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Default Risen - Early Impressions @ IGN

October 3rd, 2009, 09:55
IGN has early impressions of the PC version of Risen as Charles Onyett works his way to a full review. Although his tone is cautious, it's nice to see a major US site approach the game with an open mind and some knowledge of Pirahna Bytes' previous work:
Instead of simply tossing you out into the world as a low-level weakling and expecting you to just figure things out, there's a lot more direction to the early bits of Risen. I should say at this point that I haven't made it very far through yet, but have played the opening sections a few times over just to see what kind of variety is present. As it turns out, there's quite a bit.

Before describing some of the different avenues of play, I think it's worth noting just how much more user-friendly this game is compared to the studio's previous work. For one thing, you actually get a quest map in this game that marks precisely where your quest giver is and where you're supposed to go, making it much easier to keep track of things once you've taken on a significant amount of responsibility. While I can understand how some of the hardcore RPG gamers who despise direction might not like this kind of thing, you don't have to click over to the quest map if you don't want to.
More information.
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October 3rd, 2009, 09:55
ultralol at certain points.

they seem to be praising every, just every babysitter-feature, apparently so deadly essential for americans who simply could not do without, how would they even wipe their nose without a precise map marker???
but right now, thanks to piranha bytes' steady improvements over all these years, wiping one's own nose becomes a feasible and perhaps also fairly rewarding side-quest.

but if you don't want to, you don't have to click on jour journal before you attempt that grave task, you might even try out by yourself and see what happens (if anything at all).
isn't that called freedom?
wait, who's exporting freedom to whom, then?



btw, i currently feel so clumsy cause every tiny monster pwns me that easily in the demo.

also, when i jumped off the roof of a hut and died, i heard comments like "look at this idiot, i thought people were more intelligent than this".
i wasn't. reload time.
________
Suzuki alto lapin history
Last edited by baron; April 28th, 2011 at 11:18.
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October 3rd, 2009, 10:08
I am playing for 15 hours now - there's no need to use the quest map at all.
Exploring is much more fun if you search on your own and find something that you haven't searched for in the first place.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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October 3rd, 2009, 10:28
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I am playing for 15 hours now - there's no need to use the quest map at all.
Exploring is much more fun if you search on your own and find something that you haven't searched for in the first place.
I didn't even know thereis a quest map until a few seconds ago when I read your post. I will now go and find it. A quest so to speak.
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October 3rd, 2009, 10:44
I rarely look at the quest log at all in this game and only did at the beginning and recently. (I forgot to get a quest again after reloading the game and thought I had the quest in my log.
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October 3rd, 2009, 14:43
My early impressions. Note that I haven't seen much of the game yet. I'm only at level 2 in Harbour Town.

Risen, PC version
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Gear: Athlon 64 3500+, 2GB RAM, Radeon HD 4650, 36" LCD TV @ 1370x768
Time played: 4 hours
DISCLAIMER: Unabashed fanboi rant!

BEST. GAME. EVAR. Get this game now! I'm playing the game at maximum graphics settings and I'm getting a stable 20-25fps in outside areas. Not a problem for an atmospheric RPG! And atmosphere Risen has in abundance. The game will probably not win any revolutionary graphics awards, but the art direction is off the scope. Well, if you're a fan of the first two Gothic games, that is.

This is the game that should have been Gothic 3, in my eyes. The comparison is so striking that people are calling this Gothic 2.5. You have the Nameless Hero, the harbour city, the farms outside, racketeering, thievery, prostitutes, the fighting, the usurper oppressing everybody in the city, the rebels, the mages. It's all there in a modern coat. The actual Gothic 3 may produce more visual detail, but it also ran like crap on virtually every machine. Risen is a much more condensed experience, with a not-so-huge world to explore but plenty of interesting characters to speak to.

The graphics are probably the best my 4,5-year-old PC will push out with its dying breath. The game looks like it's CPU-limited on my machine, because it doesn't really matter if I lower the graphics settings—performance will stay roughly the same. The warm colours, interesting city layout, dark and manacing forests and plenty of forboding caves with treasure around, will provide a good experience for the explorer.

There's not much more to tell with only four hours of play-time, but the quests are of the same kind previously found in Gothic games, with you running around solving people's problems like collecting gold from uncooperative citizens, solving burglaries, finding jobs, and of course finding out the secrets of the ancient temples that have risen from the ground. All this is supported by a nice quest interface that will allow you to see the location of the quest giver and quest objective on the map. This is not for everybody, but one complaint in Gothic 3 was the terrible quest log that made you forget what a quest was precisely about after not playing for a long time.

The music is of the high quality you'd expect from Piranha Bytes. They seem to have the game engine down this time. The game feels polished, despite reviews to the contrary on the console version. The world is capable of making oneself get lost in it. Isn't that exactly what this sort of game is all about?

Get it. I recommend it.
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October 3rd, 2009, 15:03
Originally Posted by baron View Post
ultralol at certain points.

they seem to be praising every, just every babysitter-feature, apparently so deadly essential for americans who simply could not do without, how would they even wipe their nose without a precise map marker???
Perhaps its the american workhours and lack of long holidays. They have so little free time that they need games that they can get straight into.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it."– Edmund Burke
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October 3rd, 2009, 16:12
I've been reading a lot on other forums, from people who have finished it, apparently the 2 first chapters are great, the last 2 are supposed to be.. pretty bad. But of course, i'll hold my judgement until i've finished it
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October 3rd, 2009, 17:00
Bad… how? Some people may be bothered by one thing while the other may think it's the best thing since… Gothic 1.
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October 3rd, 2009, 17:03
Perhaps its the american workhours and lack of long holidays. They have so little free time that they need games that they can get straight into.




