generic viagra takes longer to work can u cum if you take viagra how much is in one viagra pill what strenght does phenergan gel come in can i take 2 cialis pills at the same time film kako koriste viagra what does paroxetine do to you anyone had side effects from cialis buy doxycycline from canada can u take arginine with cialis viagra tablets online pharmacy is viagra only good for one ejaculation does viagra maintain erection after you come viagras corporate office in toronto buy terbinafine tablets india viagra inb kitchen is it safe to use propecia and nioxin viagra cailis viagra paypall energy diet pills viagra no.1 200mg propecia results 8 months is 2mg of albuterol ok for my 7month old acyclovir liquid for sale kamagra st fro sale can you buy viagra in tiawan rapid dissolve viagra pfizer patent extension viagra xatral and cialis price of viagra pfizer 100mg how long will it take for 3 day cipro to work better than viagra over counter mixing viagra and percoset viagra generic when diet pills recommended safe sildenafil and take cashew nut dose of gabapentin to get high wholesale levitra prices vardenafil comparison buy finistride instead of propecia boots thailand cialis black couple in 2012 cialis commercial clomid for sale cheap generic viagra fast no perscription viagra at walgreens nd directions for using viagra with no how long will viagra last on the shelf wiil viagra keep me hard after icum how long does propecia stay in body why does cialis make my head hurt lawyer in virginia winning viagra lawsuits where can i find the cheapest finasteride how long will i be sick on lexapro can pregnancy occur in woman if man used viagra stallion viagra buy furosemide tablets online in the uk bactrim doesnt work viagra fuck gallery how to use tadalafil 20mg phenergan breastfeeding safe what not to expect from cialis wo cialis generika kaufen cialis and stress test where to get nolvadex in south africa albuterol breathing treatment dose can you take viagra with lotrel buy prednisone 2.5 online no prescription buy lisinopril 20 what happens if i take to much levitra does cialis goes bad after expiration date india cheap cialis bulk order of tadalafil api cialis and chest pain watch psych online viagra falls cialis blackuk sildenafil krazy 100 cialis side effects detachedretina viagra in singapore 1 day which companies produce tadalafil in pakistan viagra over the counter substitute can i take two 5 mg of cialis why do pharmacies charge so much for viagra what is the average cost for viagra sildenafil pediatric dose pulmonary hypertension cialis cost canada indian manufacturer generic for viagra when viagra generic coming viagra buy in ebay what foods are high in cialis precio de levitra odt bayer how does olanzapine feel how fast does cialis kck in how to obtain zithromax powder once a day cialis side effects lamisil tablets uk no prescription pregnancy of chances with viagra cialis prescription needed lexapro generic name escitalopram riga pharmacy viagra cine cumpara viagra how much is cialis in toronto if erection can not obtained after using viagra buy metformin weight loss tadalafil soft tablets 20 mg viagra 1996 priligy online buy prednisone no prescription canada what is cialis sublingual what to take for erectile dysfunction cialis into hong kong cialis 20 vs viagra 100 review acyclovir ointment dose in hsv keratitis viagra synthesis wanna buy viagra crawley bactrim and ear infections dose for infant 2.5 mg cialis review viagra rectally viagra capsule 500g chinese phuket cialis viagra interaction between levitra and ramipril austeralia kangaroo viagra get viagra value card viagra super strong indian liquid lady viagra can i get pfizer viagra in blue print taking viagra when youre a girl viagra will stay hard after ejaculate viagra online shopping does viagra make you longer viagra otc turkey cialis france avec paysafecard cost of 10mg of lexapro in france cialis similar how much does viagra cost per pill at pharmacy viagra over the counter in seoul how much cialis i should take difficulty having orgasm on cialis medicare approved quantity of cialis generic viagra for women cialis can you half does blood sugar affect cialis does levitra inhibit ejaculation levitra good whats the most viagra you can take in 24 hours what is the rx fot albuterol sulfate at walmart paxil costco viagra levitra no prescription online pharmacy viagra price in sa can i buy viagra over the counter at chemist depression and cialis sildenafil how it works prednisone 5mg 7 day instructions how long for cialis to give erection ha noi viagra safe levitra dosage what happens when you take cialis but dont need it which better cialis or viagra how long can you go with levitra viagra cialis wiki diflucan 250 mg one dose is viagra served over the counter in sydney Levitra 10 pills Buy does cialis increse blood sugar buy tamsulosin on line levitra shelflive buy viagra at less what is the use viagra how long does it take zithromax powder to cure does medicare part a covers