Risen 3: Titan Lords Review - Titanfail

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Risen 3: Titan Lords Review - Titanfail

One of the more flagrant examples of recycled content in a long time.

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This and Sacred 3 still showing Deep Silver fuck up everything except Saint's Row.

Years ago, Piranha Bytes seemed like they could take on the Elder Scrolls series & co. -- I actually liked my patched Gothic 3 better than Oblivion -- now they seem to have fallen waaay behind.
It will be interesting to see what the German press thinks (that's where the core fanbase is!). If they like it, I reckon Risen 4 will be yet another underwhelming sequel.

Dang Jim, really tore this game open eh? I've never played Risen games before, but according to Angry Joe, the games are terrible.

Still I like the idea of a pirate RPG game. Though I suppose if somebody wants to play a game like that they should just go play Tradewinds or something.

It's funny, Dark Souls has awkward combat, annoying fast travel and you need a walkthrough to get through without wasting time, and yet it's revered as a fantastic and unique game. As soon as it's not in the name of "difficulty" it's just a bad game.

I loved Risen 1. That game was not perfect, but there was heart in it and the combat system felt, at least, adequate. And the idea of the Titan was interesting, even if the final boss was a big deception.

But Risen 2... ADORED the pirate theme, but, oh gosh, that game combat system was just wrong! So, saying "It's like Risen 2, perhaps a little bit worse" is definitly not a compliment...

This whole argument of "recycled content" being lazy is really pointless IMO. Gothic 2 used pretty much all of the same assets as Gothic 1 and managed to be not only a worthy successor, but better in just about every way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the same systems and assets if it allows the developers to focus on just making a bigger, better game. Now I won't get to play Risen 3 for another 2-3 hours, so I don't know if they managed to pull that off, but simply saying "They reused so much old stuff" isn't a strike against a game for me.

Also I think it bears pointing out: What has made both Gothic and Risen so great has always been the fact that they were developed for the fans, and what has made them so flawed has always been the fact that they were developed on a budget that fits the fanbase. I love the Risen franchise. I totally understand why a lot of people don't like it, but I prefer a flawed game that suits my sensibilities and manages to release an installment every few years over someones attempt at the Skyrim killer that leaves the studio bankrupt and anyone who actually liked it hanging.

Alexander Kirby:
It's funny, Dark Souls has awkward combat, annoying fast travel and you need a walkthrough to get through without wasting time, and yet it's revered as a fantastic and unique game. As soon as it's not in the name of "difficulty" it's just a bad game.

I really shouldn't bite, but...

Dark Souls has calculated, weighty combat, where pretty much everything will die in the same amount of hits as long as you're keeping your equipment up to date as you move through the game. It's slow and precise, and any "awkwardness" that comes from it is mostly in comparison to action titles such as Devil May Cry.

That is vastly different from poorly animated click-spam combat.

The world in Dark Souls isn't unnecessarily large and filled to bursting with absolutely nothing of substance in an attempt to pull the wool over the player's eyes with "content", and arguably much of the actual point of Dark Souls is in exploration of the world; people who claim that Dark Souls is nothing more than its difficulty often seem to me to be the ones who have only played it for an hour at most.

And as for "wasting time", the actual definition of what "wastes time" is going to be purely subjective no matter the situation, but there's a difference between "wasting time" by making the player learn and adapt to new things and "wasting time" by loading them up with twenty different quests which need to be resolved in a specific order that isn't indicated anywhere within the game itself.

Ugh, I shouldn't even make this post.

OT: So it's worse than Risen 2, which was largely received as mediocre in the first place? Ouch.

shrekfan246:
snip

Thank you for not going ultra crazy fanboy at my different opinion, honestly, it's appreciated.
Yes Dark Souls clearly isn't as bad as Risen 3, but the point I was trying to make was that some things stated as a negative here are used by some as positives of Dark Souls: Some people love the way you need a walkthrough to figure out certain parts and things like the arbitrary limitations on fast travel, etc. I find it interesting how subjective aspects can be turned around as necessary to either praise or critique a game depending on its overall feel.

Alexander Kirby:
I find it interesting how subjective aspects can be turned around as necessary to either praise or critique a game depending on its overall feel.

Well, yes, I think it mostly comes down to a difference in execution. Game mechanics are rarely "good" or "bad" in and of themselves, it's all about how the developers choose to implement and use them.

It's also always worth bearing in mind that different people will hold different opinions of different things. As far as I'm aware, Jim has never openly reviewed any of the games in the Souls franchise and I can't really recall any times where he's expressed any sort of strong opinion about the franchise either. It might not be too much of a stretch to believe that he would find some of the same things about the Souls games just as irritating as he found them in Risen 3, or any other game that exhibits such potential issues.

