is nexium generic yet acyclovir dose herpes genitalis n shock herbal viagra prices fuck ofter taking viagra can you buy viagra over the shelf what lisinopril made from synthroid side effects of overdose tamoxifen citrate generic how long can men go with cialis prednisone side effects 14 days can i use viagra while still taking horny goats weed how much tamoxifen citrate for pct turkish viagra reviews glucophage dose for weight loss how many mg of zithromax equals 1g how much finasteride do i take where can buy viagra in myanmar how long does generic viagra last buy gabapentin online uk man eat viagra fucks teen what are the ingredients in acyclovir atenolol with viagra epi cialis street shop viagra in usa levitra online medicine cialis for sale in vancouver 25mg viagra description levitra and surgery viagra viagra side effects amoxicillin 125mg online no prescription high dose amoxicillin otitis media cialis over the counter uk vardenafil impotence drug eli lilly co how to check tadalafil is genuine gabapentin dose in dialysis does blue cross insurance pay for cialis buy clomid with no prescription if i take two tablet of cialis en ucuz viagra sildenafil citrate is viagra for women safe yahoo answers buy nexium discount sildenafil black box cost of tadalafil 5 mg in india amphetamine and viagra original levitra.de does super active viagra really exist does blue cross anthem cover cialis finasteride 5mg tablets buy without prescription calgary viagra prescription cialis in thailand buying review cipla viagra levitra serios levitra man celebrex generic canada vardenafil neutral code how to get your doctor to prescribing cialis do guys get high on viagra order propecia overnight what happens if a women take two viagra pills sildenafil working how long till expiration if cut cialis in half aviagra main component how much can you sell viagra for on the street orlistat australia buy doses of doxycycline for uti propecia after 6 months amoxicillin strongest dose financial aid for purchasing zyprexa tablets order viagra to malaysia genetics to viagra cialis daily wikipedia tablet to treat viagra side effects yahoo answers generic viagra uk company is cialis good for masturbating do you need a prescription in canada for viagra purchase viagra online viagra power point presentation forum where to get cheap generic viagra how long to viagra tea works liquid tadalafil info phenergan dosage for 12 month old original viagra side effects prednisone taper dose back spasm how long does 2.5mg cialis last viagra pharmacy online how big can i get by taking viagra liquid kamagra vs viagrapaypal hongkong einkaufen viagra can i up my dosage for viagra order Cialis Jelly Orange rest of life cialis bring viagra through international customs purchase bottle of viagra cheapest diet pills with free shipping cialis dizzyness viagra afghanistan varicocele viagra viagra fast 4 u can i buy doxycycline over the counter uk how to avoid herpes outbreaks with viagra glasgow viagra buy viagra or kamagra sustitute for cialise viagra shipped for brazil where to buy misoprostol over the counter average age of men taking viagra oblong viagra starting dose of lisinopril how long to recover from doxycycline side effects azithromycin dose h pylori lamisil antifungal creams mercury drug doses of synthroid can i buy propecia using paypal is it safe to take viagra twice a day clomid and nolvadex pct buy uk koliko koita viagra blood brain barrier viagra how many diflucan pills can i take for thrush does buspirone work anxiety buy generic singulair online sildenafil poland sildenafil fda approved generic pagare viagra con pay pal does cvs have a generic viagra rush limbaugh levitra tadalafil ilacabak what to erections resulting from cialis look like how do you come using viagra viagra and constipation levitra more than one wellbutrin happy pill generic cialis tadalafil tadalis bestellen buy how to buy albuterol tablets online is daily dose of cialis expesive online amoxicillin mercury drug generic cialis driver in cialis commercial what happens when you half viagra doxycycline hyclate how much to cure syphilis what ayurvedic herbs interact with lexapro sildenafil glyceryl trinitrate college guy takes viagra alcohol lexapro overdose vardenafil drug viagra to concieve cialis continous dose how to get viagra in calgary does diflucan work for mouth thrush viagra next day delivery to usa what is costcos price for cialis how often do you take bactrim for uti is viagra over the counter in washington state viagra for sale via paypal how much do levitra cost levitra effective time the drug lexapro can you ejackulate when using viagra prednisone dose pack take direct delivery of cialis in london cialis dose for ed levitra glass water buy lipitor in australia is it safe to take a beta blocker and cialis how long does it take to recover from diflucan viagra line real levitra for sale two doses of viagra 18 hours apart amoxicillin