Review: Risen

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Review: Risen

This could have been a really awesome game ... if it were still 2002.

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The graphics aren't THAT bad, you really are exagerrating a bit there. However, what is bad is that the game has trouble running on a machine that plays Crysis due to a poorly coded engine and the use of PhysX.

Beyond that, while the points in the review ARE technically true, it's not as bad as it sounds. The timing based combat does take a bit to get used to, but it also means that once you get a handle on it you can face enemies beyond your level. Granted, it also means a porcupine is going to rape you if you suck at it.

Overall, it just feels like the game simply didn't sit well with you and you haven't given it a fair chance. I've had that with some games such as Burnout: Paradise and proceeded to dismiss them after barely scratching the surface. However, I don't write reviews for a serious gaming site.

There's plenty to like and dislike about Risen, it's just that this review never gets to any of that stuff. This is more like a "First look at Risen"...

Hmm, well I completely disagree with this review. I finished Risen yesterday and I loved every moment of it. Comparing Risen's graphics to a 2004 game? Spoken like a true graphics whore.
Combat works great when you get used to it. No idea how you managed to die so much, hold down parry/block untill there's an opening and do a couple of attacks. And stay away from enemies that are obviously to hard to kill at a early stage in the game.
And agree with Jandau, this is not really a review, more of a "First look" from someone who apparently failed completely, got pissed off and went to write a "review"

Jandau:
The graphics aren't THAT bad, you really are exagerrating a bit there. However, what is bad is that the game has trouble running on a machine that plays Crysis due to a poorly coded engine and the use of PhysX.

Beyond that, while the points in the review ARE technically true, it's not as bad as it sounds. The timing based combat does take a bit to get used to, but it also means that once you get a handle on it you can face enemies beyond your level. Granted, it also means a porcupine is going to rape you if you suck at it.

Overall, it just feels like the game simply didn't sit well with you and you haven't given it a fair chance. I've had that with some games such as Burnout: Paradise and proceeded to dismiss them after barely scratching the surface. However, I don't write reviews for a serious gaming site.

There's plenty to like and dislike about Risen, it's just that this review never gets to any of that stuff. This is more like a "First look at Risen"...

Technically, no. The graphics aren't that bad, but the models and animations more than make up for them. Haven't given it a fair chance? If I played the game for an hour and shut it off, you'd be right. If I sink hours into a game and don't enjoy a single minute of it - if I try to get to the meat of the game and can't due to a poor combat engine, a rather slow beginning, and just a general lack of polish - I think that's more than a fair chance.

The combat isn't timing based; it's awkward and reaction based, and means that I spent time actively trying ways to get around playing the game as it should be - figuring out that if I dash to the side right as I end the third hit of a combo, I can start a new combo quicker, unequipping my weapons because human enemies can't recover in time to block like they can if I'm using a sword or a mace.

Warning people that they'll have to sink hours into this game to even start getting to the stuff that "might" be good is a perfectly valid conclusion.

10 hours? Really? Dude, you're not even trying. Come back when you've done at least 50 hours... it's an RPG!

Although you have, cogently, explained why I myself wouldn't buy an RPG. I mean, who has 10 hours?

I'm a big fan of the Gothic series but I have to agree with the reviewer that the model graphics and character animations are sub-standard.
The combat of Gothic-style games has always been a difficuilt point for newcomers. But I thought combat in Gothic 1 and 2 was excellent, Gothic 3 was terrible, and Risen seems to be somewhere in between.

Still, I think that most RPG fans will be able to look past the shortcomings to enjoy a deep RPG experience. And Risen only costs 38€ in Germany, which is 25% less than the usual 50€ pricetag, so I guess the devs are aware of the fact that concerning graphics, they aren't offering an AAA title.

If the game is good enough by itself than there will be patches (not neccesary official) that will fix some of texures or animations - but that's only if the game is good...

I never could get myself into the world of Gothic as it has diffren stering style than I'm used to and enjoy - it's a game in which expert player can kill monsters at least 10 lvls stronger, while someone that doesn't posses such skill will die by the jaws of beasts 10 lvls lower.

The biggest question for me would be "How much like Gothic is it?" because from what I see and hear it's not a game for me...

The best thing about the game is that you can finally have your vengeance on those goddamn wild boars.
Cookie to the person who knows what I'm talking about.

CantFaketheFunk:

Jandau:
The graphics aren't THAT bad, you really are exagerrating a bit there. However, what is bad is that the game has trouble running on a machine that plays Crysis due to a poorly coded engine and the use of PhysX.

