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Risen 3 – Titan Lords Review

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Developer – Deep Silver

Publisher – Piranha Bytes

Risen 3 has caught me off guard. I have bought and played both of the Risen games, and in my eyes, I was let down. So, I did not go into this game with big expectations. Well, I was wrong. Don't get me wrong, there are things about it that can make you quite frustrated, but compared to the last 2 games, it is a big step forward.

Gameplay

Considering that Risen 1 had absolute horrid combat, that made me not even able to finish the game, but had a great semi-open world that you can explore and do what you want, and Risen 2 had improved on the combat aspect, but was linear as hell, Risen 3 has taken a bit of both, threw in a better quality engine, and made it into the third part of the series. It is more of a Risen “2.5” feel more so than a 3. But if the shoe fits…

You start out as a lone pirate that has lost everything, and is building his way back up to glory, pardon the pun (glory is XP in this game). Nothing really special about it. You do however get a nice assortment of weapons at your disposal, once you have obtained them, and they also brought back “Crystal magic”.

What Risen 3 has that will keep you hooked, is a sense of vast adventure, porting you from one island to the next while you seek your missing soul after your death and resurrection by a crazed voodoo shaman. You morph into a colorful parrot and fly around with a great sense of unity, you can train a monkey to steal things for you, and you choose which faction to side with. The area you explore is the same as Risen 2, but with a much more detailed environment, coupled with a wealth of physics, lore, and beautiful landscapes.

Once you complete the tutorial, you will have access to most of what Risen 3 has to offer, like its map, which you can travel to the islands on it, of course you start out with a crappy boat, but you will, in time get a nice ship with crew and all. As with many RPGs you will have adventurers or companions join you along your path to glory. The combat is pretty much the same as Risen 2, but with slighter improvements, and more flow. The combat is probably the weakest point of the game, and can become quite hard, for even what should be, a simple battle.

Your distance to your enemy has hardly any bearing on the outcome of the battle. Aggressive pirates can go an impossible distance with a single swing, but avoid your swing should they activate a dodge, even if the dodge does not remove them from danger. It was hard to stay content during certain scenarios..scenarios in which I could slash at a an enemy from a ledge without suffering any damage, scenarios in which I got beaten to a bloody pulp, knocked down, get up, knocked down, get up, with no change to hit the enemy. In time, I would win most battles, only because I had an abundance of booze and food.

The AI in the game is good, sometimes too good. Kleptomania is also rampant in this game, stealing literally everything and anything, including, spoons. You can sell most of this stuff, so it pays off. Going in to NPCs houses and stealing their stuff, never gets old. But, beware that if you go in their house and they see you, they will protest, and if you don't leave, they will fight you. It is quite entertaining actually.

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Graphics

Compared to Risen 2, the graphics are extremely well done. They say that “everything is hand crafted” and well, I believe them. The world is vibrant and full of color, smooth edges and particles everywhere. It is truly a remarkable improvement. Although they are not 100% “next-gen” as say, Assassins creed, they are a treat. The character models are perhaps, not as up-to-date and polished as they could be, but they are not absolutely terrible either. The world itself is where the game really shines. I think the attention to detail in the world was heavily worked on, and it shows.

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Audio

As far as the music goes, it is great. Very epic, and engrossing. The voice acting is not exactly AAA, but it is not as bad as say the voice acting in “Bound By Flame” The lip syncing is often off, and for some this can break immersion. Sometimes the game gets it right, and sometimes, not so much. The environment is quite alive actually. You can hear even the little details, and this makes up for some of the lip syncing and voice acting. But, probably my favorite part of the game in is this section. The excessive use of curse words and quite funny dialogue can be literally, laugh out loud worthy. While the main characters voice monotone can get annoying, when he flips a lid at some dumb gnome, you can't help but laugh. Speaking of gnomes, almost every time you talk to one, you will chuckle and be amused. Sounding like a half Spanish half Chinese accent speaking English is quite funny.

Overall

Risen 3 is a great RPG. Once you look past its flaws, and sometimes annoying combat, you get a solid, pirate themed RPG with all the bells and whistles. It makes for an alright story, and some very amusing dialogue. If you are a fan of the first two Risen games, you will most certainly enjoy this one. So, if you have 50$ to blow, buy it. If you are on the fence about it and want to try it out first, try a demo or a torrent. Otherwise, just wait for a sale on steam, or for the price to drop.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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