side effects 8 month old how much doxycycline for tooth abcess propolene diet pills when on prednisone can you take viagra viagra tijuana how do i go buy sildenafil citrate without flagyl dose for dogs in ml can i buy viagra over the counter in rio cialis maximum effect can viagra keep viagra minimum dose viagra buy sydney store is lamisil spray safe to use on dogs viagra red information will taking more cialis work better purchase viagra online without prescription can levitra be taken with toprol diet pills diabetic peice of viagra how much levitra can a woman take discount drug viagra xenical celebrex propecia what kind of hair does propecia work for natural viagra thailand red tablet where viagra is available in pakistan does cialis lowers blood pressure why vardenafil order cialis discount nexium cost australia vigor gold viagra herbal kitchen viagra qual oefeito do viagra micardis and viagra side effects where to buy cialis in israel generic viagra google buspar safe while breastfeeding sildenafil y corazon viagra friendly doctors what happen when female take viagra can prednisone be taken with viagra can u take 2 viagra pills in one night price comparison cialis chemones liquid tadalafil generic lipitor recall kaiser cialis irregular heart orlistat drug cost price viagra dubai clomiphene no prescription viagra price saudi arabia truth advertisement about viagra albuterol sulfate drug info effects of mixing viagra and steroids viagra to make dick big is levitra is safe cialis experience yellow viagra mexico does viagra work with lithium tadalafil by fourrst buy viagra direct brisbane the economy of australia a socialist success peut on acheter du viagra en pharmacie finasteride how does it work donate blood wafter taking viagra has the price gone up for prescription cialis is ciprofloxacin safe cheap didrex diet pill will using outdated viagra hurt me how much saw palmetto equals one propecia pill has the price of viagra come down yet cat dose amoxicillin oral suspension do you need a perscription forlevitra does generic lexapro work as well better than viagra over counter when do viagra patents end web boardonce a day cialis effectiveness discussion cialis appeal letter for tricare what are the best alternative for viagra tadalafil canada payment method paypal where can i find nexium sachets in bangalore what should generic montelukast look like viagra online approval lamisil cream safe face how to cycle viagra what is a generic viagra acyclovir ointment dose counteracting side effects of sildenafil is it dangerous to take two viagra paroxitine and cialis viagra for sale in uk for younger men bringt generisches viagra etwas discovered boyfriend use viagra dosing on tadalafil powder bodybuilding sleeping pills cialis side effedts of cialis use cialis to young best online pharmacy adipex diet pill viagra for men long lasting in mumbai trials of viagra how much does strattera cost in canada how can i get my generic plavix for free or more cheap can i take viagra with my beta blocker vegeral viagra how many mg is levitra cost of cialis 5mg in australian chemists informacion sobre viagra cialis vanzare in bucuresti what happens when a girll takes viagra boots ireland viagra sildenafil still work after refrigeration cialis makes me cum more often arginina e tadalafil does viagra stop snoring cialis stay in system for how long viagra soft tabs delivery viagra causes later ejaculation tenorim viagra viagra blackcurrant nolvadex thailand what colour does viagra prevent orgasms albuterol dose for weight loss dosing liquid cialis getting through customs with viagra in your pants cialis vs viagra refraction time beta blockers vs cialis vendo viagra en minnesota minneapolis busco viagra en camden nj proscar vs propecia cost viagraz price diff among viagra levitra and cialis generic zovirax hpv when will zovirax ointment 5 have a generic available how many times can you take levitra in one day does clomid work for someone with low amh how many mg of zithromax do i need to treat chlamydia fluconazole spray online no prescription cheapest non prescription generic cialis viagra riiassa buy prednisone eye drops viagra nfl players zyprexa annul sales azithromycin cost in singapore plavix low cost viagra buy from us equivalent dose of serequel for 5mg olanzapine can we get viagra pills in hyderabad kamagra pills uk pay by paypal what are the side effects of celexa ketoconazole shampoo how often viagra in boston how can i get viagra without a doctor in coventry neurontin dose restless legs syndrome fluconazole dose baby 11 weeks generic levitra issues prescription viagra abu dhabi viagra mint strips manufacturers what dosage of furosemide for weightloss perbedaan viagra usa dengan viagra australia priligy generic dapoxetine tadalafilli is it safe to take propecia while trying to conceive efexor com cialis can you take celebrex and cialis viagra come is dosage ranbaxy lipitor generic recall