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Why is Gothic 2 considered much better than Risen?

Discussion in 'Piranha Bytes' started by Arryosha, Feb 22, 2020.

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  1. Arryosha Literate

    Arryosha
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    It seems to be the consensus view on and off the Codex that while Risen is decent--even good--it does not come close to the greatness of Gothic 1 and 2. This is evidenced by the fact that Risen doesn't even make it on the most recent Codex ranking.

    I agree with the familiar criticisms of Risen, but to me those criticisms either apply roughly equally to Gothic 2 or are balanced out by other things that Risen does better. At best, I think Gothic 2 just edges out Risen.

    I'm not dead set on that view. In fact, I assume I must be missing something. I'll just mention three of the most common criticisms of Risen and explain why, to me, they don't seem to justify the common view.

    First, Risen's main quest takes a nose dive in the second half. It's anticlimactic and feels rushed. This is certainly the case. But while Gothic 2's main quest doesn't seem anticlimactic or rushed, it never seemed all that great either. I found Risen's main quest and story to be in some ways more interesting and compelling.

    Second, the magic system in Risen is disappointing. I'll admit to never having played a mage in Gothic 2, despite spending 100+ hours in it (I always suspected it wasn't good). But based on what little I know, I have to assume Risen is a step back. However, this disadvantage is balanced by Risen's much improved melee combat.

    Finally, there is the lack of originality. Gothic 2 used largely the same formula as 1, but back in 2003, it still felt fresh. But in Risen, it often feels like you've played this game before (if you've played the Gothics). Here, I think a case can be made that Risen loses to Gothic 2. Risen's new setting is interesting and I prefer it to Gothic's, but it's not enough. However, to my mind, at least, this problem doesn't seem weighty enough to justify the view that Gothic 2 is MUCH better than Risen. At most, it makes Gothic 2 slightly better.

    Other aspects of the game seemed roughly on a par. Story, world building, characters, factions, quests.

    But as I said, I assume I must be missing something, and I'd be happy to know what. Or I'm irrational. For what it's worth, I think Gothic 1 is better than both games, and maybe that is part of the explanation for my view. Thanks in advance for the replies.
     
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  2. Grampy_Bone Arcane

    Grampy_Bone
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    This is why

     
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  3. JDR13 Prophet

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    If you're talking about vanilla Gothic 2, I actually agree. However, I think Gothic 2 + NotR is one of the best open world action-RPGs ever made.

    I enjoyed Risen quite a bit, but it's simply not on the same level. The game world is significantly smaller, and the environments aren't as varied. I also found the characters in Gothic 2 much more memorable, but that might be due in part because many of them were carried over from Gothic 1.
     
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  4. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Arryosha Literate

    Arryosha
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    This is a good point. Bigger is not necessarily better, of course, which partly explains why I think Gothic 1 is nevertheless better than Gothic 2 + NOTR. But whereas Gothic 1 is smaller but better in what it has than Gothic 2 + NOTR, Risen is only smaller.
     
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  6. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I for one am much closer to your view. I think Risen is a great game in its own right and has its own unique charm, while much of the fundamentals are identical to G1/2.

    Every PB game ever nosedives in quality in the latter areas, so that's not a real differentiator.

    Taking year of release aside, I think G2 + NOTR does make it out on top from various factors - e.g. better towns IMO, a more cohesive gameworld - but it's not a massive gap.
     
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  7. Danikas Magister

    Danikas
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    That's why I just cant replay Gothic games anymore. First 3 chapters are great and then it turns into a boring slog through horde of mobs. And I dont know why they always set finale in some temple. Gothic 1 ending in the temple of the Sleeper. Gothic 2 ending in the temple of Beliar, Night of the Raven ending in the temple of Adanos, Risen ending in some titan temple.

    :hmmm:
     
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  8. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    i played gothic 1 and 2 in 2015. there were some obvious problems with it mainly in controls and need fanpatches to run well on modern PC but they are still unmatched in term of world design, progression and atmosphere.


    for some people nostalgia glasses are true but in the end of the day great games will appear as great as it was released regardless of time. there would always be some disparity with the QoL features modern games have polished for decades, but core design and quality will withstand the test of time. i played alot of the classics >2013 and i mostly agree with most of the praises, but i do recognize these games looks like shit and visuals and controls/camera tend to be the aspects that aged the least well.
     
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  9. barghwata Scholar

    barghwata
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    Gothic 2 has much better writing, atmosphere and exploration.
     
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  10. Sjukob Arcane

    Sjukob
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    This. I replayed Risen like a half a year ago and prior to that I had been replaying Gothic 2. After Gothic Risen writing felt kind of dull and lacking, Piranha's stuff has always been straight to the point, but in Risen they went over the top and quite a lot of NPCs only had a line or two to say and that was it, and those lines weren't anything special, the only exception was Don's camp with all it's amusing bandit swearing. Atmosphere is a no brainer, Khorinis just obliterates anything Risen has to offer, Harbor Town looks pretty pathethic in comparison. Same goes for exploration, Risen isn't terrible at it, but Gothic is just better. So, Risen can only offer better combat over Gothic, also it's soundtrack is way weaker.
     
