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:
Recent:
Very Positive (53 reviews) - 84% of the 53 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,567 reviews) - 86% of the 2,567 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: 30 Oct, 2009

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Buy Risen Franchise Pack

Includes 9 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, Risen 3 - Adventure Garb, Risen 3 - Fog Island, Risen 3 - Titan Lords, Risen 3 - Uprising of the Little Guys

 

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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (53 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,567 reviews)
Recently Posted
♠Mike's Bike♠
37.5 hrs
Posted: 29 August
Risen. Ahhh how I missed this game. The funky characters, terrible graphics and stereotypical old RPG art for the menus and sounds. This game really is my ♥♥♥♥, and I don't regret rebuying for the PC. I had it once on the consoles but....it had a terrible console port.

It was still fun but it was unfair with the controls, and a mouse/keyboard gives more freedom to access the dodging, items, and to swap between melee and ranged. The games the company makes normally like to test you at the start, making things stupidly hard, however as you progress and gain more skill through past battles the game becomes way more easier.

Don't listen to people like Angry Joe who reviewed the game poorly. He didn't understand the combat and thus sucked ♥♥♥. He didn't dodge, he didn't block, he didn't time his attacks correctly...and if you play a game incorrectly you aren't warranting a review.

The game is now only 10$, which I'd say it's worth at least 15$-20$ at the most. It's practically a steal now. The game is long, has many paths, many decisions to overtake, many ways to move about with your tactics, many ways to build your nameless hero, many ways to join either the bandits or the inquisition---

The game is a blast. Now here's the cons so you know what you're in for.

The only complaints I have is that the tutorial is slightly vague to some (maybe, not me.) and that if you do certain unscripted acts such as reading a stone tablet or talking to an NPC too fast after skipping through something not relating to a quest you can cause the game to overload and crash. Though these are rare, I still advise being careful when spamming items that are unscripted/based on a weird RNG such as the tablets (sometimes they give +3 wisdom and sometimes they give +4.) and my final complaint is the final boss was way too easy and honestly lacked much of a climax.

To be vague and not spoil, it's a simple dodge and deflect shots back at the enemy that stuns it then lets you hit it and don't stand on things that flash. Other than that, the story was very intruiging, characters were unique and some quirky, and I really enjoyed the combat and the many ways you could go about it.

I'd give a safe 8.5/10.
It was a fun experience and I felt my money was well spent.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Baby Jesus
31.1 hrs
Posted: 28 August
Save your sanity and give this one a pass. The combat is incredibly clunky, glitches are everywhere, the island you're on is not the least bit interesting, enemy variety is very poor, and the main character has to be the least interesting and most annoying peasant/errand boy in the universe. Wish i had spent my time watching grass grow instead of playing this mess.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Echuu
37.0 hrs
Posted: 25 August
Risen is a solid game from the creators of Gothic, similar mechanics, very good story, overal good experience.
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Geralt of Rivia
1.8 hrs
Posted: 24 August
I don't say do not play it! Acually quite the opposite - give it a try, I did not enjoy the sorroundings, climate and entire concept.

It's way to similar to Night of the Raven add on to Gothic 2. I know NotR was a success; shiit - a big succes for JooWood and Pirania Bytes but what they did is they just simply coppied the entire concept. Of the NotR to Risen and then started to create a game, NOT from the draft. As I did not enjoy Night of the Raven I didn't enjoy Risen very much. Even though all I did was come from the beach to the City and did a few quests I can already tell I'm really not into it. I might give it a try when I'm super bored but for now I have to try Risen 2 and Risen 3.

GRAPHICS - 6/10 - let's say it's well enough for 2009, and enough in terms of graphics/open world-ness.
MUSIC - 7/10 - I guess it kinda stays in the climate
CONTENT - -/10 - no idea
GAMEPLAY - for ME [only] 2/10 - worst two hours of my life, but give it a try. It gets '2' and not '1' only for one good joke.

