buy nexium online in tablet formulation fluconazole how quick what will happen if you give your dog viagra surgery when to stop viagra know furosemide working best place online to buy proviron and nolvadex diflucan dose for esophagitis import rules for viagra to brussels viagra prepared the herbal levitran sale what make cialis viagra vs lip levitra dosage vrs viagra bupropion weight loss how much how do concerta and strattera interactions tics generic name of doxycycline eye drop buy celebrex discount harga viagra johor 2.5mg cialis viagra cant orgasm viagra 25mg boots warfarin is it safe viagra cialis remedies unicure can i take 2 cialis 5mg sildenafil working how many viagra can take one night viagra sold in glasgow prostate cancer and viagra cialis symptoms cialis cmax how much does cialis cost with blue shield usual dose of bactrim for uti bactrim missed dose what happens if you take levitra with cialis cialis drug drug levitra pharmacist prescription is lexapro a safe drug can i take 2 5mg daily cialis pills at a time viagram prices at costco buy tadalafil using paypal costco generic diflucan can you have multiple organsms with viagra experience viagra online tadalafil walgreens hvad koster viagra i thailand cialis erection secret what does levitra do to blood pressure singulair vs generic tadalafil buy online hong kong know if valtrex working what can you take besides viagra cialis no prescription in greensboro nc sildenafil vaginal administration side effects how soon does daily cialis take effect viagra with blue cross blue shield massachusetts what are the two herbs that act like viagra alternative to viagra for men nifedipine pill identification bupropion sr how to take it what does viagra rash look like does viagra keep you hard after cuming azithromycin dose dental abscess fda diet pill warning what mg of zithromax cures chlamydia in one dose how much do tesco charge for cialis local stores that sell viagra in red deer cialis en alchool where can i watch levitra commercials customer reviews of online clomid viagra and orgasm i have hep c is it safe for me to take cialis rush limbaugh cialis dominican republic how long sildenafil again do girl like boys after taking viagra will 5 mg dose of escitalopram cause weight gain blood on sperm after cialis viagra price in saudi arabia ilegal cialis viagra prescription rx can you give a dog cialis viagra cannot come ejaculate cymbalta withdrawal how long will it last sildenafil preparation in levitra and surgery is it safe to buy viagra online answer where we get viagra in hyderabad tramadol zithromax carisoprodol buy cialis levitra soft tabs online slovakia viagra cipro didnt work if miss dose cymbalta how much is viagra prescription cipro xr drug interactions viagra not offs propecia superdrug how long erection last with viagra normally can i take levitra if im only 14 viagra online from asda hairy viagra indian diflucan costs viagra makes me cum faster can you buy propecia without a prescription montelukast sodium safe for 11 month old baby a sample drug monograph for lexapro blood brain barrier viagra no refractory period viagra tabete cialis medical stores contain viagra in lahore cialis cost cvs walgreens walmart kamagra tablets next day delivery uk viagra spray all cialis drugstore in malaysia evolucion ventas viagra viagra does almond alternative to viagra where can i buy viagra in norway buy clopidogrel online vardenafil chemical properties zithromax cost insurance diet pills in new zealand viagra ny gag viagra prescription labels sloveniacialis prag viagra cialis what happens if one takes viagra best price online buy clopidogrel 75 mg olanzapine drug interactions natural womens viagra easy dissolve cialis comprar viagra zona oeste cost walmart viagra what happens if health men take viagra export of sildenafil to thailand lamisil once breastfeeding safety wal mart cost of viagra flagyl 1 day buying viagra in austrailia purchase amoxicillin for cats liquid levitra for muscle gain interaction cialis sudafed how long to recover from doxycycline side effects 80mg generic lipitor dosage wellbutrin and panic disorder marijuana and cialis dangerous sildenafil generico how many viagras in a box viagra meaning viagra pharmacie luxembourg cialis otc medicines sildenafil in india buying cialis paypal from where do i can get viagra in lahore every cialis commercial ever real viagra cost is there real viagra without a prescription cialis time it takes effect gold viagra in pakistan silden buy flagyl reviews best generic viagra online how safe is cialis for older men will viagra help if youre really nervous cheapest cialis price online cipla viagra for women zithromax for men buy what viagra do for a man makanan yang mengandung sildenafil citrate adalah is it possible for cialis not to work all the time viagra commercials with president how long does one viagra tablet last zithromax buy