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Risen - All News

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Thursday - April 03, 2014
Friday - February 21, 2014
Saturday - March 10, 2012
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Box Art

Thursday - April 03, 2014

Risen - On GOG

by Myrthos, 13:18

Risen is the first game from the Deep Silver catalogue that will be made availabe on Good Old Games. You can get it now DRM free for $3.99 during the next 46 something hours fro writing this newsbit. After that it will be at the regular price of $9.99 again.

Welcome to the DRM-free Family: Deep Silver joins GOG.com with release of "Risen"!

DRM-free digital distributor partners up with Deep Silver, releases "Risen"-the first installment of the renowned RPG franchise-60% off for the first 48 hours, for $3.99.

The one-stop shop for the best games of yesterday and today for PC and Mac, is proud to announce that a new partner has joined the ranks of the DRM-free Revolution. With release of the critically acclaimed action RPG Risen, Deep Silver is the newest addition to the GOG.com family of partners-with more titles to come in the future.

Risen is set in a luscious environment of the volcanic island Faranga, after a mysterious cataclysm causes the emergence of ancient ruins and spontaneous spawning of unusual, vile creatures. With a gripping storyline, challenging combat, terrific voice-acting, and some impressively original touches like the seamless incorporation of magic into dungeon crawling sequences, the game sets a high standard for fantasy role playing games. 

Risen, the first Deep Silver game to release on GOG.com, is available for only $3.99 (that's 60% off from the regular price of $9.99!) for the first 48 hours, until Saturday, April 5, 11.00 AM GMT.

Friday - February 21, 2014

Risen - Copy Protection Removal Patch

by Couchpotato, 05:18

Well this should be good news for most of us it seems Piranha Bytes, and Deep Silver have released a patch for Risen to remove the Tagès copy protection.

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver released a patch for the original retail version of Risen 1 which will remove the Tagès copy protection (DVD check).

This finally puts players who paid full price for the game on par with those who purchased the recent cheaper editions. Now everyone should be able to paint Faranga red without having to juggle DVDs.

The patch is available for download on our servers and according to Piranha Bytes is specifically meant for the original retail version (boxed). It is not meant for the Steam version.

Update: Due to a buggy installer, the patch will only work reliably on the release version! If you have already installed patch 1.10, it can happen that the installer runs through just fine but does not actually install anything. This depends on the variant of the 1.10 patch installed (according to a statement by Deep Silver made in the German forum, several variants are in circulation).

To get the patch working for sure, install Risen fresh from the DVD and then immediately apply the Unprotect patch. Do not apply patch 1.10 at any time (it is not needed as it is already included in the Unprotect patch).

Saturday - March 10, 2012

Risen - Steam Update removes Tages

by Gorath, 18:37

The Tages copy protection / activation for Risen was removed via Steam update a few days ago. Now there is neither Tages nor an activation limit for the Steam version.

Thursday - October 20, 2011

Risen - Subsite @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 22:11

GameBanshee has launched their subsite for Risen, offering a walkthrough, equipment database and so on.

Wednesday - August 31, 2011

Risen - v1.2 Unofficial Patch

by Dhruin, 00:23

Version 1.2 of PowerGamer's Unofficial Patch for Risen was released last week - you can find links to the file and the Readme/notes in the linked thread at World of Risen.

Thanks, Vurt!

Friday - July 08, 2011

Risen - Gothic Mod

by Dhruin, 22:54

World of Risen is pointing out a mod that adds some Gothic flavour to Risen, such as music, some monsters and interface elements. I'm not sure how that would work out but it's an interesting idea - intro thread here with details and release thread here with installation instructions (scroll down for English).

Monday - November 15, 2010

Risen - Steam Runs Out of Keys After Sale

by Skavenhorde, 18:09

Due to an unforseen demand for Risen after it went on sale Steam has run out of activation keys. Daniel, Senior Brand Manager, says they have sent over a whole batch of freshly baked activation keys for Steam and the issue should be solved shortly. Here is the announcement at Deep Silver's forums:

 

Dear Risen fans/buyers,

As you're fully aware, the server ran out of activation keys for Risen over the weekend. It is not because an Ogre broke into the offices of Valve and stole them but because of an unexpected "tsunami of orders" which nobody could anticipate in such a magnitude.

On the one hand we're very happy that you decided to buy the game since this shows us that Piranha Bytes and we did the right thing by investing a lot of time to get a fantastic game.

On the other hand it forces me to beg you for your patience until we finished the "quest for the missing keys". While our support is also around for you on weekends, feeding the server with activation keys is not a trivial task so we'll have to wait for the experts to arrive in the office on Monday. The keys will then be passed to Valve and every legitimate buyer should get his key to play the game as it worked before. After all we didn't have any issues before.

Please bear with us until we sortet out the issue and although I know that we caused a lot of distress and anger I'm pretty confident that that everyone of you will be able to enjoy the game shortly.

 

Stay tuned for further news in this thread.

best rgds,

Daniel

Senior Brand Manager @ Deep Silver

P.s. In the meantime please don't try to circumvent the copy protection since this might be a violation of the TOS of Steam and could endager your Steam account.

 

[UPDATE]

I just got notice that a big set of keys were sent from us over the big pond to Valve. Not sure how long it will take Valve to put them into their system but you should give them some hours to wake up, drink some coffee and get to work. After all we're again dealing with different timezones, but this time the other way round

For the last stage, I'm going to need your help. Please give me a shout here in the forum if you got your key from Steam so we can report a "Mission Accomplished" to everybody.

Friday - November 12, 2010

Risen - Steam Sale

by Dhruin, 11:21

You can grab Risen on Steam for $14.99 at the moment, which is a bargain if you don't already have it.

Thursday - March 18, 2010

Risen - Patch 1.10 Released

by Gorath, 18:43

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes released patch 1.10 for their action-RPG Risen. It's currently only for the retail version. Download providers should release their own patches soon.

The fix list:

  • Placement of various objects in the world revised
  • Collision revised: player could previously get stuck in certain locations
  • Problem with Brogar Arena quest resolved: this quest was only offered twice in certain circumstances
  • Problem with the camera and the interface after loading a saved game resolved
  • Various locations revised where the player was teleported to the first floor upon entering a building
  • The hunters are to hunt again: problem with a dialog option that immediately ended this quest resolved
  • Problem with the trigger for the final battle resolved
  • Golden sword for the Don: this sword could be duplicated by stealing
  • Problem with signpost lighting resolved
  • Position of various quest goals revised and improved
  • Problem of the player not receiving the bastard sword after delivering the materials for it resolved
  • Interaction with benches, chairs, etc. revised
  • Various dialog options revised
  • various error corrections made in game texts and language files

You can find the download for example on World of Risen.

Tuesday - March 09, 2010

Risen - X360 Review @ Diehard GameFan

by Dhruin, 21:41

Diehard GameFan has the most detailed X360 review of Risen I can recall, although their scoring system seems a bit uneven.  Ultimately the game is praised for RPG fans but criticised as unappealing to the console mainstream:

Risen is the sort of game that will appeal to diehard fans of the action RPG genre, as there’s enough good elements to the game to make it enjoyable, but it’s more than likely to put off more console-oriented fans because of its obtuse nature and more casual fans because of its stylistic and mechanical issues. The story is interesting and varied enough to keep the game going, the visuals and audio are competent and inoffensive, and the gameplay offers enough variety to be interesting. There’s plenty of variety to the things the player can do, and plenty of challenge to the game all around, and with a long quest and different factions to ally with, there’s plenty of play and replay value for anyone interested in the game. However, console-oriented action RPG fans may well be put off by the often unhelpful quest maps and lack of solid directions to objectives and the unimpressive presentation, while more casual genre fans may be put off by the, “exploration equals death,” mentality, the long time it takes to achieve any sort of notable character development, the lack of attachment to the main character as either a personal avatar or a character in the story, and the general technical issues. If you’re looking for a challenging and time consuming action RPG with some depth and substance and you don’t mind some mechanical issues and presentation flaws, Risen will be worth a look, but anyone looking for something a little more technically competent and polished may find this a bit too flawed and archaic to enjoy.

Wednesday - March 03, 2010

Risen - X360 Review @ MTV

by Dhruin, 21:05

I'm pretty sure MTV didn't like Risen on the X360:

For all its scale and curious nature, Faranga's pull is not stronger than the game's technical and design issues. In this sense, immersion is a fleeting thing. Copious amounts of pop-in and texture issues are roadblocks. The game's tedious pace, unreliable auto-saving system, sputtering frame rates, senseless AI, muddy visuals, and spotty navigation are few of many more.