LET ME KNOW if I should force myself to play, does it get any better?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Apparently Kid
43.5 hrs
Posted: 24 August
Not a terrible game, but not quite good enough to get a recommendation. Game takes place on a small island, with only 1 real town in it. You spend the entirety of the game going between 3-4 little outposts areas and going in dungeons, so it doesn't feel very epic or varied. In classic pirhanna bytes fashion, the game is buggy with clunky mechanics. Theres a bug where you can't climb ledges without disappearing and having to restart, and this happens every time you try and climb, making it a gamebreaking bug. You have to go specifically to your video card settings in your control panel to change it. The combat is awful. There's dodging and attacking and blocking, but it is pretty terrible. You never know when enemies are going to attack. The worst is, while youre hitting them and damaging, they can suddenly shake off being hit and start blocking, parry you, or even worse....somehow attack betweem your combo and start hitting you. But if they do that, you're never able to attack during their combo. Sometimes you can block during, but many times they can keep hitting you. This terrible unpredictable system that benefits enemies causes you to only hit once or twice because you can't trust combos. The parry system doesn't work, and trying to do it just gets you hurt, causing you choose to just block instead. The dodging only works sometimes, others even when you dodge you still somehow get hurt.

The quest system is terrible. There's no markers, no clean indication of where to find qhich questions, and when you go to the quest in your log, there is no objective listed or even the most recent directions given by the person. There is a lot of quests to do, and multiple choices and different options, different factions, and some questions cancelling out others, which is nice. The leveling system is terrible. Gaining a level gives you 0 stats or abilities. You then need to find the specific trainer to not only train stats, but also abilities. It also costs money. And some trainers you need to do quests before they train you, meaning you can lose out on abilities if you didn't make the right choices. I never got a chance to use many magic spells because i never found the exact trainer for them, which is stupid, or I didn't have enough GOLD to get stat points. The armor systems stinks too. I never found helmet armor until the like 10-15 hours in, only found 3 chest pieces in 20 hours, and a few different rings. That was the boring system. The game is long though, and has a lot to do.

In the end, the bugs, the terrible combat, the bad inventory, the small world, and the awful quest system all cause this game to be below par, which is normal for these developers. Not a terrible game though.

6/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lil-tats
20.4 hrs
Posted: 23 August
Great game sporting the worst combat I've ever seen.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
V. De Luca
51.3 hrs
Posted: 23 August
****
Helpful? Yes No Funny
delmen
6.6 hrs
Posted: 23 August
So i just bought it yesterday, and i played for about a hour or so and i got to say it better than most of the games that are being released now, ofcourse the graphic's are like crysis and the battle system isn't that special but still i really like it, and it you are thinking of buying the game i would say just do it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
I scanning better than CCleaner
47.3 hrs
Posted: 23 August
Najlepszy RPG w który grałem!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vaeaea
52.9 hrs
Posted: 20 August
First I must state that I played Risen 2 before this game because, well, pirates. But since I enjoyed the second so much, I had to play the first one to see the history of Nameless Hero.

I'll keep this as short as I can and to the point.

Great and challenging game. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though there were times I was ungodly frustrated with the situation I found myself in. Saving and saving often is, once again, your best friend in the Risen games. If I had not have saved before every major event or even during fights (defeat one enemy, save, defeat the next, etc) I might have given up (at least for a period of time) about halfway through. Some of the mobs that arrive later in the game are extremely challenging at first, which doesn't make it easier to stomach. But you just gotta chug on through.

I'd also suggest using a guide for this game, even if just for quick reference and to not play by strictly. Risen 2 was fairly in depth, but this one has quite a few more puzzles and mazes to figure out. With the addition of magic it is much more creative. Once you get into temple exploring I found guides to be a God send in a certain few.

Though my experience with RPGs is limited, I would say that this one is definitely up there in the "Great Game" category. It was challenging, fun, interesting and had a good plot. The character development was pretty good as well. Depending on which path you take, you can become a rune caster. But no matter what you will have spells (if you so choose and I highly suggest it) thanks to scrolls. You can brew potions that help increase stats later in the game as well.

