GAME REVIEW: RISEN 3 – TITAN LORDS / DEVELOPER: PIRANHA BYTES / PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 3, XBOX 360 / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
How Risen can remain a successful ongoing franchise is a mystery. While the first instalment was entertaining in its own way, its sequel was a buggy, ludicrously written mess of a title which rivalled Two Worlds at times. Yet here we are with an unwanted threequel. Sadly, if you weren’t impressed by previous outings, you’re not going to like this one either.
Following on from Risen 2, the game sees the land abandoned by the gods and ravaged by the Titan Lords, and to cap it all a new threat is arising from the shadows. A lone warrior, stripped of his soul by this mysterious force, may be the only hope of stopping it before all is lost.
One extremely notable problem very early on is how much is reused from Risen 2. While it’s not uncommon for a series – Assassin’s Creed for one – to recycle assets for its sequels, the sheer quantity of elements copied and pasted by Piranha is astounding. Characters would be one thing, but dialogue, environments, loot, monsters and progression are all taken from the last title and used again here. You see more original material in an Elder Scrolls expansion than you do in this entire game. Strip away the second-hand bits and players aren’t left with very much for their money.
Combat has reached an entirely new level of preposterous insanity, with the new animation failing to add anything of real interest. Plagued by the same issues as with previous titles, difficult camera angles and cheap deaths still mar what should be a solid system. While it’s harder to get stuck in a loop of enemies relentlessly knocking you down and killing you on your back, it’s just not enough of an improvement upon past failings.
What really sinks Risen 3, however, is the quest system. Within just a few hours any player will be drowning in quests as they splinter off, fragment and multiply exponentially. This might seem like an odd criticism of an open world game, but you’ll be so swamped by new stories that it takes hours to get a real payoff for your efforts. Like everything else in this game, they’re relentlessly drawn out beyond the point of being any fun.
Even at its best, Risen 3: Titan Lords offers elements we have seen done better elsewhere, and it is marred throughout by muddy graphics, dull writing and major issues with the combat system. It doesn’t go far enough to pull a full Two Worlds and reach “so bad it’s good” status, and instead it seems like a missed opportunity. There are flashes of a good game here but, given all of its problems, even diehard fans may want to skip this one.