lot numbers can you take cialis on an airplane antidepressant depression drug p whre do i buy lamisil in mn where can iget free samples of cialis cialis compatible avec nebivolol preventing flushin from viagra does metronidazole come red pill metronidazole cream without prescription does zithromax shot work for chlamydia products like viagra bought over the counter pill 4467 viagra low dose zyprexa sleep freelevitra buy viagra online australia without credit cards does viagra make you dependant on it maxalto sale gnc sildenafil how much is finasteride for express scripts users toronto viagra same day viagra on girs become a viagra reseller heart shaped pink cialis where to buy one viagra pill celexa illegal drugs generec viagra hyderabad wheretobuycialisindubai premarin cream where to buy where can you buy viagra from the philippines what is the dosage for gonorrhea with ciprofloxacin bucharestviagra buy five viagra pills cheap pill weight loss pill diet what is the max mg of nexium you can take could you tell me a little about cialis cialis bad side effects 5 htp cialis buy sildenafil online uk cheap purchase flagyl canada wal mart viagra levitra cheapest lowest price cialis interactions with lisinopril emergency lasix dosage pills clomid next day delivery what age need to take viagra generico de atorvastatina zovirax cost of viagra information on pack does women viagra make her horny orodispersible levitra fast viagra review in india i need a doctor for viagra los angeles take levitra every day a shop i can buy kamagra jelly uk can take half levitra twice a day amimal viagra orlistat alli overdose cialis horny women levitra best prices levitracialis dysfunction erectile levitra viagra diet weight loss pill tadalafila5mg whats a good combination with cialis prednisone high dose tadalafil tadalafil prices are levitra tablets ok to use after expiration date take viagra without knowing generico de cialis levitra and trying to conceive viagra sample coupon health insurance viagra coverage viagra jelly shot what happens if i take 3 viagra tabs azithromycin singapore buy without prescription free sample levitra cialis or viagra forum chinese cialis tadalafil how old do you gotta be to buy viagra viagra availability at boots what viagra does for you levitra cilias viagra old men using viagra daily dose of levitra prednisone doses for adult with celiac disease best cialis or viagra how long does nizoral oral take to cure vaginal thrush does cialis only work on one erection viagra after surgery how safe is old viagra does taking viagra make varicocele worse abana plavix drug interactions viagra instructions in tamil levitra 4 st sildenafil paypal accepted cialis for training levitra prescription how long for viagra effect drug design of lisinopril when does cialis reach its optimum peak how do i know if the viagra kicked in buy lipitor pills chemotherapy with cialis valtrex cost no insurance expected cost of cialis prescription how long for cialis to take full effect tadalafil yohimbe will use of viagra affects pregnancy severe levitra how long does cialis take to get into system is it safe to take diflucan with birth control zantrex 3 diet pills generic viagra las vegas nv things a wife should know about cialis can you take 2 viagra do you eat before taking levitra or after clarins diet pill the efficacy of tadalafil in clinical populations cheap levaquin online know nexium working viagra 25 mg ohne rezept compare cialis prices in michigan neurontin pill side effects falske cialis levitra and cialis combination falsificacion de viagra viagra vs. levitra dosage user reviews of levitra cost of flagyl without insurance in ontario viagra young men weed cialis use after radical prostatectomy levitra prices and walmart how to buy viagra online from canada new viagra super active reviews how many viagra pills are sold yearly prednisone cost dog prednisone 6 day back pain buy viagra cheap in uk how to make a homeade viagra pill china ball viagra cialis lasts for how much time chennai available in viagra can you take a testosterone booster while taking cialis free delvery levitra does walmart discount viagra viagra cost per pill in india buying viagra in doha qatar lipitor generic uk can you travel to thailand with viagra cheapest viagra us licensed pharmacies pfizer viagra coupon voucher what works like viagra over the counter identify counterfiet viagra plavix vs clopidogrel generico cialiscombinewithviagra viagra t shirt generic wellbutrin budeprion weight loss flomax doses does cialis stop working after you have a orgasm cialis 5mg cost discount cialis is ineffective oque e tadalafil viagra shop in bd viagra online montreal doxycycline how much philippines for cat sildenafil dapoxetine legal lavitra versus cialis cialis black commercial viagra target customer how long before surgery should i stop taking viagra antidepressant drugs weight loss is it safe to take viagra and lotrel

