Risen Review
Risen box art
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.

Risen screenshot

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.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

Character models can be spotty at times, but the world of Faranga is often breathtaking.
Combat is awkward, but everything else is fine.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Strong voice work and atmospheric effects help bring the characters to life.
Play Value
The slow and steady adventuring has massive depth and offers an epic quest of great length to explore through multiple playthroughs.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Vast game world with a variety of stunning, living terrain: beaches, swamps, rocky mountains, active volcanoes, earthquakes, and more.
  • Powerful combat system with quick learning curve. Gain combos and weapons proficiency as you progress. Unique enemies compel deployment of various combat strategies for ultimate success.
  • Graphics engine designed for immediacy and total immersion. Refresh in the light morning breeze or bristle at the scorched earth with visual and aural technology that intensify the user experience.
  • A one-of-a-kind reputation system creates hyper-realistic social interaction and tracks standing with both groups and individuals. Integral to success, player will embark on prestige-building quests, engage in secret diplomacy, and factions play against each other.
  • Unique mix of intuitive controls and sophisticated story and gameplay elements make Risen attractive to both new and veteran players alike.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge Risen screenshot - click to enlarge

    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook