Friday, February 26, 2010

Risen | Review

Synopsis: Our mailbox is overflowing, and this time it is SouthPeak Games that chose to provide the most recent review copy, with Risen for the Xbox 360. Risen is a RPG where you assume the role of a stowaway on a ship shortly after becoming shipwrecked. The game is made up of four chapters in which you choose the side to complete the story on along with making your own decisions as you see fit. The open world also lets you discover new places and people in the order in which you choose, ultimately reducing linear gameplay and eliminating load screens. With the onslaught of similar RPG’s such as Sacred 2, Divinity, and now Risen, die hard RPG fans are having a tougher time trying to figure which game will be worth losing that much sleep, hopefully this review helps with having to make that decision.

Praise: Risen is not your normal RPG, like Dragon Age, Oblivion, or Mass Effect because it seems to target the hardcore RPG fan. After recently beating Mass Effect 2, I gladly welcome Risen to be my next RPG to throw my free time at. The biggest selling point for me is the huge open word, where you talk to anyone, do the missions in the order you want, and fight then rob anyone you please (which is not a good idea to do early in the game as it will mostly likely backfire on you). It’s just refreshing to know you don’t have to do “this” in order to complete “that”, so its easy to pick up and play a few simple tasks while you have some free time, but easier to say, one more mission or one more level, then before you know it, you are either late or realizing you’re not going to get much sleep. Moral paths seem to be a common feature put in games recently, but in Risen, it is harder to determine which side is “bad”, the Inquisitors or the Rebels, I went the rebel route. Looting seems to be an part of the RPG’s we have all grown to love, besides how the game controls and story, but in Risen there is no restriction to what you can carry, it is a dream come true, not having to worry about constantly managing what you are carrying just to make space for something bigger and better.

Gripes: If you can’t remember the last time you saved your game, then it’s probably a good time to save. The reason being, is that the autosave feature does not happen often enough and before you get to the higher levels you will die, a lot, and have to restart from the last point in which the game was saved. The combat is live action, and while you are able to assign hot keys, but in most cases, I used those for items to replenish health and went into combat, mashing the attack button while occasionally blocking. Another thing I found awkward in the gameplay was having to arm my weapon to attack and disarm to loot or pick up items, I got used to it after a couple hours, but missed out on items early on because I forgot to disarm my weapon after killing enemies.

Overall, this is my second attempt to review Risen, unfortunately, my PC kept asking for the original DVD and I still haven’t seen an available patch to fix. However, Risen for the Xbox 360 quickly eliminates flashbacks of frustration with having the opportunity to explore a massive world, loot, answer questions to determine your character’s path, and did I mention loot? Risen has a LOT of gameplay to keep you busy, claiming over sixty hours of gameplay, and with having the ability to choose your own path and the freedom to pass up missions to streamline the story or take your time to try and complete every task you take on and any enemy you stumble upon. gives Risen 7 out of 10.

Risen is available now for the Xbox 360 and PC.

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