I was a huge fan of piranha bites games cuz Gothic I and II are games I still play sometimes. Gothic series are just great and those are true examples of nonlinear games around. Piranha bites kinda disappointed me with Gothic III and I was waiting for that game for a long time. I was expecting similar failure with Risen. But damn… I was wrong. This game has left me speechless.
This game starts rather dramatically and to be honest at first it looks more like some horror game. After a few quests it shows it true face. There are too many dialogs at first and that’s something you expected from Gothic series. The main character starts out on a voyage across the sea to a foreign land but his ship got smashed and he finds himself shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Two factions have set up camp on the island and are fighting for control over territory and the spoils found on the land. There are many mobs around the island and that makes it a very treacherous place to explore.
The game is very flexible and it gives you many ways in how you approach everything and everyone. For example there’s this woman at the start of the game. She was on the same boat with the main character and she’ll become a companion and aid you with your moves. If you choose to leave her alone and abandon her you will be rejected by some NPC’s or even attacked when starting a convo. There isn’t a right or wrong way to play risen there are just choices that gives you that flexibility I told you about.
Eventually you would have to choose a faction you’ll join. The first one is the Inquisition, a priest order that was sent to the island to explore a mysterious appearance of strange monsters. The second is an outlaw faction that has been on that island before exploring dungeons and selling the artifacts on the black market. Regardless of what you decide, there will be a large number of options available to players, ranging from fighting styles in battle to the skills that you can wield. That means even after you kill the evil fire titan at the end you’ll wish to replay by joining different faction.
Combat system is much better than one we had a chance to see in any Gothic part. And if you by any chance meet up with a difficult opponent you can just run away, he’ll stop chasing you after certain time.
Quests are rather hard but there’s a useful map you can use anytime. On some quests NPC’s will even mark the location on the map and make it easier for you.
After two weeks of playing I have to say I had much more excitement playing then any other game I played before. I hope designers of Wizardbox and Piranha Bytes will make a risen II. Looking forward to it!