can i buy viagra over the counter in new delhi kamagra si viagra sildenafil for severe lymphatic malformations do u buy nolvadex amoxicillin cost in hyderabad soft pill viagra drugs similar to viagra generic lexapro thailand levitra wibw nl buy lipitor online uk when is best time to use viagra how much acyclovir for oral herpes viagra liquid form for sale clomiphene online europe can i take 15 mg of cialis viagra in morocc find viagra edinburgh pages search charles viagra like offers viagra oil buy viagra tablets sale in sydney buy viagra substitutes in tampa how long does viagra works for ejuculation what happens if you chew up cialis very very cheap viagra tablets cialis bathtub face alli diet pill xenical does 4 mg prednisone work for swelling paracetamol com viagra tadalafil adcirca can i buy xenical over the counter in venezuela masterbation viagra cream gel buy vardenafil in thailand off brand viagra walgreens buy viagra online in india cash on delivery simply weight loss diet pill whats the difference in the strengths of levitra hpw excpensive is cialis blue gel viagra ketoconazole how supplied cialis and the prostate does viagra cause birth defects 3 month medco cialis cost zovirax cream does it work does propecion work as good as propecia how many grams of azithromycin for a loading dose buy vardenafil belgium is it legal to import generic viagra to canada levitra for premature ejaculation can you buy amoxicillin over the counter in new zealand where to get sildenafil in south africa tadalafil webmd zithromax oral suspension prescription viagra the weekender tablets and jells price list viagra sample for women cialis laays 3 days cialis houston texas xenical price philippines mercury drug tadalafil round tabs from india comparison diet pill buy viagra online org uk shopping cart levitra covered aetna do you orgasm on viagra and stay hard viagra pay discover dostinex and viagra togerther atrial fibrilation and viagra propecia vorderkopf viagra on line us ayurvedic viagra in india ketoconazole pills for acne neurontin dose anxiety buy deltasone prednisone how long can you go on cialis viagra gel buy on line weight training on viagra cialis, kroger pharmacy tadalafil schwangerschaft celexa yaz drug interactions viagra price in the streets sildenafil for pulmonary hypertention sirius xm viagra commercial forum can i take cialis with pacerone how long does flushing last cialis natural viagra seed phenergan urine drug test what are flagyl pills does xenical caps work 365 viagra generic viagra legal canada viagra health effects viagra in istanbul cost zovirax shingles loading dose where to buy amoxil without prescriptions in toronto will viagra help keep me hard after viagra trong tu nhien where can i buy propecia in philippines tadalafil spain 5 mg otc mens personal experiences cialis viagra buy durban regular viagra price should i take 2 5mg cialis natural alternatives of viagra ever hear of cialis super active zithromax 1 gram online canada order generic viagra online using mastercard less side effects levitra or viagra strattera accidental overdose viagra prostate cancer order viagra to malaysia viagra birthday phenergan with codeine how supplied diflucan one dose yeast is viagra cheaper at costco cialis presentaciones how safe are herbal viagra que efectos produce la viagra can i take two 20 mg levitras priligy cost viagra 120 mg extra strong finasteride can be taken with cialis same time staxyn levitra what does viagra treat sildenafil soft tabs in uk african american cialis commercials buy real azithromycin online viagra from canada pharmacy viagra on line from tesco cost lisinopril without insurance is it ok to take viagra while on celexa albuterol oral corticosteroids viagra and trimix party on cialis bactrim drug interactions warfarin can i take 2 5 mg cialis a day buy bupropion generic levitra without a prescription cialis powder form how does viagra work blood flow buy azithromycin no prescription online albuterol sale celebrex go generic when propecia generic us what happens if i take prednisone 5mg for 3 days dr reddy generic viagra can you buy levitra jeiiy buying viagra for men buy flagyl boots zithromax z pak average cost clopidogrel 75 mg tab generic retail price is atorvasatin and lisinopril generic can you take cialis with ambien can i take viagra with ramipril and cialis online low italy buy adcirca instead of cialis on sildenafil citrate how to maximize cialis forum levitra blood sugar lexapro drug problems where can i get generic viagra in toronto vardenafil radical prostatectomy generic valtrex not effective on line perscription for viagra eyes still red the day after viagra viagra online purchase does viagra works for premature Buy vardenafil Free Insurance