One thing I appreciated about this game was that they provided a decent amount of mobs to help you level up as you got closer to the Chapter's ends and end of game. This made you have a little more faith in yourself when it came to boss fights.

There are many more weapons in this game to be had, though nothing that makes you have a dilemma on which one to choose of the -same style-. You have a few weapon groups to choose from, I went with axe and sword, preferring them to staffs and the ability to use a shield makes a huge difference when exploring. Armor is one set - there are no individual pieces. There is the whole outfit and then the helmet (amulets and rings seperate as well). The armor is pretty static as your upgrades progress with the storyline. Since I went with Inquisition Warrior of the Order, I am not sure how it turns out with Bandit or Mage but I doubt it is much different by way of stats.

Risen 2 is still my favorite because it seemed to suit my more "casual" play style, but this first one was great in its own right and I don't regret my 52.9 hours devoted to it. I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a challenging game that actually takes thought and time to beat instead of a 10 hour quickie.

Now on to Risen 3!

P.S. My poor friends were flooded with screenshots from this game as well (sorry, not sorry!). Love the world appearance and atmosphere the teams of Risen created.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
53.6 hrs on record
Posted: 7 August
My my, friend; you're in an odd part of steam now aren't you? Welcome to Risen, a truly mystifying game by our friends Piranha Bytes.

See, I have a weird stiffy for ♥♥♥♥♥♥ adventure RPGs like Risen. I've played some of Gothic 3, I've watched lets plays of Two Worlds, I've experienced babby's first OHS(first Witcher), and I've a past time of exploiting physics glitches in the elder scrolls series.

So I'll be rating by five categories: Graphics, Leveling, Ambience, Gameplay, and Story


:First up, Greficks:

Visually, Risen is appealing and fully cranked has nice material effects on the items you wear. Everything has texturing and react well to ambient light. For example when you finally get an iron helmet it shines like it was really worked over with a hammer at a forge. Whoah, it's like we're playing a moden game! Some of the models look samey but there are enough human models and reskins of those models to make most characters you meet seem like they're different people. Monsters sometimes literally are green versions of other models with maybe a horn plastered on. meh

:Second, Leveling:

Leveling is done unexpectedly well in this game. When I say leveling I mean the developers putting monsters along paths that subtly coralle you to the way you're supposed to go. It's terrific because this negates the need for different difficulty levels. At the beginning gnomes gave me trouble and Sea Vultures fatigued me greatly and Ghouls hand delivered dread to my soul with their op shield breaking frost attacks. This isn't a game where you just run into weapons and armor like it's growing on trees, every weapon you replace your old one with is well earned, or bought for an exorbitant sum. I played a melee sword n board character for my first time through and when I beat the ♥♥♥♥ out of Brogar and took his spiked mace I felt like a badass to end all badasses then I got my butt opened fighting 10 grave moths in the same area.

But that's the thing, it's a game of raising the level of good that you are with whatever you're using to kill stuff. Later, monsters will use advanced tecniques like strafing and counterblocking. Not just 4 chain hits like the spiked rats do when you're barely level 2. The map opens up in piecemeal because of this and imo gives a very satisfying rate of progression because you can go anywhere(mostly) at any time but good luck killing that ogre with a stick you found on the ground m80. B)

Also, you learn new tecniques as well, but you actually have to go learn them. When you level up you get Learning Points that you can use -along with gold- to get a trainer to teach you new stuff. Like reloading c'bows faster or more chains for your sword combo. It's freakin cool and prevents all-rounders but allows for some cool multiclass builds. Like my character besides being buffman mcswordswing could brew potions. So I brewed 50 str pots and killed thick jaw sausage fingers in 3 hits it was a very big letdown honestly.

Save often.

