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Review Risen – probably the strongest deja-vu you’ll ever experience

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by DarkUnderlord, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen

    Darth Roxor takes a look at Risen, Piranha Bytes spiritual successor to the Gothic series. Is it all it's cracked up to be?

    Now that we’re done with the background, I believe it’s time to focus on the meat of the game. Risen is divided into four chapters, and saying that they’re a mixed bag is an understatement. In the first one, you’ll need to swear allegiance to one of the factions, and generally, this one is the best from the ‘roleplaying’ perspective. I believe it has the most sidequests, and many of them have a few ways of approaching and finishing. Basically the whole Harbour Town is an exercise in choosing sides – the major quests found there are possible to finish in two ways, either for the inquisition or the Don. They mostly arise from a common problem, but then have multiple ways to do them, two ways to finish and different outcomes. For example, five pieces of valuable ceremonial armour have been misplaced somewhere. Both the inquisition and the rebels are looking for them, but only one man associated with the rebels knows where they all are. Three different people have the pieces, and you can either steal them, if you have the skill, beat them up if you feel capable, or buy them for insane prices. After you have them all, you can take the armour either to the inquisition or to the rebels, which yields you reputation, gold (the rebels usually pay better) and utility items (potions, scrolls). Depending on who you choose to support in these quests will also unlock new quests and teachers – for example, aiding the rebel Delgado not only gives you another, otherwise unavailable, quest, but he’s also the only person in the game who can teach you the third level of pickpocketing.

    [...]

    If you join the inquisition, you’ll end up in the monastery, where you’ll need to finish your basic training first. The monastery is also home to some of the most interesting quests in the game. For example, the first test you’ll have to pass, is the test of combat. You’ll need to beat three recruits first, and in the end challenge Master Aric, the combat trainer. You can approach Aric in two ways – if you grasped Risen’s combat really well already, you can try beating him fair and square, but it’s a tough fight. However, if you get beaten once, you can ask the other recruits for advice, and you’ll be able to drastically tip the scales in your favour by getting Aric drunk and replacing his fancy sword with a weak one. Another well done quest is the murder investigation – you’ll feel like in The Name of the Rose, gathering clues about the murder, interrogating witnesses, and eventually pretending to be a weed trader to lure out the murderer, who’ll turn out to be, well… someone you probably didn’t expect.​

    Read the rest here.
     
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  2. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

    HiddenX
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    good review
     
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  3. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    Surprisingly thorough review, mostly positive but then again I agree with it.

    well done Roxor
     
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  4. Michael Ellis Scholar

    Michael Ellis
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    Well done!
     
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  5. OldSkoolKamikaze Arcane Patron

    OldSkoolKamikaze
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    So is the sense of deja vu because it's identical to every other European action RPG?
     
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  6. Hazelnut Erudite

    Hazelnut
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    Good review, agree pretty much with everything - especially that it has the best action melee combat system I've played.

    I've no idea how you managed to go through it three times though - I don't think it has much replayability. I went back to a n earlier save after completing as sword 'n board Dons man and played through the monestery bits (murder mystery etc), ran around fireballing stuff for a bit and that was it for me. It'd be nice to play as a ranged build, but I've experienced 95% of quests already so I suspect it'd be dull. I completed G3 twice though, so maybe when enough time has passed I might.

    Anyway kudos Darth Roxor - I thought I'd probably not post here again, but wanted to comment on this.
     
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  7. Vibalist Arcane

    Vibalist
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    Was it absolutely necessary to post spoilers for all those quests? I just bought this game recently and wanted to see the Codex's opinion. After reading this review I know the outcome of half the quests in chapter one, because you apparently needed to describe them all in meticulous detail to drive the point home about this game having branching questlines.
    Just stick to a general outline of the game next time, rather than giving the whole story away so you can tell us how the story is.


    And yes, I know this review is old.
     
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  8. Predatory Homosexual Novice

    Predatory Homosexual
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    qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq
     
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  9. someone else Arcane Patron

    someone else
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    Codex cannot into write review. Also Fallout 3 is a better action RPG than Risen.
     
