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The real overall truth about Risen, and one that was pretty similar with the Gothic series is that it is not very kind to you at first. You will struggle to learn the controls and realise what it is that you are actually supposed to doing (there are no tutorials) but once you are sucked into the game and get a grasp of things, you will find yourself enchanted by it’s sublime atmosphere, its rewarding combat and interesting story/setting. Risen is not perfect and it would be difficult to compare it to the likes of Fallout 3 and Fable, but that being said it is still a damn fine Western RPG and fans of the genre may find themselves very impressed with a title that almost came out of nowhere.
Piranha Bytes ya no tiene a su criatura, pero ha creado una nueva. Risen no sólo es un justo heredero, sino que además establece unas bases sólidas que pueden marcar la senda que seguirá este reputado estudio en el futuro. Accesible al jugador novato, resultará profundo para el veterano y enormemente atractivo para ambos tan pronto como se despejen los primeros pasos en el juego y vayamos entrando en su historia. Sin duda alguna, el primer paso de una muy prometedora saga.
Al met al is er verder weinig op Risen aan te merken en dat is tegelijkertijd de kracht, maar ook de zwakte van de game. De ontwikkelaar heeft duidelijk originaliteit ondergeschikt laten zijn aan functionaliteit en degelijkheid. Voor wie dan ook zoekt naar grote vernieuwing binnen het fantasy RPG-genre, blijft deze titel wellicht net teveel binnen het bestaande kader. Andersom werkt dat natuurlijk ook: ben je een liefhebber van klassieke RPG’s met een fantasy-setting of de Gothic-games in het bijzonder, dan is dit absoluut een aanrader.
Over the course of this review I've already described a litany of qualities that should win over players who appreciate mature RPG experiences with quality commensurate to the amount of time spent in them. However, there's no getting around the fact that first impressions will likely turn a lot of potential adventurers off. Clearly, another few months polishing rough edges would have been a worthy investment. That said, I'm not the kind of player who's blinded by low polygon counts and low-res textures. It didn't take long for me to appreciate the true value of Risen, and I have a feeling that those (like me) more concerned with options, abilities, and events instead of how shiny something looks will likely agree.
Risen is er weer zo een: een game die vrijwel niks fout doet, maar ook de grenzen van het genre niet verlegt. De setting van de game is perfect gekozen en het verhaal is goed en overtuigend. Het feit dat Risen langzaam op gang komt is een missertje en ook het grafische aspect van de game had beter gekund. Maar als je hier doorheen kunt kijken, zul je de ware schoonheid van de game zien. Kleine kanttekening is wel dat de game echt gericht is op het RPG-publiek en gamers die met dit genre niks hebben, kunnen zich beter op een andere game focussen.
Ich als Spieler, der nicht auf seine höchstaktuelle Hochleistungs-Grafik besteht, kann über dieses leider nervige und unerwartete grafische Debakel hinwegsehen und trotzdem meinen, dass „Risen“ durchaus unter den besseren RPG-Erscheinungen der letzten Monate gehört und Wert ist gekauft zu werden … auch wenn einem nach dem Spielen klar wird, dass sich die Entwickler wohl doch viel mehr auf den PC konzentriert haben.
Técnico, este título es que realmente sale mal parado al compararse con juegos de hace dos y tres años, lo que deja claro que su apartado técnico no es su fuerte, pero como juego consigue entretenernos y transportarnos a un misterioso lugar con un número de posibilidades y quehaceres muy destacable. Muy duro al principio para los que buscan un hack & slash convencional como el relativamente reciente Sacred 2, sólo los jugadores más pacientes conseguirán extraer los tesoros jugables que el juego ofrece al usuario. La sensación de que el personaje crece y gana poco a poco relevancia y poder está muy conseguido pero se consigue de manera lenta y sufrida. Lo dicho, un buen juego lleno de variantes que parece destinado a pasar sin pena ni gloria por un apartado técnico desangelado y caduco. Hoy en día se le da poca importancia al contenido y aquí tenemos un claro ejemplo. Si no te importa el aspecto visual y tienes la suficiente paciencia, quedarás enganchado sin remedio.
