Fantasy World Fantasy: Risen

The guys behind the Gothic games, Piranha Bytes, are having a crack at an entirely new – yet nevertheless rather familiar-looking – fantasy RPG. It’s called Risen, and it’s a medieval fantasy RPG. Nevertheless the developers claim that they are using the opportunity to do something fresh: “The newly won freedom is being utilized; a new mythology leaves room for new and original ideas.” The game will apparently have a “dirty and used” Mediterranean feel to it, and is set on a Volcanic island. So far the visuals do look pretty impressive – I’ve posted a bunch of environment trailers below. Whether the game will end up being a satisfying RPG, however, is far from clear: let’s see some in-game footage!


  1. Subject 706 says:

    Good riddance to Jowood. Possibly the most dishonest publisher in the world. Hopefully this game will be as good as G2.

  2. Gladman says:

    To be honest I’d be pretty happy if it was the exact same as Gothic 3 just without all the game breaking bugs

  3. rei says:

    I like how lush everything is.

  4. AndrewC says:

    What’s with the little gnomes at the end? They are scaring me.

    As are the hours I will sink into this, buggy or not. I’m such a mark for Gothic.

  5. phil says:

    I like my RPGs like I like my women, used, dirty and Mediterranean.

    Too easy, I know.

  6. AndrewC says:

    No such thing as too easy when it comes to women, phil!

    Too cheap, I know.

  7. Ian says:

    I haven’t played a Gothic game (though I bought Gothic 2…) and the first two vids looked Oblivionesque in terms of the environments, but that last one of the docks was a bit different, and quite nice looking.

  8. Theoban says:

    Well Phil, I like my women like I like my RPGs too.

    From a previous generation, completely inaccessable and best seen from a top down perspective

  9. Sinnerman says:

    Turn based combat please. I can’t stand that old real time stuff.

  10. AndrewC says:

    I too like my women like I like my RPGs!

    Pretty, shallow and completely imbalanced.

  11. Sinnerman says:

    I also like RPGs that are hugely expansive in some areas and brutally streamlined in others. With long legs.

  12. CakeAddict says:

    I hope they can keep it bug free, I probably would have loved Gothic 3 if it weren’t for the lag spikes every damn second.
    Like the environments but then again they always have done that well imo, at least I found gothic 3 very scenic.

  13. Ian says:

    I like my women like I like my RPGs. In a jewel case wrapped in cellophane.

  14. loci says:

    jim davidson and jimmy tarbuck….are you on twiiter?

  15. Pavel says:

    Gothic 1 and 2 were two of the most atmospheric and awesome RPGs ever made.Everyone who did not play them CAN NOT call themselves “RPG fan”.

    Gothic 3 is awesome as well, but it suffered from the complexity and lack of focus – it was too big for its own good.But with the latest patch (1.71) it is stable and really, really good.

    Looking forward to Risen, hopefully it will be smaller and thus more focused with great quests and dialogues.

  16. Paul Moloney says:

    I just hope they’ve hired some QA people; the Gothic 3 demo was the most broken POS I’ve ever played,


  17. Heliocentric says:

    My only experience with this company is the gothic 3 demo. Wow that was crap.

  18. Senethro says:

    Well played, commenters.

  19. Nighthood says:

    I like women in RPGs too, especially The Witcher. :)

  20. chaves says:

    Mediterranian isle? Uhuh… Palm trees… if you say so… Now, where are the pines? Because, I tell you, if there’s a kind of tree we have around here is pines. And I mean like a gazillion. But I guess having palm trees (?!) and white houses next to a dock is mediterranian enough for them.

    Also, when will animators put turn animations in their games? Those boars looked quite nice until they insta-turned like robots.

    But, enough nitpicking. I loved the first two Gothics and the similarities with this new game are so far more than evident. Which is good enough for me. Hope this turns out into something playable.

  21. RLacey says:

    This reminds me that I really should start playing some of the Gothic games. Bought them all (aside from the new “expansion”, which is apparently rubbish anyway) for about £8 the other day…

  22. catmorbid says:

    You definitely have the gothic vibe here, and hopefully in a good way… Some art assets look like they are just modified from gothic 3, but that doesn’t really bother me, I just hope they will manage to be original enough, and get the gameplay properly done this time.

  23. SpoonySeeker says:

    @catmorbid frankly I think the assets look more like they were taken straight from gothic 2.

  24. unclelou says:

    Really looking forward to this – from interviews with PB, it’s obvious that they know very well why G3 wasn’t all that, and as someone has already pointed out, G1 and G2 were awesome. They might look a little generic at a superficial glance, but they were leagues ahead of the competition when it comes to the whole (as clichéd as that sounds) “living, breathing world” thing.

    I’ve not yet played another game where I cared for my “friends” that much, and hated my enemies so passionately.

  25. suibhne says:

    The Gothics are lovely, some of my favorite games. I even enjoyed the heck out of Gothic 3, once I came to terms with the fact that the storyline was utter crap (or was conveyed in an utterly crap manner); the exploration and open-world aspects remained deeply rewarding. And PB seemed to have a pretty good handle on what ailed Gothic 3, based on post-release interviews. It even sounded at the time like they were committed to fixing the game through patching, before their relationship with JoWood turned totally sour.

    I’m eagerly anticipating this game, with fingers crossed for relatively bug-free-ness. And maybe this time we’ll get a good endgame, something that PB hasn’t quite yet pulled off.