Wednesday - February 24, 2010

Risen - X360 Review @ IGN

by Dhruin, 09:33

The first review of the freshly-released NA X360 version of Risen is up at IGN.  Written by Charles Onyett - who I seem to recall reviewed a couple of Gothics - the score is 7.6/10 and the tone is generally positive.  Graphics, uneven frame-rate and some minor control issues are the main negatives.  Here's a snip:

Beyond making decisions about which faction to choose, the first chapters of Risen are packed with side-quests that gradually introduce you to its combat systems and various skill sets, from alchemy to lockpicking to prospecting and metal working. It's in these parts that's Risen begins to build an affecting tone with its authentic NPC dialogue and strong voice acting. The populace of Harbor Town is tired. The people complain of reduced business prospects with the recent trouble surrounding the island, and to cope they resort to thievery, drug running, and extortion. They're a beat-down lot, content to drown their worries in beer and everyday routine, and as a result they feel more like real people. The quests you're given frequently overlap and often have logical goals, making the NPCs seem like more than faceless task dispensers.

Saturday - January 30, 2010

Risen - X360 Preview @ Kotaku

by Dhruin, 20:55

Kotaku's Steven Totillo had a presentation of Risen for the X360 at  their offices but he isn't convinced what he saw on the screen matched the grandeur of the PR reps words.  Here's a sample:

I was told I would be able to judge the skill level of my enemy by how he stands and how he wields his weapon. The character-improvement system in this game would require me to take my character and any experience points he gains to specific in-game characters who could train my guy to learn the abilities I want. Different characters train different skills, be they blacksmithing, spell-making or whatever else. This would feel more realistic, I was told, to have the trainer teach you, rather than just being able to click on a button and suddenly be a mage. We saw a cook cooking, and I was told that anything I see a non-playable character in the game world doing, my character can do. And, yes, that includes picking up a broom and sweeping the floor.

As I listened, I also looked. I saw my character and a woman he was talking to swaying their hands as if directing slow traffic, again and again. I saw early-game combat decided by the hammering of the same attack button, again and again. I saw that the way to avoid some conflict is to conjure the phantasm of an exotic dancer in front of your would-be attackers. I saw that the characters in this game are smart enough to mind when you walk into their kitchen and raid their wares, but that our hero is crafty enough to "tell joke" and turn a belligerent cook into a chortling one.

Monday - January 18, 2010

Risen - Feb Release for X360 in NA

by Dhruin, 19:36

Deep Silver sends word the X360 version of Risen will launch in February in North America:

DEEP SILVER TO PUBLISH RISEN® FOR XBOX 360 IN NORTH AMERICA

HERMOSA BEACH, CA - January 18, 2010 – Deep Silver, the games label of Koch Media, a worldwide producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, announced today that RISEN® will be published for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in North America this February. RISEN features an epic story with over 60 hours of exploration and adventuring.

RISEN is a massive, open-world RPG where every decision counts and every action continuously shapes a player’s reputation. In a medieval setting, the game begins with the player shipwrecked on an island in turmoil, rocked by mysterious ruins rising from the ground. Players will battle dangerous creatures yet the promise of ancient treasures will lead them on an adventure where they must choose to align with either the native Rebel faction, or the mysterious Order and its Inquisition. Only then will they determine just what is truly happening on the “forbidden isle.”

“We’re incredibly excited about RISEN and the opportunity to publish it in North America,” said Geoff Mulligan, Chief Operating Officer at Deep Silver. “What we bring to market is a deep, immersive RPG that Xbox 360 gamers have been clamoring for. RISEN is going to start off this year for RPGs in an amazing way.”

RISEN features a seamless streaming environment that players can explore however they choose, using intuitive controls designed to make exploration and combat easily accessible to both RPG fans and newcomers alike. The game’s central story can be experienced in different ways, depending on the in-game decisions players make.

RISEN is being developed by Piranha Bytes and scheduled for release in February 2010. For more information visit risen.deepsilver.com.

Monday - December 14, 2009

Risen - Featured in Resolution Magazine's Favorite Games of the Year 2009

by Aries100, 17:29

The people at Resolution Magazine are writing articles about their favorite video games of 2009. Today, the feature article is about Risen, the RPG from Piranha Bytes.

Here's their take on the universe in Risen:

What's impressive about this universe is the attention to detail involved with each and every aspect, from the distinct personalities of the individuals you meet, to the design of the many caves and tunnels forming dungeons throughout the island. It's a small place with an equally small population, but despite this you'll find more than 50 hours' worth of enjoyment bundled in with it; the phrase "good things come in small packages" has never felt so true. It's nothing short of impressive that a developer can pack so much into such a small area, making you wonder what they could do with a world on the scale of Oblivion or Fallout 3.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - December 13, 2009

Risen - Review @ RPG Codex

by Aries100, 18:22

RPG Codex has penned a positive review of Risen  stating  that it is a fine and 'worthy successor to to the Gothic series.'  The review covers the story, the exploration, the plot and the combat.

Here's a bit about the dangers you'll meet in Risen:

And dangers are common in Risen. I already mentioned the traps, now it's time for monsters. There are quite a few of them that you'll HATE, and I mean HATE with a passion, mostly three of them: gnomes, ghouls and brontoks. Gnomes are not particularly deadly, but they're annoying as hell, because the whole island is swarming with them, and they always attack in groups of four or more (the largest I remember had about twelve). Ghouls, now they are a pain in the ass. Not only are they very fast, but I think they also have a high resistance to magic and piercing damage. They hit hard and have a special attack - if you block their attacks, they cast a kind of ice burst that breaks your block and takes down a lot of HP. And brontoks... they look a bit like armoured buffalos, and these are especially annoying to melee fighters, because they're the only monsters in game that can cause ‘stunlocks', since each of their attacks breaks your block/knocks you back, and they can chain up to 4 such attacks. Moreover, they can parry your hits. 

Source: RPG Codex

Friday - December 11, 2009

Risen - Receives BIU Gold Award

by Gorath, 16:59

The German entertainment software association (BIU) gave publisher Deep Silver a BIU Gold Award for their game Risen. This is the official confirmation that Piranha Bytes' RPG sold through 100k on one platform in the German market.

The best selling PC game this year is probably Anno 1404, which received a BIU Platin Award for 200k on one platform.

Monday - December 07, 2009

RPGWatch Feature - Risen Review

by Dhruin, 10:21

Pirnanha Bytes has always been a favourite of our team, so it's no surprise most of us played Risen. Corwin writes our main review, with additional input from txa1265 and Gorath, to find if Piranha Bytes has rediscovered their form.  Here's a sample:

Your actions produce consequences; either through what you do, or through what you say. Annoy a person and they might not talk to you again, or a quest might fail. Get caught stealing and you will be attacked, frequently by several people. Choose to support one group and you might close off quests for a different faction. There are plenty of choices to be made, but their consequences can permeate the entire game. Yes, some quests are of the tedious variety; find 3 golden bowls, collect 5 pieces of armour, but these are balanced, if not outweighed by others, such as helping Patty, where you’ll end up exploring much of the island while having some fun and perhaps getting rich.

Read it all here.

Thursday - December 03, 2009

Risen - Patch Confirmed

by Gorath, 22:35

The Deep Silver CM confirmed in a post @ WoR that a patch is being worked on. Neither details nor an ETA were revealed yet.

Wednesday - November 25, 2009

Risen - Review @ VGBlogger

by Magerette, 15:35

Mike Anderson(the Watch's txa1265) sends word that he's done a review of Risen over at VGBlogger. Here's a short excerpt:

...- choices and consequences come early and often. As mentioned, early in the game you will need to make a choice how to proceed. This choice doesn’t completely determine your destiny, but it will shape the course of your quests for many hours to come. Folks used to traditional action-RPGs are likely to quickly choose their path and stick with it, or perhaps even get themselves caught up and their path short-cut into a forced decision. It is something that fans of the Gothic games will recognize and appreciate - you are free to try just about anything, but if someone tells you something is a really bad idea, it probably is a really bad idea!

Thanks for the heads-up, Mike.

Friday - November 13, 2009

Risen - Review @ La Maschera Riposta

by Dhruin, 21:23

Italian site La Maschera Riposta sent in their (Italian) review of Risen.  They say the game is entertaining but the common criticisms appear: the design is too conservative and Piranha Bytes needs to look further in their next game.  Score - 4/5.

