Posts Tagged ‘Piranha Bytes’

In its opening hour ELEX finds new ways to be terrible

Magalan – a planet that sounds like the name of an early 80s high street shop that would have rented you a telly – has been ravaged by some evil space goop or other, turning a once Earth-like civilisation into warring bands of Character Classes, addicted to Blue Space Goop and all very cross about something. ELEX is very definitely about something.

You play Jack Videogames, a man whose generic nature has caused him to rise to the very middle of obviousness, his peculiarly unruly right eyebrow a threat to the opposing forces on his homeworld. Abandoned by his Angry Goop Colleagues, he’s shot, falls off a cliff, and is then stripped of his armour and weapons. For some reason he decides to get better, and get his revenge, or not, or something – the game really doesn’t sweat the details. Read the rest of this entry »

Risen & Gothic creators go post-apocalyptic with Elex

From the first Gothic games through to Risen, German studio Piranha Bytes have made fantasy RPGs. Today that changes with the launch of Elex [official site], taking the open-world RPG antics to a post-apocalyptic with jetpacks and guns. Oh okay, it is a little bit fantasy still, with technomagic, monsters, swords, and thatched cottages. But in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Goth is dead: Gothic devs go sci-fi with Elex in October

Elex [official site] will launch on October 17th, publishers THQ Nordic announced today. Elex might sound like the name of of an app startup pitching itself with “It’s like Uber for laxatives” but Elex is, in fact, a post-apocalyptic open-world RPG from the creators of Gothic and Risen. German studio Piranha Bytes have sidled away from historical fantasy and gone a bit sci-fi fantasy (sci-fantasy?) for Elex, visiting a world where a meteor strike has trashed the planet and showered it with the magical element Elex. This can only lead to questing! Read the rest of this entry »

Piranha Bytes Show Off Nine Minutes Of Elex Gameplay

We haven’t heard much about Piranha Bytes self-proclaimed “xenial” open-world RPG Elex [official site]. The creators of Risen and Gothic did treat us to this nine minute gameplay video at Gamescom, though. It’s full of charming, awkward strafing animations, feathered velociraptor/bird hybrids, and jet packs. What’s not to like?

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Gothic Is More Believable Than Modern RPGs

One of the many nebulous concepts that spring up when writing about games is “a sense of place”. We talk about worlds and locations and settings, but often these boil down to unusual geography or art direction – surface details and imagery rather than a real identity.

Gothic, by contrast, wasn’t particularly pretty. Its setting wasn’t the singular underground world of Arx Fatalis, nor the varied alien landscape of Morrowind. Instead, Piranha Bytes recognised back in 2001 that a place is a place not because of its landscape or biome or buildings, but because the people there make it one.

Most RPGs have NPC traffic. Gothic had a society.

Read the rest of this entry »

ELEX: Trailer & Details On Risen Dev’s New Action RPG

“Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating, Xenial”, was how Risen and Gothic developers Piranha Bytes described their forthcoming post-apocalyptic open world RPG ELEX [official site] when they announced it last year. I reckon they were being purposefully tongue-in-cheek, but either way we didn’t have all too much to go on back then beyond the initial idea.

Fast forward the better part of a year, and a website overhaul, a load of new info and a fresh “mood” trailer now offer us a better understanding of what it’s all about. Observe:

Read the rest of this entry »

ELEX: A Post-Apocalyptic RPG From Gothic & Risen Dev

Bless ’em, you can’t say Piranha Bytes aren’t ambitious. The German studio behind the Gothic and Risen RPG series do make wonky games, but they have a charm. Go read about Alec’s adventures with Risen 3: Titan Lords to get the idea. After tackling fantasy and pirates, their next open-world RPG will go post-apocalyptic.