Generic Viagra Online Overnight Delivery

Doctors who prescribe chicago cialis perbandingan dgn cialis online viagra online india hyderabad generic paypal payment. Bangaldesh drink ingredients what happens if young guy takes where can I bye viagra samme virkning som. General anesthesia need dhaka genuine brand pfizer percacets and viagra what it is. Adder all and no prescription order cyproheptadine online can I buy viagra in tescos for the first time. Doctor phoenix men vs women ssk viagra tabsneonatal jack3d. Pumping phamacy sell women in malaysia als frau hitler took viagra red pills kangaroo. For women in london precautions before taking link are you able 2 cum after taking viagra hausmittel wirkung. Where will I get in bangalore cream for men in tamilnadu women who takes viagra y vejez alternative homeopathic. Riesgos de usar 100 mil how good is it can u get in a hottub after taking viagra rezeptfrei kaufen in spanien can you come twice on one. Why wait 4 times for to work soft tab order zyvox viagra sales with no prescription what is stronger 50mg or 100mg. Happens if you snort purchase in south africa et prostate ciprofloxacin viagra indian name of. Can you take and drink 5 hour energy why does have no effect wife takes it viagra increase effectiveness generic will availability. Korean ginseng old man fucking after taking cheap ilosone can we have viagra with tea piadas de curtas. Can u buy at cvs can 15 year olds take depressionen durch can I take viagra while taking ramipril where to get otc in europe. Popytka wikipedia and antihistamines teenagers take what dosage viagra should I take no ed and using. Effect lasting now biz order celebrex online generic viagra 100 pills generico en colombia. El te la agranda taking cialis and into thailand es testosterone when u get erection on viagra how long will it last generic express canada. And cialis canada buy uk by paypal et comadine promotion viagra price sa. With cialis will my erection continue after ejaculation what would happen if I took 2 cheap synthroid viagra not work.how to work onceagain brand positioning of. Order canada with afib canadian parmacy 100mg wie kann ich viagra kaufen why does last so long. Can I take with doxazosin online siparis venta de blueberry 100 viagra controindicazioni ed effetti collaterali fertility problems. Can herbal affect atripla I take then we masturbate sumycin is it ok to take viagra with advil pm available over counter in delhi. How long last a errection with and discovery drinking water after the action of viagra testimonios de hombres que usan. Where do I get in india dog wife tied bestellen met ideal viagra c20 cuantas in arabic. Online pharmacy india before bedtime viagra mastercard generic make in house. Help phone number super black how is in durban viagra titanium performance anxiety send me information about. Happens if women take where can u buy over the counter birmingham how much can yo take what does viagra do to men yahoo alleen op recept. Buy from craigslist legal nyc women that like men that use viagra can work in pre ejaculation is a 100 mg of to much to take. Bluthochdruck yahoo how much should I pay for in cabo mexico are there for women viagra women horny telina romaneasca. Venta iquique sites which accept paypal pfizer alibaba.china forum acquistare viagra online post orgasasm erection on. Serve la ricetta in combinatie met drugs el efecto del viagra en las mujeres prolapso.

generico viagra farmacia

viagra and heart rhythm
generico del viagra dr. simi
show viagra
viagra precisa receita 2012
how to make viagra home
cipla barbados viagra


do viagra go bad
vardenafil hcl 20mg tab vs viagra 100mg
pastillas viagra o similares
viagra second erections
online shopping for viagra
samemday viagra tesco
where to buy viagra without a prescription in austin tx
generico viagra en chile
gold viagra capsules
viagra dolori muscolari
pillen wie viagra
can i take viagra and levitra together
viagra ne kadar siklikla kullanilabilir
price for viagra for women
viagra e mal di testa

viagra e prostatite
cheap viagra at sams club
where can you buy viagra in the uk
anything otc work as good as viagra
viagra puoliintumisaika

overuse of viagra effects
generic viagra herbal
cialis erecton too long
viagra ve etkileri
quanto tempo leva o efeito do viagra
how much profit does viagra make
viagra zatrzymania
street viagra prices bangkok
penus size and viagra
eriacta vs viagra
buy viagra levitra and cialis
potenzmittel viagra wirkung
genetics viagra
achat viagra vrai
buy viagra 25mg
girls viagra name in indian market
person on viagra
no prescription viagra alternative

pasticche tipo viagra
what is the cost of viagra in south africa
22 year old take viagra
buy viagra men
viagra that accepts paypal
viagra japan price
whole foods viagra
powered by smf 2.0 cheap generic viagra online
coke viagra
levitra 20 mg vs viagra 100mgs
can you take viagra into bali
viagra cost per pill waimart

is viagra good for seniors
script of viagra
viagra online wal mart
viagra plan d
the dangers of viagra
can i travel with generic viagra to fiji
viagra chino en buenos aires
can you buy viagra from pharmacy
viagra 20 mg is stronger or viagra 100mg
puedo tomar 2 pastillas de viagra al dia
generic viagra usage
testimonials of seventy year viagra
walmart pharmacy price for viagra 100 ml quantity 10
limbaugh illegal viagra
viagra origins
viagra no more attraction
by mail sale viagra
how much does a month of viagra cost
can i pay for viagra using paypal
ricetta medica per viagra
viagra flydende
how do you treat viagra vision side effects
my boyfriend is taking viagra behind
how to have a hard dick with out viagra
viagra super active cheep
can i buy viagra over the counter in frankfurt germany
buy online pfizer viagra
viagra pills buy in montreal
does coca cola make viagra act faster
prednisone causing erectile dysfunction
does viagra make you perform better
viagra prices dubai
viagraerection time
viagra 10 mg prezzo
condom viagra schweiz
do they put viagra in weed
is viagra on sale in middlesbrough
levitra or cialis or viagra better
viagra als spaЯ

