azithromycin 1 gram buy online viagra galleries can walk in clinics in canada prescribe viagra viagra netherlands over the counter is cialis copy save cialis bali over the counter if miss dose sertraline viagra copay uk pfizer viagra without prescription is cialis better than niterider viagra main ingredients stay off propecia for how long mom helps son on viagra where to get propecia for cheap my dr. says no to viagra tadalafil brand in dubai is metronidazole safe for pregnant dogs medicare viagra covered diet hoodia pill review current cialis commercials can levitra prolong an viagra origin tadalafilli tadalafil gmp lamisil 14 days how effective are split viagra red viagra en ucuz manchester viagra adresses of places to purchase clomid in nigeria cost of amoxil tablets canada do valtrex work when will the cost change after viagra goes genaric wellbutrin with viagra lexapro contraindicated bipolar disorder biotest diet pill best prices generic cialis super active cialis bruxelles magasin i want to be in a cialis commercial amoxicillin 10 pills online viagra tabet medicine in chennai sta kosta cialis u beogradu hvad er sildenafil over night shipping for viagra can i have viagra in dubai manufacturing costs of lisinopril viagra buy price viagra 11 jpg amoxicillin online overnight forum beat mexican viagra is it safe to take cialis on how can iget viagra in northern ireland cialis impacting sperm diovan hct cialis interaction seroquel xr max dose buying amoxicillin in spain is it safe to use viagra after a triple bypass where can i doxycycline hyclate from uk cost of cialis in argentina cheap generi cviagra india local stockist of generic viagra take 20 mg and 5mg cialis how can i get viagra pills in india can i take cialis and antibiotics doxycyclin viagra in the morning buy flagyl over the counter viagra 150 mg results order sertraline zoloft will more than 25 mg of vardenafil hurt you can you sustain erection with viagra levitra dosing instructions teatment of tacchycardia after use of viagra viagras head office in toronto address how much is levitra in canadacanada where can i buy cialis or viagra online buy doxycycline injection price compare levitra cialis best online forum post weeks how long will a cialis erection last viagra sales turn over viagra see blue viagra overnight shipping united states cialis with viagra dengan bir went viagra prednisone copd exacerbation dose cialis daily use for sale lisinopril ibuprofen drug interactions where can i order azithromycin contraindications of sildenafil andros what happens whwn you come on viagra lisinopril generic zestril tadalafil 5mg instruction how to use are there any diet pills that actually work tadalafil may treat good generic viagra prednisone 5 mg 6 day pack directions cialis woman em gotas viagra dose forum effect of viagra generic flagyl for dogs cialist tv commercial actor long term dangers of levitra does cialis increase stamina how to make cialis everyday work like the 36 hour pill cialis with extenze how often can i have cialis seroquel during the day viagra causes aggression what can i take instead of nolva and clomid does old viagra lose its potency viagra or extenze cialis daily or 36hr whats better caverject and cialis buy amoxicillin clavulanic paypal 500 in india masterbation after using cialis nolvadex buy over counter viagra makes girls horny proscar drug interactions where we can both viagra in philippines buy lamisil nz are terbinafine tablets safe viagra blood vessels levitra vs ciprofloxacino cost of bupropion hydrochloride cialis paysafe what strengths does cialis come in longer erection how does viagra make you go blind atorvastatin tabs 10mg cost walgreens viagra in africa can toy buy nolvadex without prescription is it legal to buy clomid online in the usa tadalafil tablets why we take this tablets. what age should you start cialis will viagra or cialis make dick harder low price generic cialis from india rat found in viagra box ciprodex dose ear infection birth control pill cialis for daily use effective safe vardenafil online levitra professional uk sales viagra customs thailand liquid viagra shot viagra in kual lumpur viagra giant eagle viagra 1 day shipping wellbutrin blue pill safe take viagra before surgery cialis dosage for men what does lisinopril hctz look like propranolol anxiety maximum dose lexapro dosage per day over the counter weight loss pills in the philippines lamisil spray pump for sale levitra claritin can u take 2 levitra buy cheap kamagra online pay with paypal do orlistat pills cause joint pain uk generic liquid syrup amoxil buy levitra medication does mixing cocaine and viagra make you horny can you use cialis and viagra the same day cialis superactive review levitra urinanalys yellow tablets same has viagra extasy and viagra walmart lamisil cost what to do when viagra lets you down if viagra works for you will cialis walgreens cialis substitute synthroid aspirin drug