Risen - Review @ Yiya.de

by Gorath, 03:29

Our old friends at Yiya also posted their Risen review. They think Piranha Bytes might have played it a bit too safe, but the game is fun to play, even though it's not really in Gothic and Gothic 2's league. "B"

Risen - Review @ PC Gameplay

by Gorath, 03:22

Thanks to EDV for sending us some translated excerpts from Belgian print mag PC Gameplay's Risen review:

Story wise Piranha Bytes turned back to the formula of the first two Gothic-games. The game is made into four chapters, you're to interact with a wide range of well developed character and many decisions are to be made. The choice of faction has a huge amount of influence since every faction has specific quests which influences the story. Quests are varied and score higher than average on originality. They are offered by characters with depth and often give an insight in an interesting side-story, even if you only have to pick up and item. Even this last type of quest is interesting because the developers put a lot of traps in the many different temples where you have to utilize the various skill of your character. If you're standing in a dungeon in front of a locked gate you can use telekinesis to open the gate using the switch on the other side, you can levitate over the gate or transform into a nautilus and crawl through a hole in the wall.[...]

BYE BYE BUGS
Enough praise for now. We still want to find out if there are bugs, the most damaging to the Gothic-series and especially Gothic 3. A bugless game is nearly impossible for a non-linear RPG, but Gothic 3 seemed to be going for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. But people at Piranha Bytes seemed to have found a good bug spray, although the absence of JoWood, king of premature software, might also have been a factor. I did notice some minor bug. The main character knows things he shouldn't know and sometimes finds items belonging to a quests that hasn't began yet. None of these bugs cause big problems, crashes of other discomfort.
We have come to the conclusion that Risen became the game Gothic 3 should have been. These are no (big) bugs, the story is compelling, the combat tactical and thye quests are part of a fascinating world. Add a very intuitive interface and an audiovisual presentation which gives a great feel and you have a game you can spent several dozen of hours playing.[...]

87 out of 100

Wednesday - November 11, 2009

Risen - Review @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:28

Brother None pens a review of Risen over at GameBanshee. The game gets some praise but also some criticism - particularly of the last chapters - on the way to a score of 7.4/10. Here's a sample:

But to continue on in the story, Harbour Town is really what the first chapter is about though I should note the experience of players in the first two chapters can be pretty different depending on what faction you choose to approach first. Harbour Town is a good showcase of what Risen's strengths and weaknesses are: it is a well-designed, goodly sized location with interesting human conflict, convincing NPCs and a variation of quests with real choices to make on whose side you pick. Various skills, especially thievery, can come in handy to offer alternative solutions to different quests, and often a bit of quick thinking by the PC can help find an alternate path. Also, the story here really focuses on inter-personal and inter-factional relationships, the strength of which was explained in the setting world segment of this review.

However and this is a big however Risen takes a definite step back from the likes of Gothic 2 when it comes to depth of quest design. Even if you dig around for alternatives, a shockingly large number of quests in Harbour Town come down to beat him up and take his stuff or intimidate him, which is fairly ludicrous considering how often you are warned that this is a well-ordered town that you can not just mess around in (people are generally too forgiving of being beaten up through the game). A good example of this is a quest in which you need to retrieve 5 pieces of armour. If you have the pickpocket skill, you're free to resolve the quest using it. Otherwise, you either have to pay the NPCs an exorbitant amount of money you likely won't have and by paying that money also miss out on free XP and loot given by beating them up or, indeed, beat them up and take it, to no negative consequence. Why am I just allowed to do that and get away scot-free? Why can't I trade the armour piece for a favour or a personal item of theirs I nicked earlier? Why can't I get help in retrieving the armour pieces? Why can't I side with the aggrieved holders of the armour pieces and gang up on their boss with their help?

Sunday - November 08, 2009

Risen - XBox 360 Patch Available

by Gorath, 13:37

According to the World of Risen forums some players already have the new Risen patch for XBox 360. What it actually does remains to be seen.

Tuesday - November 03, 2009

Risen - Review @ GPM

by Dhruin, 20:06

'B' is the grade for Risen in a review at Gameplay Monthly.  The text is quite positive, praising the "refreshing" lack of hand-holding but finding it unoriginal and not quite as good as the first Gothics:

Despite its shortcomings, I thoroughly enjoyed Risen. That old-school feel coupled with a vibrant beautiful world make for a compelling game. With a player and character skill-based combat system and lots of exploring to do as well as alive-looking cities and communities of npc with a lot of quests, it can offer many hours of fun. It suffers from the fact that it’s not original, being very similar to the first two Gothic games, while on the same time not as good. Still it’s very polished, has very few bugs (I haven’t encountered any game-breaking ones), it looks great and plays great even on a mid-range gaming computer.

While on Risen, louis wrote in a few days back with a NSFW invective-filled rant review from a site called Video Games Suck.  It's hard to pull a quote, so head over for a laugh or if this is your thing.  Score - 5/10.

Source: Blues News

Monday - November 02, 2009

Risen - PC Review @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 01:01

After the vocal response to their 4/10 Xbox 360 review, Eurogamer have taken a stab at reviewing the PC version of Risen. Resulting in a higher grade of 6/10 but not exactly full of praise for the game.

So, sorry Risen apologists, but even when viewed in its best light, Risen simply isn't anything special. Despite being Gothic 4 in all but name, Piranha Bytes has brought little that is new to its creaking formula and the elements that are worthwhile are all but smothered under a design ethos that confuses length for depth.

Ironically, while the PC version inarguably shows up the flaws in the 360 effort all the more, it also fares far worse when compared to its peers. Consoles have relatively few RPGs in this traditional mould, but on the PC the competition is much fiercer and so well-intentioned failures are harder to tolerate. Adequate rather than inspired, Risen doesn't even match up to the polish and narrative depth of The Witcher, now two years old, so releasing it only weeks before BioWare's Dragon Age is bordering on suicidal. Patient gamers looking to tick off genre standards without being troubled by any surprises will no doubt unearth a few truffles of amusement, but in the grand scheme of things Risen barely manages to rise above the herd.

Monday - October 26, 2009

Risen - Review Flood #9

by Dhruin, 10:20

Time for another Risen review flood with all the links we've collected since the last one.

  • Britbox - This UK Xbox site says 6/10, with the title "not feeling at home" on a console but worth it for fans of the genre willing to put up with some foibles.
  • Cheat Code Central - a "slow burn" RPG for the patient.  The score is "Great" at 4.4/5.
  • CrispyGamer - A "wholesale ripoff of the Gothic formula" might be seen as a negative but it's what Piranha Bytes fans want.  The rating is "Try it".
  • College News Review - Solid and enjoyable despite the flaws.  Rating - "B"
  • Buttonmasher - This New Zealand site looked at the X360, with the writer a fan of Gothic. Get it when the console patch is released, is the verdict.
  • Game Observer - 71% for the X360 version.  "Broken but functional" (!)
  • ActionTrip - "Engaging gameplay" but Piranha Bytes "needs more work in the story department".  The score is 8.1/10.
  • My Gaming - "Ruined" by poor production values, this console review scores of lowly 43%.
  • Gamer Limit - "What you get when you combine the depth of Oblivion with the accessibility of Fable". 8.5/10.
  • Console Monster - 64%

Here are the international reviews (apologies for the lack of summary).

Thanks to everyone who sent in links.

Thursday - October 22, 2009

Risen - Report #6 @ RPS

by Dhruin, 10:42

Alec Meer's coverage of his Risen play time reaches part six and is titled Grinding:

And that’s why I find myself grinding. I don’t like feeling like I’m missing out on something, so I’m roaming the land looking for minor quests and anything I can kill, just in the hope of levelling up so I can earn 10 more precious Learning Points. 5 learning points gets me an upgrade in a crafty or stealthy discipline or a strength, dexterity or mana boost, while 10 buys me a significant upgrade to my sword, staff, axe or bow prowess, or to my new Magic Bullet, Fireball or Frost spells. Must level must level must level must level…

Tuesday - October 20, 2009

Risen - Report #5 @ RPS

by Woges, 23:11

Alec Meer continues his series of playing Risen. Edit: Oh, there will be spoilers of course.

This guy?

I hate this guy.

Alric here manages the improbable feat of being an especially memorable arsehole in a monastery full of arseholes. If you recall, I find myself in the monastery due to a grave error that has irrevocably driven me from my chosen path of banditry, and led to my being forcibly conscripted into the Order – a presumed-sinister conglomerate of mages, religious types and fighters that’s the closet to what passes for authority in this stricken land.