Mit Risen kann Piranha Bytes den angeschlagenen Ruf wieder rehabilitieren, speziell was die technische Qualität angeht. Spielerisch bleibt mehr oder minder alles beim Alten. Das Entwicklerstudio hält sich nicht damit auf, das Rad neu zu erfinden, sondern bleibt sich und dem Spielprinzip früherer Titel treu. Risen wirkt in vielen Belangen altbacken, sowohl spielerisch als auch grafisch, Doch das alte Spielprinzip weiterhin funktioniert und sinnvoll ergänzt wurde. Mehr stört mich, dass die Geschichte erst verdammt spät richtig in Gang kommt und sowohl Spielwelt als auch Erzählung einiges an Logikfehlern mit sich rumschleppen. Zudem sorgen ein paar Designsünden für Frust. Dennoch schaffen die Entwickler aus dem Ruhrpott es wieder, den Spieler tief in die Spielwelt hineinzuziehen und den Abenteuern des namenlosen Helden folgen zu lassen. Xbox 360 Besitzer sollten allerdings einiges an visueller Leidensfähigkeit mitbringen, denn schön kann man Risen auf der Konsole wahrlich nicht nennen.
Whether or not you'll enjoy Piranha Bytes' Risen really depends on what kind of gamer you are. Though this is a more humble and user-friendly product than Piranha Bytes' past games, it's still very much a hardcore role-playing game. If you're not willing to figure some things out for yourself and the idea of freedom of choice doesn't sit well with you, chances are Risen isn't going to mesh well with your gaming sensibilities. If you're familiar with the genre and are looking to take the next step into a mature, well-realized fantasy world, then this is it. Its combat system isn't the greatest and its pacing is inconsistent, but for those who put in the time to see all Risen has to offer, it's an experience that won't be forgotten.
Thankfully shipping without some kind of half-arsed multiplayer, Risen is the kind of game that will probably get played by fans of the genre but overlooked by everyone else, which is a bloody shame really, as there is a decent game behind the niggles – and one that impresses more often than it disappoints. Though outclassed by Bethesda, outdone by Lionhead and outgunned by Bioware, Piranha Bytes still have enough originality and flare to be counted amongst the better Western RPG developers working today, and if they could just learn to take all the great elements of their back catalogue and ditch the irritating little problems they could possibly follow up Risen with something quite special in the future. For now, though, if you’re looking for an involving and absorbing, albeit flawed, hack-n-slash RPG – or even just a little sun, sand, sea and sorcery – Risen’s Faranga might just be the destination for you.
Game Freaks 365
Risen is a decent game sporting some tried and true concepts that make RPGs the fun and time consuming genre that many of us love. That is, if you can look past the issues, Risen for the Xbox 360 is a decent game. You will encounter bugs and the controls are “iffy” at best. My main issue with Risen is that is feels like a PC game that has been downgraded to run on a console. Some games are better left in their original form, in Risen’s case being on the PC. German developer Piranha Bites certainly has given itself an okay start at developing for the Xbox 360 as I am sure porting Risen was no small feat. I can only see improvement coming from them from now on. If you are willing to deal with the issues in Risen’s Xbox 360 port, then you will no doubt derive some enjoyment from the RPG elements that lie beneath. If you are interested and Xbox 360 is your only way to play, give Risen a rental first.
Game Informer Magazine
Risen excels when you're exploring, chatting with the hundreds of NPCs, and adding your own touches to the developing storyline. Struggle through the admittedly bad third-person action, and you'll find a role-playing experience well worth your time. But I won't blame you for not being willing to put up with this shoddy technical execution when there are so many great RPGs out there, either.
Only the truly dedicated RPG player will persist through to the bitter end of Risen, as there's a great deal of perseverance required to even make it through the first section without tearing your hair out. The combat really lets the side down and the 360 visuals leave a lot to be desired, but stick with it and Risen will eventually suck you inexorably into its uniquely absorbing fantasy world.
