|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Piranha Bytes||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Deep Silver||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 2, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Serious personality conflicts often end in blows, and even when they don't, battling deadly creatures in the wilds is unavoidable. Risen's combat system is relatively fun when you get accustomed to it and improve your killing prowess, but it's generally cumbersome and awkward. Magic and missile weapons let you get the drop on foes from a safer distance. Once you lock onto a target for melee, you'll defend with the right mouse button and attack with the left. Humans fight very differently from beasts and other humanoid creatures, so you're constantly adjusting tactics. One-on-one enemy encounters build into a rhythm of blocking, dodging, and attacking when you find an opening in your opponent's defenses. But most of the time, particularly in the wilderness, you'll be tackling several foes at once, which is when things break down and you basically have to flail frantically and run.
On the whole, Risen is a gorgeous game. From the misty, rock-lined shores and undergrowth-strewn forests to the dilapidated cities and dark subterranean grottos, there are many amazing sights to behold during your journey. Weather effects, dynamic sounds, impressive lighting, and crimson sunsets really amplify the realistic beauty found in the game's many locations. It's unfortunate that some character designs aren't nearly as attractive. You'll run into plenty folks who look fitting and enhance the vibe well, but some, females in particular, are oddly proportioned and look a little slapdash on closer inspection.
Risen is not an RPG game for the impatient-minded. It moves along at a slow burn, and bettering your character can be a meticulous and painstaking process at times. The challenge is steep early on, yet the lack of instant gratification and power loot hording is actually refreshing. Faranga is a finely crafted setting for what ultimately turns into a tremendously deep and very satisfying fantasy RPG. It has a few shortcomings; they're largely forgivable, once you get lost in the adventure.
CCC Staff Contributor