Risen, Review of the new game by Gothic 2, Gothic 3 developers Piranha Bytes.
Like Painkiller Resurrection(which itself is a good game but suffers largely from bugs and AI problems, but features great artwork) Risen is also overlooked.
But unlike Prey(which was good but not very good), Risen is one very good game. The only problem is less varity artwork(but good graphics), smaller area, 3 factions, 5-6 main areas, and long initial travelling before meeting people or reaching cities(refer map, but it is difficult to survive wilderness without training which one gets in city, catch 22 problem).
I suggest travelling with Jan first, and then going straight to harbour city or monastery as you ca train there and get gold.
If played this way the good parts comes latter and then also it is not great fun. It feels like flat game.
BUT BUT BUT... , a high quality of Emergent gameplay is hidden beneath this flat looks.
Ok look for cheats of Risen which basically are -
type "minsky" quickly while playing the game without quotes. you will see test mode activated message.
press ~ (tilde above TAB) and type "god" in the opened console window without quotes. Now you cannot be killed. You wull need to do this every time you play Risen. A more persistent cheat may come, just keep looking at internet.
Now you cannot be killed so you have solved the number one problem of Survival, as foes are really strong in this game for a beginner and require a lot of training before doing anything which is really irritating.
Now go whereever you want, do what you want, meet people, fight and beat whom you want, revel in immortality. You will see all the fun and emergent behaviour aftter that and Risen does not crashes, instead performs beautifully as it was meant to be played that play.
Like everybody will say that you cannot get out of Harbour city and Monastery without permission once you get in. But you will discover that you can travel on rooftops and can get out from anywhere and even go to supposedly locked doors by alternative routes.
Now go anywhere, do anything, solve quests, enjoy all the fun(since the major annoyance of being killed quickly is over).
In all the madness all the NPC's seem to be performing admirably beahving as they wre made for this type of game.
All in all Risen is one of the best emergent games of 2009 that is unputdownable once you play it in god mode. And the story itself is focussed and very good despit area being smaller compared to Gothic3.
Graphics are very good with weather effects and beautiful island(It does not have very high-res textures, large variety of shaders and cool artistic geometry, neither variety in buildings). Once you play this game you will be engulfed and lost in it.
Now do not complain Risen being a bore game, once you know how to break the rules. The classic solution of shifting strategy when required works perfectly on Risen.
I even suggest developer Piranha Bytes to put a check box in the UI for enabling God Mode as Risen is highly enjoyable and very good game when played this way.
Though Risen is not better than Oblivion and Gothic 3 nor Graphically superior it is an excellent RPG in its own right which can provide large amount of fun. Same can be said about FarCry2 and Enemy Territory Quake Wars which are fun but fall short on the border of becoming great,which in any way doesnot mean that they are bore games, but are in fact good games.
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