Piranha Bytes have announced they’re making ELEX [official site] in collaboration with Nordic Games. They refer to it as “Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating, Xenial” and I honestly can’t tell whether that’s an earnest acronym or they’re copying MDK with its “Madonna Dates Kylie?” silliness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Risen 3 (aka The Risen 3 Report Finale)

What did I think of Risen 3 – Titan Lords, Piranha Bytes’ low fantasy, pirate-themed roleplaying game? I wrote nine diaries about it, primarily focusing on the absurd, and I was variously accused of sneering unreasonably and giving too much attention to something that didn’t warrant it. Both were probably correct, but my riposte to either is that I did it because I was enjoying myself. It’s just that sometimes I was laughing with the game, and sometimes I was laughing at it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Risen 3 Report, Day 1: Boobpirate vs Hulk Chicken

Editor’s wibble – I’d hoped to have a full Wot I Think of Risen 3: Titan Lords, Piranha Bytes’ latest openish world RPG by now, but sadly code has been incompatible with my PC. I have been able to play it in short bursts on a laptop with lousy integrated graphics, but there was only so much low-detail 20FPS play I could stand before needing a lie down. However, I am ready to tell of my earliest adventures in its world of pirates, monsters and magic, as The Risen Report returns.

I’m a pirate. I’m on a boat. There’s a fight. I’m on the shore. A beach. An island. A quest for lost treasure. A sister.
Read the rest of this entry »

Back From The Depths: Risen 3 Tries To Raise My Hopes

Risen 1 was 50% dark, strange brilliance and 50% a frustrating descent into grindy nothingness. Diarising that first, fascinating, cruel, strange half was one of my favourite experiences on RPS. Conversely, playing Risen 2 was one of the most deflating, despite it being about pirates and featuring a pet monkey. If you’ve got pirates and monkeys in your game and you still mess it up, you really have gone wrong.

Now Risen 3 looms, and returning devs Piranha Bytes (they of the original Gothic games) are trying ever so hard to convince us that fans of brutal, gritty, wide-ranging fantasy RPGs are getting what they want this time around. Their 11 minute sermon about how Risen 3: Titan Lords will Do It Right even kicks off with an F. Scott Fitzgerald bon mot: “don’t forget who you are and where you came from”. I.e. “look, honestly, we’re basically making a Gothic game again.”
Read the rest of this entry »

It Goeth Before Fall – Risen 3: Titan Lords Rising In August

I have absolutely perfect 20/20 vision! Except when birds are around

The Risen games have never been anything even marginally resembling perfect, but they’ve got more heart than Borlikkulax, the heart collector that comes in the night. We (by which I mean Alec) have written countless words about them, so I can’t help but anticipate Risen 3: Titan Lords with a trepidacious sort of glee. Will it finally realize the series’ lofty open-world role-playing ambitions, or will this wannabe genre titan fall into a crater of glitch-ridden obscurity? We’ll find out in August.

Read the rest of this entry »

Titans, Fallen – Risen 3: Titan Lords

I'm not touching you! Do you want me to stop not-touching you?

Hark! There, off on that obscure isle surrounded by countless biting piranhas, a new Risen has arisen! The Gothic spiritual successor series has previously dazzled with its ambition just as much as it’s disappointed with technical troubles, tedious conversations, and bland helpings of fillery gruel. If you want to understand the series’ charm, I highly recommend Alec’s diaries of the first game, as they’re captivating reads and also there are kittens. Risen 3: Titan Lords, meanwhile, will once again spirit players away to a new setting full of opposing factions and infinitely explorable nooks and crannies. Details below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pirate Download: Risen 2 Does The Demo Dance

hat-based dlc also available. Nnng

Piranha Bytes’ spiritual, Pirates of the Caribbeany Gothic sequel Risen 2: Dark Waters made its somewhat deflating presence known last month, but if one man’s one thousand words on wot he thought about it aren’t enough to cement your buying decision one way or another you can sample a demo now.
Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Risen 2: Dark Waters

I've got a bad feeling about this.