online yahoo malaysia cialis prednisone eye drops drug interactions how many minute works viagra what kind of dr to see for viagra wellbutrin generic costco prescription for viagrakaiser will taking cialis be infertile lamisil wont work scene show after taking viagra can fuck combine viagra and levitra zithromax azithromycin generic what is cialis and generic cialis viagra erection after wjaculation what happends if you mixviagra with other pills cipralexviagra pill identifier for off labeled viagra cialis price cvc propecia buy europe belgium lisinopril hctz how supplied difference between probido and viagra fluconazole single dose tablet and birth control cialis 5 mg 28 tablets viagra alcohol viagra do erections continue past ejaculation generic cialis canada pay using paypal or paypal echeck is lasix water pills bad for dogs sildenafil over the counter cvs over the counter generic amoxicillin in store baclofen pill identifier how do you hide viagra blush if i take viagra once will it be bad clomid 50 mg for men buy viagra efekti saj los efectos de viagra facial weight gain zyprexa how propecia works women how much does levitra 20 mg cost at walmart viagrapeak b finasteride 5mg generic where to buy viagra buenos aires viagra capsules for men price in india septran ds dose valacyclovir mega dose wheres gone what is zyprexa zydis pifzer companys viagra tablets in chennai natural equivalent ingredient in levitra asking doctor for viagra cost of cialis 5 mg daily use diet pills fat loss cialis increases libido cialis cost 2.5 mg whats the difference between viagra and levitra cialis time to start can cialis make delay in orgasm cialis ads women actors viagra made me light headed celexa obsessive compulsive disorder can i buy amoxicillin online australia price of viagra condom in mumbai how to get cialisis over the counter tamsulosin cost viagra natural para mujeres control bp with viagra 5 cent pill that is better than viagra can viagra be taken while on blood thinners viagra online message board viagra what can i expect old man taking viagra order paxil paroxetine japanese viagra price will cvs provide free samples of viagra how long of a wait cialis viagra pamphlet mailing what can i do to replace cialis how much for viagra south africa tadalafil viagra anyone used viagra viapro and viagra zenerx and cialis xnxx viagra overdose fun cialis for circulation cialis generic fast why levitra not working generic cipla cialis calcio 5 viagrande cialis doses available why do antidepressant take weeks to work lexapro prices costco whats a good combination with cialis sildenafil citrate usp grade in hyderabad cialis con paypal cheap furosemide no prescription how well has propecia worked for you viagra pharmacy online viagra sale free shipping cilia cialis australia azithromycin dose pack cialis websites prednisone dose pack natural form is pfizer viagra good herbal viagra does it work asda sildenafil citrate commande cialis payement paypal what is cost of viagra at nj cvs store prednisone dose taper pack antidepressant in pregnancy safe if i take levitra can i drink wine viagra mtf cialis 5mg at walmart acyclovir cream buy in singapore vigra and cialis propecia online la cialis shop romania natural viagra shqip is it safe to take viagra and cialis at the same time mailing address for viagra singulair side effects back ache and viagra success of cialis cialis speeds women adderall cialis or viagra can i take viagra if i stop taking statins is viagra safe with lisinopril sample letter of appeal for cialis when will cialis go generic sildenafil black box warning cara menggunakan cialis do you need to talk to a doctor to get viagra levitra trying to get pregnant viagra product page never had viagra wondering paypal sublingual cialis walmart cost cialis viagra et alprazolam revieuws vardenafil can i take levitra with effexor viagra email marketing list placebo fake cialis where to buy nolvadex steroid in delhi viagra building in canada el viagra como funciona rebates for viagra not horny viagra cialis cene u srbiji whats the best weight lost diet pills how long do side effects of fluconazole last otc viagra in south africa how long is going to last my erection if i use viagra how does viagra affect orgasm how soon after prostate surgery should you take cialis viagra for pulmanary buy flagyl use paypal cialis less effect where can i buy the diet pill fen phen will viagra prices go down cialis commercial tent does cialis and tylenol mix will levitra help a woman to orgasm vardenafil off patent lisinopril accidental double dose maximum cialis dosage teen taking levitra and extenze together buy viagra online in the uk using paypal productssimilartoviagra cialis single pill price diet pills w ephedra and hoodia whats the differance between viagra and extense how often one can use viagra can you buy levitra online viagrac20 generic viagra suppliers india adderall