interactions how to make homemade propecia how soon does levitra work can you build a tolerance to cialis i took a viagra and nothing is happening where to buy clomid in kenya chemists cialis sspain buy does tadalafil tablets work does insurance cover viagra drugs can you buy amoxilin at boots uk viagra buy local cheap viagra europe viagra brands in india for women cialis plus marijuana wellbutrin as a street drug prague buy viagra buy ciprodex otic suspension what happens tak viagra where can i buy zithromax syrup 400mg buylevitraonline generic flomax available us clomid day 35 propecia finasteride generic viagra europe germany is there any long term side effects for viagra how long before side effects for celebrex take best fat burner diet pill cialis brand no prescription dose of sildenafil in pulmonary hypertension should i try cialis for fun can you buy cialis without a script escitalopram 30mg daily dose l arginine and viagra together bottle of viagra gag gifts buy zovirax with no prescription famciclovir dose zoster can you take sildenafil anally aftermarketcialis silagra viagra bratislava levitra is it difficult to ejeculate after taking viagra exilis diet pill reviews why would amanda without ed use cialis teenanger uses of cialis what to expect after a week of cialis cialis 5mg shelf life how long does cialis stay good for order lasix cheap mis viagra azithromycin online canadian what happens to outdated viagra branded levitra buy unprescribed clomid with paypal where to buy cialis in canada forum does 40mg of levitra work better than 20mg clomid doses average retail price for viagra viagra which strength does doxycycline for acne work can you buy once a day cialis without a prescription where can i buy albuterol pills without prescripton cialis aangeboden how long does po diflucan stay in your system what is po.lasix is gud for buy dapoxetine singapore anyone in malaysia sells viagra pancreatitis viagra buy nolvadex viagra online australia phenergan safety kamagra oral jelly for sale in durban south africa fucking wife after taking cialis safe prednisone dosage for fungal infection viagra france livraison viagra buying in mexico diet pills to lose weight fast us over the counter viagra cialis tumour get viagra from canada side effects from taking viagra cialis a day review lipitor generic recall lots what us the normal dose range for cialis does cialis cause nasal congestion how long until side effects of propecia go away can i take cialis through customs viagra generic alternatives crawley chemists viagra where to buy tamoxifen in manila viagra buy cialis after taking viagra can take food flucanozole birth control pill best way to ask my doctor for viagra viagra para 21 anos using cialis when trying to get pregnant generic orlistat in brasilien women taking mens cialis chinesse slimming pills similar to orlistat cialis cost australia wich store can i find viagra in nashville tn where can i buy viagra in australia cheapest cialis review common age to begin taking viagra cialis on paypal santo domingo il viagra buy amoxicillin for cats in britain is there a place to purchase levitra in brussels viagra had office toronto viagra canada health nizoral where to buy canada yes generic viagra from india is safe hollande cialis cialis e s.s.n buying viagra in australia does viagra go down after ejaculate why is metronidazole prescription only for dogs how to make type of viagra out of household items fast can i get viagra cialis softsules who many viagra per day men who take levitra can i take generic viagra with regular viagra xenical pills desogen generic for aspirin cialis getting pregnant when man is on viagra price for mexican viagra in cozumel what happens if you took two viagra pills a day does cialis loose effect with each erection is viagra cheaper with express scripts drugs sfx paxil side effects lexapro generic dosing price of tadalafil in bangkok how much do boots charge for viagra how long cialis last viagra in dom rep lexapro order can you buy xenical in south africa buying viagra in amsterdam online septra pediatric suspension price for plavix at costco how to legally get viagra pure super viagra for sale gabapentin safe dose will 5 mg cialis address ed does viagra help with multiple lexapro pregnancy safety buy metronidazole for pericoronitis cialis for low testosterone how long before young adults taking viagra how i get viagra in kerala how long does viagra take to leave system what is the cost of viagra from shoppers drug mart how is viagra delivered fedex viagra overnight how long until diflucan starts working for oral thrush viagra over the counter walk in minn fluconazole dose dog cialis in newfoundland does propecia work on the front o are there over the counter viagra faq diabetes and cialis buy generic viagra paypal levitra 5 mg cost where can a minor buy viagra clomid aventis without prescription generic high dose viagra in india can you buy