How many arseholes have they got in this game anyhow?

Thursday - October 15, 2009

Risen - Risen Q&A @ msbox-world

by Dhruin, 23:49

Deep Silver brand manager Daniel Oberlerchner has been interviewed at msbox-world.com, offering a general overview of Risen with focus on the X360 version:

Tell us about the AI. We've seen enemies going about their daily routines in the trailers, so how do you handle that part of the game that simulates the NPC's lives outside of player interaction?

Every NPC (including Monsters) have their own daily routine which varies by job and environment. This means that the blacksmith has another cycle than the alchemist etc. Creatures are also asleep at night (except the undead) so you might sneak through the forest at night and reach areas which are heavily guarded at day to get exceptionally better items for your player character. Risen also features a Town AI where every action of you is monitored. So if you enter someone’s room, you will be asked to leave if it is not a public room. NPCs in Risen are very suspicious about your actions when they don’t know you. Sleeping in other people’s beds is frowned upon and don’t try to steal or you shall see the consequences. If you’re caught murdering another person red handed, people will hunt you down and kill you.

Risen - Risen Review @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 23:26

While we work on the next Risen review flood, GameSpot is probably a significant enough site to post their critique separately.  The score is 7/10 but the text is generally quite positive, they cite "troublesome" combat and "scattered bugs" for bringing the score down.  Here's the intro:

If you judge Risen on its first act alone, you may be convinced that a better title for this complex role-playing game would be "Errand Boy." But while you spend many of the early hours as a shipwrecked message courier, you should stick with it, because things do get better. You explore dark caverns, clash with pirates over buried treasure, stab lizardmen in their faces, and earn the help of a furry friend with a talented nose. Some of Risen's issues stay with you up to the end; there's no escaping the problematic combat and a number of bugs and presentation glitches. But a large and memorable cast of characters and an array of multilayered quests will keep you pushing forward. While it's too technically inconsistent to rise to the top of the genre, Risen still provides plenty of enjoyable adventuring for RPG lovers yearning for a game they can get lost in.

Wednesday - October 14, 2009

Risen - Review Flood #8

by Dhruin, 14:06

Stepping into Gorath's shoes for a moment, here is our latest collection of Risen reviews from around the web.  As we've seen before, the PC gets generally good results while the Xbox articles suffer.

  • German site allvatar says Risen inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of the Gothic series and requires some intiative from the player.  No score, but it's quite positive.
  • GameRadio.de calls it "Gothic 2, Version 2" and awards an Atmosphere and Sound award.
  • Inside-360.de starts by saying Risen is a "visual disappointment" but goes on to say the game is fun - this seems to contradict the score of 6/12 for the category "Fun to play" but perhaps my German is missing the nuance.  Add two points for Gothic fans, they say.
  • 8/10 is the score at Eurogamer.ro
  • Risen returns to the roots of the forge, says eXp.de.  The score is 8.4/10.
  • An English review at TechArena, who note the atmosphere, challenge and deliberate character improvement.
  • InsideGamer.nl scores an enthusiastic 9.2/10
  • Likewise, Gamer.no is impressed, with a score of 9/10
  • Peliplaneetta.fi is scores lower than most at 73% but I have no idea what it says.
  • A different experience depending on the choices of the player, says GamesNation.it, although recommended for experienced players.  Score - 8.2/10
  • According to French blog Art of Gaming, Risen isn't innovative but plays to its strengths.  The score is 15 (out of 20?).
  • A South African link next, with xboxgaming.co.za finding it a "miserable" experience.  Words like "pointless" and "dreary" preceed statements like "they still manage to get so many things wrong with Risen it becomes laughable".  They are also alone in finding "a vast array of bugs".  The score is 1/5, and the only pro is "It comes on a shiny disc".  Worth a read for the laugh.
  • Allpcgame has a short, broken English review with a score of 70%, although the article reads higher than that.
  • The rather pink site FemaleGamers.co.uk sees parallels with Fable but enough variation for Risen to stand on its own.  The text is quite positive and the score is 8/10.
  • 84% at PC GameSpecial.nl
  • It should have been named "Gothic 4" according to Games32 in a screenshot-dominated article.  The score is 78% and recommended only for patient players - others might prefer the "epic" Dragon Age.
  • A low 6/10 at xbox360.gamingmedia.de, who say that Piranha Bytes can develop Gothic and nothing else.
  • Adventurespiele.net score 5/5 and an award.

Risen - Report #4 @ RPS

by Dhruin, 11:46

In his next Risen outing, Alec Meer falls foul of knocking on the Monastery door.  If you're easily amused (like me), Alec has illustrated the piece with kitty pictures because he didn't have access to screenshots while traveling.  Here's the issue:

No hurry, I reasoned, as I wandered through some fields, smashed some gnomes in the chops and had an idle chat with some pacifist monk types. What’s up this hill? Oh, some sort of monastery. The monastery, in fact. Can’t hurt to take a look…

Fade to black.

I’m inside the monastery and labelled a recruit, due to invisible powers its doorman had apparently exercised to force me inside. I was pretty disgusted at the game for this – it’s supposed to be a game of choice, but the mere act of a guy seeing me caused it to break its own rules, deny me the chance to fight for my liberty and force me down a certain path. Perhaps some sort of mention of magic would have appeased me, but no – I was supposed to presume that somehow this one guy had overpowered me and dragged me inside. Couldn’t I have fought back?

Risen - 20% Discount

by Myrthos, 01:07

From today until the 24th of October you can now download Risen from DLGamer with a 20% discount on the standard selling price. At 39.99 you can download Risen if you click through one of the ads on this site. There is an ad for the German, European and US version of Risen.

Note that the offer is only valid if you go to the DLGamer site by clicking one of our ads.

Tuesday - October 13, 2009

Risen - Hands On Impressions @ GearDiary.Com

by Magerette, 17:10

RPGWatch's Mike Anderson (txa1265) has done a quick first impressions piece over at geardiary.com on Risen:

If you ask most gamers to think back to ‘that one game’, the one that captures their imagination to this day, that they can play again and again – and do replay every year without fail, they will quickly come up with one. Perhaps not their first, nor their favorite, it is a game that holds a very special place in their heart for some reason or other.

So I consider myself fortunate that I immediately have two games that spring to mind. Star Wars Jedi Knight 2 and Gothic 2. It is interesting that despite gaming for over 30 years now, my ‘touchstone’ games are both from this decade. As with most things, we always hope that new games will recapture that same feeling – but neither Jedi Academy nor Gothic 3 lived up to their predecessors...


So it was with some trepidation that I invested a significant hope in the new release from Gothic developer Piranha Bytes called ‘Risen’. While I will be providing a full review in the coming weeks, Risen is a huge game that will take me dozens of hours to finish – and likely more due to my ‘completist’ mentality and need to replay as all three main class types, so I wanted to give some initial thoughts. Read on to find out more.

Risen - Report #3 @ RPS

by Dhruin, 13:39

A few days since the last but Alec Meer has finally posted Part 3 of his Risen diary / review.  In this installment, he reaches Harbour Town and discovers that special thing about a Piranha Bytes game:

Risen’s initial couple of hours showed its cracks too openly. When your entire picture of the game and its character hinges on some short, please-go-here-next conversations with just a couple of thinly-sketched, clumsily-animated NPCs, you fixate on them a little too much. Is this the best this game can do? But when you’re – oh, let’s drop this second-person pretence – when I’m in a town, there’s a sort of gentle sensory overload. Purely by dint of sheer volume of people, the place seems that much more real. The animation’s patchy and a few of the voices misfire, but suddenly the game’s full of movement and noise and faces and objectives and incidental scenery and chickens I can kill without the guards arresting me. The place visibily breathes.

Saturday - October 10, 2009

Risen - Review Flood #7

by Gorath, 05:35

A couple of interesting articles. The first US major site posted their Risen review, an editor who outs himself as a Gothic fan comes to surprising conclusions, and the French tests show once again that Deep Silver's decision to release a Collector's Edition in le grand nation was right. A lot of high ratings today, but we post them as they come.

