Finding your soul one quest at a time.
I really enjoyed Risen 2: Dark Waters. Sure the combat was a little off and it was a difficult game if I wasn’t very careful with my saves and what I chose to do, but I still found myself enthralled with the entire game. When Risen 3 was announced, I was actually excited to see what the next chapter had in store for me, and I have to say, Risen 3: Titan Lords didn’t disappoint.
Players take control of an ex-pirate who, while looking for treasure on a faraway island, is killed by an ancient evil being from the underworld. He is then raised from the dead by a rather eccentric witch doctor and told that he is just a shell of himself, a body with no soul, and if he doesn’t get his soul back he will turn into a creature of the underworld himself. Now he and the doctor embark on an adventure, hoping to find numerous magic users that know how exactly one gets their soul back.
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3
Price I’d pay: $49.99
Taking a step back from the entire pirate theme, Risen 3 mixes pirates with the standard fantasy theme from the first game. This means there is a bigger emphasis on magic and swordplay, while still being able to pull out a pistol and blast a hell hound in the face.
Most of the game is broken down into areas, and when I say an area is large, I mean huge. Exploration is the key to finding better equipment and items as well as new quests to take on. That is one of the things I liked the most about the Risen games: I am never really told what to do. Sure, I can set a waypoint on my map to show me where to go, but just walking around finding things and talking to others can offer new quests to take on. It actually feels like I’m discovering things rather than being told what to do, and it is very refreshing to see.
The RPG elements are still in full effect from the past games. Players earn glory that can be used to upgrade stats in numerous areas, but learning new abilities or increasing passive stats must be achieved through paying gold to trainers. It is an interesting mechanic that may be off-putting to some, but I found it to be a good way to personalize my character, allowing me to pick and choose exactly what I wanted.
While the customization is great, the combat is a bit lackluster in a few categories. Grated, Risen isn’t really known for having the best combat around, but even if it is improved from the past games, Risen 3’s combat is still lacking. It is all timing based, with players being able to attack with a string of combos depending on how the attack button is pressed. They can also use a charged up strong attack, as well as block. Knowing when to block or dodge is very important as well. Players can easily get stun locked if they are not careful, but the same can be said about the enemies. It felt almost like I was cheesing the game a bit, but perhaps that is how it is supposed to be played.
The other thing that hinders the combat is the camera. When not fighting the camera is decent, but the way the game handles locking onto an enemy is rough at times. I couldn’t choose who I wanted to lock on to, so it was all over the place trying to target numerous enemies with each sword swing I was making. Still, once I got used to it, it wasn’t that big of an issue, but it needs to be mentioned that it is a bit wonky even after numerous hours with the game.
While I prefer the protagonist in Risen 2, the main character of Titan Lords is enjoyable enough. He has a gruff accent that fits well with the character, and the dialog with both him and other NPCs in the game are still loaded with both comedy and F-bombs galore, and while the overarching story is a bit clichéd, I still had a good time with it.
Visually, it has its moments of beauty. The landscapes and vistas are very nice, while many character models and textures up close are a bit bland. Still, it wasn’t ever really an issue since I was too busy getting from point A to point B to finish a quest.
Risen 3 features some improvements over the first two games. The combat is still cumbersome at times mainly due to the targeting and camera, but the story, customizations and characters are all very enjoyable. Be it upgrading my intimidate to scare information out of an NPC or raining down fire on a group of unsuspecting enemies with a magic spell, Risen 3 is very enjoyable and full of content. Even with the problems it has, I still think it’s worth any RPG fan’s time.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.