:Third, Ambience:

This is a weird category but I feel like I need to say something about it. The reason I didn't lump with with graphics is because you can have ambience without good graphics I mean just look at morrowind. The lighting in this game is done gorgeously, the colors are perfect for their respective areas that lends a real feeling of being in a swamp, or a muggy little town, or on a fortress laden road build into a huge cliffside at dusk. It's very pretty. Roads are winding in places where you'd expect and wide like u're mum in others. Foliage is used well to hide things and there are some cozy little areas that with a keen eye and a levitation spell you can get to(I'm looking at you, Doyle!)

:Fourth, Gameplay:

Risen is an odd beast; it's not floopy and doofy like Gothic, it's strangely stoic and awkward. The animations are stilted and make Bethesda's look decent. I thought I was playing a game from 2009 not Runescape 2. Like Runescape though they have a certain charm about them. For example, you can break down certain walled off doorways later in the game with a pickaxe. The swings you make look like they couldn't tickle yer mum let alone break down a huge stone door, but it makes me smile when the pieces of door explode from their berth like you used a depthcharge and not a sternly worded pickaxe tap. Idle dialogue animations are hilarious and make it look like you're watching a school play animated by todd howard.

:Fifth, Story:

Here's the kicker for me, honestly. Though before I go into the story proper I'd like to mention the character you play. He's the biggest bumbler I've ever had as a main character. His dialogue, his stature, animations, dying noises, it all contributes to the image of a man that has no idea what he's doing. Even when I had my strength at 166 and could wield a two hander with a shield I never felt like I was some cooked up hero. I felt like I was learning along with this guy, that beating the impossible just took a few hours of learning the counter-counterblock.

The story though, left me deflated. Honestly most of this game seems like the devs stumbled into cool mechanics and ideas but they got no breaks with the main story points. The ending was abysmal and left me wanting when it dumped me back at the main screen with no aftergame to ♥♥♥♥ about in with my op quest armor. The villains that were hyped up were pushovers and honestly the grunts gave me the most trouble. Honestly I think I died most to wild animals out of everything that killed me.

The good thing is, that there's replayability. I barely touched anything relating to magic except near the endgame where you're forced to use levitation and telekinesis spells but you have scrolls for that and if you're a fighter you have a bunch of mana pots you're not using anyway.



Overall, I recommend Risen for the journey and goofiness along the way to the major plot points because the peaks in the story are very uninspired and full of mcguffins. The ending is ♥♥♥♥, just like the conclusion of this review. I'll probably play it again though.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Recommended
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: 31 July
This game is like that one drink we've all had that tasted like dish cleaner. Awful the first moment you taste it, but after a while you can't get enough of the stuff.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.9 hrs on record
Posted: 20 August
First I must state that I played Risen 2 before this game because, well, pirates. But since I enjoyed the second so much, I had to play the first one to see the history of Nameless Hero.

I'll keep this as short as I can and to the point.

Great and challenging game. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though there were times I was ungodly frustrated with the situation I found myself in. Saving and saving often is, once again, your best friend in the Risen games. If I had not have saved before every major event or even during fights (defeat one enemy, save, defeat the next, etc) I might have given up (at least for a period of time) about halfway through. Some of the mobs that arrive later in the game are extremely challenging at first, which doesn't make it easier to stomach. But you just gotta chug on through.

I'd also suggest using a guide for this game, even if just for quick reference and to not play by strictly. Risen 2 was fairly in depth, but this one has quite a few more puzzles and mazes to figure out. With the addition of magic it is much more creative. Once you get into temple exploring I found guides to be a God send in a certain few.

Though my experience with RPGs is limited, I would say that this one is definitely up there in the "Great Game" category. It was challenging, fun, interesting and had a good plot. The character development was pretty good as well. Depending on which path you take, you can become a rune caster. But no matter what you will have spells (if you so choose and I highly suggest it) thanks to scrolls. You can brew potions that help increase stats later in the game as well.

One thing I appreciated about this game was that they provided a decent amount of mobs to help you level up as you got closer to the Chapter's ends and end of game. This made you have a little more faith in yourself when it came to boss fights.