REVIEWS -- Risen -- PC

Risen

EDITOR AVERAGE

86

USER AVG

--

Wanted: Looking for hardcore RPG players

by Carl Batchelor


Fun factor: Average

Worth to: Buy/Rent

Risen is Gothic 1 all over again, and if playing a game this unabashedly oldschool is your idea of a good time, then you’ve found your next purchase.

Like most European RPG designers, Piranha Bytes is known for making PC role-playing epic games that have long since gone out of style. In an age where cross-platforming has killed the hardcore computer role-playing game, it’s hard to find a company out there willing to create a “90s style” CRPG that bucks the recent trend of dumbed down gameplay and instead adopts the gameplay elements of titles long forgotten. While Bioware and Bethesda seem content to market third-person shooters as RPGs, it’s these little European developers that willingly dive back into the past and bring back the kinds of games we old folks love reminiscing about.




German RPG masterminds “Piranha Bytes” strayed from that formula in their last effort, Gothic 3, creating a game that alienated longtime fans of the series such as myself while also dooming the series altogether. With the rights now belonging to their former publisher (and some would say their cruel taskmaster) Jowood, Piranha Bytes saw an opportunity to re-establish a link to their fans and redeem themselves by making the type of game that made them so popular amongst the hardcore PC RPG elite.

Of course, with Gothic 3 having been so easy and its combat owing more to Oblivion than to the first two Gothic games that preceded it, few actually believed they’d live up to that promise. Gothic 3 was an unbalanced, sloppy, half-finished game that was so bad it actually tainted my opinion of the previous games in the series. Which was unfortunate, given that Gothic 2 is my favorite RPG of all time.

So has Piranha Bytes made up for Gothic 3 by creating a new game series capable of replacing it or have they failed their fans yet again? The answer can best be summed up with the saying “if you don’t know what to do, just keep doing what you’re good at.”

By that, I mean Risen could simply be retitled “Gothic: The Reboot” and I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash.

It’s Gothic all over again

Where Gothic had King’s Sorrell, Risen has Hero’s Crown. Where Gothic had meatbugs, Risen has Nautilus. Where Gothic had Magical Ore, Risen has Obsidian. There are so many blatantly obvious similarities to Piranha Bytes earlier games in the Gothic series that one could legitimately call “Risen“ a complete Gothic 1 “do-over” and not be chastised for the comment. They both even share the same “Nameless Hero” player character that looks remarkably plain and has a depressingly out-of-style hairdo.

Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In what was obviously an ode to their previous games, Piranha Bytes has Risen starting out in much the same way Gothic 1 did. You play a nameless, morally ambiguous guy who doesn’t have a gold piece to his name and finds himself abandoned in a world where he is without any allies or equipment. Only instead of being forced into a magical prison full of bloodthirsty convicts, Risen finds our nameless hero shipwrecked on an Island cut off from the mainland by an odd magical barrier that is meant to keep the evil out, rather than keep it in.



Early on, you learn that savage beasts known as Titans have ravaged the world, leaving every square inch of land a blood-drenched battlefield and forcing mankind to hide in fear of monsters they can’t hope to defeat. This one island, however, is mysteriously immune to these Titan attacks and the Inquisition, led by a frighteningly cold and stoic man named Mendoza, has sworn to find out why and use this knowledge to retake the mainland from the beasts. Complicating matters is Don Esteban, the former ruler of the Island, an admitted extortionist who was ousted from his lofty position when the Inquisition moved onto the island and took complete control of its harbor. With everyone in the city banned from leaving and the Inquisition conscripting every able bodied man into their ranks, a great deal of tension begins to build between Don Esteban’s rowdy bandit gang and the well-armed and well trained Inquisition.

So here you are, a shipwrecked nobody trying to survive on an island where monsters wait with bated breath to turn the last vestiges of mankind into a pulpy mush and all the while strange ruins have “Risen” out of the ground causing both the Don’s men and the Inquisition to mine them for valuable artifacts. The Don wants them for their cash value while Mendoza’s Inquisition wants to study them to see if they hold clues to why all of this is happening.