super levitra force can we buy viagra in switzerland cialis in france article is cialis for daily use covered by medicare my wife is happy i took professional cialis cialis how made german pharmacies levitra sildenafil oral film phenergan with codeine pills safe place to buy kamagra ask.com best place to buy viagra online prostate cancer and cialis can i take viagra into norway anything for girls viagra albuterol liquid vials sales effective dose of bupropion viagra indian aunty viagra online thailand viagra for men sale in coimbatore levitra pricing cvs buying cialis while i am in germany how long till lamisil is out of your system zithromax online fast discount viagra offers can i take four of the 5 mg tablets of cialis is it safe to take viagra before flying do you lose an eraction after ejaculation using viagra does medicare rx pay for viagra viagra seller in pattaya taking caffeine with viagra most effective time levitra how much are viagra pills each paxil dose for dogs no erection even with viagra is it safe to take cialis while on vicodin canadian drug store for levitra tadalafil caused me to fail my drug test kamagra oral jelly shoppers drugmart terbinafine immunosuppressive drug when is best time to take my viagra where can buy kamagra in india can i take paracetamol for a viagra headache lyrica and cialis buy zithromax with no prescription does adderall xr interact with cialis generic prescription cymbalta buy tamoxifen uk finasteride seoul prescription cost viagraonlineinindia viagra in.karachi 5mg of cialis doesnt seem to be enough how we make very powerful viagra at home viagra drug name how much dose viagra cost n were tadalafil off label uses buy viagra nyc will the doctor prescribe cialis searchviagra will cialis lose effect were to buy terbinafine tablets cialispillswhat do they look like viagra in chisinau cialis help you reach orgasm plavix 75 mg buy online viagra rate in indian rupees free sample of viagra pill does health reform cover viagra viagraextra lamisil cialis interaction lady viagra india how long do viagra pills last after the botle is opened extenze v viagra cost of doxycycline walgreens amoxicillin pets no prescription maxalt order online maxalt every day cialis.ebay.de lexapro vs. generic lexapro can i take 2 cialis pill 5mg texas vardenafil levitra celecoxib drug viagradel in 24rs to uk cuanto cuesta el viagra 5omg x 10 tab should i be adeaid to tske cialis is viagra served over the counter in sydney a film trump card viagra cialis pills levitra generic viagra sildenafil or viagara gabapentin does not work cialis vs daily cialis can viagra be sued every day ricky takes viagra diet pills hoodia cactus hoodia cactus hoodia extract where to buy clomiphene pct what does tadalafil come from women viagra in india for fucking cialis and muscle building cialis price at tesco experiemce with viagra buy australian viagra viagra pfizer 100 prednisone dosage 3 day viagra alternatief side effects hes taking viagra can i buy viagra at wallgreens terbinafine generic target cialis lawyers fda approves new diet pill where to buy cialis over the counter in lahore viagra spray for men kamagra does it work on women caverject y viagra junto r viagra safe for teenagers us cialis online pharmacy can cocaine mixed with viagra cause a severe headache viagra pressure present buy generic viagra online india can i put cialis up by backside azithromycin pill identification lexapro prescription value at target cialis feminino motorcycle in viagra comercial whats the ingredients in cialis i need my doctor to prescribe me cialis cialis hangkong natural hoodia diet pills phentramine cvs minute clinic cialis levitra uk online buying cialis in dubai signs that a man is using viagra viagra drink slipped post orgasasm erection on viagra using cialis not always sucessfully make a viagra xenical orlistat in mercury drug lamisil oral safe producer of viagra levitra orodispersibleuk tadalafil is it dangerous buy lipitor thief of memory cipro quickly does work quick does zyprexa work antidepressants cost viagra for men in kuwait viagra gabapentin tableta cialis bratislava viagra viagra online quick delivery queensland viagra sales country statistics viagra in thailand illegal cual generico adalat oros best diet loss pill weight cialis side effects on heart cialis delivery 24 hours nolvadex tamoxifen sell sale offer how to order cipro how viagra is prescribed metronidazole injection dose can you mix viagra and daily cialis together can i buy kamagra in bali finasteride cheap pharmacy online if you masturbate before taking viagra viagra mailing list signup buy viagra in norway viagracial1s how long does the diflucan pill take to work xenical online no prescription australia xenical how much fat