Risen

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a game by Piranha Bytes
Platforms: XBox 360, PC
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: RPGs, Risen Series, Games Like Fable
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Risen is a third-person fantasy RPG set on a mystical island where magical secrets and monolithic beings lurk. In an age where humanity has utilized magic to banish away gods, massive monsters known as Titans have been unleashed. Traveling to Faranga island, a storm-ridden land occupied by both bandits and mages, you set out to realize your destiny and discover the truth behind the emergence of the Titans. Armed with a variety of blades, bows, and magic spells, you'll battle the deadly creatures on Faranga island as you complete quests and increase in power. Despite numerous flaws and some underwhelming gameplay mechanics, Risen is still a fun adventure for fans of the genre.

Main Game Features

  • Combat-heavy fantasy roleplaying
  • Fight with swords, ranged weapons, and even magic
  • Side with one of three guilds and enhance your skill

Story

In Risen, you play as an unlucky traveler sailing across the sea on a ship when it is attacked by a Titan. Although the boat is ruined during the encounter, you wake up wound-free on the beach of Faranga island and travel to the nearby Harbor Town to look for help. Upon entering the city and talking with some local citizens, you learn of three guilds looking for new members, including the Bandits, the Order of Warriors, and the Monastery Mages. Before long, you meet the High Inquisitor Mendoza, who has traveled to Harbor Town and driven out the local bandits with his fierce rule. Having discovered a crumbling temple that leads into the island's active volcano, Mendoza recruits you into accessing it and discovering what mysterious treasures remain inside.

Although Risen has an interesting setup, most of the characters and plot events are forgettable or bland. There's plenty of storytelling, with an excess of voice lines and characters to meet, but you'll soon grow tired of their uninspired origins or repetitive tasks. Luckily, some decent voice-acting keeps things from becoming too unbearable, but the plot isn't the strongest aspect of Risen.

Gameplay

Similar to other action RPGs like Fable or the Gothic series, Risen offers real-time combat that includes melee and ranged combat, with a focus on tactical blocking, parrying, and positioning. There's a nice selection of weapons to choose from, ranging from axes and swords to bows and magic. While there are no specific character classes, players can only learn skills from their aligned faction, so players keen on using magic will want to join the Mages, while fighters will want to join up with the Warriors or Bandits. However, fighting isn't the only thing you'll do, as many quests require you to explore various locations, pick-pocket NPCs, or recover lost artifacts. Unfortunately, the quest menu and map system don't provide enough information at times, leading to needlessly complex quests.

As you defeat enemies and progress through the story, your character will level up, awarding you with learning points that can be spent by talking to skill-trainers located around the world. There are five weapon skills per weapon type, as well as a handful of offensive and non-combat magic spells. Some spells are incredibly helpful while solving puzzles, while others offer different ways of completing quests. That said, you're free to purchase the skills you want until you reach the game's level cap.

Conclusion

Risen is a game that promises a lot of player freedom and a wickedly cool plot, but it fails to live up to expectations in many instances. While there are tons of characters to meet and quests to pick up, most of them are lackluster, with few memorable moments to speak of.

5

Combat is decent enough and there's a good sense of weight to attacks, but some enemies can be a pain to fight. Occasional bugs and glitches can make the experience even less entertaining, but fans of exploration and strategic combat should still enjoy what's offered. While it might not be outstanding in any way, there's nothing painfully bad about Risen, so you should give it a try if you're interested.

Pros

  • Exploration is rewarded with good loot
  • No character-class restrictions in combat
  • Most of the world is available to you from the start

Cons

  • No sprint mechanic
  • Bland visuals
  • Some weapons feel clunky

Download Risen

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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