Completed the game - random thoughts
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October 11th, 2009, 19:55
Just completed the game at ~40 hours as well.
Played on hard, as a sword fighting bandit, spent half of the game time in first chapter, finished at level 28.
I agree with most of your points.
Itīs really a pity last two chapters are such a railroad almost without any optional or branching stuff.
While I think that Ch4 dungeons were generally well done (the one behind the waterfall in particular), lack of monster variety and npcs really made it way too repetitive and the story was non existent by then.
The ending was pretty anticlimactic.
Also, while Iīm aware that Gothic games were never lore heavy, in Risen this is way "underdone" imo. More background info adding depth to the world would be welcomed and Iīm sure the sparse main quest would benefit from it as well. Thereīs just not enough depth which becomes evident by the start of Ch3.
While npcs generally feel quite as lively as the ones from first two Gothics, there really isnīt any similarly memorable as, say, Diego or Gorn. May be a lack of models or something. In a good PB tradition, women suck altogether
My last gripe about the game is in regards to the overall monster variety.
Fighting hordes of the same opponents can be a bit tiresome at times.
I know PB had to play it safe this time, but really, does each and every monster have to be an equivalent of a Gothic one? I didnīt mind the other "transferred" stuff, but this just felt a bit awkward. The game lacks surprises here.
I donīt feel like replaying Risen in the near future since I too think Iīve experienced most of the content on the first playthrough, bar the faction stuff.
Add-on, or even better, add-in would be nice, especially if itīd resolve some of the later gameīs shortcomings.
All that said, I had mostly a great fun playing Risen.
First two chapters are pretty much flawless mix of questing and exploration.
Skill system is simple but effective, putting points in a weapon skill really makes a difference, alchemy and smithing are nicely tied to exploration and offer some strategic opportunities and the implementation of pick pocketing is probably the best Iīve seen.
World design and often unforgiving monster placement is of the good old Gothic quality. Some views are just gorgeous and returning to kill ex-unkillable enemies is rewarding. Risenīs world feels more-or-less like NotR made into a full game.
Puzzles are mostly interesting and reasonably challenging and even though theyīve become repetitive in the end, it was a great throwback to oldschool dungeon romps.
Audio aspects are well done. I liked main protagonistīs voice and voice acting was generally above average. Nothing truly outstanding but certainly nothing cringe worthy.
Music is pure Gothic and it fits the environments really well.
Overall laid back and somewhat down-to-earth feel is PBīs staple and itīs great to be a part of adventure without epicness and heroism behind every corner.
Iīm also glad PB havenīt forgotten about humor and Risen has quite a good share of it. Probably my favorite bit was gaining +5 exp for reading the accountant book. Idiot achievement was rude though
Inventory and GUI are the best PB has come with yet.
Fighting system is PBĻs best yet too. Involving and fairly complex.
However, multiple opponent encounters should probably be further tinkered with, since combat in such situations felt sometimes quite random. Especially against monsters in the first half of the game, but later against lizardmen as well, due to their high damage output.
Or that was just me being clumsy, the amount of reloading I had to resort to was certainly unhealthy
On my medium rig, performance was great all around and the much needed save/reload was lightning fast.
At last but not least, the game is almost bug-free.
Anyway, solid 8/10 in my book.
Last edited by DeepO; January 11th, 2011 at
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