    Also, somebody’s misspelled “Piranha” in both the title and the tag. ;)

  26. Cunk says:

    There’s definitely stuff taken straight from the Gothics in those videos. The guy reading the book at the lectern, for example. The boars looked really familiar too except the seemed to have added a “rolling in the grass” animation.

    I’m playing G3 right now (after having owned it for several years — I keep restarting after a major patch is released or if I’ve put it down too long). Other than the font issue when I first tried to run it on Vista (which caused staggeringly bad frame rates and was fixed by using G2’s font) it’s run like a dream for me. And the latest patch (1.72) really improved save game load times. So I’ve been playing the hell out of this game for the past couple of weeks and I’m still stunned by the expansive feel of the world (even though everything is actually pretty close). These guys are masters at world design and every other open-world RPG should look to them as an example.

  27. Jeremy says:

    That really looks amazing, the big thing for me that I would like to see is all those great environments put to good use. For me, I would rather have a smaller world that is used completely than a big world (such as Oblivion’s) with random dungeons cut and pasted across it.

    And a good story… please. Someone, anyone. Just write a good story. I don’t want to keep lower standards for video games anymore.

  28. the affront says:

    Totally going to pirate this to check if I can get through the first 5 minutes without major bugs. Even when I tried G3 a year later with one of the community patches (can’t remember exactly which version, I’m trying to forget all about that debacle) I couldn’t, the very first few minutes had no audio, no subtitles and then plain crashed to desktop.
    Worst money I ever spent, and I bought some horrible crap over the years…
    Although I do hope that they can pull themselves back out of the shitter, they’ll have to work hard to earn back my trust (and money).

  29. Resin says:

    I think it looks really nice. Checked out their site.
    Non-customizable ‘hero’ character, story organized in chapter, dialouge to be humerous, active volcano to be very important……
    No, I’m not impressed. I don’t care for an RPG where I don’t get to choose my role.
    It’s a shame because it sure looks pretty.

  30. Chaz says:

    I really wanted to like Gothic 2&3 but the combat was just so bad that I hardly got anywhere in either of them. Which was a shame because I felt like I was missing out on something a bit different from the usual RPG clichés.

  31. unclelou says:

    The combat in G3 was bad – in Gothic 2, which used a completely different system, I thought it was fantastic. The closest an real-time RPG has come to proper melee combat.

    If you kept getting killed in Gothic 2, you most likely were somewehre where you shouldn’t have been at that point.

    No, I’m not impressed. I don’t care for an RPG where I don’t get to choose my role.

    The Gothics have chapters, and a pre-fabricated hero, and yet you have a lot more freedom what to do (and how to develop your character) than in many, many other RPGs.

    I am not sure why an active volcano would bother you. :)

  32. Al3xand3r says:

    Looks too much like G3. Hope it’s very different in feel.

    @Chaz. What’s wrong with G2’s combat? Sure the controls are weird compared to what one may be used to, but after you get past that combat’s fine. Now in G3, it wasn’t fine anyway.

  33. Resin says:

    “The Gothics have chapters, and a pre-fabricated hero, and yet you have a lot more freedom what to do (and how to develop your character) than in many, many other RPGs.

    I am not sure why an active volcano would bother you. :)”

    Well, okay. I haven’t played the Gothic games so I don’t really know. The RPG I really liked (big surprise) was Morrowind. What I thought was most distinguishing was the open world design, when I read chapters and one character I started thinking it will be more like Thief. I loved the idea of a good stealth based game, but those missions and the lame story just killed it for me. I did not want to be called ‘Garrett’. The active volcano just seems like a slightly over-used story cliche – I leaped over lava pitts in the Super Mario bros. – yet they are touting it as some great thing, when to me it just says – more linear storytelling.

    I hope it does have some freedom to it, because it is graphicly very impressive. I just don’t see it based on their site is all.

  34. Taillefer says:

    The Gothic games are easily as..wait, did you just insult the mission design of Thief?

  35. Heliocentric says:

    If you can trigger an eruption and then channel the lava into populated areas, then and only then is the presence of a volcano a feature.

  36. army of none says:

    The music reminds me of Stronghold!

  37. toro says:

    Jeez, Gothic I and Gothic II are way better that any TES game. Because the games were not made in US, they didn’t have the proper exposure in the main stream media as gamespot. Is true that Gothic3 was a bug mess, however Risen is closer to the previous games. And at this point, everything looks good (except the combat system).
    Resin: Any serious gamer would have the decency to stfu about games they did not play.
    Sinnerman: Turn-based!? Too much sarcasm for one post.

  38. Voice of the Majority says:

    I really hope they can keep the game size under control this time. In G2 there was talk about going to an island at the end and they traveled with a ship to…a cave.
    G3 is vast, but they clearly didn’t have time to work with the story or factions. You can’t fix that with patching.

  39. Sinnerman says:

    @toro: In all, sarcasm free, honesty I don’t enjoy the style of real time combat in most Euro RPGs like Gothic. Deal breaker for me.

  40. D says:

    Such a pity that for everyone posting happily about these good looking videos from a promising game, theres someone in the corner going
    “Palms?! NO SALE!”
    “No classes?! NO SALE!”
    “Real-time?! NO SALE!”

    Wait and see people, please!

  41. perilisk says:

    If you could actually get the games to play without major bugs, and could get over the fact that the story was shite, and could deal with the horrendous melee combat system and the fact that magic was worthless, the games were great.

    No, that wasn’t sarcasm. For all the problems I had with them, overall I don’t regret getting Gothic 1 and 2 (never tried 3, though).