Friday, July 30, 2010


Risen is a very fun open world action RPG with elements of a MMORPG and an enjoyable hard core twist. It was developed by Piranha Bytes, the creator of the Gothic series and is available for the PC and Xbox 360.

Unlike most RPGs, Risen rightly labels magic as a rare and unique ability; And the ability to use it is guarded by a strict upper class of magicians. Fortunately, everyone is still able to use magic scrolls (they play a big part in the puzzle solving). Because of this it is hard to become a magic user, and even if you follow the strict path of a mage you will only become powerful late in the story line.

Their are three different paths you can follow through the story line. These are not strict nor do you have to pick one from the beginning, or even stay with one that you pick (up to a certain point). Every class has their advantages and disadvantages and even their unique plot and missions.
Classes, in order of difficulty to acquire:
  1. Criminal - Swords and Axes
  2. Warrior of the Order (Paladin) - Staff and Basic Magic
  3. Mage - Advanced Magic and Basic Magic
Note: All classes are able to use the normal weapons: swords, axes, and staffs, to varying degrees of proficiency.

One big difference between normal RPGs and this one is the levelling up system. When you level up you do not get any skill/stat increases but points that allow you to pay trainers to increase your stats/skills. This was quite an annoyance to begin with, but after I got used to the system I started to appreciate the realism this added to the game. Along with the normal magic/weapon skills in the game are some MMORPG like skills including forging and skinning. They do not go into the same depth as real MMORPGs but are useful none the less.

The battle system is pretty much the same as what you would expect, but the PC version does not include a manual lock-on. This adversely effects almost every battle that includes more then one person, as you are constantly being auto-locked onto an enemy behind the one you are currently fighting.

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