There are many more weapons in this game to be had, though nothing that makes you have a dilemma on which one to choose of the -same style-. You have a few weapon groups to choose from, I went with axe and sword, preferring them to staffs and the ability to use a shield makes a huge difference when exploring. Armor is one set - there are no individual pieces. There is the whole outfit and then the helmet (amulets and rings seperate as well). The armor is pretty static as your upgrades progress with the storyline. Since I went with Inquisition Warrior of the Order, I am not sure how it turns out with Bandit or Mage but I doubt it is much different by way of stats.

Risen 2 is still my favorite because it seemed to suit my more "casual" play style, but this first one was great in its own right and I don't regret my 52.9 hours devoted to it. I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a challenging game that actually takes thought and time to beat instead of a 10 hour quickie.

Now on to Risen 3!

P.S. My poor friends were flooded with screenshots from this game as well (sorry, not sorry!). Love the world appearance and atmosphere the teams of Risen created.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
43.5 hrs on record
Posted: 24 August
Not a terrible game, but not quite good enough to get a recommendation. Game takes place on a small island, with only 1 real town in it. You spend the entirety of the game going between 3-4 little outposts areas and going in dungeons, so it doesn't feel very epic or varied. In classic pirhanna bytes fashion, the game is buggy with clunky mechanics. Theres a bug where you can't climb ledges without disappearing and having to restart, and this happens every time you try and climb, making it a gamebreaking bug. You have to go specifically to your video card settings in your control panel to change it. The combat is awful. There's dodging and attacking and blocking, but it is pretty terrible. You never know when enemies are going to attack. The worst is, while youre hitting them and damaging, they can suddenly shake off being hit and start blocking, parry you, or even worse....somehow attack betweem your combo and start hitting you. But if they do that, you're never able to attack during their combo. Sometimes you can block during, but many times they can keep hitting you. This terrible unpredictable system that benefits enemies causes you to only hit once or twice because you can't trust combos. The parry system doesn't work, and trying to do it just gets you hurt, causing you choose to just block instead. The dodging only works sometimes, others even when you dodge you still somehow get hurt.

The quest system is terrible. There's no markers, no clean indication of where to find qhich questions, and when you go to the quest in your log, there is no objective listed or even the most recent directions given by the person. There is a lot of quests to do, and multiple choices and different options, different factions, and some questions cancelling out others, which is nice. The leveling system is terrible. Gaining a level gives you 0 stats or abilities. You then need to find the specific trainer to not only train stats, but also abilities. It also costs money. And some trainers you need to do quests before they train you, meaning you can lose out on abilities if you didn't make the right choices. I never got a chance to use many magic spells because i never found the exact trainer for them, which is stupid, or I didn't have enough GOLD to get stat points. The armor systems stinks too. I never found helmet armor until the like 10-15 hours in, only found 3 chest pieces in 20 hours, and a few different rings. That was the boring system. The game is long though, and has a lot to do.

In the end, the bugs, the terrible combat, the bad inventory, the small world, and the awful quest system all cause this game to be below par, which is normal for these developers. Not a terrible game though.

6/10.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: 3 August
Great game for fans of Gothic series.
If you are not Gothic fan then I don't suggest you to play this game.
Why ?
Cause many people nowdays search for games like Dragon Age and Skyrim and this game doesnt delivery in that "epicness i am chosen hero stuff".
Because this game is telling a mediocre story. ( I wont spoil the story for you )
Story puts you in a situation were you have to build yourself to become someone. You are not chosen one. You have to try to become one. It doesnt hold your hand in a way were you swing your sword and kill everthing. No! This game wants you to build and to train. Even a bird at the start of game can kill you.
It gives you three choices: Mage (Magic) ,Inquisitor (Warrior/small magic) , Fighter/Bandit (Warrior)
When you pick one of these three you have to work your ♥♥♥ to learn something. You have to have experience points to progress futher. To be able to kill a f*cking bird of a simple wolf.
Thats what i like about the game. It reminds me alot of Gothic series wich are my favorite games of all times.