Risen 2, Piranha Bytes’ sequel to semi-great RPG Risen (spiritual sequel to the Gothic games) arrived a couple of weeks back, and I’ve been sinking hours of my time into it on and off since then. It puts you in the shiny-buckled boots of a neophyte pirate as he attempts to save the world from evil sea gods. Yeah, it’s Pirates of the Caribbean: the roleplaying game. But does it offer the freeform, amoral delights of its predecessor, or the flabby tedium of three of the four PotC films? Tickle my pegleg to find out.
Read the rest of this entry »

Of Buckles and Swashes: Risen 2’s “Unfair” Combat

Hey, you're making me pretty crabby. I just might snap.
That is not, of course, to say that Risen 2: Dark Waters snatches away your hard-won victories or pits you against a giant, 20-story-tall physical manifestation of the public’s waning interest in pirates. Rather, the patch-eyed, peg-legged sea scoundrels have been known to use any means necessary to win a fight. Kicking below the belt, bringing guns to a swordfight, being Orlando Bloom, etc. But can such a varied arsenal stand up against seemingly unprovoked jaguar attacks? Risen 2’s latest dev diary aims to answer that burning question and many more. Also, it strongly hints at attack parrots, which is something I didn’t know I wanted until it turned out that I wanted it more than anything in this sad mortal world.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Kraken Good Time: Risen 2

Is this a cove? It looks covey.

I’d love to be a pirate. Not a real one because I don’t think I’d enjoy murdering strangers to make ends meet, but I can certainly see myself drinking rum on a tropical island. Essentially I want to go on holiday somewhere warm and tranquil, and despite the mythical sea beasties, slavery and violence, Risen 2 is set in the kind of island paradise where a man could spend an eternity watching clouds lazily drifting across the sky, galleons sharply cutting through the calmness of the waters and lead shot efficiently puncturing the rear of a rear admiral. Judging by the video below, people are going to expect me to do more than bask in the sun though. Shame.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: Risen 2: Dark Waters


Putting aside everything else that Risen 2‘s RPG heritage might suggest, I have to say I appreciate the efforts made with that fantasy pirate theme. It’s occasionally silly, but certainly harder-edged than your Pirates Of The Caribbean fare. There’s something reassuring about this continued focus on jungle islands and salty sea-dogs, particularly after the shipwreck promises of the original Risen. The world the Pirhana Bytes team have crafted is both vivid and atmospheric.

Needless to say, I’ve been sacrificing precious hours of my life to a preview version of it, so I urge you to read on to find out more about its buried treasures.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Complete Risen Report

I maxed out clothed bathing

In 2009, the bulk of RPG commentary on PC was all Dragon Age this, Dragon Age that. Me, I ended up sinking more time into something rougher, readier, odder, 50% glorious and 50% drudgery. Piranha Byte’s spiritual Gothic sequel Risen was a hell of a place to visit for a time. Here’s my fall and rise and fall again on its peril-packed, amoral island of adventure.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Drunk & The Orderly: Risen 2’s Factions

Nobody expects the Risenquisition

Not everyone inhabiting Risen 2’s archipelago will be a pirate, although all players will start that way. But what is a pirate without an authoritarian regime to cock a snook at? The Inquisition, now in a world without magic, are “organised very strictly”, which is why they have short haircuts and “walk around in goosestep”. Crikey. They’re just asking for a carefree buccaneer to rob their precious things. Then there are “the natives”, with their shaman, warriors and hunters. Many of them have been enslaved and forced to work on plantations. As for the pirates? They’re “drunk most of the time”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Risen 2 Creators On ‘Exotic’ Pirate Setting

He seems nice.
This six-minute “making of” trailer for Risen 2 (below) is definitely worth a look. It shows off some of the environments in detail, but more importantly the developers take their chance to talk about some of the decisions that went into to making the archipelago world. A bunch of factors are at play in making Risen 2 the game it is going to be, not least of which is the implementation of a terrain engine, which was opposed to the usual handcrafted worlds that Pirhana Bytes had worked on. It’s looking impressive, though.

The video does make the peculiar decision of mixing translated voice-overs with subtitles, which is a little awkward, but then perhaps that’s just me. Anyway, it has added 43.7% to my anticipation of the game, which was already fairly high after the moderately excellent Risen.
Read the rest of this entry »