  • A couple of snippets from the IGN review: "You'll also find it's quite user-friendly, at least in a relative sense, compared to the studio's more hardcore Gothic games. Still, to any newcomer unaware of the history of Gothic and Piranha Bytes, this is not a game that holds your hand." "To make it even more enjoyable, the irreverent protagonist will often brazenly insult those he's talking to, poking fun at an NPC's inability to solve problems without help, and in the process make light of a genre convention, something longtime role-playing gamers are sure to appreciate." "Whether or not you'll enjoy Piranha Bytes' Risen really depends on what kind of gamer you are. [...] If you're not willing to figure some things out for yourself and the idea of freedom of choice doesn't sit well with you, chances are Risen isn't going to mesh well with your gaming sensibilities. If you're a Gothic fan, however, this is an absolute must-buy. If you're familiar with the genre and are looking to take the next step into a mature, well-realized fantasy world, then this is it." - 8.6/10 - "Great" - Editor's Choice Award (PC)
  • GameReport.de tests Risen in a HD-video.
  • The author at GameObserver reveals Gothic 2 was his favourite RPG of all time. "Combat is extremely addictive and very complex. Moves are easily performed, but timing is required to get any use out of them." But surprisingly he concludes "In the end, only the hardcore need apply. Risen is Gothic 1 all over again, and if playing a game this unabashedly oldschool is your idea of a good time, then you’ve found your next purchase. Otherwise, you’d be doing yourself a favor by avoiding it entirely." Interesting read. - 86% (PC)
  • Pro-Gamers.fr says, with the help of Babelfish: "What is really gratifiant in Risen, it is clearly this feeling to make evolve/move our virtual misadventure slowly but surely. You can cut down as far as you want poisonous wild boars or rats, it will always be necessary to pass by a third anybody to learn from new things, to become stronger, or to improve your dexterity. A concept which approaches much more reality which made already all the force of Gothic and which is of return in Risen." - 9/10 (PC)
  • AceGamez have a generally positive opinion on the XBox 360 conversion: "Thankfully shipping without some kind of half-arsed multiplayer, Risen is the kind of game that will probably get played by fans of the genre but overlooked by everyone else, which is a bloody shame really, as there is a decent game behind the niggles - and one that impresses more often than it disappoints. Though outclassed by Bethesda, outdone by Lionhead and outgunned by Bioware, Piranha Bytes still have enough originality and flare to be counted amongst the better Western RPG developers working today, and if they could just learn to take all the great elements of their back catalogue and ditch the irritating little problems they could possibly follow up Risen with something quite special in the future. For now, though, if you're looking for an involving and absorbing, albeit flawed, hack-n-slash RPG - or even just a little sun, sand, sea and sorcery - Risen's Faranga might just be the destination for you." - 7/10 (XBox 360)
  • The Review on SimJunkies is different than all others posted so far. The author stays very close to the game. Instead of trying to take a pseudo-objective outside view, he takes the reader on a journey through the early parts of Risen. Definitely worth a look. He obviously had a lot of fun: "But I can tell you this, for me, this is probably the best game in the RPG mediveal genre that I have ever played. [...] If you only buy one mediveal RPG game this year, you better make sure it is RISEN." - no score (PC)
  • MSXBoxWorld thinks it's hard to recommend Risen: "The visuals don't seem like a big problem[...] as the game looks pretty enough for a fantasy tropical island. The story is solid [...] and there's plenty to explore to your hearts content. The combat though just makes things too frustrating, especially at the start before the player gets to specialise and start more advanced training. It's hard to recommend this to anyone but hardcore RPG fans, [...] but surely even they will be scratching their heads at what seem to be elementary flaws in a game which could have been much better." - 5.5/10 (XBox 360)
  • German print mag ComputerBildSpiele posted an excerpt of their test. They think Risen deserves something like a B- or a C+. They criticise the slow beginning. (PC)
  • GameBlog.fr tested both versions. They talk about two (!) upcoming patches for the XBox conversion: " The first, which will leave in the neighbourhoods on October 15, will include in particular a total improvement of the vegetation, and an adjustment gamma for the luminosity. The second, planned for “in a few weeks”, will refine certain textures and will allow the hero to benefit from a face, say, more endorsement." They think "Even if it does not bear from there any more the name, Risen is a new episode of Gothic extremely successful, which with the depth and the interest of play combines an astonishing simplicity of gameplay." As expected they downgraded the conversion due to ugly graphics and technical problems. - 4/5 (PC), 3/5 (XBox 360)

It's worth mentioning the last article talks about two upcoming XBox 360 patches, not one.

Thanks to malgrim and J.Brown for sending in the IGN review.

Friday - October 09, 2009

Risen - Updated Demo

by Dhruin, 22:38

The Risen blog announces an updated demo. The text isn't clear but I presume the hotfix is the nVidia 6/7xxx series white fog problem:

Within this new version of the Risen demo, you will venture deep into the mysterious island called Faranga and experience a story never before told. The demo contains the same as the version before, has 1,1 GB but includes the hotfix for the dvd version, too.

Grab it here and no doubt the usual mirrors.

Risen - Review Flood #6

by Gorath, 05:16

Circa 20 links today. Not all are reviews though. Conclusions: (1) The early negative reviews are on the retreat, (2) the French love Risen and (3) Ninjas are weird.

PCGames.de has a detailed graphics shoot-out - Risen vs. Gothic 3. Other articles benchmark Risen with activated AA, explain the different resolutions & detail levels, and show graphics top & flops.

  • gmx.net posted a licensed review we've seen before. The same as on magnus.de, among others. 
  • Gameplayer.se doesn't particularly like Risen. No quote because my Swedish is a bit rusty. - 6/10 (PC)
  • Jeux Video Network gives Risen 16/20. "Risen, it should be liked such as it is: impassioning, realistic, envoutant, but often discouraging and frustrating. Piranha Bytes however succeeded in offering a rare and invaluable experiment to us: impression to evolve/move in an alive world, in which one wants to lose oneself during tens of hours." (Babelfish) - (PC)
  • German Radio Station 1Live thinks the game is a "raving success". The rating is split into categories. It should translate to the high 80s to low 90s. (PC)
  • ComputerAndVideoGames.com recycles the PC Zone UK / GamesRadar review. 8.5/10, as you might remember. (PC)
  • GamersAgainstRejection.de enjoyed it. - 87% (PC)
  • CheatHappens says "Risen isn’t a great game due to a few nagging issues, but it is a fun and deep roleplaying experience that is sure to surprise a few folks." - 8/10. (PC)
  • EveryEye.it seems to think it's a hard game, rewards exploration and offers a little bit of humor. - 8/10 (PC)
  • play.tm isn't overly enthusiastic: "Only the truly dedicated RPG player will persist through to the bitter end of Risen, as there's a great deal of perseverance required to even make it through the first section without tearing your hair out. The combat really lets the side down and the 360 visuals leave a lot to be desired, but stick with it and Risen will eventually suck you inexorably into its uniquely absorbing fantasy world."
  • Polish site Gry-Online published a very detailed review and rewarded Risen with 89%. (PC)
  • Critical Gamer found out that "Your character seems to only have one attack animation and blocking is crude and largely ineffective" and "We have decided that we’ll wait for Fable 3." That's probably a good idea. ;) - 5/10 (XBox 360)
  • games xtreme gives the XBox 360 conversion a solid 7.5/10. Looking at this review I have some sort of deja vu. We might have seen it before. 
  • Player4Ever is in line with the other French sites. "Gameplay: 18
    On retrouve avec plaisir tous les éléments du gameplay de la série « Gothic » : des combats dynamiques aux systèmes de progression. Les nombreuses quêtes et la qualité de l'IA font de Risen un excellent jeu d'aventure." They criticise a couple of technical flaws and the focus on Gothic fans. - 17/20 (PC)
  • The Escapist doesn't like Risen. What differenciates this short piece from others is that the author is honest enough to clearly state he has played for only 10 hours and he can't see it anymore. "There may be a great game there under the surface, but frankly, I don't have the patience to slog through to try and find it, and I don't suspect many other gamers will either."
  • Stevinho explains in a 35 minute video (German) why Risen rocks. - 88% (PC, I assume)
  • And finally, the weirdest review of the day. After several strange but quite interesting paragraphs the UltraNinjas abruptly conclude: "OK enough with the phallical references. Good game." - 7/10

Thursday - October 08, 2009

Risen - Report @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Dhruin, 22:14

Alec Meer from Rock, Paper, Shotgun has decided to blog his time with Risen, ultimately ending up with report that will be more comprehensive than a traditional review.  Alec hasn't played any of the Gothics, and so comes to this with an apparently open mind.  The first two parts (one, two) are up and here's a snip:

Granted, the game hasn’t told me how to dodge or block yet, but I’ve worked it out myself. If the gnomes hit me, most of my health bar disappears. So I don’t let them hit me. What’s the big problem here? I’m feeling cocky, and so far I’m getting away with it. I’m also understanding why Gothic/Risen’s fanbase can be a bit sneery towards other RPGs – it is satisfying to conquer something that’s a little unforgiving. Where I disagree with them is that I’m entirely happy for harder RPGs to co-exist with ones that show you every rope or have a magic compass that tells you exactly where to go: diversity is a good thing.