If you are Gothic fan then buy this game you will not be disappointed.

If you are one of those who seek a game where needs hand holding,God chosen heroes. Then look somewhere else weakling.

This game puts hair on your chest and makes you feel like a man when you kill wild boar!!!


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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: 24 August
I don't say do not play it! Acually quite the opposite - give it a try, I did not enjoy the sorroundings, climate and entire concept.

It's way to similar to Night of the Raven add on to Gothic 2. I know NotR was a success; shiit - a big succes for JooWood and Pirania Bytes but what they did is they just simply coppied the entire concept. Of the NotR to Risen and then started to create a game, NOT from the draft. As I did not enjoy Night of the Raven I didn't enjoy Risen very much. Even though all I did was come from the beach to the City and did a few quests I can already tell I'm really not into it. I might give it a try when I'm super bored but for now I have to try Risen 2 and Risen 3.

GRAPHICS - 6/10 - let's say it's well enough for 2009, and enough in terms of graphics/open world-ness.
MUSIC - 7/10 - I guess it kinda stays in the climate
CONTENT - -/10 - no idea
GAMEPLAY - for ME [only] 2/10 - worst two hours of my life, but give it a try. It gets '2' and not '1' only for one good joke.

LET ME KNOW if I should force myself to play, does it get any better?
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
178 of 190 people (94%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: 13 October, 2015
The last old style hardcore rpg like Morrowind...
Tha "real" successor of Gothic III made by their original creators.
And with quite beautiful graphics in spite of its age.

- Badass difficuty, learn to fight and learn to run away or get eaten by ostriches, or even worse, smashed by gnomes !
- No arrow on the mini map, no map at all if you don't acquire one.
- Factions and related quests... Be smart when or what to do.
- Very fun & interesting dialogues made by good actors.
- No auto level, find a teacher or stack your xp points
(The teachers really teach you each skill with a tale or advices on each step of the skill leveling)

Danger & Exploration...
Immersive world and storyline...
Castaway on an island of the pre-console era... The last real "PC RPG" in my point of view !

A great adventure.
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146 of 151 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
39.4 hrs on record
Posted: 8 June, 2014
I did not know what I was getting myself into when I first started this game.
Not at all actually, as I had no knowledge of what the game even was apart from being an RPG. I hadn't read any sort of reviews, seen movies, or anything of the sort.
This is far less impressive than it might sound, as I had gotten the game through a bundle (humble bundle) with a bunch of other games, and if I'm being honest I only started playing for the trading cards I would get. The original plan I had was just to play for a few minutes to see what it was, and if it was anything worth spending time on. I fully expected just to tab out after a few minutes and let it run in background until I got the card drops, and then proceed to uninstall and never touch it again.

What I found though, was something I could not put down. 37'ish hours later and I've completed the game in just a few short days. It was one helluva experience.

The game started out quirky in that combat was not really that good, but since I was just playing for a few minutes anyway, I decided to roll with it, and slay a few monsters. I barely survived the first few encounters, and had to scour the beach where you start for supplies to munch on in order to regain some health.

After 30 minutes of game time, I was hooked. Not since Gothic had I played such a game that was this punishing yet satisfying. I found I could go anywhere, but quickly learned what monsters to stay away from. In the beginning I could hardly kill the most simple monsters, and I couldn't understand why when I leveled up, nothing happened and I apparently couldn't put points in anywhere. Having played Gothic, I figured I'd stumble upon the solution before long with some sort of trainers, and as it turns out, that was exactly the case. You see, skills have a set number of levels, and you need to put a big amount of points into them to become truly good at something, be it using a bow, casting a spell, using a sword, or sneaking, pickpocketing and so on. The only problem is, there isn't enough points for everything because monsters don't respawn, so what you see is what you get (with a very few exceptions between chapters), so there's no grinding in this game, which is great, but also forces you to choose a few skills and stick with them, because being a jack of all trades in this game just isn't as good as a specialist.

