island is home to dangerous wild animals like wolves, boars and undead creatures who will EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST in no time. BE WARNED. This is the first game, ever, that I had to save after every combat, and even in mid combat. The combat is challenging and requires you to block a lot and look for openings. It requires you to carefully watch what your enemy does to see if there is a pattern in their behaviour and find an optimum time to advance and strike. Often I had to back track or run to a single pathway or ledge so that my opponents could not gang up on me. Many opponents will circle you and attack from behind or the side. You will appreciate how it feels to be hunted. As your character grows and becomes more powerful, this does not change!

The game looks and feels a bit like my beloved Oblivion, however it suffers in comparison. The game world is smaller and with only two factions, there is less interaction with people. The limited XP available forces you to choose fighter or mage, although you can choose to go 'Paladin' and make and use your own magic scrolls. The end game story involving a volcano and titan battle seems trivial compared to the mighty end game battle in Oblivion. Saying all that, I really did enjoy exploring the island and progressing through the story. The combat really made me mad on many occasions and my failure in that partly explains my need to complete the game. I really did enjoy those occasions where to progress the storyline I had to transform into a little snail or use levitation or telekinesis. However, these opportunities were quite rare and the game would have benefited with more of that stuff.

Unlike another game I tried to play recently (cough - The Witcher), the designers of this game really did a great job matching the potential game quests with open play. Many times I travelled around and did stuff in my own personal random order and the game mostly was able to make sense of all that and update the game world in accordance. That was quite impressive. For example, I did not speak to this creepy looking guy in the Bandit Camp but explored the whole area quite extensively. When I finally spoke to Mr Creeps my conversation options were amended to reflect quests I had already completed.

Good little game, recommended to those who would like to visit a pacific island like Hawaii and have patience for the combat. Remember to save often though!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
Posted: 13 August
Fell off a cliff and got the achievement 'Idiot' - 11/10
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
22.8 hrs on record
Posted: 28 October
An immersive adventure, a bit claustrofobic and dangerous sometimes, but overall an enjoyable RPG with a good script, sense of humour, music and questlines. I haven't experienced any important bugs after 10+ hours of playing it. Button smashers and compass followers won't have so much fun, probably.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
24.0 hrs on record
Posted: 29 September
Coming from a guy that never played the Gothic series, this game is awesome, once you get over the steep difficulty curve. This is really what RPGs are all about, making choices and customizing your character. What really sucked me in was the way one could play both sides, up to a point. Your choices matter, some paths open and other close depending on your choices, which i think is really cool. Many RPGs nowadays either allow you to get everything and be everything or just pingeonhole you in one role/class. Not Risen. You can walk your own path, a grey area, play both sides or stick to a single one, it's your choice, and that choice matters. I recommend it wholeheartily.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
63.6 hrs on record
Posted: 26 October
After a decade of losing interest in video games, this game made me feel like a kid playing Ocarina of Time or Pokemon Blue for the first time, even though I'm in my 20s. Get this game, it's absolutely worth it. (Order 4 life)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.5 hrs on record
Posted: 25 June
With over 30+ hours into this game I can say this is one of the best role playing games I've ever played.

Risen is a great hybrid of modern gaming sensability mixed with a heavy dose of classic old school game play. It's certainly not a game for everyone, and those looking for refined combat mechanics or hack and slash gameplay will be disappointed.

At it's core, Risen is about exploration, communication, steady character improvement, and mystery solving. The story starts off pretty simple with a shipwrecked character that lacks any significant backstory. While modern gamers may see this as a negative, it's actually one of the game's greatest strengths.

The whole idea of the classic RPG was to let your character forge a story as they interacted and played through the campaign. Risen grants players the freedom to choose a faction, choose their skills and talents, and ultimately decide to be a nice guy or a total ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. You'll talk to people to solve quests that grant experience and rewards, play people against one another, and unlock the secrets of the island and the catastrophe plaguing the world.

The other great stregnth of this game is exploration. The Island is a beautifully handcrafted and seamless world. It's large enough to allow you to take your time and explore every nook and cranny for enemy encounters, crafting materials and treasure, but not so big and generic that it ever feels tedious running around on your quests. Later in the game, it becomes much easier to move about and track down things you might have missed.

So to wrap things up, here's a list of positives and negatives:

- well crafted seamless world full of secrets and hours upon hours of exploration
- camps and towns feel alive with NPCs who have various quests and belong to various factions with their own motivations
- lots of skills to learn and items to find and craft
- choose your path, and become a mage, fighter, rogue or a combination of any of those skillsets

- combat feels a little stiff and clunky
- can be frustrating to figure everything out at the start for newcomers to RPGs

My rating:☺☺☺☺☺
Five happy faces!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
43.3 hrs on record
Posted: 7 July
Ignore all the bad things you see about this game elsewhere on the internet and listen to me-
This game is worth your time.
The combat system and the crafting alone make this game worthwhile. Man, do I love making a sweetass sword.
I found the storyline interesting, but can move a little slowly if you don't know when to run away.
My only negative is that mana does not regenerate.. it is all replenished with sleeping or potions.
I enjoyed the game immensely.
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