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  11. Dodo1610 Magister

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    Just compare Khorinis with the harbour city from Risen. Khorinis feels like a living breathing place the harbour city is just a bunch of houses next to each other with no identity. Khorinis has a lot more citizens and much clearer class distinction: from the poor people working in the harbour to the middle class and rich people living apart from the plebs. Most people have names and even the characters without them have dialogue while the ones in Risen just give you generic barks when talking to them. The one part where Risen exceeds Gothic 2 is in the combat system which was the best PB has ever made I wish they would throw away the garbage they made for Elex and replace it with the one from Risen1.

    It's not much of a secret that Risen is just Gothic 2 in a tropical setting but it never manages to reach the Gothic 2's heights so it just ends up feeling like an imitation albeit a good one.
     
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  12. Falksi Arcane

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    Sjukob & Dodo1610 sum it up well for me. Gothic 2 as an overall package delivers more.

    For me Risen 2 is actually more of a challenger to Gothic 2's crown than the first installment. What Risen 2 does better than any other PB games (and most other action-RPGs for that matter) is absolutely nail some cracking humour.

    Wouldn't say that makes it a better game than Gothic 2 at all, but I've played both games numerous times over the years and I'd be torn to choose which I'd take on a desert island with me if I had to.
     
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  13. Ludwig von Eisenthal Arbiter

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    I may be the only one who prefers Risen 2 to Risen 1. Why? Because Risen 1 is for me a rather uninspired clone of Gothic II in a new environment. I don't say I didn't enjoy playing it but it was an inferior experience compared to Gothic. If I remember correctly it was also a step back in world interactivity and NPCs didn't react as much as in Gothic to your actions. And free movement was restricted (no swimming anymore). Risen 2, while having many, many issues, tried to be more different and original. That's why I enjoyed it more and never felt the urge to compare it to Gothic. Risen 3 with its bizarre mix of totally different cultural influences had no coherence at all and was terrible for me though.
     
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  14. Multidirectional Arcane

    Multidirectional
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    Bunch of horseshit. Risen 1 was a good game back then and it's still good now. I also thought the endgame in Gothic 2 dragged a lot more than in Risen. Although overall I would rate both Gothics a little higher. Risen is PBs third best game.
     
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  15. Daze Red Panda Alt

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    Both games get a lot worse in the last third but you can't even compare Gothic 2s worse to Risens worse.

    In Gothic 2 you get whole new areas with dragon camps which at least are different enough to each other.
    Also the nostalgia bonus because you get to see what has become of the famous Gothic 1 areas.
    Then you'll see Irdorath which is a whole new map.

    In Risen 1 you walk around on the main map you already discovered everything on.
    You even collected the stupid crystal shards a few hours ago.

    There's 4 or 5 of these dungeons where the whole theme is only: lizard+ruins
    I already saw enough lizards and ruins in the fucking game. No thanks.

    Then you go back into the big dungeon that you already discovered like 10 hours ago.
    The lizard and ruin one.

    And you fight a retarded boss.
    Don't get be wrong: The sleeper was pretty stupid but at least it was over fast and looked like it was part of a Gothic game.
    The fire titan could be just as well a Zelda boss with it's stupid arcade gameplay. Mirror shield lol.
     
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  16. Daze Red Panda Alt

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    Would you rather take Gothic 2 or a brain tumor on a desert island?
     
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  17. thesecret1 Prophet

    thesecret1
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    I found Risen's factions to be really lacklustre as well as the overall story. There just wasn't anything interesting about any of it, felt like the factions were there to have factions and the story was there to drag you around the map and have some kind of a boss. The design of the map was also worse than in Gothic 1 and 2. It wasn't a bad game, but I always found it to be discount Gothic.
     
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  18. Ludwig von Eisenthal Arbiter

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    Yes, exactly, the factions felt so boring and bland in Risen! In Gothic 2 there was something to every faction, it felt very important to be a member of them. I really liked the career from a low City Guard up to a high ranking Paladin or from a weak Novice up to a high Fire Mage.
     
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  19. Daze Red Panda Alt

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    Nah. ELEX was good at it.
     
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  20. Dedicated_Dark Savant

    Dedicated_Dark
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    I like Risen 1 and even Risen 2, it has it's charm. Nothing compared to Gothic though. In Gothic the world itself draws you in, Risen feels run off the mill in comparison.

    Now Risen 3, that's a travesty. Bloody disgusting!
     
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  21. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
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    Risen was shit because of the shit ending minigame. until the end it was not so bad. Note also that Risen was basically the next Gothic, as the Gothic name was sold by PB to another company after Gothic 3 - for Gothic 4, that was reviewed as the worst shit evar on Codex, so I didn't ever even try it.
     
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  22. JDR13 Prophet

    JDR13
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    I didn't think Risen 3 was all bad. At least they brought back swimming which added to the exploration. It was completely retarded that you couldn't swim in Risen 1-2 especially considering how often you were around water.

    The problem is that Risen 3 just feels kind of generic, and it's too long for its own good. The endgame drags even worse than PB's other titles. It would have benefited from being about 20-30% shorter imo.
     
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  23. adddeed Liturgist Possibly Retarded

    adddeed
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    I had more fun with Risen than with Gothic 2. Both great games.
     
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  24. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Risen 2 had me for a while, because you can actually go for quite a long time fooling yourself that this is still a proper PB game at heart. It's only over time that you realise that balance has shifted, the mechanics and signature design features had the rug shifted out under them, and you're actually playing a Two Worlds or whatever open world B-grade clone.

    Risen 3 was slightly better than 2 in some respects, but it was still the same problem.
     
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