viagra over the counter in philippines my cialis is two years old i just quitt finasteride after 2 days gabapentin drug dosage first commercial viagra buy viagra in negril jamaica square cialis diet fen fen pill program original viagra holland orgasim taking levitra qualitest 5mg prednisone dose pack directions what to do when you cant afford viagra other name for viagra in pakistan will cialis make me a stud in bed buy proventil puffer can viagra make a man come faster levitra nl online generic cialis time it takes effect can you get a gertin for cialis cialis super aktiv 20 mg if i take adderall and cialis will fuck a long time how to make viagra by water generic viagra urdu half the dose of propecia shilajit viagra price can i buy lisinopril 5 mg without a prescription will cialis make me longer safe online levitra can you crush up cialis chewable viagra instructions cialis brand price 5mg order prednisone 5 for cat without prescription from where i can buy viagra in nz i am really tired will levitra work for me what is montelukast sod cialis madso lexapro generic side effects jittery lipitor every other day super viagra active does cialis make penus larger viagra costs in india waht if you take two cialis by mistake generic flagyl gel viagra ots alternative how does cialis effect orgasm does cialis help people not to orgasm quickly what is the cost of viagra in cozumel mexico how much does fluconazole cost in nigeria generic viagra overnight us is generic viagra illegal in california is viagra safe with valium viagra for fuck genericsupercialis pro air albuterol sale how long does cialis 5mg last for you buy propecia generic finasteride cialis 8 tablet propecia how young damaging effects of secretly taking viagra will ciprodex work after expiration date cialis and flush face know if celexa not working cialis distributor in phillippines viagra lawsuits that have been settled anyone buy clomid in mexico not online viagra price in pakistani rite aid viagra price indian viagra manly amlodipine besylate levitra my doctor prescribe viagra vardenafil brand name in india albuterol liquid sale australia where i get pfizer viagra in delhi vegetal viagra for men actors cialis packets levitra ersten mal does insurance cover viagra drugs lexapro price in costco buy amoxicillin germany is viagra available over the counter in switzerland what will happen if i take 40mg cialis buy flagyl reviews viagra online pharmacy no prescription levitra life where to get viagra in houston tx 100g viagra to buy what is the cost of cialis in nz how if viagra for women where in the uk can i buy spry viagra buy zithromax online canada how quickly does orlistat work what does viagra increase viagra or other remedy what is best bactrim ds without a prescription kamagra to buy over the counter in melbourne what happens if u spoke somme one with viagra are online viagra legit how soon tadalafil does viagra make it too hard cialis 2.5mg uk price how to make viagra melon with lemon fluconazole and levitra cialis costs 5mg of prescription diet pills does viagra keep erection can you get viagra in milwaukee if your under age doxycycline esophagitis pill best diet pill out physical reactions to female viagra india oversight pharmaceuticals exports viagra buy premarin 1.25 no prescription bringing viagra into australia from manila why wont blue cross cover more than 12 cialis at a time what is negative effect of viagra sciences po viagra buy furosemide in usa costco sildenafil prices closest thing to prescription viagra dapoxetine review org viagra is tadalafil india safe cialis from mumbai cheap generic plavix free shipping generic viagra cos gold viagra hong lipitor going generic in ireland how to recognize real viagra can you buy viagra over the counter in melbourne cialis look alike cialis sviden nolvadex for men for sale buy viagra in edmonton canada planet viagra ying viagra occasional use what is the medicine named flagyl is used for buy brand levitra in australia how much is daily use cialis doxycycline on backorder how much is kamagra in egypt cipralex cialis can viagra also prevent premature ejaculation where to buy kamagra in sydney viagra allow to recover fast can i buy viagra on craigslist yahoo answers viagra how many times a day safe to take does viagra loose effectivness after a yr cialis izmir en ucuz what is the indian price of one tablet of viagra cialis how doesn does it last can i take clyndamycin with cialis buy lamisil antifungal cream when will albuterol go generic does cialis make come more buying viagra on line in the uk muscle pain with cialis cialis patent bis chewable viagra usage amoxicillin suspension pediatric dose ccialis online shop fraud montelukast sodium is used for what doses of diflucan while breastfeeding best generic tadalafil manufacturer how long do i stay off nitrates before taking cialis sildenafil climax viagra aus

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