Beyond that, while the points in the review ARE technically true, it's not as bad as it sounds. The timing based combat does take a bit to get used to, but it also means that once you get a handle on it you can face enemies beyond your level. Granted, it also means a porcupine is going to rape you if you suck at it.

Overall, it just feels like the game simply didn't sit well with you and you haven't given it a fair chance. I've had that with some games such as Burnout: Paradise and proceeded to dismiss them after barely scratching the surface. However, I don't write reviews for a serious gaming site.

There's plenty to like and dislike about Risen, it's just that this review never gets to any of that stuff. This is more like a "First look at Risen"...

Technically, no. The graphics aren't that bad, but the models and animations more than make up for them. Haven't given it a fair chance? If I played the game for an hour and shut it off, you'd be right. If I sink hours into a game and don't enjoy a single minute of it - if I try to get to the meat of the game and can't due to a poor combat engine, a rather slow beginning, and just a general lack of polish - I think that's more than a fair chance.

The combat isn't timing based; it's awkward and reaction based, and means that I spent time actively trying ways to get around playing the game as it should be - figuring out that if I dash to the side right as I end the third hit of a combo, I can start a new combo quicker, unequipping my weapons because human enemies can't recover in time to block like they can if I'm using a sword or a mace.

Warning people that they'll have to sink hours into this game to even start getting to the stuff that "might" be good is a perfectly valid conclusion.

As I said, you get to not like the game, and I agree it has its flaws. However, I was criticizing your review, not your oppinion. It's like you went out of your way to put a negative spin on everything in it.

For instance, you say how voice acting is great, writing is solid and characters are interesting, but how it's all ruined by a somewhat limited selection of arm movements during conversations. Seriously? Limited gesturing capability is enough for you to discount all the other stuff?

Combat IS timing based. You time your clicks correctly and you get faster attacks, or you get parries, or you time your dodges just when the enemy attacks so you get an opening and bash his head. If you time your clicks correctly and pull off a fast combo, more attacks will land before the enemy gets to defend. Also, it's supposed to be hard and you're supposed to get better at it as the game goes by. Your argument is that you can't pwn faces straight from the get-go...

And finally, you top it all off by saying the JUMPING was the breaking point. Really? That's what ruins a game for you? Somewhat inaccurate jumping mechanics in a game where jumping only plays a minor role? And then you say that it's also bad when the character dodges fast...

I'm not saying you have to like the game. You have an oppinion just as we all do. All I'm saying is that the review sounded nitpicky and unprofessional.

the gothic games shared many similar downfalls (including the bad jumps lol) yet were still wonderfully imersive titles that never left me bored. that said, this game does seem to fall short of gothic 3 which isnt a great sign.

ps. if u like rpgs/shooter.. get mass effect, played about 15hrs so far and LOVING EVERY BIT OF IT.

i tried the demo and i found the dialog to be forced, and not just because you cant skip it(i know the dialog is an important part of any role playing game, but sometimes i just dont need a a 2 min motivational speak to go to the next city), but its so awkwardly written, it all seemed repetitive "i will not follow you, because my legs are tired, and the fire is warm, and im cold, also my foot hurts so i will not follow you, but i might later, because i need to go to the city, because i need food, and a place to stay, and some new clothes, so leave without me", and the combat and animations truly are, well not horrible but below adequate, the female character you find on the beach really looks weird, as she is an possible love interest her breasts needs to be huge, but they just look weird, as im she putted two t shirts in her bra.

Jumping isn't that bad, compared to Oblivion and (I think) Fallout 3 ;)

Yeah, to be fair the demo made me think of Age of Conan; in a bad way. Especially the start point, washed up on a beach in a 'bleh' foresty area. Same as AoC.

I tried out the demo, and I have to agree. The combat system, to me, was quite badly implemented; i'm able to hold down parry whenever a bird hits me, but with a porcupine? I couldn't find a way of blocking any of its attacks, and resolved to hitting it whilst it took down my health.

Also, it took me about ten minutes after sitting on a damn bench to figure out how to get up again; space to sit, but both mouse-clicks to stand up again? Madness!

I was also wondering about the skill points; I looked around everywhere for something to happen with it, but got no response. A meh game, I won't be buying it.

Beat the game "for the don" the first time and tried being a mage the second time around.
After the first 5 mins I quit playing, the jumping thing got me and I imagined the rest of the game would be subpar. Boredom (and memories of Diablo) made me give it another chance.