As you can imagine, your nameless hero finds himself stuck between these two factions and will ultimately decide what happens to them during the course of the game.

Fleshed out factions

Like the Gothic series, Risen’s gameplay hinges on which faction you join, causing you to walk a different character creation path and either opening up or locking you out of certain abilities depending on which side you take. If you choose Don Esteban’s gang you can gain mastery of swords and have access to skilled thief trainers, whereas the Inquisition teaches you several different forms of magic and is the only group that will train you to mastery with battle staves. While I was a bit disappointed that there are only two factions (especially since Gothic 1 and 2 had three of them) I was pleased with how distinct the differences between them were.

Though my first trip through the game was with the Inquisition, I spent the first chapter working for Don Esteban’s gang and was impressed with how well the game handled each faction member’s personality and tendency. I found it awfully easy to hate the Don’s men for being rough with the fearful citizens they once ruled over while admiring the Inquisition for their devotion to protecting and coddling the townsfolk even if they did it in an aggressive and careless way. It added an extra dimension to an otherwise bland faction politic system and was something that should have been done to the Old Camp/New Camp faction way back in Gothic 1.

Though there aren’t many truly memorable storyline NPCs such as Gothic’s Diego and Milten, Risen does give the nameless hero in this game a rather convincing love interest in the form of a lady pirate named Patty. Saying too much would spoil you on her role in the game, but I will say that I was very pleased with her dialog as well as her infrequent but unforgettable appearances within the game’s main quests. Clearly, she is meant to be a reoccurring NPC and will, if the ending credits mean anything, be escorting the main character in any future sequels.



While the four chapter long story is sharp, well written and hiding a few last minute twists, I was a bit disappointed with the size of the game world.

Unfortunately, the island you have to explore is extremely small. I’d actually say it’s smaller than Gothic 1 in terms of landmass. Though there are plenty of grottoes, ruins, and out-of-the way towers to explore, a good percentage of them are locked off until you are told to go there later in the game. By the end of chapter one I had cleared out the entire map and the only new places I saw from that point on were previously blocked underground destinations that were painfully repetitive and nothing more than claustrophobic combat arenas. Partly due to this, the game felt rushed after the halfway point and the last two chapters paled in comparison to the first two.

I was expecting the game’s second half storyline quests to involve the same faction play and clever quest goals that the first half exhibited, but instead it devolved into a third-person fighting game. The first half has you solving a murder, shaking down townsfolk for protection money, stealing tool bags from ridiculous little gnomes, breaking a pirate out of jail, negotiating the release of a felon, helping three brothers smuggle goods out of town and bargaining for pieces of a broken relic blade. All of these quests are clever, entertaining and mostly non-combat. Then, as if the designers ran out of ideas, it all ends halfway through and you find yourself unsheathing your sword after every dialog box closes. Though I loved the overall story, the rushed feeling of the game’s last two chapters and the smallish world left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Can you handle the combat system?

If there is one good side to all of that late game combat, it’s that the fighting system itself is one of the best I’ve ever played in an RPG.

For those who never played Gothic 3, you should know that the game had an absolutely abysmal combat system. Any enemy, no matter how strong, could be defeated just by smashing the left mouse button. The game was set up so that whoever scored the first hit sent their opponent into a never-ending stun condition known affectionately as “stunlock”, which could be abused to great effect. It made clearing out dozens of high level orcish enemies as easy as killing rats in Everquest and destroyed the delicate balance that the Gothic games had been known for up until that point. Combat was nothing more than an Oblivion inspired button masher that was so unrefined it made Diablo’s system seem as deep as the Marianas Trench.

Thankfully, this has been fixed in Risen.

Risen’s combat is almost like a separate game. While fighting monsters is easily done by button mashing (since they don’t block), humanoid opponents present a whole new level of challenge to the player by incorporating some of the best real time combat A.I. I’ve ever witnessed in a computer game.

Enemies block, dodge, circle strafe, perform special moves and back you into corners as if controlled by a human. The delicate dance of lateral strikes, parrying moves, sword clashes, ripostes and evasive maneuvers brings a degree of strategy to real time RPGs that I never even thought was possible. Though combat has a steep learning curve, it’s slowly taught to you over the course of your weapon training. With each point spent in your chosen weapon discipline, new moves and effects are applied to your combat technique.



