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 (1,403 reviews)
Release Date: 30 Oct, 2009

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Packages that include this game

Buy Risen Collection

Includes 5 items: Risen, Risen 2: Dark Waters, Risen 2: Dark Waters - A Pirate's Clothes DLC, Risen 2: Dark Waters - Air Temple DLC, Risen 2: Dark Waters - Treasure Isle DLC

 

Recommended By Curators

"New series from Piranha Bytes after the Gothic series. New game - same gameplay - same fun!"

Reviews

“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
70 of 73 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
73.5 hrs on record
Posted: 24 November, 2014
Annoying, old-fashioned and inconvenient

Graphics
  • 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
Sound
  • 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
Balance
  • 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
Atmosphere
  • 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
UI
  • Good mouse control
  • UI is clean and not confusing
  • The action bar is inconvenient as it allows you to bind from 3-9
Content
  • 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
Quests
  • Many different quest tasks
  • Occasionally you get to decide how you want to do a quest
  • Too many collect quests
  • Story are too predictable
Character
  • 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
Combat
  • 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
Items
  • 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

Conclusion
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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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: 9 October, 2014
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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26 of 34 people (76%) found this review helpful
38.5 hrs on record
Posted: 30 September, 2014
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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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: 2 February
Do you like pirate themed RPG? Then you should buy into this series. Nice graphics. Decent thief elements. Not the best lock pick solver out there but still ok. Good swashbuckling fun though. Start the story from the begining, it's worth it.
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51 of 83 people (61%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: 23 October, 2014
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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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
114.7 hrs on record
Posted: 26 September, 2014
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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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
Posted: 29 September, 2014
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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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
63.6 hrs on record
Posted: 26 October, 2014
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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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
231.7 hrs on record
Posted: 26 September, 2014
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 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: 7 October, 2014
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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: 24 September, 2014
An excellent RPG with a deep combat system, and everything you could expect from a modern RPG such as exploration, freedom and choices, voice acting, stealing, stealth, loots, crafting, advanced trading, well designed quests, skeletons and weed! Go for it.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
22.8 hrs on record
Posted: 28 October, 2014
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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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
88.7 hrs on record
Posted: 30 October, 2014
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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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
73.9 hrs on record
Posted: 31 December, 2014
Ah yes, the good old days of "hardcore" RPGs. This is a great game, if you loved Gothic 1 & 2, you will enjoy this immensely. The world is very well crafted and exploration is a huge part of this. Most importantly, it is what makes this game so good (hidden passages or secrets, loot which you will want to explore. I roamed the world for hours instead of doing the story related quests).

I played this on Hard difficulty and often found myself getting owned, especially when I was getting sloppy in combat - 1 or 2 mistakes and you are eating dirt. That is a very refreshing thing in the age of "easy mode everything". The combat is decent and challenging almost till the end. However, it has some issues (targeting and monsters strangey dodging attacks even though you attack from the side or back etc.). That would be one of my only complaints. The game also doesn't take your hand and show you everything, you have to find out yourself (or read internet guides a lot).

The quests are also really good. One could complain that they only involve kicking butt and / or bribing someone, but there are multiple solutions to almost every quest and a lot of interesting choices. I also really like the gathering / crafting system, which is almost identical to the Gothic games - you will gather herbs and other materials in the world, but they are not a big, shining object which you will immediately notice. You will have to work hard to gather good stuff, but it is fun and well worth it.

This is a must-play for any fan of RPGs of old.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
71.7 hrs on record
Posted: 7 February
An oldie but a real goodie. And I've had this game for a long time. I always started it, got distracted, and didn't go back to it. Then I started it, got distracted, .... Well, you know the drill.

I finally decided that this time when I started it, unless I got to the point where I really thought it stunk, I was going to finish it, regardless. Well, I finally did finish it and I truly enjoyed my experience. Once I got going, I found the game pulling me back and really looking forward to my free time to play it. It's a fun, charming game, in it's own way, but it's also fairly challenging and serious. (I also own Risen II and III, neither of which I've touched. So now, I'm looking forward to them both very much.)

The game does a good job leading you along to the point of having freedom of choice, but not feeling lost. And it really does offer you a lot choice... Who you ally with, who you tick off, what type of character build you want, where you are going to go next... There are a few minor details that can pass you by, but the game is so mature (old) now, there are tons of references for guidance on the Internet.

Anyway, in the spirit of keeping this short, I highly recommend this game. Like I said, it's older, but certainly well worth the $10 price tag. Buy it, start it, and uh ... stick with it! :) It'll offer you a LOT of entertainment for the money!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: 17 February
Let's start with the fact, that this game reminds me a lot of the third Gothic. Probably because of the game mechanics and engine, but the feeling was nice. I really can't find any good games similar to the Gothic series. Fable was really cool, but the TES series in general is just not my cup of coffee.

I've tried Risen three times. Twice it bored me and I stopped after an hour or so, thinking I'll never get back to it. When I finally gave it a chance the third time, I finally got into it. So if you're not convinced at first, I suggest you just keep playing.

The game turned out to be really great. The plot is simple but epic, and the mere fact that you have to discover it first as a castaway who knows nothing and is nothing, was something that got me sticked to the screen for hours. So what does this game have that other don't?

  • The unique feeling of progress (just like Gothic). You get to see how powerful your character gets over time, slowly, but once you reach a certain point you know there's hardly anything that may stand in your way.
  • A living world that will feel like home after a while of playing.
  • Freedom to become a warrior, a hunter or a mage.
  • Two ways to follow the plot (as a warrior/hunter or a mage), both leading to the same ending but each with a different line of quests and each with a different backstory/reasons. Before you choose your path you hear from the people what they all think of one and the other. Then you get to choose and, similar to Gothic, you can base your decisions on which you think is good or evil.
  • Lizardmen! Temples!
  • Amazing music.