The combat is a bit quarky at first because it's not intuitive. It doesn't flow, it is more effective to trade barrages of blows or blocks. But the reviewer is right, I did find my self trying to exploit combat (mostly by quick save/quick load). There are fights that you are not suppose to win. Like that one in the video with Alric, but there is also a mini quest to get him drunk and switch his sword with the lowest damage weapon in the game.

The game can be punishing if things are not done in order the maker intended.

The story is interesting enough to keep me going. Once you are powerful enough or mastered the combat dungeon crawling/exploration is rewarding. But the last boss seems like something out of the newest Prince of Persia.

swaki: right click advances dialog

The graphics on this looks like it was made for the Xbox, not the 360, the Xbox!

-M

Man, I wanna try this game now just to see whats up with all the complaints on combat.

Cause it sounds good in theory...doesn't require simple timing like in Assassins Creed.

My only gripe was that battles were incredibly unfair. I take something like 20 hits to kill Alric and he takes 3. With a club. A club that (for me) does 8 dmg. Come on!.

Now, I get the whole he's so much better than you thing but it wasn't like I was playing out of my league, this was strictly storyline stuff, with all the staff training available and a bunch of STR.

this game really reminds me of gothic 1&2, it's the same engine and animations and everything.

I love combat in this game, do you know why? IT IS HARD!!! You cant just pew pew! It has a steep learning curve and I think for some people that makes games bad. Well I am sorry but yes! This game may not be for you!

The Story is good, the faction system ( a little borked sure ) is fun and intuitive plus it has an awesome crafting system and environment.

I dont think the reviewer really gets this game. A true RPG player doesnt care about graphics, shit we use our imaginations to play D&D. But arm movements have blown this game for you? Really? Jumping? WTF?

Did you mention how all the quests were fun and non grindy and that the array of weapons, armor and skills leads to an obscene amount of character customization?

Lost a little respect for you today Funk. This should be retitled from review to opinion.

Risen on X360 looks like crap, while on PC it's quite good. Try it on PC then :)

Bretty:
I love combat in this game, do you know why? IT IS HARD!!! You cant just pew pew! It has a steep learning curve and I think for some people that makes games bad. Well I am sorry but yes! This game may not be for you!

The Story is good, the faction system ( a little borked sure ) is fun and intuitive plus it has an awesome crafting system and environment.

I dont think the reviewer really gets this game. A true RPG player doesnt care about graphics, shit we use our imaginations to play D&D. But arm movements have blown this game for you? Really? Jumping? WTF?

Did you mention how all the quests were fun and non grindy and that the array of weapons, armor and skills leads to an obscene amount of character customization?

Lost a little respect for you today Funk. This should be retitled from review to opinion.

Here's the thing: The video supplements are used to show things that we can't really communicate through text - hence the jumps and animation - and so... those two things in particular are not ISSUES with the game, but rather symptoms of a larger issue: The game feels sloppy. Cool ideas, lackluster implementation, and these issues of movement and graphics just make it hard to get immersed (which should be the entire point of this style of game).

The quests were cool, but I think the advancement system - obscene amount of character customization or not - was horrible. Why should I have to pay trainers in my own faction? If I wanted to explore the cool crafting, then whoops, too bad, no room for actual combat skills!

I'm all for hard, challenging combat when the game works. I'll play on the hardest mode in BlazBlue, for instance. But Risen didn't feel hard because it was a challenging game, it felt hard because the combat felt broken: Unintuitive, clunky, and awkward. That's not the good hard.

While I agree that the animations are often poor (especially during the conversations -- but what game does that well?) I definitely don't agree that this game's graphics are dated. The game looks absolutely beautiful (on a PC). Try standing on a ledge on the volcano overlooking a vast landscape while a thunderstorm is raging at night and tell me your jaw doesn't drop. Or even just seeing the sunrise or sunset filtered through a forest is pretty stunning.

And I certainly don't agree about the combat. I think the combat is pretty intense. It's challenging but it responds well to your own learning. Early on I had to avoid boars at all costs but eventually I learned some tactics for dealing with them. Of course now that my weapons and skills are better I can do more damage but without knowing how to dodge them they'd still ruin me. That's another thing about Gothic and Risen. The designers don't try too hard to corral you in where you can go. You can get just about anywhere but it's the monsters that tell you that you're probably in an area you're not ready for. So you leave and come back a few levels later.

10 hours is plenty of time to find out if you like the way the game plays just looks at Gothic and two worlds, Gothic it took me about 30min to realize I hated the combat more than any game to date. Two worlds the first cut scene you realize how much you hate this game just by having the sound on.

