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Review RPGWatch review of Risen

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Monolith, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Monolith Prophet

    Monolith
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    Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen

    RPGWatch have posted a <a href="http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=137&ref=0&id=285">concise review of Risen</a>. While it's not as detailed and critical as <a href="http://www.rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=38142">Brother None's</a>, it's still giving a nice overview for those interested.
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    Here the negatives as they are summed up for comfortable copy and paste:
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    <blockquote>Negatives are really mainly personal. The ending is disliked by many including me, though others seem to enjoy it. In my opinion, when you spend an entire game developing a character the way you want to, then you should be able to use all those developed abilities in the final, climatic battle. To change the entire style of the game at the very end leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Some of the animations are ‘rugged’. Quests can be a little obscure at times and the journal is not as helpful as it could be. The game can be a trifle unforgiving at times also, but there are many who find that a plus. Nothing stood out for me as a strong negative, other than the ending. True, there are some restrictions which people might not like; only one city (which is what you’d expect on a small island), no deep friendships such as those formed in the Gothic series (though Patty comes close), and no wildly divergent scenery, or alternative cultures (though the lizardmen are perhaps a nod in that general direction). However, after all the criticisms levelled at G3, who can really blame PB for playing it a little safe. Hopefully, they’ll spread their wings a little in a sequel.</blockquote>
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    About spreading their wings, I hope they'll do that in the add-on.
     
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  2. Hobo Elf Arcane

    Hobo Elf
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    I agree. The ending was the biggest pile of horse shit. It didn't matter one bit how you leveled your character since you'd end up decked in gear that would raise your stats automatically into high levels. I was a physically weakly mage who could cast deadly spells, but ended up as a physically fit übermensch and fought an enemy where none of my spells actually mattered.
     
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  3. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    So it forces you to be a warrior at the very end?
     
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  4. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Yeah. Forced to use a specific set of armor, a shield and a 1-handed hammer to kill the last boss.
     
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  5. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    And is your class also determined by what faction you join?
     
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  6. Andhaira Arcane

    Andhaira
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    DIcksmoker, play drakensang instead.
     
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  7. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    Drakensang, like the tolling of some great bell.
     
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  8. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    Risen's character-system is more or less non-existent anyway, so I don't see what all the fuss is about.
     
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  9. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    Pretty much the same as in Gothic 2, but you can still develop your skills in any capacity. chances are you just wont' be able to master a combat style that is not in your faction (mages won't be master bowmen, go figure).
     
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  10. Thrasher Erudite

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    Auggggh, so mages and non-sheield/hammer builds are gimped at the end? What sort of crap design is that?
     
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  11. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    not really gimped - since fighting the boss doesn't rely at all on your own stats, you just have to run the gauntlet and get a hit in when appropriate.

    the weapon you equip gives you +6 to hammers/axes, so you end up with above average melee skill (max level is 10, the weapon gives you 6 levels in it).

    the complaints stem from the fact that everyone fights the boss the same way - which is more a puzzle/gauntlet than an actual 1v1 fight.
     
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  12. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    Yes. Completely and unforgivingly. It's kind of stupid, to be honest.

    No. The end bossfight is a Zelda-style 3rd-person bossfight. Typical 3D platforming stuff. It's very hard to figure out what the fuck it's doing in an RPG.
     
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  13. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    Class doesn't mean anything, actually, except access to magic. You could be an axe-swinging mage or a sword-fighting warrior of the order too, if you wanted to. You could also train staff fighting at one guy in the Order HQ in the city before joining the Don, I'm also pretty sure you can still train staff fighting at Vitus whilst being a rebel, although I won't bet my head on it. Bow and xbow trainers are also fairly common for all sides.
     
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  14. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    The restriction of class by faction is downright idiotic. It means that those who do not plan on replays are locked into one faction base on an arbitrary class-selection instead of what the player would actually like to based on the world. That is, if he wants complete access to magic, for example.
     
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  15. Thrasher Erudite

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    OK, good to know. Nerd rage /off.
     
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  16. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    what the fuck is wrong with you people? The game is built on a remotely realistic premise that, gasp, the organization you join will result in you learning a different set of skills and abilities that said faction is representative of.

    Not to mention how wrong it is to call Risen/Gothic's character system class based.

    Yeah you miss out on some quests but hey man, choices and consequences. Pick whatever faction you want based on what character build you were planning to go into. You get the entire bloody first chapter, the biggest and most content-filled of the chapters, to decide what kind of character you want to play.
     