viagra where to buy gabapentin no prescription if you take viagra once neurontin myofascial pain syndrome what does a rash caused by bactrim look like buy levitra san jose us pharmacies selling viagra generic viagra store india do they sell viagra in thailand cost of low dose cialis per month what happens if im 21 and i take viagra buy amoxicillin fast sildenafil buy generic adcirca same as cialis cheep cialis mexico viagra for sale in california strong viagra for men how much alcohol is too much with doxycycline buy viagra uk fast viagra and your wife cumming too quick with viagra atomoxetine buy wholesale is generic viagra safe and does it work order neurontin capsules what does propecia do for your hair cymbalta official website ecstasy viagra ile kullanilir mi cialis to treat high blood pressure buy viagra online from macau sildenafil tadalafil non prescription japan viagra tablet pakistan in price people in cialis commercials always white where shall i will get viagra in delhi viagra uk forum daily use cialis effective do you need prescription to buy bactrim in philippines levitra in luxemburg propranolol pills bulk viagrasuppliers jakarta lamisil cream buy orgasm control viagra valium and viagra together which is best viagra or levitra viagra and milwaukee public schools viagraworks side effects drug topiramate viagras latest commercial how long will it take for one pill cipro to work cheap viagra online australia precious viagra sildenafil idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can you buy cialis in gibraltar buy in the uk acyclovir no prescription uk where to buy himalayan viagra in trivandrum how much melatonin with 10 mg. paxil financial aid flomax levitra 50 euro what is the difference between tadalafil and cialis 25mg viagra for 21yr male cialis hot tub drinking lisinopril drug food interaction cvs viagra across the counter buy ciprofloxacin china why we use viagra in india celexa high dose side effects buy rui clomid glucophage weight loss how it works cialis 24 hour delivery uk can you buy viagra online without a presciption fast cheap viagra does the veterans admin pay for viagra or cialis viagra revieves online viagra pfizer india guaranteed next day delivery cialis uk interaction between flomax and viagra tadalafil dangerous after expiry date viagra generic india pharmacy sildenafil citrate what does cialis cost at costco can you take cialis while on adderall how cialis will affect women waar haal je viagra japan 600mg viagra how frequently can i use cialis viagra 100 mg vs levitra name of tadalafil brands available in pakistan adi da viagra 18 year old on viagra can i by viagra in pharmacy melbourne viagra vgr 100 on sale buy orlistat philippines any over the counter cialis safe to mix viagra and vicodin nothing happens after taking viagra cialis black pills viagra canada what is the maximum dosage of cialis calox produce tadalafil co quetiapine generic buy viagra online cheap no prescription valtrex how long reviews on andros sildenafil metronidazole cream buy what will my doctor ask for viagra albuterol syrup dose cialis daily quantity what does doxycycline monohydrate 100mg treat what is levofloxacin 250 mg comprimido viagra use boost like viagra determination of tadalafil how long does it take to get an harton with cialis vardenafil tablet invention india pharmacies viagra levitra to buy without prescription in spain online purchase viagra malaysia viagra sting on craigslist how can i get cleocin of flagyl in nairobi how soon should diflucan start work on oral thrush cialis price inhong kong anyone buy viagra on craigslist before clomiphene citrate 50 mg cost is viagra available in dominican republic viagra price in india pune how long do you last on cialis price of cialis per tablet in the philippines how quick does valacyclovir work what the pink viagra for men maxalt generic name pro cons on cialis sell my viagra in houston images of generic lexapro 10mg how much viagra in toronto new diet pill on the market 20 mg cialis how long does it last can i try viagra cialis online vendita die buy orlistat weight pills erection after cialis and fuck viagra zollfrei seroquel show up on drug test could cialis help men achieve orgasm benazepril interaction with viagra does viagra make your cum squirt viagra advertised on fox sports took 2 cialis 24 hours apart levitra shortness breath diet pills used bu ufc cialis voucher at cvs viagra tablets sale lahore where can i buy viagra in norway side affects of cialis ppw viagra faq viagra mccain response to viagra healthcare viagra best price uk viagra does not work anymore pret cialis in farmaciile din romania 80 mg lipitor no prescription required buy viagra super force online 18 days on lexapro what happens if misoprostol doesnt work is generic synthroid the same cialis online vanzare will you detect cialis on a drug test my first viagra sildenafil holland and barrett dose nifedipine esophageal spasm abra viagra online lexapro online prescription prescription xenical buy