The fight takes a little while, as these ugly midgets turn out to be pretty hardy, but so long as I dodge as well as hammer attack, it’s thoroughly in my favour. I’m rewarded with access to chests containing gold, health potions, some food, a sword and a sickle. This latter ensures the next gnome-packed room is a whole lot easier, though the greater number of minimen in there makes dodging a little more complicated.

I don’t know what Risen’s combat is going to ultimately become, but what I’m enjoying so far (and is still the case later, when I’m fighting the hungry wolves that some demo players have complained about) is that it’s something I have to pay attention to. It doesn’t require awkward key combinations or a complex knowledge of statistics – it just requires not letting my guard down, and feeling as tense as focused as I would in a real fight. I mean, I guess. I don’t fight a lot of people. Only toddlers, really, and they don’t hit back very hard.

Risen - Hotfix 1.01 Released

by Gorath, 18:13

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver released a fix for the grey fog problem on GeForce 6 & 7 cards. Hotfix 1.01 (international) is only available for retail versions yet. Download services should be offering it in the near future. World of Risen has a list of mirrors.

Risen - Tops German Charts

by Gorath, 00:49

As expected Risen enters the official German Media Control charts as #1. We don't have the required license to post the full charts. Head over to 4Players to find out how successful the Risen CE, Risen for XBox 360 and Divinity 2 (XBox 360) were during the last week.

Tuesday - October 06, 2009

Risen - Short Story #11

by Dhruin, 23:01

The short stories continue at the Risen blog.  Here is Fencing:

The lanky man was already waiting for him on the corner as he came strolling with a sack over his shoulders.
“Do you have a hoe with you, or better a shovel?“, he asked impatiently.
“Sure, exactly as you assigned me to do. A good shovel, direct from the camp on the harbour.“
He proudly pulled out the shovel.
“From the camp on the harbour? Has Carasco recently been giving out something from the camp of the Inquisition?“
“Nope, I simply arranged it myself“, his sidekick grinned at him and scratched at his scrubby chin, relaxed.
“You got a shadow? If the White Robes were to catch us with the shovel, there’d be trouble“, the lanky man angrily growled.

“There’d be that anyway, if they capture us outside of the city“, his colleague calmly waved off. “With or without their shovel. Do you have the treasure map?“
“Sure! And did you grease the watch, so that we can come out of the city?“
“Course“, came the immediate reply.
“Be careful, the treasure is located near a grave. Something undead might also be haunting there. It’s gotta be a bright, grassless spot, that’s where we should dig to find something.“
“Says who?“
“The old geezer, who I recently filled with rum in the Laughing Gyrger.“
“And what is there to find?“
“What do I know? Any old stuff even. Something to fence. Delgado will take almost anything.“

Risen - Tuning Tips @ PCGH

by Dhruin, 22:51

PC Games Hardware continues their attention on Risen with tips on tuning the game, covering anti-aliasing, removing the startup logos, changing locked key bindings, longer vegetation view distances and more.

Source: Blues News

Risen - Hotfix, Patch, DLC?

by Gorath, 19:36

Two semi news and a rumor:

  • PB and Deep Silver will release a hotfix to solve the fog problem on GeForce 6 & 7 cards. The fix is already in external testing.
  • A patch for the XBox 360 conversion is in the works. An official announcement should be coming soon. A couple of print mags report it will primarily polish the graphics. Which is a good idea, if the majority of the reviews is correct.
  • Several European sites, for example Gamed.nl, are reporting DLC is also in the works. This is unconfirmed.

Risen - Review Flood #5

by Gorath, 19:20

More Risen reviews. Today also from Greece, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

PC Games Hardware.de shows Risen tuning tips for those with a fast PC.

  • Krawall.de has mixed feelings. Risen pulls the player in deeply, but has several design weaknesses. They think if you would describe today's roleplayers as "spoiled" and "mollycoddled", Risen is the game for you. - 80% (PC), 75% (Xbox 360)
  • magnus.de calls Risen oldfashioned and technically mature. - 4/5
  • According to Gamed.nl Risen "is a real hardcore RPG". Fans of the genre can have a lot of fun with it, if they can tolerate a couple of bugs. The graphics are generally okay and in some places gorgously beautiful, the controls well chosen. - 80% (XBox 360)
  • Australian site TheGo on the other hand believes you shouldn't bother importing it. Rather play Oblivion instead of this "Fallen MMO-Wannabe". - 4.5/10 (Xbox 360)
  • GameOver from Greece and Babelfish say Risen is "inaccessible for the young persons in the type" but "for those who they love the traditional games of roles [...] Risen it constitutes a experience that should [not be missed]". - 8.0/10 (XBox 360)
  • spieletipps.de writes: "Modernized essence of Gothic and Gothic 2" - 83% (PC)
  • Eurogamer.be thinks it's a rough diamond and a deep, provocative RPG with a couple of issues. - 7/10 (PC)
  • GameZone.de is impressed: "a very well done RPG opus". Weaknesses are story and the hero. - 8.6/10 (PC)
  • ConsoleObsession sees a lot of pros and cons, and concludes Risen is "an absorbing and substantial game" dragged down into mediocrity. - 6/10 (XBox 360)
  • Not a review, rather a short opinion piece in a major publication. The Guardian asks "Should Risen have been released on Xbox 360?" Part of the answer: "Unfortunately the Xbox 360 version is a mess. Details of why below, but what makes this is even more annoying is that the PC version is really rather good."
  • JeuxVideo.fr added an XBox review. What's interesting here is that is has been written by the same guy as the PC review a couple of days ago. As you might remember, he liked the PC version (17/20). Therefore "It is all the more regrettable to note the little of care granted to this version Xbox 360, whose many technical tares penalize the experiment of play obviously." - 13/20 (XBox 360)
  • French site XBoxPassion gives Risen a very positive 15/20. "Risen est un véritable RPG dans l'âme et cela serait une grosse erreur de s'arrêter aux graphisme du titre car derrière ses graphismes dévalorisant se cache un grand jeu." (Xbox 360)

Sunday - October 04, 2009

Risen - Review Flood #4

by Gorath, 14:36

Things are slowing down over the weekend. Only 11 Risen reviews today. Surprisingly several sites are quite fond of the XBox 360 version.

  • GamerSyndrome tested both versions. "My final judgment on Risen is – a true masterpiece and one of the few games that deserve wasting your money on. Especially if you like action RPG’s and great stories." - 4.5/5
  • VGSensation likes the XBox 360 port: "Once you get over how 'old-school' this game really is, it's an enjoyable game [...]. If you need a breath of fresh air or just a game that game pass hours and hours and hours of immersive gameplay, Risen is your 2009 choice." "Visually the game is just about par [...] though this takes nothing away from the core gameplay." - 84%
  • Spanish site VandalOnline gives the XBox version even 8.5/10. They call the visuals solid and mention a couple of minor bugs. "Accessible to the inexperienced player, it will be deep for the veteran and enormously attractive for both as soon as the first passages in the game are [traversed]."
  • Wonderwallweb's short article is less generous: "Risen is a big disappointment, it feels half finished and therefore quite broken, if you can persevere then there is a decent RPG underneath, however I get the feeling that only the hardcore may find this out." - 5.8/10 (XBox)
  • GameCaptain.de says "Newbies will get an immensely entertaining RPG, which lacks the big story but compensates it by a tremendously intense atmosphere and original quests." - 89% (PC)
  • French Clubic.com thinks Risen is "bon" and explains in colourful language "Le titre de Pyranha Bytes oscille entre grande liberté et fort dirigisme, entre réalisme et fantaisie, entre influence des choix sur la suite des événements et séquences fortement scriptées, sans jamais prendre franchement parti." They conclude (transl.) "Risen is a demanding title which requires to progress intelligently and with patience in its immersiv and interactive universe." Interesting article. (PC)
  • Everything for Gamers rates it 8.2/10 (PC I think)
  • GameOn.co.uk considers Risen a complete failure. It seems though that the author misunderstood a couple of things and especially the "pick up a stick and mash the A button until their dead" battles and the "infuriating" levelling system asked a bit too much of her. - 4/10 (XBox)
  • GamesExtreme is neither enthusiastic nor disappointed: 7.5/10 "Despite those annoying bugs and some short comings, Risen is a pretty solid RPG that deserves at least a place on your shelf." (XBox)
  • Areagames.de taunts that Risen shipwrecks. "Risen is a creative and technical     declaration of bankruptcy." They criticise the total lack of innovation, the technically hopelessly outdated XBox version and an overall lack of production value. But: "Risen offers all strength & weaknesses of Gothic". (paraphrased) - 6/10 (XBox), 7/10 (PC)
  • And finally GamesRadar / PC Zone UK writes Risen is "awesome". "All in all, there’s little to find fault with here unless you have a grudge against the Gothic series, or the occasionally crap voiceovers inherent to such games. Risen is a solid, engrossing and beautifully presented RPG that’s well worth your time and money." - 9/10 (PC)

Thanks to GameBanshee, World of Risen and HiddenX. :)

Saturday - October 03, 2009

Risen - Early Impressions @ IGN

by Dhruin, 02:48

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.