I enjoyed Gothic 1-2, but not 3 so much because it had click-spam combat. Risen 1-2 were more similar to Gothic 2 (though obviously nowhere near as awe inspiring). If this is just more of Risen 2, but slightly worse, I'm fine with that.

I am curious, why are you scorning the game for reusing assets from previous games?
You are constantly complaining about developers bloating their budget and requiring massive amounts of money to even break even, yet when a game comes along were the developer reuses some assets from a previous game in order to save some money and provide the consumer with as much content as possible you lash out and call them lazy.
You can't have it both ways, jim!

Crazy Zaul:
This and Sacred 3 still showing Deep Silver fuck up everything except Saint's Row.

Deep Silver haven't made a Saint's row game yet, they published SR4 but most of it was already made before they bought and then butchered Volition (unless you think Deep Silver could have got Volition to make SR4 in less than 6 months).

I've learned not to trust American reviews on Piranha Bytes games, relying on German ones, or better, just playing them myself. There must be some kind of cultural divide going on here. I loved Gothic, loved Gothic 2 even more, learned to love Gothic 3 after the community patches, and Risen 1 was also an excellent "back to the roots" game. All the while I remember the lackluster reception the games where receiving in the American gaming press.

I'm not sure about the cause. Maybe it's that Gothic-style games are more hardcore, and you can get killed pretty easily. You can't pick a fight with everyone right from the start and must choose your battles carefully. This may frustrate players who are more used to the Elder Scrolls type - I can go anywhere and kill anything - style of play. Combat is often tricky with unusual controls, but it can be mastered. You must simply take your time to learn it, and actually study how to approach different enemies. It's not just hack and slash, but careful maneuvering and timing. I think it's very telling that American reviews often blast the combat system, which I think is one of the best parts of the games.

The more hardcore play style continues with the quests, in which there is very little hand-holding, and puzzles that you actually have to think about, unlike for example the simplistic Skyrim pillar system, designed so that any child can solve them.
I'm also a fan of The Elder Scrolls games, but in Gothic (and Risen) games, the world seems more real and alive to me.

I have to admit though that the games can be quite buggy on release. I always wait for the first few patches to come out. But these days this rule applies to practically all the new AAA games.

It goes without saying that all of the above does not apply to the game "Arcania, Gothic 4" which was developed by Spellbound and is not a real Gothic game.

Crazy Zaul:
This and Sacred 3 still showing Deep Silver fuck up everything except Saint's Row.

Except that most of SR4 was done by THQ before they closed so Deep Silver didn't have the time to fuck it up... Wait until they release a new one.

I know DS didn't oversee the development of SR4 but they actually promoted it. Sacred 3, Risen 3 and Ride to Hell all got absolutely no promotion, even though it was probably cos they were so shit there was no way to make them look good without faking it.

Amaror:
I am curious, why are you scorning the game for reusing assets from previous games?

It's almost as if I wrote a review explaining the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. It's ALMOST as if I answered this very question in the review!

It's almost as if everytime someone asks me a question in an attempt to point out a contradiction in my work, the article they're questioning has preempted their thought processes and already addressed whatever it is they're going to say.

And it's almost as if, no matter what I say, people will do their best not to listen.

Jimothy Sterling:

Amaror:
I am curious, why are you scorning the game for reusing assets from previous games?

It's almost as if I wrote a review explaining the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. It's ALMOST as if I answered this very question in the review!

It's almost as if everytime someone asks me a question in an attempt to point out a contradiction in my work, the article they're questioning has preempted their thought processes and already addressed whatever it is they're going to say.

And it's almost as if, no matter what I say, people will do their best not to listen.

Really? Cause i don't see any explanation of the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. None at all.
I see that you are criticizing some of the elements that they reused like the combat or the animations.
However when criticizing features of the game, you should criticize them because they are bad in your opinion and not on the grounds that they have been done in the previous games.
And btw. you don't have to pretend like i accused you of being mister hitler, i just asked you a question, no reason to be that hostile about it.

Tiamat666:
I've learned not to trust American reviews on Piranha Bytes games, relying on German ones, or better, just playing them myself. There must be some kind of cultural divide going on here. I loved Gothic, loved Gothic 2 even more, learned to love Gothic 3 after the community patches, and Risen 1 was also an excellent "back to the roots" game. All the while I remember the lackluster reception the games where receiving in the American gaming press.