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  17. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    Action-RPG with heavy adventure and exploration elements B)

    would you have preferred a rehash of the end dragon of gothic 2? Gotta say, all I did was summon demon sand spam fire rain (in the expansion that is, in the regular I just hit him with my sword till he went limp). Yeah I got to use my skills but when the BBEG is just a drawn out version of a beast I'm kinda not diggin' it... kinda cheapens the whole climax a bit.
     
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  18. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    You see, it'll be the opposite for me. I'll pick my class based on what faction I join. Role-playing, bitch.
     
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  19. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    You're talking about realism in Risen's character development-system in the first place? Jesus christ. I'm not even going to argue with that.

    If you think about it for two seconds, why do you think I don't like being forced into one class in the first place? Maybe because I would actually like to choose faction based on real-life issues and political problems, instead of something linked to a fucking rule-system.

    Furthermore, to care about C&C I'd also have to care about the world and the characters. I even though I tried damned hard, it's fucking impossible to care for paper cutouts and flat characters who trouble themselves with a plot so thin it could be cut through with a plastic knife. Risen's story and dialogue is so shit, I'm not playing it for that.
     
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  20. Murk Arcane

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    Yeah, we are. Magic and demons and blah blah blah. Sure. Now get that out there and think about this for a second. Why wouldn't your character's abilities be influenced by the very faction you join and receive training from? Risen is very good about the fact that the only reason you're limited in any capacity in regards to character building is because the trainers who would help you will only do so if you're on their side.

    Oh hey man, realism.

    Then choose your faction on those regards dude, just don't get your panties in a bunch when the organization that specializes in magic can't teach you how to be a sword master. The rules stay the exact same regardless of what organization you join and you're allowed to get training in any field to some extent - the bandit's aren't going to teach you mater level swordsmanship but then again you chose to not join them, you chose to join their enemies.

    You seem to be intent on having skills and abilities be independent of organizations and their goals - that doesn't happen, not in Risen and definitely not in real life. Groups of people have certain skills and abilities, as well as beliefs and goals. They use what means they can (skills and abilities) to achieve their goals - that's the reality of life, and Risen's faction/character system reflects this in the game.

    You don't think it would be pretty stupid for the Bandit's to allow a random mage to join them when it's pretty obviously a major liability? They already have one mage they trust, why bring more in when they could be spies? Or the order letting in someone who's trained in the same skills and arts the bandit's are (especially when their teachings specifically enforce staff fighting and magic)? The factions are enemies and there is a constant tension and fighting between them in regards to control of the island. For the game to allow you to pick whatever character build you want and to pick whatever faction you want would require the factions to be nearly identical in their offerings with the exception of 3 or so quests. The whole point of the factions, however, is to make them unique outside of the 3 random side quests and to offer the player something worth while other than "I gave the parcel of weed to npc x instead of npc y".
     
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  21. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    It seems that I'm not the only one with panty-problems mate ;)

    You are attempting to talk about realism to me in a game that care fuck-all about it in the character and depth-departments. I'm not talking the meta (demons and magic are perfectly realistic within the meta, and thus they are not the source of my quabbles).

    I guess my problem is of a personal nature somewhat. I do not play a game that contains nothing interesting on the story or character-side for deep immersion and interesting C&C. Risen offers nothing in terms of plot or believability. As such, confining me to one class for choosing a faction is moronic. The problem isn't the confinement in itself; that only becomes a problem because it has no merit in this specific game.
     
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  22. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    I go commando. More freedom.

    The game is plenty realistic in regards to other games. You must find trainers to help you better yourself and don't magically learn to summon demons because you managed to kill your 1,000th lizardman. In order to become stronger you find people who can help you exercise/train more, and in order to learn the secrets of magical rune seals you seek out people who know them and can train you.

    I don't get what's unrealistic about that in regards to something like D&D where you "ding" and suddenly you can use summon a daeva to set off traps or whatever. We're obviously not talking about absolutes but eh.

    Well I'm not going to bother arguing against this suffice to say that I, and many others, disagree. If the game is not to your liking then find something else that is.

    No, no it isn't. The game is built in a specific way that has an internally consistent logic that also mirrors the rules of our own real world. You apparently don't like it - fine, but don't call it "moronic" on the sole basis of it not appealing to how you like to play your games.

    Again, opinion. I disagree - the game is built on the premise that you must choose a faction that will support you, gain its trust, and use the resources and skills (including training) which will help you in your efforts to solve your quests. It has plenty of merit in this specific game - it just doesn't appeal to you to which I can only say "sucks for you".
     