Bad sides?
  • No hunter game (I've spent hours hunting deer in G3)
  • No sprint (just walking is actually pretty fast but exploring may get a bit boring if you want to see every corner of the island)
  • I invested a lot in crossbows but even with the best crossbow in the game they were pretty useless.
  • Great potential, but feels a bit like it could be used a bit better. It's still a very good game, well made and seems to be a good opening game for a series. I am disappointed with the second game though but I guess I should just give it another chance, like with this one.

The second Risen game is generally different. I don't like it (yet?) because I prefer the first, but if you don't like the first you might like the other one. Either way both games are worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of the Gothic series.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: 8 November, 2014
This is one of those game that deserve a neutral rating if Steam has one. Risen is an open world RPG, you are stranded on a island and has to join force with local factions and help them with their agendas to survive. I've only played a few hours at this point but the story is bland and uninteresting, VO can be all over the place. Most of the time it's not good.
Graphically RIsen can be a mixed bag. Flora looks good, environment is ok for a 2009 game but NPC looks bad. Design is bland and the town is pretty ugly.
As for the game play, Risen is play in third person view and structurally similar to other open world RPG, you wander around, explore and getting tons of quests. If you've played an open world RPG before like fallout, elder scroll or the gothic series; you already know the general flow of the game.
The combat in this game is quite clunky, you can equip 2 weapon, one melee/staff, one range weapon. You don't have a lot of option for melee combat, just an attack and block button, range weapon is very slow but enemies are very easy to kite.
The leveling system is obtuse, you gained learning points after a level but can't spend them unless you go see a trainer and pay them gold to get stats increase. This lead to hilarious situation where you're in a school supposedly learning things but can't get any stats increase because there's no easy way to make money. This make the early game quite difficult since quest payout is 20/30 gold while you need increasingly more money to gain stats. 1 stat point cost 10-20 gold and you earned 10 stat points per level. Basically you will have to try and scavenge everything.
Depends on how you play the game though. the problem above can be completely trivial. You can get 1 point in sneaking and pickpocketing and proceed to steal everything from everyone. I became filthy rich just 30 mins after getting the skills and this broke the economy. Stealing is really easy in this game and require no trick, just engage in a conversation option and steal. I stole a soldier's shield as I was talking to him once, it's pretty funny.
Quest design is my biggest complain about this game, in open world rpg a good developer would give you multiple options to finish a quest. Not really the case in risen. people in this game are very easily agro if you are in a room and open a chest you're not supposed to. I accidentally agro an NPC and proceed to woop his ♥♥♥ and he refused to talk to me afterward thus making it impossible for me to finish a quest that involving him (you can get a spell to make them forget but in the early game I have I've only found 1 scroll so far). In another instant, I was supposed to get training from some dude, he made me fight him as a test, I won but click 1 time too much and he's dead, another impossible to finish quest. Worst of all these quest chains are necessary for you to get out of the monastery and I was stuck with no option to go out. Luckily I found a place to hop the fence and book it.

Despite all the ♥♥♥♥♥ing I've done, Risen still compelled me enough to play for more than 2 hour at a time and write a review for it. This is more than I can say for the CODs and ♥♥♥ creed out there. As clunky as it is, wandering around and ♥♥♥♥ing with the local NPCs is fun.

However, when you look at it objectively, RIsen is not a good game, there are good ideas in it but it's too clunkly and in some cases poorly implement. There are much better open world RPG out there, the Gothic series, its predecessor is one example. I can only recommend this game if you are a big fan of open world RPG and has exhausted all of your other options. Overall a 6/10 for me and recommendation with serious reservations.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: 26 February
Risen and all its subsequent games are a buggy mess. If you want to play the game at all you will have to mess around with hardware settings on your rig and cross your fingers.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: 13 September, 2014
A very simple Rpg but don't judge it too fast. It has great graphics for a 2009 game with some of the best lighting effects i ever seen in a video game. The exploration is probably the most strong aspect of the game, where you have an island to discover full of intricate paths, atmospheric dungeons, and fascinating creatures. In this aspect and others it may lack the presentation and ambition of the Elder Scrolls games but i felt more immersed in this one than in Skyrim. The way your character develops it's interesting as well, you start off very weak with some ragged clothes as armor and a stick as weapon and because of that you have to think if you want to engage someone in combat, but as you progress through the game and your hero becomes more stronger with better items (and believe me they are hard to get) you feel the sense of development, that your character has changed. The story is nothing of extraordinary as well the characters but it gets the job done.
What can i say more about this game? Well a lot more really because it's one of those that there is more than meets the eye.
Pick it up, you can get it very cheap nowadays because Risen has been in several bundles.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: 7 February
Game features one of the most beautiful worlds (for its time) and one of the least well drawn women.

In my opinion this is second best Piranha Bytes game after “Gothic II” (though original “Gothic” is really great, too). What we have here is an open world (but if some places are closed in the beginning for story reasons, and others’ dwellers beat the crap out of you if you go there too early), fairly interesting story, three ways to develop your character by joining one of two factions, fencing system that gets more complicated and effective when you upgrade your skills. Levelling up here just like original “Gothic” games require a mentor, which is good, and not all the skills are available for all the factions. Besides combat skills there are crafting, magical and thievery skills. Story is divided into few chapters, and finishing one changes a world a bit, adding some secondary quests and new enemies.

Overall this role-playing game definitely worth a play.
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