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