I'm not sure about the cause. Maybe it's that Gothic-style games are more hardcore, and you can get killed pretty easily. You can't pick a fight with everyone right from the start and must choose your battles carefully. This may frustrate players who are more used to the Elder Scrolls type - I can go anywhere and kill anything - style of play. Combat is often tricky with unusual controls, but it can be mastered. You must simply take your time to learn it, and actually study how to approach different enemies. It's not just hack and slash, but careful maneuvering and timing. I think it's very telling that American reviews often blast the combat system, which I think is one of the best parts of the games.

The more hardcore play style continues with the quests, in which there is very little hand-holding, and puzzles that you actually have to think about, unlike for example the simplistic Skyrim pillar system, designed so that any child can solve them.
I'm also a fan of The Elder Scrolls games, but in Gothic (and Risen) games, the world seems more real and alive to me.

I have to admit though that the games can be quite buggy on release. I always wait for the first few patches to come out. But these days this rule applies to practically all the new AAA games.

It goes without saying that all of the above does not apply to the game "Arcania, Gothic 4" which was developed by Spellbound and is not a real Gothic game.

I don't know i am just as baffled as you. I know so many people that know and love the Gothic and Risen games here in Germany. It was really irritating having a gaming series that's pretty much universally accepted as a good to great gaming series in your environment, then going on the internet to find out that the series apparently consists of horrible games for the Americans.

Crazy Zaul:
This and Sacred 3 still showing Deep Silver fuck up everything except Saint's Row.

Nothing to do with Deep Slver. Historically, European RPG's have never been received well by American reviewers, no matter how good they may be.

Amaror:

Jimothy Sterling:

Amaror:
I am curious, why are you scorning the game for reusing assets from previous games?

It's almost as if I wrote a review explaining the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. It's ALMOST as if I answered this very question in the review!

It's almost as if everytime someone asks me a question in an attempt to point out a contradiction in my work, the article they're questioning has preempted their thought processes and already addressed whatever it is they're going to say.

And it's almost as if, no matter what I say, people will do their best not to listen.

Really? Cause i don't see any explanation of the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. None at all.
I see that you are criticizing some of the elements that they reused like the combat or the animations.
However when criticizing features of the game, you should criticize them because they are bad in your opinion and not on the grounds that they have been done in the previous games.
And btw. you don't have to pretend like i accused you of being mister hitler, i just asked you a question, no reason to be that hostile about it.

Our lord and savior Jim Sterling (Thank God for Him) clearly pointed out in his review that reusing assets and content is ok if the content was good to begin with, and didn't need that much improving. Risen 2, however, which Risen 3 cannibalizes, was in dire need of tweaks and adjustments. It's like if you go to someone's house, and every time you go they always make the same dish. If it's a good dish, then you won't mind. If it's dogshit casserole, you'd probably complain and tell them to improve their cooking.

Amaror:

I don't know i am just as baffled as you. I know so many people that know and love the Gothic and Risen games here in Germany. It was really irritating having a gaming series that's pretty much universally accepted as a good to great gaming series in your environment, then going on the internet to find out that the series apparently consists of horrible games for the Americans.

That's probably just cultural differences. The same thing happens with Japanese games, too, since different cultures like different things in their games.

However when criticizing features of the game, you should criticize them because they are bad in your opinion and not on the grounds that they have been done in the previous games.

So I should ... do exactly what I did.

Read the review again.

And again.

And again.

You'll spot it eventually!

Tiamat666:
I've learned not to trust American reviews on Piranha Bytes games, relying on German ones, or better, just playing them myself. There must be some kind of cultural divide going on here. I loved Gothic, loved Gothic 2 even more, learned to love Gothic 3 after the community patches, and Risen 1 was also an excellent "back to the roots" game. All the while I remember the lackluster reception the games where receiving in the American gaming press.

I'm not sure about the cause. Maybe it's that Gothic-style games are more hardcore, and you can get killed pretty easily. You can't pick a fight with everyone right from the start and must choose your battles carefully. This may frustrate players who are more used to the Elder Scrolls type - I can go anywhere and kill anything - style of play. Combat is often tricky with unusual controls, but it can be mastered. You must simply take your time to learn it, and actually study how to approach different enemies. It's not just hack and slash, but careful maneuvering and timing. I think it's very telling that American reviews often blast the combat system, which I think is one of the best parts of the games.

The more hardcore play style continues with the quests, in which there is very little hand-holding, and puzzles that you actually have to think about, unlike for example the simplistic Skyrim pillar system, designed so that any child can solve them.
I'm also a fan of The Elder Scrolls games, but in Gothic (and Risen) games, the world seems more real and alive to me.