Durant les premières heures passées à arpenter l'île volcanique de Risen, où le mot d'ordre est la survie, vous aurez l'inévitable impression de vous adonner à une simple variante de Gothic. Puis, à la faveur d'une progression lente, mesurée et crédible, le titre exercera sur vous son irrésistible pouvoir d'attraction. Terriblement exigeant, jusque dans ses combats très techniques, le nouveau Piranha Bytes perpétue les qualités de ses prédécesseurs tout en se montrant plus gratifiant que jamais. Doté d'une IA très convaincante et d'un univers dense et riche, source de multiples interactions physiques et sociales, Risen est un excellent RPG. Il est d'autant plus regrettable de constater le peu de soin accordé à cette version Xbox 360, dont les nombreuses tares techniques pénalisent à l'évidence l'expérience de jeu.
The issues are, to be perfectly fair, countless. One could nitpick problems forever and write a novel regarding them, but stepping into a game of this style you have to expect a little roughness – and unfortunately that is found in spades. Overall, the like of Risen comes down to the player, with an emphasis on their ability to look beyond flaws and frustration in order to enjoy an otherwise enjoyable, large and deep RPG.
Lacking in polish and attention to detail, Risen still stands up as an absorbing and hugely playable RPG title. The PC version is inarguably superior to its console counterpart, this Xbox 360 iteration feeling somewhat unfinished and unrefined. Yet, for a sophomore console effort, Piranha Bytes has done a solid enough job in adapting an intricate role-player for Xbox 360, which bodes well should the dev decide to bring future releases to the platform.
Risen’s a brave, self-assured game that I’m sure a lot of people are going to really dig. You can tell it’s from the same development team as the ambitious-but-flawed Gothic series, and there’s a reason why that found such a dedicated following. I’m not so taken, but my increasingly frazzled mind through endless streams of instant-gratification blockbusters might have something to do with that. There’s a reason why people post things like “I’m going to wait for the user reviews” on website comments threads. People need multiple opinions from people with whom they can associate, because sometimes, people’s impressions are going to be so polarised that any isolated hard-opinion is going to be rendered a little meaningless. That’s the case with Risen, but extended to the point where I can’t even say with any real conviction what I think. So, I guess, here’s my review of Risen in a nutshell: it’s a game I like, except when I don’t, and one you might be rather fond of, unless you’re not.
'Risen' has an appetizing sarcastic sense of humour that attacks some of the clichés in role-playing games, and then oddly endorses them. This turns the stranded tale of another nameless-hero into one that isn’t exactly cut-and-paste. However, 'Risen' has its share of probelms. More than its dated graphics, 'Risen' and its other problems, that aren’t worth rehashing, might cause most gamers to look somewhere else. You really have to be ready to put in the time if you truly want to get the most out of this title. Unless you fit into the hardcore RPG demographic, I would sit this one out. However, If you are part of the demographic, then 'Risen' is a niche game that will entice your adventurers sensibilities-- that is, if you don't mind sitting through a few glitchy spots for the thrill of the hunt.
Risen is the kind of game you want to love, and if you give it a chance, it may still suck you in. It is not, however, generous with its delights. This is a demanding mistress, expecting a lot from you before gifting you in return. As numerous as the quirks are, tolerant RPG lovers that appreciate ambition will find something here to sink their teeth into. Just be prepared for the bitter aftertaste.
Risen is the kind of game that really makes me want to see what developer Piranha Bytes could do with more time and money. They're no rookies, having long-since established themselves with the cult-favorite Gothic series, and they have a lot of big, great ideas. Some of my problems with Risen, such as poor graphics and frame rate hiccups during combat, are the result of a shoddy port, which is a damn shame (I understand the PC version is quite a bit better on the technical side). If you're looking for a new experience that you can take your time with and really bite into, or are just hungry for a good RPG, you could do a lot worse than Risen, even on the 360. Even with its technical hangups and poor presentation, it still beats yet another generic JRPG in my book. However, only the patient need apply.
Risen is a big disappointment, it feels half finished and therefore quite broken, if you can persevere then there is a decent RPG underneath, however I get the feeling that only the hardcore may find this out.