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  10. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
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    I heard Risen had a third guild if you avoided joining the other two (Mages I think they were). How does that work?
     
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  11. someone else Arcane Patron

    someone else
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    You must get a letter of recommendation in Harbour Town before entering the monastery.
     
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  12. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    :decline:

    :rage:
     
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  13. Skittles He ruins the fun.

    Skittles
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    This was a very fair review of Risen. To be honest, I had avoided the game due to some ill will towards it from some Codexers and from the negative rap surrounding the port (I worry that a bad port means bad QA and therefore a buggier game, even on PC). So glad that my worry was misplaced.

    I also wanted to add that, amusingly, Risen runs much, much, much better on my shitty laptop than the much older Gothic games. Gothic II is nigh unplayable in combat on my machine--I quite literally have to guess the attack pattern my enemy is using to time my own attacks and blocks, because the game runs so horrendously. It's like playing as a blind person. Risen, on the other hand, is bliss.

    I will note that the combat system itself could use a little tweaking. Melee becomes a joke as soon as you get someone with his back against a wall... Then you can just chain up combos forever, even with a very modest character skill level, with any weapon of reasonable speed.
     
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  14. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    It's the same for me - after all these years, for some reason my upgraded machine is still not enough for stutter-free Gothic 3 :D (and I'm talking about BIG stuttering, like a significant pause every few seconds).
     
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  15. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    G3's engine is a trainwreck and can run anywhere between decent and shit independant of how powerful the actual system is, though G2 and G1 ran fine on decent (for their time) hardware. Either they have problems with modern hardware/OS or it's the copy protection acting up. You might try a no-cd crack, Skittles (assuming you're playing a legal version).
    And the PC version of Risen was fine both engine and bug-wise (one of the few current-gen games one can say that about), no idea where you could've gotten any other impression.
     
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  16. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    From what I had read you need SSD to not have stuttering, but mine isn't as bad as what you describe.
     
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  17. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    In my case the game became unplayable after I bought a better video card and more RAM. I played up to Varant before the upgrade, using a 6600GT card and 768MBs of RAM... I actually had fun with it. Now, with a 240 series card and 2 GBs of RAM it's almost unplayable.
     
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  18. Skittles He ruins the fun.

    Skittles
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    Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try. I'm using the GOG version, so I suspect it's not copy protection. I actually ran through a tweak guide for it with little progress... I've never tried any unofficial patches, cracks or otherwise, so those might be my next step in making it playable.
     
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  19. Nim Augur

    Nim
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    G2 has a problem with ATI 4xxx cards, possibly some others as well. Think there are/were also problems with Win7 ?
     
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  20. Skittles He ruins the fun.

    Skittles
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    The horrible truth is that I'm using an Intel mobile graphics card and Vista. Some games just don't work with this piece of shit, but if I'm lucky it's a piece of shit that will end up lasting six years, so I don't complain too hard. I just tweak, tweak, tweak...
     
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  21. Nim Augur

    Nim
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    You can at least give VMT a try. For me it makes it G2 playable at least, still running worse than back in the day.
     
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  22. Skittles He ruins the fun.

    Skittles
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    Cool, thanks for the link.
     
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  23. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    Actually, this guy is the strongest Deja Vu I've ever encountered:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The individual clones are pretty easy, but it took me several tries to get past the map with the giant cloning ray that creates an enemy clone of any hero it hits. Like every map in Freedom Force, the difficulty varies massively depending on what lineup you've chosen, and I no doubt suck at real-time tactical squad games, but still...
     
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  24. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    I just installed Gothic 3 to finally see how it looked like (enhanced version), and in spite of my having a beefy PC, it ran like crap, sometimes slowing down to single-digit framerates. And that HDR... ouch! It makes it hard to see things well when you aim. Never had a videogame given me a headache before, but this did.

    Wondrous soundtrack, though.
     
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  25. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    HDR can be turned off, thankfully. My view range and texture qualities are set relatively high and I suffer slowdowns when I near a large area like a city or a big cavern -- otherwise the game runs fine and smooth in the interim -- enough so that it is playable.
     
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