The graphics however didn't look too bad but I never cared too much about graphics they looked mildly dated but still perfectly fine to me. Then again as long as the characters form a recognizable blob on my screen I am happy.

CantFaketheFunk:

I'll play on the hardest mode in BlazBlue

oh, im so goin to beat your arse in that game when i get my ps3. if you have a ps3, that is... -.-

this was the game that got refused classification in aussieland right?

Give it more time?

He wrote a review, which is his job, and did a far better job than I'm willing to bet a lot of you could.

Just because it's an RPG doesn't mean you have to put in 100 hours of your time to figure if you like it. I could tell I despised Two Worlds within an hour, and this looks worse.

Other reviews have been shit as well - if you enjoy it, fine. But it's the reviewers job to give his opinion, and given the other reviews so far, it would seem those who like it are in the minority.

EDIT: The graphics look bad on both systems. Morrowind is better looking, and 7 years older. That's my two cents at least, since it seems to be the main topic of debate.

the witcher is more annoying...... better voiced and written...but much roe annoying....

Oh, this game is great. I have always loved Piranha bytes games and this is no exception.
Animations are bad (average), who cares? Jumping is weird, who cares? I always listen to dialogue without looking at animations and i jump almost never.
I found it to be amazing game.

CantFaketheFunk:
*snip*

Would you consider this to be the "Two Worlds" of 2009? I seem to remember there being a degree of hype behind this game after it got banned in Australia, and after reading the review and seeing the gameplay it reminds me severely of the let down (and money down the drain) associated with Two Worlds

"As I said, you get to not like the game, and I agree it has its flaws. However, I was criticizing your review, not your oppinion. It's like you went out of your way to put a negative spin on everything in it."

A review is an opinion. You say this and then below you criticize his opinion. Your a fanboy and everything is perfect in the game, thats grand. That doesn't mean others wont find legitimate flaws in how it plays.

"For instance, you say how voice acting is great, writing is solid and characters are interesting, but how it's all ruined by a somewhat limited selection of arm movements during conversations. Seriously? Limited gesturing capability is enough for you to discount all the other stuff?"

Actually if you listen to the review it was the moonjump that bugged him most. The animations and jump meant that this deeply imersive game wasn't.

"Combat IS timing based. You time your clicks correctly and you get faster attacks, or you get parries, or you time your dodges just when the enemy attacks so you get an opening and bash his head. If you time your clicks correctly and pull off a fast combo, more attacks will land before the enemy gets to defend. Also, it's supposed to be hard and you're supposed to get better at it as the game goes by. Your argument is that you can't pwn faces straight from the get-go..."

No, if you listened, his argument was that after 10 hours of trying he couldn't pick up the fighting style. Thats a pretty serious roadblock to people picking up the game and having fun.

"And finally, you top it all off by saying the JUMPING was the breaking point. Really? That's what ruins a game for you? Somewhat inaccurate jumping mechanics in a game where jumping only plays a minor role? And then you say that it's also bad when the character dodges fast..."

I'm not saying you have to like the game. You have an oppinion just as we all do. All I'm saying is that the review sounded nitpicky and unprofessional."

Don't be such a rabid fanboy, you need to read honest reviews without brining out the pitchforks and torches.

I loved this game, but, luckily for me, I encountered an utterly arbitrary game breaking bug after a good couple of hours into it.. woo. I'll have to try again sometime, but it won't be soon. I couldn't bear it if the same thing happened twice in a row.

Hm, I friend really loved this game. I think the originality in having a fantasy WPRG set on a tropical island probably offsets a lot of the mentioned problems.

KeyMaster45:

CantFaketheFunk:
*snip*

Would you consider this to be the "Two Worlds" of 2009? I seem to remember there being a degree of hype behind this game after it got banned in Australia, and after reading the review and seeing the gameplay it reminds me severely of the let down (and money down the drain) associated with Two Worlds

I can't rightly say. I never played Two Worlds, unfortunately.

vivaldiscool:
Hm, I friend really loved this game. I think the originality in having a fantasy WPRG set on a tropical island probably offsets a lot of the mentioned problems.

I have a feeling that the diehard fans of the genre will probably still love it and forgive its flaws, as they did with the developer's previous games. But people who only like to dabble in the genre will likely just get lost and frustrated early on.

I never really bothered looking into risen, looks an awesome game visualy.. but the gameplay looks abit meh

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