I have to admit though that the games can be quite buggy on release. I always wait for the first few patches to come out. But these days this rule applies to practically all the new AAA games.

It goes without saying that all of the above does not apply to the game "Arcania, Gothic 4" which was developed by Spellbound and is not a real Gothic game.

As a German who has lived abroad, I think it is because our Humor/Storytelling/Characters do not translate at all. Having tried both Gothic and Risen in English, most jokes Just fall flat on their Ass. Risen 2 also had an undeniably bad combat system, unlike Gothic 1,2 and Risen.

Fsyco:

That's probably just cultural differences. The same thing happens with Japanese games, too, since different cultures like different things in their games.

Yeah, it's just that i will just go out on a limb here and claim that the cultural differences between Japanese and American culture are slightly larger than the ones between American and German/European culture.

Amaror:

Fsyco:

That's probably just cultural differences. The same thing happens with Japanese games, too, since different cultures like different things in their games.

Yeah, it's just that i will just go out on a limb here and claim that the cultural differences between Japanese and American culture are slightly larger than the ones between American and German/European culture.

That is probably part of the problem. It is fairly obvious when playing a Japanese game, and many of their oddities an quirks are known and expected at this point, but the style of (some) European (or German) games might fall right into the uncanny valley.

youji itami:

Crazy Zaul:
This and Sacred 3 still showing Deep Silver fuck up everything except Saint's Row.

Deep Silver haven't made a Saint's row game yet, they published SR4 but most of it was already made before they bought and then butchered Volition (unless you think Deep Silver could have got Volition to make SR4 in less than 6 months).

Yes, it's a EA Bioware Dragon Age: Origins situation. Remember, the game EA was actually responsible for was Dragon Age 2....

The next Saints Row game they make will be the determining factor.

Divinity: Original Sin is hardcore (more even than Risen), is european and has been universaly acclaimed. God games are good games anywhere in the world. Maybe this game is bad, simply..

Amaror:

Jimothy Sterling:

Amaror:
I am curious, why are you scorning the game for reusing assets from previous games?

It's almost as if I wrote a review explaining the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. It's ALMOST as if I answered this very question in the review!

It's almost as if everytime someone asks me a question in an attempt to point out a contradiction in my work, the article they're questioning has preempted their thought processes and already addressed whatever it is they're going to say.

And it's almost as if, no matter what I say, people will do their best not to listen.

Really? Cause i don't see any explanation of the difference between this game's reuse of assets and other, more acceptable uses of it. None at all.
I see that you are criticizing some of the elements that they reused like the combat or the animations.
However when criticizing features of the game, you should criticize them because they are bad in your opinion and not on the grounds that they have been done in the previous games.
And btw. you don't have to pretend like i accused you of being mister hitler, i just asked you a question, no reason to be that hostile about it.

Tiamat666:
I've learned not to trust American reviews on Piranha Bytes games, relying on German ones, or better, just playing them myself. There must be some kind of cultural divide going on here. I loved Gothic, loved Gothic 2 even more, learned to love Gothic 3 after the community patches, and Risen 1 was also an excellent "back to the roots" game. All the while I remember the lackluster reception the games where receiving in the American gaming press.

I'm not sure about the cause. Maybe it's that Gothic-style games are more hardcore, and you can get killed pretty easily. You can't pick a fight with everyone right from the start and must choose your battles carefully. This may frustrate players who are more used to the Elder Scrolls type - I can go anywhere and kill anything - style of play. Combat is often tricky with unusual controls, but it can be mastered. You must simply take your time to learn it, and actually study how to approach different enemies. It's not just hack and slash, but careful maneuvering and timing. I think it's very telling that American reviews often blast the combat system, which I think is one of the best parts of the games.

The more hardcore play style continues with the quests, in which there is very little hand-holding, and puzzles that you actually have to think about, unlike for example the simplistic Skyrim pillar system, designed so that any child can solve them.
I'm also a fan of The Elder Scrolls games, but in Gothic (and Risen) games, the world seems more real and alive to me.

I have to admit though that the games can be quite buggy on release. I always wait for the first few patches to come out. But these days this rule applies to practically all the new AAA games.

It goes without saying that all of the above does not apply to the game "Arcania, Gothic 4" which was developed by Spellbound and is not a real Gothic game.

I don't know i am just as baffled as you. I know so many people that know and love the Gothic and Risen games here in Germany. It was really irritating having a gaming series that's pretty much universally accepted as a good to great gaming series in your environment, then going on the internet to find out that the series apparently consists of horrible games for the Americans.