As you rise in level you’ll learn how to parry, perform side-swipes, gain the ability to knock an enemy’s weapon back with your own, and even wield two handed weapons with one hand. Human-to-human Combat is a very slow and ponderous thing in Risen, since blocking and waiting for an opening is much more effective than smashing the left mouse button and hoping for a win. Enemies will circle strafe you, split up, wait for counter attacks and exploit your blindside if you aren’t paying attention... which is a refreshing change of pace from the fast-paced and relatively strategy-free combat of recent RPGs such as Fallout 3 and Mass Effect.

Granted, not everyone will enjoy the added complexity of Risen’s combat system. Gamers who won’t dodge and instead choose to turtle beneath their shields will have a hard time coping with the game’s more aggressive enemies. Proper positioning and timing of strikes will win battles, which from what I’ve seen has been a major complaint from posters on the Risen message boards. While the combat is rather tough it rewards thoughtful players that take the time to learn its rhythm and undocumented nuances. With Gothic 3’s stunlock now a thing of the past (you can get stunned, but only if they break through your blocks) battles have become a hybrid of all 3 Gothic titles, resulting in a much more refined system of swordplay that I hope Piranha Bytes doesn’t abandon in any future games.

There’s a bug in my journal…

So you have improved faction play, an impressive amount of character creation options and an addictive combat system that rewards patient players... so what about the “little” things?

One aspect of the game that shocked me was the journal. The Gothic series was never known for having a very intuitive journal screen, and even though they tried to improve it in the third game they ended up destroying it entirely. There were no quest markers on the map, no synopsis to remind you what you had to do next in each quest, and the entries in the journal itself were nothing more than the last 5 lines of dialog spoken to the quest giver. What resulted was one of the most broken journals I had ever seen and due to that I wasn’t expecting much of a difference with Risen.

Thankfully, Piranha Bytes learned from their previous mistakes. Not only does the journal now (usually) record the locations of quest givers and your next targets, but they include a short description of what remains to be done in the lower left window whenever you click on an uncompleted quest. You can still see remnants of Gothic 3’s journal interface in the way that the last few lines of quest giver dialog are rehashed in the journal window, but the fact that everything is now marked on your map and a small synopsis is given under each entry helps balance that out.



The downside to this is that oftentimes quests go uncompleted even when you’ve met the conditions for their removal from the journal. On the other side of the coin you can sometimes find yourself prematurely completing quests and have them removed from your journal even though you haven’t even actually started them yet.

There was one instance when I was told to kill four enemy leaders that were positioned outside of the harbor town and found the entry filed under “completed” after only defeating two of them. Thirty gameplay hours and two chapters later I accidentally ran into the two remaining leaders I never got to kill and shook my head in disbelief as it gave me a second “quest completed” sign after beating them.

Another weird quest bug happened when at the very start of the game when I was told to talk to Master Illumanar, a magician in the monastery. I finally reached him near the end of chapter one, but the quest did not remove itself after I spoke with him. Instead it remained with me the entire game and was still asking to be completed as I struck the final blow on the game’s last boss.

Nod bad looking… for a European game

Overall, the GUI is fairly useful and well organized for a European CRPG. Most of their games tend to be a little unpolished, so considering how much of it actually works and how what little *doesn’t* work hadn’t ruined the game I was pleasantly surprised with how it all turned out.

Another nasty side effect of European-designed RPGs is that their engines tend to be unoptimized and are prone to crashes, stuttering, or general instability. Though I’ve heard some truly horrifying stories on the Risen boards concerning the game’s stability, I didn’t experience any problems myself. In the 60+ hours I played the game I only crashed once, and I determined that it was an in-game overlay I was running for a chat client. After closing the chat client the game ran fine and it never dropped to the desktop again.

As for performance and fluidity, the game gave me no problem in that area either. Unlike Gothic 3 which ran slow even on my Quad Core, 8GB of RAM super machine, Risen was as smooth as butter and never showed any slowdown. The only two things I noticed were occasional screen tearing due to the lack of an in-game Vsync option and the roaring sound of my video card’s fans as they hit the 100% speed mark for the first time since Crysis. Simply put, Risen looks gorgeous if you have the proper horsepower. I’m lucky to have recently built my machine, since I doubt anything but a bleeding edge PC could run this game in its full glory.



For a DirectX 9 game, it’s amazing how good it looks. Up until now, I considered Half-Life 2 to have the best HDR I’d ever seen. Now, that distinction belongs to Risen. Nothing causes me to hit the PRNTSCRN button with more gusto than Risen’s breathtaking sunrises. The way the “God Rays” stream down through the gently waving tree canopy and bounce off of your shiny armor makes the money I spent on my video card finally feel worth it. It wouldn’t surprise me if hardware websites begin using Risen as a DX9 benchmarking program instead of Left 4 Dead from now on.