adipex does one diflucan pill cure a male yeast infection cialis 5mg how much in cvs viagra women depression what side affect of viagra would you address first dose for levaquin for uti tadalafil cheap buy online misoprostol online kaufen viagra forum malaysia where to buy cialis cheap online viagra cialis covered by insurance black couple in cialise commercial is viagra covered by pacific blue cross tadalafil is an opiate is neurontin a scheduled drug viagra vs sildenafil daily dose of levitra viagra purchase in dubai airport does phenergan dm work cialis use for ms patients does doxycycline 100mg work how much is a prrscrintion of viagra xenical pills wikipedia diet hoodia miracle pill do doctors prescribe viagra for young people online sale propecia foam in us generic finasteride not working cialis bangkok shopping past cialis expiration levofloxacin cost how many milligrams should a diflucan pill be tylenol safe with acyclovir lady era wat doet het viagra convincing a give you cialis viagra4 levitra 20 jakarta is it safe to have cialis with warfarin cialis wirkung zithromax overdose symptoms no erections with cialis or viagra is buying kamagra online safe what happen when take viagra and smoke weed vardenafil y sertralina metronidazole how to take what is the shelf life of prednisone for cats much does clomid cost south africa tips on ntaking cialis can cialis and caverject doxycycline pet no prescription generic for synthroid medication is there a viagra shortage super viagra side effects high dose zithromax s what happens dog viagra mail order cialis generic sildenafil jus pamplemousse nexium safe dosage can you take cialis with hydrocodone adderall viagra not covered by fsa refrigerate tadalafil troche storage is there any negatives to viagra patente dcialis na europa can viagra give you a larger erection 50mg viagra equal levita cytotec dose for postpartum hemorrhage amoxicillin need prescription singapore disulfiram how to buy buy viagra 100 mg from usa where to buy azithromycin single dose no prescription can you have more than one climax with viagra spray viagra kerala vardenafil 20 pills sale viagra cheap source bangkok how much viagra can viagra cause u to have blood in semen viagra with blue cross blue shield massachusetts timming of viagra does cialis work for 20 year old can l take cialis 10 every week what is lamisil tablets used for can you get over the counter tadalafil 500mg pattaya plavix generic fda does cialis work for multiple orgasms viagra, cialis uk bootsviagra what is zestril prescribed for levitra and overdose and blind movimiento al socialismo argentina how much xenical and metformin can i take sildenafil citrate tablet ne ise yarar gold viagra100 purchase minoxidil and finasteride combination sildenafil brands in india sildenafil revatio cost when women use viagra vardenafil at wal mart is cialis verkrijgbaar in thailand viagra in shop what is propecia used for know celexa starts working levitra sizes bactrim ds generic equivalent where to buy viagra in dubai do i need a perscription to buy terbinafine walmart express cialis.usa viagra online in chennai lipitor generic recall lot numbers plavix and cialis names of generic cialis azithromycin doses tadalafila 22 mg manipulado does levitra ad size online viagra jual viagra not covered by insurance for women sould i take viagra with noxplode what color are nolvadex capsules im 14 and take viagra is it possible to put a viagra in a drink dose of cyproheptadine for cats plavix generic when available saw palmetto work as good as propecia is amoxicillin 500mg ga safe for a 11 year old how much does daily dose cialis cost cialis high dosage generic red devil caps cialis where can i buy viagra online without a prescription alternative to viagra uk viagra canadian discount pharmacy after coming is cialis effective cialis 100 mg from china cialis for prostate removal xenical pill price in malaysia why does people that do steroids take viagra cialis long acting price cialis for 72hrs canadian pharmacies viagra tricare coverage cialis generic for lexapro released price of pfizer viagra in pakistan cheapest cialis australia cheaest levitra professional zyprexa safe reviews can you buy viagra shoppers drug mart levitra racing heart paxil max dose viagra in wycombe viagra and cialis 99 how often do you take propecia where in south africa is viagra available viagra commercial water cialis 5mg europe is there somewhere safe to buy cialis online is generic flagyl from india safe can i buy propecia using paypal similar brands of cialis sold over the counter viagra papal zahle can you split a viagra sildenafil available united states cialis 1 day delivery lexapro generic purchase how manu viagra can a woman take

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 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






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.


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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.