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  23. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    Barring the fact that it takes 2.5 seconds to train, what the fuck is your point? This is not realism, is an attempt to emulate it and convince the player it has merit even though the game world doesn't care. What is that's called? That's right, LARPing. While it's true you have to find a training-station to get better, saying that training has anything to do with realism is LARPing, straight out.

    Excuse me, but when the fuck did I call D&D realistic? It doesn't try to be. This game does.

    No. It tries to be like that. That's why the points where it fails miserably at this are so much more glaring.

    There was a part of my post that was personal opinion. That wasn't it.


    Now what sure as fuck isn't personal opinion, are my comments about the quality of the writing. This is a fact that is undenounceable. It is stiff, flat, and the characters are almost all 100% alike. The game attempts to seperate the characters from each other with the cunning use of different types of adjectives, but it only manages to make a substansial difference in the language-department, meaning mostly the only difference between people in the game is how they talk. You can honestly tell me you find characters in this to full-fleshed and interesting. If you do, you're gonna have to present some serious evidence for your claims.
     
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  24. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    No, larping would be if I, the player, pretended that I had to go to a trainer to build up my character. Since the game actually requires you to go and speak to a trainer there's no larping involved, there's playing the game involved.

    In game, while stat raising doesn't involve any explanation, if you actually raise a skill the NPC trainer explains to you what you just learned. They explain parrying and when to time it or how to lockpick or what-not. These little details all add up to make the game more believable, that is, more realistic.

    Never said you did, but if you read my post earlier I said we're obviously not talking in absolutes - Risen attempts to include a more realistic approach to gameplay and character development, I'm obviously comparing this to other RPGs, the overwhelming majority of which just got "ding, +1 to whatever!". You don't think its more realistic than just opening a character tab and clicking which stat to raise? Even without an NPC trainer saying "okay now lift these weights" needing to actually seek help to raise STR is a hundred times more realistic than your character's strength increasing because you hit the 'level up' button.

    How does the game fail the above? Show some examples please. you've just been saying "this game fails" so far without even trying to offer any reasoning behind it, other than the occasional remark of how you don't like it for personal reasons.

    The above was a response to this:
    Has no merit in this specific game? Seriously? The entire game's direction is built around the fact that your character's build is going to be based on which faction you join - how the fuck does that not qualify as 'having merit in this specific game'?

    Actually that's 100% personal opinion as it is nothing but your subjective interpretation of quality.

    I'm not understanding what you're going on about - are you saying the game's writing is poor because of the words the characters use or are you criticizing the personalities portrayed by the writing in the game? The line about the game's use of 'adjectives' really throws me off man, maybe this is a language barrier thing, but unless you're seriously talking about the characters just using different descriptive words I am confused as to whether or not you understand the meaning of that word.

    As for how the characters are different than each other... well... master Cyrus uses magic in the temple, the warriors sometimes use crystals or melee with staves, and I've seen bandits shoot down enemies from a distance with bows then close in with swords/axes when they get close. I don't know how you'd want them to behave any different other than how they fight and how they speak. But again, I'm not all together too sure what you're getting at.

    I never claimed they're fully fleshed or interesting. Want my thoughts on the matter? There are some parts that are great. Scordo's lecture on pride when you finally deal with him if you join the Order or Mages, every moment of speech the Inquisitor and the Don have, and even some of Romanov's lines are rather well done. The druid Eldric had some witty moments as well - the lines were he talks about the character being illogical while he himself is mostly rambling, this was done obviously to show how he's sharp minded but eccentric, and being on his own has tarnished his social skills.

    There are some parts that are pretty lame - a lot of the dialog is pretty short and characters don't get a chance to develop into actual characters as opposed to quest way points or trade hubs. Those that do are memorable but the majority just remain as one time use and dispose types. I honestly fault the need to have everything voiced in the game, as while its neat, I really don't see it as remotely necessary. If the game was mostly text based without the need for voice overs I believe the devs would have more time to flesh the characters out. Damn shame but eh, the entire game has that lurking feeling that if PB had more time to work on it, it would have been much better. Surprisingly well polished in many regards, but lacking in content in many others.

    edit: expanded on some points
     
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  25. Carlos' Bitch1 Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Carlos' Bitch1
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    My copy is on its way.

    This game sounds more and more like G2. I won't complain about that though, as G2 is an excellent action RPG.
     
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