MS Xbox World
As an average RPG fan, fun moments in Risen came in doses and to get to them, it required some patience which includes saving lots, various boring missions and taking plenty of damage. The visuals don't seem like a big problem, regardless of the low textures in places as the game looks pretty enough for a fantasy tropical island. The story is solid even if it is nothing special, and there's plenty to explore to your hearts content. The combat though just makes things too frustrating, especially at the start before the player gets to specialise and start more advanced training. It's hard to recommend this to anyone but hardcore RPG fans, perhaps that's who the developers were targeting, but surely even they will be scratching their heads at what seem to be elementary flaws in a game which could have been much better.
I know what you're going to say. "So what? The game's supposed to be like that? It's a hardcore RPG! You just don't get it. Go back to playing WoW, noob!" Well in this post Oblivion, post Fallout 3, post Fable II world, Risen's got no excuse, especially on the Xbox 360. As an Xbox 360 RPG, even as an Xbox 360 fantasy RPG, it's so unpolished, so devoid of the oomph demanded of current gen games, so inaccessible and needlessly punishing, that it's offensive. The issue is not time: Great role-playing games are always huge time sinks, and Risen is no different - it'll easily last you 60 hours. The issue is enjoyment. If Piranha Bytes hadn't designed Risen while giving accessibility the finger, then it would have had a chance of being a slow burning but absorbing RPG. As it is though, it's impossible to recommend. You're better off playing through Bethesda's Oblivion, even if it's for the 50th time.
Risen is een RPG zoals je die verwacht van Piranha Bytes: een boeiende wereld die dynamisch reageert op jouw acties, met genoeg quests, gebieden en geheimen om je uren bezig te houden. En ook met bugs en designfouten die voor de meeste gamers, de smaak van al het goede zal verpesten.
Risen si dimostra dunque un prodotto mediocre, incapace di risollevare il buon nome di Piranha Bytes dopo né tantomeno di placare gli appassionati dopo il deludente Gothic 3. Nonostante alcune buone idee, come la contrapposizione di due fazioni, il gioco non riesce infatti a garantire grandi stimoli, dimostrandosi adatto solo ed esclusivamente ai veri hardcore. Se non foste fra questi, fareste meglio a orientarvi altrove: il grande impegno necessario per portare a termini l’avventura (anche in termini di tempo) non sarà infatti ripagato in maniera adeguata, conducendovi inevitabilmente a noia e frustrazione.
Writing recently about videogames and cocaine addiction, essayist Tom Bissell states that "video games, you see, have no edge. You have to appreciate them. They do not come to you." Insofar as Risen is concerned, there's some truth to this. Somewhere, hidden in foreboding mountain peaks, deep under a gloomy cave, or in the back of a forgotten whorehouse, there is fun to be had in Risen. To be honest, I'll probably keep looking for it -- but I'll do so armed with a walkthrough and the knowledge that playing Risen might be a game of diminishing returns.
It ultimately comes down to effort versus reward, and Risen requires a lot of effort on your part. Not just the usual time investment needed to get the most out of serious role-playing but a conscious decision to put up with the crude interfaces, to tolerate the stodgy combat and to generally make the best of a game that is fundamentally unappealing in too many core areas. Even for players who put in that level of effort, the reward is only worthwhile when considered in isolation. If this were the only console RPG available the numerous flaws might be worth suffering, but when compared to the ambition and polish that other games have brought to the genre in recent years Risen demands far too much and offers too little in return.
The game strikes me as something really unimpressive. From graphic presentation to the voice acting, everything is just enough not to be bad. I would advise people who have never played Risen to check out some YouTube videos and see if it’s something you might like to try your hand at. If you’ve never played an RPG in your life, don’t start here. There are far better titles to play that have much more going on to challenge you. This is a game for people who at one point or another said “Gee, I really like King’s Quest, but I wish there wasn’t as much fighting and more story.” If that sounds like something you’ve said, I think you’d have a ball with this. The rest of us however, will be left wondering why they had to sweep so many floors.