Ahoy: Risen 3 Gets A Free Graphics Boost

O Risen – The ol’ girl gets accused of being what’s called “low fantasy” (fiction elitist-speak which I think essentially means it has pirates in it). But even in the face of years of apathetic reviews (we called Risen 2 “deflating” and devoted nine diary posts to the threequel to saying the game was really weird and vaguely sexist though charmingly ambitious) Deep Silver have devoted quite some time to the series since 2009.

That extends to earlier this week when the publisher revealed a big graphical update to Risen 3: Titan Lords [official site] as part of a free update. Read about it after the jump.

Here’s what the the old lords of Deep Silver have to say about it – the update gets you:

– Improved texture resolution for items, objects, foliage, terrain, particle effects, characters, monsters and other in-game models.
– Improved draw distance & viewing ranges
– Larger caches leading to smoother frame-rates & less LOD streaming
– The introduction of new state of the art post-process effects such as bokeh depth of field and HDR bloom
– Addition of a new physically based, more visually realistic cloud rendering technique that adds even more spectacular skies and sunsets to the dynamic day-night cycles.

These are also included in the 64-bit version of the game upon purchase, for those who don’t already own it. Keep in mind that if you’re running a 32-bit operating system then you’ll just be getting the original version. More details here.

Just to recap, in case you can’t be bothered with the diaries, Risen 3 stars a nameless hero with a piratical background, who winds up getting his soul stolen and embarking on a series of not particularly piratical fantasy adventures to get it back and rid an island continent of assorted great evils. There are monsters to fight, there are quests to complete, and there is a semi-open world structure which permits hitting the main objectives in an order of your choice, as well as signing up with a faction of your choice.

It’s unclear whether this suggests the publisher is quietly paving the way for a fourth Risen – there’s been some faint murmuring about it on the Internet but nothing official. I’ve reached out to Deep Silver for word.


  1. G-Lord says:

    Very generous of them. I’m always conflicted when I’m asked if I recommend the Risen series, but I personally have a soft spot for all the Piranha Bytes games and look forward to their next game Elex.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      Aww man, why haven’t I heard of that? Totally stoked now.

      • G-Lord says:

        It feels the game was largely overlooked by the international press so far. It was all over German news sites and magazines at least.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I really liked Risen 1, especially the melee system and the climbing/jumping down over terrain. Does Risen 2 and 3 have those as well? I feel pretty done with Risen 1 after playing it for 60 hours, but I’m wondering whether I should get the others as well.

  2. frightlever says:

    My guess would be an imminent expansion or expandalone.

    • G-Lord says:

      I think it has more to do with the recent upgraded PS4 release. I don’t think they have the capacity to work both on a Risen 3 expansion and Elex.

  3. Unclepauly says:

    It is the update that went into the console version. We now get it.

  4. Neurotic says:

    Well I’ve always liked the Risen games, perhaps even more so than the Gothics (although Gothic 3 (sans the outsourced expansion and with the Community Patch) is a solid-gold classic.

  5. DeepFried says:

    There really aren’t many games, or people for that matter, that aren’t at least vaguely sexist.

    But is it any good? I seem to have missed the Risen series first time round.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      It’s the spiritual successor to the classic Gothic series. Semi-open world with pirates. It’s fun to play but hasn’t any depth of story or characters.
      Vaguely sexist in this context means the female plot characters wear skimpy battle clothes and don’t offer any depth (all of the characters actually).
      The game is just a fun romp with pirate flavor and I can recommend it like that -just don’t expect witcher-like epicness.

      You might start with part one – it’s sans pirates and more open world.

  6. James says:

    Please note that the PS4 version is apparently total arse. Destructoid gave it a 1/10 for being on Greenlight trash levels of broken. link to destructoid.com

  7. savagegreywolf says:

    “Low fantasy” isn’t an insult Emily, it’s a genre.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Don’t get me wrong, the Risen series deserves all sorts of insults thrown its way. It’s just that this isn’t an insult.

    • Chirez says:

      I thought I’d check the comments before I said the same thing.
      Low fantasy just means it’s more about a filthy pirate doing filthy pirate things, rather than shining elves and heroic heroes.

      • N1kolas says:

        Only it really isn’t, at all. Not Risen 3 at least. You may be a pirate, but for all the impact it has on either the gameplay or the narrative, you might as well be a mercenary, a samurai, a bard or the living embodiment of the god of booze.

