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.”
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