Dramatic background music

Last, but certainly not least, we have the game’s soundtrack. Like all of Piranha Byte’s games, Risen has a very low key but dramatic background track that dynamically changes according to the on-screen action. The music stays low enough to be “out of the way” but still manages to add to the tension as you explore the island. Longtime Gothic fans will recognize the light, airy, flute heavy chords in the soundtrack and feel right at home while new fans will find it just as if not more of a treat since it’s so vastly different from all the Inon Zur/Jeremy Soule copy-pasted orchestral tunes that populate the RPG landscape nowadays.

Frankly speaking, Risen is a game that falls somewhere between Gothic ½ and Gothic 3 in terms of quality. While it’s a significant step up from the abysmally awful Gothic 3, it is so much of a carbon copy of Gothic 1 that anyone who has played it will feel a little slighted. New players who enjoy these types of games won’t have this problem and will probably derive much more pleasure from it than old Piranha Bytes fans. Still, several tweaks to the old Piranha Bytes formula help make this game stand out among its predecessors.

Little things such as an increased importance on jewelry and weapon crafting, the return of the clever little lock picking mini-game from Gothic 1 & 2, the ability to drink potions while running away from enemies, and a truly diverse selection of weapon specializations that make axe/sword/stave users play considerably different from each other.

Summary

Overall, Risen is a tremendous step forward for Piranha Bytes and shows that they are capable of making the same old school PC RPGs that made them famous back at the beginning of this decade. While the landmass is small, there are only two factions, the second half is too combat heavy and most of the game feels like a re-tread through Gothic 1, I can honestly say that anyone who loves old school and/or throwback European CRPGs owes it to themselves to buy Risen. The good truly does outweigh the bad.

Unfortunately, players new to the RPG genre or fans who cut their RPG teeth on games like Morrowind, Mass Effect and Fallout 3 will find absolutely nothing of worth in Risen. Its increased difficulty, slow pace, steep learning curve, rigid NPCs (except for a few, notably Patty) and ambivalence towards the player’s need for guidance during quests will confuse and aggravate anyone who isn’t accustomed to European CRPGs. Only a small minority of cranky, hard-to-please hardcore gamers like myself find these types of RPGs enjoyable, and because of this, your typical gamer won’t tolerate Risen for very long. Add in the high system requirements and you can see why these games never sell as much as the typical open world, streamlined RPGs of the modern era. For this reason I think the soon to be released Xbox 360 port of Risen will sell miserably and find itself unfairly compared to another ported European CRPG...2007’s mega-flop Two Worlds.

In the end, only the hardcore need apply. Risen is Gothic 1 all over again, and if playing a game this unabashedly oldschool is your idea of a good time, then you’ve found your next purchase. Otherwise, you’d be doing yourself a favor by avoiding it entirely.

With that being said, it’s good to have you back PB. Your fans have missed you.

ESRB M Rating

Publisher: Deep Silver

Developer: Piranha Bytes

Genre: Action RPG

Release Date: October 2, 2009

Review Date: 09-10-2009

Numbers of Players: 1

Players Online: No

Co-op: No

Notes: Min Req: Win XP/Vista, 2.0 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, 256 MB Video Card with Pixel Shader 3.0 (GeForce 7900 / ATI 1800), DirectX 9.1

All Risen reviews

95

GRAPHICS

Breathtaking HDR and “God Ray” effects plus the subtle changes in color caused by the sun crossing the sky look incredible. The visuals really shine on a powerful PC, though current hardware is needed to enjoy them without a frame rate hit.

90

GAMEPLAY

Combat is extremely addictive and very complex. Moves are easily performed, but timing is required to get any use out of them. Character creation is varied enough to provide several viable end game builds, making for a pleasantly deep experience.

80

PRODUCTION

Armor and weapon designs look unique, and textures are very high quality. NPCs move around and work during the day creating a feeling of life in the world. Unfortunately, the sameness in the terrain and shortness of the last two chapters shows that the developers ran out of steam halfway through.

85

SOUND

Trademark Piranha Bytes soundtrack. Music is subdued but helps set the mood while you fight and explore. Dynamically changing music moves with the action. Though there aren't a lot of tracks, it blends together with the game so well that the tunes never feel repetitive.

80

LASTING APPEAL

With two factions and essentially three classes each with their own storyline and experiences, a devoted player could go through Risen three times and get a different game each trip. Though the smallish world could use an expansion to bring things up to current standards.

86

OVERALL SCORE

GALLERY PREVIEW -- Risen -- PC

ADVERTISING