        Risen 3 is a story about an unlikely hero and his band of loyal (or are they?) friends going up against cosmic bad guys bend on destroying the world, facing along the way goblins, golems, evil spirits, giant spiders, demons, sea dragons and assorted undead creatures. It’s about as high as fantasy can get without smoking a joint.

  8. 2late2die says:

    This is quite a coincidence – I finally decided to give it a try a few days ago… I couldn’t play it for more than 3 minutes.

    Right off the bat I had an issue with terrible resolution support – it didn’t even have a 2560×1440 support, let alone 3440×1440. Few games have proper support for ultrawide screens, but that usually means their UI doesn’t properly adjust, not that they literally don’t even have that choice in the dropdown. But okay, I was prepared for something like that – these days for 4 out of 5 games I need to go onto widescreen gaming forums in search of solutions. But then I also had this weird situation where the default windows mouse cursor was shown with the game cursor – so I had this weird double-cursor thing going on.

    Anyway, after doing some searching I ended up have to run two executables with the game – one to remove window borders (god forbid they have a borderless mode) and one to remove the windows mouse (the resolution thing ended up being just an ini fix).

    So I finally get into the game and start the intro section – it looks a bit “cheap”, the voices are terrible (the graphics were actually decent IMO), animations are funky, but okay I can live with that if the game is fun.
    Then the actual tutorial starts. Oh, my effing god! What in the name of all that’s good and pure was that!? There is naught but a whisper of a connection between the controls and the character’s actions. I might as well be using a marionette on strings… actually, I’m thinking that would’ve given me more control over the character. Anyone who complains about Witcher controls/combat should just install Risen 3 and play it for 3 minutes. They’ll be running back to Witcher and kissing the ground it steps on.

    There may be a fun game hiding somewhere beneath all this, but between the jumping through hoops just to get it to run on a modern resolution (keep in mind, even if I didn’t have an ultrawide monitor I’d still have to do all that for regular ol’ 1440p), having to remove the stupid second cursor (WTH is that anyway??) and the abysmal control scheme – I just couldn’t. This was the fastest game uninstall I had since AssCreed Unity.

    • Cederic says:

      I’m confused by your experience, I’ve been running at 2560×1440 with no problems since first installing it.

      It might have just had a texture and prettiness upgrade but it’s been perfectly fine throughout anyway.

    • Chaz says:

      I tried playing the first one a few days ago. It was OK until you needed to start doing some proper combat in earnest, ie something a bit more taxing than giant moths and wolves. Then it just sucked as it has in all their previous games. A character lunges at you and you side step and then strike, which suddenly turns you around and places you back in front of your adversary and facing in the wrong direction. This happened time and time again. Oh dear. Uninstalled, life is just too short for that.

    • piedpiper says:

      As a man who beat all 3 Risens and 1&2 Witcher – Risen a little bit better in terms of combat and a lot way better in terms of world exploration. Still they are both rubbish compared to Gothic.

    • meyayo says:

      Funny because I really really couldn’t last 5 minutes with The Witcher controls and combat. Absolutely love Risen 1 though, haven’t played 2 and 3 yet.

  9. rubmon says:

    It seems that you’re accused of sexism if you include a female character in your game with a cup size over B.

    • suibhne says:

      It seems that you’re incapable of actually RTFA (in this case, the original pieces that are clearly referenced as the source for those comments).

    • Golden Pantaloons says:

      To be fair, the main character’s sister has the worst case of balloon boobs I’ve seen in a video game in a while.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        From the screens the design looks silly even when taking into account they were going for a “sexy pirate” look, everything from the ubersmall jacket to the corset is pure nonsense (apart perhaps the hat), I don’t even think it would fly in pirate-themed porn, what were they thinking?

        • rubmon says:

          A bit of nonsense never hurts. Not everything needs to be realistic, historically and politically correct all the time.

    • Nereus says:

      It seemed like the cup size was just a manifestation of the character designers decision to make women objects in the game world. I don’t give two shits about the cup size of characters, but they are the biggest warning flag that sexism may be at play.

  10. piedpiper says:

    Actually Risen 3 is MUCH MORE better than the second one and I never felt dissapointed in it although some of it’s gameplay mechanics are stupid as shit. I felt invested in game, I felt progression, I felt a little sadness and a sense of achievment after credits rolled. It’s on par with first Risen (better in some aspects, worse in others) and beats ugly boring incoherent mess which called Risen 2.
    It has no great story or teary moments – it’s just a game about exploration. If you like this kind of games – give it a try.

  11. liquidsoap89 says:

    state of the art post-process effects such as bokeh depth of field and HDR bloom!? What is the HDR bloom you speak of?