Risen - vs Gothic 3 Screens and Live Play Blog

by Dhruin, 01:09

A couple of small Risen items to squeeze in between Gorath's massive review floods.  PC Games Hardware has a comparison of the graphics between Risen and Gothic 3, based on a number of screens - I'm not sure what the point is but you'll know if you are interested.

Secondly, a site called Bite My Review has a play blog that will ultimately complete a review and lead to a score.  It's only at the very beginning but here's a sample:

Risen, a new RPG released today (available at retail as well as your favorite download service) from developer Deep Silver, has captured me like no other RPG since Oblivion.

After a rather impressive cinematic, you begin your adventure as a cast off from a shipwreck. Some details I noticed about the game, immediately: I can pump the resolution up to 1920×1200, tune up all the special effects, and suddenly the environment seems more photo-realistic than any other 3D game I’ve played. Sure, character movements tend to break this illusion pretty easily, but I’d kill to have an animated screensaver of the beach on which you’re washed up, along with the dark and foreboding jungle you have to enter to proceed.

Of course, this is without mentioning the weather effects. At the outset of the game, you’re in the middle of the very storm, along with some other things, that took out your ship: Lightning flares, thunder crashes, and the waves roll up and down the beach. The sound effects contribute to the overall atmosphere. A word to the wise: Play this game with the lights out and your headphones on.

Source: Blues News

Friday - October 02, 2009

Risen - Review Flood #3

by Gorath, 21:36

Today's articles show a couple of trends. English reviews are very critical of the XBox 360 conversion, but they often neither put it into the context of the PC version nor do they mention for how many hours the game was played. German scores for the PC version are still overwhelmingly positive. The conversion is generally assessed as an equally good game, significantly held back by ugly graphics and an overall bad technical performance. Tests in other languages are somewhere in between.
It's easy to form a view on Risen for PC due the demo released yesterday. The XBox 360 situation on the other hand is less clear. Are the German testers too uncritical? Or are the early English reviews rush jobs by unmotivated, badly paid reviewers? Hard to say without first hand experience.

Videogameszone.de posted a gallery with screenshots highlighting the visual differences between both version.
PC Games.de offers tuning tips in German.

  • Golem.de thinks Risen is a risk-free buy for Gothic fans.
  • GameStar put their print article online.
  • Spanish site MeriStation gives 8/10.
  • DemoNews added a score: 86%
  • GameZ.nl and Babelfish find strength and weaknesses, but still say: "be you a devotee of traditional RPG with fantasy-setting or Gothic-games in particular, then this a must is absolutely. " - 81%
  • GamersGlobal.de rates Risen with an enthusiastic 8.5/10. "Risen does so much right that minor inconsitencies carry no wight."
  • SpazioGames.it gives Risen an 8.0, I think for the PC version. It could also be a combined score though.
  • Spanish site 3DJuegos reviewed both versions. 6.7/10 for PC, 6.5/10 on XBox 360.
  • The highly critical 4Players.de doesn't like Risen (PC) and hates the conversion. 74% resp. 64%. Too bad a Deep Silver representative said they only received their review sample two days ago.
  • Resolution Magazine writes about both version, but gives only one score. The author's 6/10 is worth a read. "Risen’s a brave, self-assured game that I’m sure a lot of people are going to really dig.  [...]I’m not so taken, but my increasingly frazzled mind through endless streams of instant-gratification blockbusters might have something to do with that.  Or maybe I’m just losing patience with minor flaws.  Or maybe I’m just weird."
  • Eurogamer.net reviews the XBox 360 version, also lists the PC platform and dishes out a 4/10. People in the comments thread are not amused. As you might remember Eurogamer.de gave 8/10 and 7/10.
  • StrategyInformer strives for a balanced conclusion: "Lacking in polish and attention to detail, Risen still stands up as an absorbing and hugely playable RPG title. The PC version is inarguably superior to its console counterpart, this Xbox 360 iteration feeling somewhat unfinished and unrefined. Yet, for a sophomore console effort, Piranha Bytes has done a solid enough job in adapting an intricate role-player for Xbox 360, which bodes well should the dev decide to bring future releases to the platform." - 6.3/10
  • GamingXP.de added an article on the XBox 360 game. They mention the usual technical issues. - 80%
  • videogamer thinks "The issue is enjoyment. If Piranha Bytes hadn't designed Risen while giving accessibility the finger, then it would have had a chance of being a slow burning but absorbing RPG. As it is though, it's impossible to recommend. You're better off playing through Bethesda's Oblivion, even if it's for the 50th time." - "5 - Frustrating" (XBox)
  • AllAboutTheGames says "It's a real rough diamond, it takes someone with enough patience to look past the jagged edges to see the real jewel at the core." - 3/5 (XBox)
  • incgamers' conclusion is a real surprise: "If you've played Fable II to and are looking for an RPG distraction to tide you over until Fable 3 comes out, you could do worse than Risen. I'd just wait until the first price drop before picking it up." - 6.4/10 (XBox)
  • RealGamer reaches a new low: 3/10. (XBox) Here's the most funny paragraph: "The thing that annoys me most about Risen is the brazen way it steals ideas from so many better sources and pretends that they are in some way original. After half an hour an experienced RPG-er will likely be suffering from severe gamer deja-vu: chests are hidden and opened exactly as they are in Fable, the item collection and filing is practically the same as in Monster Hunter, dialogue and character interactions are a very poor copy of the system used by Bethesda, the setting has been done a hundred times before and the whole thing ends up feeling like a collection of leftovers."

Thursday - October 01, 2009

Risen - Demo Released! [update 2]

by Gorath, 17:06

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes released the Risen demo a few minutes ago, and the internet explodes. The usual suspects should have it soon.

 

update 2: A new demo is online. Make sure the file you download ends with v2.

 

update: Deep Silver nuked the demo!

There was a problem with the installer. Should be back soon.

Risen - Review Flood #2

by Gorath, 17:03

The 2nd batch also includes a couple of international reviews.