vs cialis what is viagra and its function how long in advance do i take viagra strongest viagra holland and barrett half cialis half viagra does clomid for men work is it safe t take levitra and ibiprofan any legit sites to order viagra where can you buy albuterol inhalers cual es mejor viagra o levitra can i buy viagra i pharmacy in bells corners do cialis 5mg works buy nolvadex with credit card buy viagra from romania tadalafil best prices celexa best time of day to take it how much are antibiotics in stop and shop is it bad to be drunk on viagra diet pill buy hoodia buy hoodia hoodia weight loss diet cipro otic cost without insurance where can i buy amoxicillin uk reviews of female tadalafil heart shaped levitra blood urine comprar viagra online uruguay where can i buy viagra in thane buy online viagra in india female viagra where can i buy them in johannesburg mixing viagra with cialis do i need a script for levitra nexium weight gain drug online no prescription phone number zithromax alli diet pills levitra help get pregnant levitra online from india viagra sums club nexium how much is the coast viagra we are the champions order nolvadex and hcg online no prescription soft cialis india how long did your insomnia last on lexapro zoloft withdrawal. what to do xenical diet pills us how much doe viagra cost canibuyviagrawithpaypal any natural herbs work as good as viagra womens viagra uk next day delivery can cialis be purchased in mexico time by viagra counterfeit viagra dangers over dose de cialis genuine cialis brand what dosage of viagra should i take first time viagra by cipla in india what is amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium 875 mg is finasteride safe to take with levitra how long does the effect of kamagra last how to get viagra through your system are you able to ejaculate on cialis bactrim syrup dose viagra nothing happend zentiva sildenafil viagrande cialis and mdma safe generic finasteride work buy best diet pill what is viagra and how does it work in uradu youtube watermelon rind like viagra cialis and stuffy nose valium viagra og price pills viagra ciprofloxacin ibuprofen drug interactions does viagra inhibit orgam boots viagra sales cialis 5 mg cost canada viagra gel sachets takes forever to ejaculate on viagra viagra pills what are for purchase merek propecia topiramate long does take work what does singulair pill look like taking lexapro for social anxiety orlistat for sale tomar levitra junto con duodart how much does metronidazole cost without insurance cialis versus viagra reviews heart flutter feeling after taking generic plavix lamisil1 wallmart where to buy viagra i dubai cialis with blood pressure cialis for daily use can if you combine viagra with cialis does cialis help urinary flow in men sertraline obsessive compulsive disorder tadalafil supplier india cost of cialis medication at walmart clomiphene citrate sale ok to use viagra with benazepril directorio 625 viagra maryland cialis meltabs is it safe to drink beer after albuterol canadian pharmacy generic cialis 2.5 mg how much mg can a four year old take of.amoxicillin cost of prednisone for elderly dog tamsulosin sildenafil interaction generic flagyl available flagyl ordering dose viagra, over seas on counter similar viagra rualis professional cialis what happens if you crush a viagra and take it is valacyclovir a sulfa drug lexapro drug anxiety generic levitra low cost viagra hu what is azithromycin pwd packet used for can you take cialis and extenze at the same time united health care viagra covered diet fastin pill cialis o tadalafil viagra can u cum and keep going cialis available in ksa generic viagra said strattera buy online uk tamoxifen generic how many levitra can be taken in one day what is the singulair dosage for 17 year olds order cialis greece viagra for men under 30 shops in hongkong what do i tell my doctor to get viagra can you take cialis while taking azithromycin cialisnedir levitra tumore cialis katar buy cialis in china safely buy cialis direct from mexico stuffiness viagra atomoxetine how does it work lexapro generic retail price buy viagra with premature ejactulation online can we take viagra after first round viagra and warafin where do we get viagra in pune drug metronidazole side effect and contraindications when will a doctor prescribe for viagra misoprostol cost viagra cena apoteka where yo buy cialis in beijing can a young guy take cialis straff bud for importering viagra til norge buy zithromax in korea what is the average price of cialis at walmart buy albuterol inhaler cfc where i can buy bactrim tablet 400mg in hongkong superdosagem de viagra 100 viagra cost per pill cvs soma cialis will cialis make me fail a drug test what happens when a woman takeskamagra can viagra bought directly in germany no insurance cost of cialis pfizer viagra female

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.