Fast forward 24 hours of gameplay time and I'm still in the first chapter, and had explored most of the island and killed most of the available mobs instead of going to the first town and progressing the story. It was tough, but I learned a lot about combat, and how to fight the various monsters.

Speaking about combat, when you decide upon melee weapon style (staff, axe, sword), you can level it up to level 10, and with each new level you gain faster speed, or more manuerability, and learn to make consecutive swings. This allows you to string together a flurry of combos which makes short work of enemies you had previous thought were neigh impossible to deal with.

I played 26 or so hours with no armor at all, as there was simply none available until a certain point in the story (chapter 2). This meant the game was a lot tougher than it needed to be, but also a lot more rewarding, as I had to master the not so easy to learn intricacies of combat in Risen. However, even with armor, I found the monsters a challenge throughout the game, and at no point did I find I could just rush through any opponent.
Some block, some rush, some dodge your attacks and leap towards you, and some sidestep you in the middle of your attack and come at you from the side. Some still parry your blows and counter them. And of course some just use brute force. The game also likes to throw packs at you, almost never allowing you to fight a single monster at a time, but often up to 6 or even 8. It forces you to plan ahead, and know your terrain and so on, which makes for a great and memorable experience.

The game lasted me around 37 hours, and I am blown away over how great it was. There were hardly any bugs. In fact the only bugs I came across were me getting stuck on terrain after having jumped where I shouldn't jump, or just getting unlucky with landing a couple of times. I could count the number of times it happened on 1 hand though, and with the amount of quicksaving this game forces you to do, it was never a problem. I'm amazed how well polished the game was. You could argue that it's an older game, but that doesn't mean anything in terms of bugs. Most games never fix even the most horrendous bugs if they don't catch it in the first few patches, so this was both surprising, and gratifying.

I could write volumes about the story and the locations you visit, but as I don't want to spoil things, I'll just say that it's one of those stories that starts you off with a blank slate, where you don't know anything about anything to begin with, and you soon have to rescue the world type of scenarios. Don't get me wrong, the story was actually ok, and the game forces you to choose sides rather early in the game. I did not regret my decision, but I do kinda wish I could see the other part. I have read it makes very little difference, and it's just a few quests which all end in chapter 1, but I'm not about to replay the game just to experience an hours worth of quests, so no matter.

All in all it was a really enjoyable experience, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Just be warned, it is not one of those mainstream games where you can breeze through. The combat is tough as nails, and nobody is going to hold your hand. If you played Gothic and liked it, chances are you will love this game.
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119 of 128 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: 15 March, 2015
Will update as I progress

What I Like?
- RPG: Inventory, Trading, Dialogue, Enemies, NPC, Collecting herbs, Cooking food, Lock-picking, etc
- Pirate-Themed: Ship-werecked, pirates, ships, etc
- Combat: Enemies have unique fighting styles; some melee fights can require endurance and patience (defend, watch, attack), where one false move may finish you off, but you may need many more hits
- Graphics: The landscapes and environment look beautifully designed
- Audio: The sound and dialogue is fun and interesting; plenty of options to choose from
- The characters seem well integrated into the environment and adds to the atmosphere; You really feel that it's an organic community with power struggles, issues and people living their daily lives.

Neutral
- High Inventory: This may be a con for some users, but sometimes I prefer a game where I don't need to agressively manage inventory; I am not entirely sure whether its "unlimited"
- Steamworks Integration: Steam Trading Cards, etc

What I Wish it Had
:- Shorter Loading Times: It takes relaively long to load up saved games

- It's a pretty refreshing RPG - it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, I was pleasantly surprised by a number of elements and the way the characters were developed, they feel and sound like "real" people - thus at times you can really relate to the NPC (Non-Player Characters), and you feel part of the community.
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120 of 133 people (90%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
93.2 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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