does kwikmed viagra work cialis 20mg south africa will viagra hurt my dog propecia require prescription doxycycline 3 days cialis walmart oc medco requires doctors cialis when generic plavix is bad viagra type tablets viagra and cialis do not working arginine and levitra together top quality viagra online should i take viagra my marriage night what is the shelf life for flagyl 500 mg capsules viagra from pfizer for women do we get cialis at matas generic avodart usa erassin sildenafilo english is metformin during pregnancy safe generic cialis nosebleed cialis insurance cost cialis inability to ejaculate cheap cialis sales generic cialis vs brand name cialis can i take a double dose viagra do i need medical prescription for viagra viagra bekommen viagra coldrink for women cialis soft tabs pakistan recomended dose of metronidazole for yeast infection sildenafil other names cost of viagra without insurance. where can u buy viagra from canada oral jelly levitra what is black cialis what dosage of diflucan will cure ringworm fast pace diet pills i need bactrim without prescription cialis daily how much how long is strattera treatment is forever cialis without a prescription from lily where to buy non prescription ciprofloxacin viagra in dubai forum viagra c o d viagra in college cialis resim what is viagra condom price of viagra in perth mad mex viagra zovirax order canada viagra pharmacies vancouver canada steps to be followed while taking viagra response to ddmac viagra cialis massachusetts diet pill x diflucan athletes foot dose viagra over the counter in usa cialis i viagra u srbiji get viagra little blue pill can you take cialis and cocaine viagra vrij verkrijgbaar flowmax viagra is orlistat a prescription medication viagra buying in mexico zyprexa drug levels nifedipineviagra viagra the real thing having low pressure and taking viagra where can i buy viagra in bangkok combine horny goat weed and viagra where to buy cialis in india ammonia egg viagra do i need a perscription for cialis in singapore what is the specialist that deals with pancreas generic viagra levitra and tadalafil what mg of lexapro works if a man takes viagra does he come sildenafil controlled substance whow often do you take 5mg. cialis panvel viagra how mnuch are the viagra pills birthday viagra cards how much is levitra at walmart free prescription for levitra viagra top gear terbinafine pills walmart sale viagra liquid clomid to buy no prescription using viagra and levitra together how to have viagra in new zealand how much propecia gets into sperm other proven enhancers like viagra cialis 5mg pricing at walmart how to get a subscribtion for viagra is levitra as good as cialis depoxatine with cialis online viagra 21 anni lexapro generic looks like albuterol inhaler generic equivalent isentress viagra 10 minute viagra approved by fda viagra extense natural alternative for cialis whats viagra made of viagra ohne rezept paysafecard cialisnotworking generico do viagra rj ciprofloxacin hcl 500mg cost flushing with levitra when to take generic lexapro viagra malaysia guardian big fun sildenafil citrate result after 8 months propecia and rogaine how long is the erection with levitra what can i expect if my husband takes viagra does levitra work all the time how much does lisinopril hct2 cost at cvs how to buy viagra london canviagradelayejaculation can you get levitra to put under your tongue is cipla viagra review reaction au cialis diet pills online cheap fast cialis available in multan valtrex no prescription overnight cialis generic sydney generic viagra and online pharmacies can i use cialis to lower my blood pressure how long does tadalafil tablet work where is available viagra in kuwait good review kamagra sale istanbul customs can i bring viagra vacuum pump with cialis viagra online safe what happens when you take 2 cialis at same time flomax generic image sildenafil benign prostatic hyperplasia zithromax buy chlamydia facecialis in los angeles how long is it safe to take doxycycline does cialis have nitric oxide adderall diet pills nexium to buy in usa cialis gel orgasams on viagra 1 diet number pill lisinopril and nexium drug interactions free shipping generic cialis cialis adderall danger viagra pharmacy online review viagra zerkauen how long till cialis starts to work viagra at sams club pharmacy how long on clomid pct how well does 1 mg propecia work viagra availability and cost in india kerala famvir buy uk naviagra how long will erection last on cialis how can i buy amoxicillin in uae going to the doctor to get cialis cialisin tadalafil do cialis work levofloxacin how to take cialis two safe how long before lamisil cream starts working viagra super powers

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