Yeah. We have so little time because we are working so hard so hard and sending most of the money we make to other countries
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October 3rd, 2009, 17:29
I've found the quest map after 15 hours of play, and that's solely because some NPC supposedly marked some places on my map, and I just couldn't find that map in my inventory. Then I discovered there's a precise quest map for each quest LOL. Will not use it for sure.
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October 3rd, 2009, 18:26
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Perhaps its the american workhours and lack of long holidays. They have so little free time that they need games that they can get straight into.
Now don't start sounding reasonable here. It's a lot more hip to be a biggot.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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October 3rd, 2009, 19:13
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Bad… how? Some people may be bothered by one thing while the other may think it's the best thing since… Gothic 1.
If you don't wanna know what kind of area you're in chapter 3-4 you might not want to read.

Spoiler
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October 3rd, 2009, 21:29
I don't like spoilers so I won't read it.
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October 4th, 2009, 00:08
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Perhaps its the american workhours and lack of long holidays. They have so little free time that they need games that they can get straight into.
That's exactly it for me. 20 years ago I could play a RPG without being spoon-fed because I had a lot more free time to play. But now it could be days (days, I tell ya, days!) between sessions and now that I'm older and many of my brain cells seem to be missing I forget my own phone number so I need as many helpful hints as I can get in a RPG (or in life). I'd rather it not be that way but not much I can do about it. As long as a game has options not to use the spoon-feeding then that seems to be the best of both worlds.

I somewhat enjoyed Gothic 2 (I know that's almost blaspheme here that I only somewhat enjoyed it) but disliked Gothic 3 a whole lot so I'm skeptical about Risen. The demo seems enjoyable but it will really depend upon the storyline/quests so I will be looking at reviews closely. One of my problems with Gothic 3 — and many RPGs (though not the good ones) — is that the dialogues or storyline or quests or something didn't seem authentic so I was wandering around doing things which didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. This issue wasn't terrible in Gothic 3 (as it is in some worse games) but it got in the way and with combat being not my cup of tea at all it added up to no fun. Combat in Risen seems similar to Gothic 3 but I'll have to wait for reviews on that, even if it is the same I think I can live with that if the immersion (storyline, quests, dialogues, etc.) is there.
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October 4th, 2009, 00:13
Did you already try the demo? Most players compare Risen to G2, not to G3.
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October 4th, 2009, 03:19
In my experience, you do need the quest map to solve certain quests.

Spoiler – Example


Oh, and about the dungeon crawl:
Spoiler – Dungeon crawl
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October 4th, 2009, 03:56
Actually it's an interesting discussion, this. It reminds me of the contrast between me and my Mum a few years ago.

As a quick background: [short version: my parents are really smart, click for longer version]
Spoiler


So anyway, a few years ago when my Mum still lived here, she was working like 80 hours a week (and I mean that literally) writing her Ph.D and teaching classes and it made her a bit crazy. I was working casually about 20 - 25 hours a week, living at home playing RPGs and watching interesting TV shows. Her favorite shows were shows like Survivor and Big Brother - the vey essence of 'dumbed down'. I was into more complex shows like Rome, Deadwood, The Wire etc. Serialised shows that required the viewer to really think about what they are watching and invest a bit in the shows.

The point is, people who are very smart and hard-working don't always want to put a lot of thought into their entertainment. They just want to switch off and relax. The people who want 'hardcore' games and difficult TV shows tend to be the people who don't have to put as much thought into their work and need something to stimulate their minds.

So I think we need to be very careful about calling things 'dumbed-down' and especially careful about casting aspertions at other peoples' cultures. I could just as easily start going on about lazy Europeans who spend 10 hours a day playing video games, sucking on the government teat for sustinence. That would not be fair though, just as it's not fair to blame dumbed down games on Americans - Americans are some of the hardest working people in the world, and many of them don't have time to 'invest' in figuring out a video game.

I think Risen does a good job here, because it can be very helpful to the player and it's a prety easy piece of software to use. But it also has scope for the hardcore to set it to hard and not use the quest map.

Gah, now I just wish the game would arrive! I have 2 or 3 weeks where I can be a lazy Euro and spend all my time playing games before I have to turn into a dumbed down Yank and spend all my time working and preparing for exams!!
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October 4th, 2009, 06:31
Haha, I really like your point about sometimes need to just vege out and relax without having to put brain into gear. When I was working full time, I often come home mentally exhausted and the LAST thing I wanted to do was get involved in something like deep or logical thinking. I read light fantasy fiction for just that reason; it relaxes me. I'm an intellectual, but certainly not everything I do has to be intellectual. Easy (dumbed down) games might just be what some people need after a heavy day at work!! Still, I don't care for them personally.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 4th, 2009, 06:36
I think the problem is that most Europeans can't read maps, actually. They prefer spending their time wandering around in a daze not knowing where they are; hey, I've *been* there so I know!
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