It seems that not everyone in Germany thinks that Risen 3 is a good game:
http://www.4players.de/4players.php/spielinfonews/Allgemein/35519/2142644/Risen_3_Titan_Lords-Angespielt_Ernuechterung_auf_PlayStation_3.html

Right, 2 stars. And this is the website that gave Skyrim the best RPG of the last 10 years, or something. I had more fun in 10 minutes of Risen 3 than in 10 hours of Skyrim (and I didn't play Skyrim much longer than that). You have to wonder what sort of drugs these reviewers are on while playing their games because whatever it is, I want some. Meanwhile, I'll get back to playing me some more Risen. It's a terrific game.

all I want is a game like gothic 2. It was not too big, the quests where well done and the story was also good.

it can not be that hard

Blood Brain Barrier:
Right, 2 stars. And this is the website that gave Skyrim the best RPG of the last 10 years, or something. I had more fun in 10 minutes of Risen 3 than in 10 hours of Skyrim (and I didn't play Skyrim much longer than that). You have to wonder what sort of drugs these reviewers are on while playing their games because whatever it is, I want some. Meanwhile, I'll get back to playing me some more Risen. It's a terrific game.

I loved Risen and Skyrim, but I merely liked Risen 2. With that in mind, something something subjectivity.

I respect Jim and this might be the first time I'm disagreeing with him, but does anyone else feel the review is lacking concrete examples for its claims? It all feels a bit vague and rushed, and since it's an outlier score-wise as well, I'm not sure if this is the one I want to rely on this time.

Tiamat666:
I've learned not to trust American reviews on Piranha Bytes games, relying on German ones, or better, just playing them myself. There must be some kind of cultural divide going on here. I loved Gothic, loved Gothic 2 even more, learned to love Gothic 3 after the community patches, and Risen 1 was also an excellent "back to the roots" game. All the while I remember the lackluster reception the games where receiving in the American gaming press.

I'm not sure about the cause. Maybe it's that Gothic-style games are more hardcore, and you can get killed pretty easily. You can't pick a fight with everyone right from the start and must choose your battles carefully. This may frustrate players who are more used to the Elder Scrolls type - I can go anywhere and kill anything - style of play. Combat is often tricky with unusual controls, but it can be mastered. You must simply take your time to learn it, and actually study how to approach different enemies. It's not just hack and slash, but careful maneuvering and timing. I think it's very telling that American reviews often blast the combat system, which I think is one of the best parts of the games.

The more hardcore play style continues with the quests, in which there is very little hand-holding, and puzzles that you actually have to think about, unlike for example the simplistic Skyrim pillar system, designed so that any child can solve them.
I'm also a fan of The Elder Scrolls games, but in Gothic (and Risen) games, the world seems more real and alive to me.

I have to admit though that the games can be quite buggy on release. I always wait for the first few patches to come out. But these days this rule applies to practically all the new AAA games.

It goes without saying that all of the above does not apply to the game "Arcania, Gothic 4" which was developed by Spellbound and is not a real Gothic game.

It really isn't cultural. I only played Risen 2, but it was not that hard. if you just kept to the plot rails, everything would be relatively easy to beat. nor were the quests difficult, since simply picking up as many quests as possible MMO-style and then completing the objectives when nearby would suffice for completing most of them.
Where risen 2 fell down for me was the idiotic story and the lack of pirate-related activity in this allegedly pirate-themed game. You had a ship, but it was basically just a moving fast travel point. you never actually sailed it or did any sea battles. plus, that game had an awful combat system. I went for magic in that game. that was a mistake.

I've always been a fan of the Risen games, and will almost certainly check out Risen 3. Cheesy, bit dodgy, but like Jim says, they have a certain charm you can't quite put your finger on. I see Gamespot gave it 7/10 - about the same rating given to the other games in the series.

It's incredible how way off the mark Jim is on this one. Then again he's always raving on about games I've never even heard of so maybe it's just a matter of taste. This 'new content' spiel by him is nonsense. The graphics were fine in Risen 2, and they're fine here. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Why bother revamping the whole damn thing if it looks gorgeous to being with? What the fuck is wrong with recycling? But this is an industry obsessed with cosmetic upgrades, and games with minimal substance can sell billions if they follow the creed of Appearance Above All. To me it seems like a giant waste of time, and Jim is usually the first one to attack devs over doing unnecessary bullshit. I'm 8 hours into R3 and not only it's great fun, but beyond superficial aspects like graphics and character models it's totally different from R2. That game made you trudge through linear paths sequentially, while this game presents you with a massive open world to explore right from the start. That is a substantial difference, and it's odd Jim missed it. Risen 3: Better than fucking Skyrim.

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