  • ePrison.de says "[...] Risen is less mystic than the announcement promised, but instead a very beautiful and entertaining RPG[...]" - 88%
  • Gameswelt.de updated their review with impressions from the XBox 360 conversion made by Wizarbox. They laud nearly perfect controls and identical content but criticise that compared to other multi-platform games the conversion technically "leaves a quite harrowing picture und reminds not seldomly of titles for the first XBox". -77% for XBox 360, 82% for PC
  • Gamers.at = GamersPlus.de made their print review available online. 90%
  • French site Gamekult.com gives 8/10 - Très bon
  • gamona.de believes Risen is "As Gothic 3 should have been: Risen is Piranha Bytes' best game so far!" - 87%
  • Austrian site GamingXP likes Risen. I don't see a rating, but according to WoR it's 88%.
  • jeuxvideo gives 17/20. Their summary is very colourful: "Durant les premières heures passées à arpenter l'île volcanique de Risen, où le mot d'ordre est la survie, vous aurez l'impression de vous adonner à une simple variante de Gothic. Puis, à la faveur d'une progression lente, mesurée et crédible, le titre exercera sur vous son irrésistible pouvoir d'attraction. Terriblement exigeant, jusque dans ses combats très techniques, le nouveau Piranha Bytes perpétue les qualités de ses prédécesseurs tout en se montrant plus gratifiant que jamais. Doté d'une IA très convaincante et d'un univers dense et riche, source de multiples interactions physiques et sociales, Risen est un excellent jeu de rôle qui affiche un degré de finition inespéré." Babelfish delivers a good translation.
  • The reviewer on the German site Spieletester says: "I like Risen. It's what Gothic always wanted to become: a solid, semi bug-free and stable RPG with action-adventure attitude." - 84%
  • XGN.nl tested Risen for XBox 360. They like the game - and surprisingly also think it looks pretty good. 8.0/10
  • Technic3D.com (German) gives 89%: "Risen is exciting, entertaining and especially bug-free. Piranha Bytes irons out the Gothic 3 disaster."
  • The generally critical Eurogamer.de gives Risen a "narrow 8" for PC and "narrow 7" out of 10 on XBox 360. "If you have the choice, definitely get the PC version. It simply looks better." 
  • Looki.de thinks Risen is "as addictive as the first two [Gothic] parts" - 85%
  • InsideGamer.nl published a short review, as it seems of the PC version. The think Risen is a game which does almost nothing wrong, but stays within the limits of the genre. They also mention the graphics are outdated. "But if you can look through here, you will see the true beauty of the game." (auto-transl.) - 8/10
  • nignside.de's mascot looks at Risen with wide open, bloodshot eyes. According to their review policy that's the equivalent to "great". Only open eyes, not bloodshot, and a crown on top would be better. Quite an interesting article.
  • PC Games.de posted a walkthrough.
  • Sister site videogameszone.de offers first impressions on the XBox 360 version - but no rating, although they like the game as much as PC Games! See below.
  • And finally GameStar.de shows us what most countries won't get: Risen - Boxenstopp: Collector's Edition im Detail. The vid is almost 12 minutes long.

According to the videogameszone article above, Deep Silver announced they will deliver a patch for the XBox 360 conversion within 4 weeks after release, to eliminate graphics issues. The article says "So far the game stutters and includes many pop-ups. The announced patch is obviously meant to fix these problems."

Wednesday - September 30, 2009

Risen - Release Blitz

by Gorath, 17:19

As more and more shops everywhere in the world break the street date, Deep Silver still increases the marketing pressure:

  • Official UK launch trailer
  • Risen - The Official Magazine. I have no idea if Deep Silver will make something similar in English, but in German this 46(!) page interactive, downloadable flash magazine is definitely the bomb!
  • A short message by the well known Gothic Rock band Nightwish can apparently be found on the official blog. Since this crappy flash site doesn't load correctly on both browsers and DS didn't bother to make a HTML fallback, I cannot verify this.
  • A sample of the Risen comic included in the CE has been posted by the artist.
  • Not official: Two long combat videos on YouTube. The videos are not that spoilerish. Beware of another video showing the final boss fight though.
  • An interview with game designer Björn Pankratz can be found on iamgamer.de.
  • PC Games will publish a special issue on Risen on Oct. 7th.

Thanks Melvil, SilverSpy and WoR.

Risen - Review Flood #1

by Gorath, 02:08

Piranha Bytes' RPG Risen, this time for their new publisher Deep Silver, will be released in most countries on PC and XBox 360 later this week. Only the XBox version in NA has been delayed to Q1/10. Naturally, reviews are popping up everywhere. The following articles are in German, with one notable exception.

  • Let's start with the print mags. GameStar uploaded a site-seeing tour split into 4 videos. Their review, not online yet, rewards Risen with 87%. "Risen is no unofficial Gothic 4. Risen is the return of Gothic 2. [...] The best Gothic so far [...]"
  • PC Games says something similar: "[...] the title is exactly what Gothic fans expect." - 86%
  • 360Live gives the console version an 8.3/10. Their 2nd opinion 7.8/10. They praise the captivating gameplay but criticise the outdated graphics and the small font size.
  • According to GamePro Risen deserves 80%. "A fine RPG with lots of details, but also with a few quirks blurring the fun."
  • GamesAktuell thinks "Risen has become a very good RPG [...], only suffering from minor weaknesses." - 9/10
  • And now online press. DemoNews offers positive first impressions without a rating.
  • Gameswelt likes Risen. "At the end of the day Risen does a lot [of things] right and few wrong." They like the usual Gothic formula and criticise a thin story, a couple of logic holes and minor technical glitches like sporadic clipping errors, incorrect camera position and frame rate drops in the city. - 82%
  • Xboxdynasty gets the credit for the first roasting of the XBox 360 conversion. They say the game has some interesting points, but the visuals don't reach current gen niveau, which impacts the fun. "[The] graphics clearly kill the atmosphere and the mood of the game." - 6.1/10
  • And finally an English article. World of Risen published a translation of their detailed Risen review. Clever as they are, the fan site left out the rating part. The piece is relatively spoiler-free and very informative. Especially the page about the technical stuff.

First retail copies have surfaced in Benelux, Russia and the US.

On a sidenote, we've made a couple of changes to our forums. We've opened forums for Risen, Dragon Age: Origins, Drakensang: The River of Time and the indie game Tactica: Maiden of Faith. If you feel like chatting about the listed games, you know where to find fresh forums in need of traffic. ;)

Tuesday - September 29, 2009

Risen - Short Story #10

by Dhruin, 23:28

Risen short story #10, titled The Scribe:

He felt how the hands grew wet. The first beads of sweat shone on the forehead. Surely the first spots would soon appear on the parchment again and everything that he had written upon it would then run and blur. Master Illumar would reprimand him. As always.
“How come this always happens to me?!“, Jervis asked himself in thought. He saw the other novices out of the corner of his eye, who stood behind their desks and diligently scribbled down the magic spells they should learn as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

Jervis, on the other hand, was just glad if he could even remember the correct ingredients for levitation, for the transformation into a nautilus or even for the light spell. What do you even need the boar tusk for again? And why would you need the wings of a grave moth?
Jervis sighed. Crystal Magic was so much easier than this accursed Rune Magic. A spell – a crystal that took on all the work. And you have to merely practice it yourself in order to become better. But all of these runes... You need the peculiar ingredients just to create a scroll. Completely aside from a rune.
Jervis tried to remember what Master Illumar had told him yesterday and began to write before his parchment was completely drenched.

Monday - September 28, 2009

Risen - Cinematic Trailer #2

by Dhruin, 22:29

A second Risen cinematic trailer has been released, which you can stream at Youtube.

Risen - German Review @ WoR

by Dhruin, 22:25

World of Risen has posted their review and although one might be circumspect about a fansite opinion, there are some healthy indicators in the lengthy article.  According to my Google-fu, this is a "conservative" Piranha Bytes game that returns to the values of Gothic and Gothic 2 - but in better condition than any previous release because "Risen runs without misfires".

Risen - Graphics Card Benchtest @ PCGH

by Dhruin, 22:18

PC Games Hardware has put as variety of video cards through their paces with Risen:

For the new developed Seamless World Streaming system a single Thread or ideally a single CPU core is responsible - during streaming the framerate drops for a short time only instead of heavy stuttering like in Gothic 3. According to the task manager Risen indeed uses the capacity of two cores most of the time. Sometimes even three during streaming. Nvidia's Physx Engine plays a role as well. It is used again but in the CPU instead of the GPU version.

Source: Blues News

Saturday - September 26, 2009

Risen - Online Options

by Dhruin, 10:26

A variety of online options are available for those interested in getting Risen via digital delivery:

  • Steam are offering 10% off
  • GamersGate
  • Deep Silver store promise "high speed download available to play on 2 October from 00:01 hours"

Also, grab the manual from Steam here.

Thanks to Donald for the Steam tip.

Friday - September 25, 2009

Risen - Cinematic Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:05

Deep Silver has released a cinematic trailer for Risen showing off the story intro.  Watch it over at VoodooExtreme.

Risen - Review @ PCGZine

by Dhruin, 13:49

The first full English review of Risen we're aware of can be found in issue #34 of PCGZine.  It's a .pdf file, so you'll have to download to read it.  There's plenty in the article to warm the heart of a Gothic fan and the final score is 84%.

Meanwhile, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some short comments after some time with an early preview build.  There's a spoiler in the piece, although I think it may reassure quite a few readers, so it's worthwhile in my opinion.  Here's a sample, stepping past the spoiler:

It’s a fascinating statement of intent on the game’s part – this isn’t some fluffy, friendly world. I have to say I was a little ticked off I couldn’t then declare war on the nasty oik without the entire town attacking me, but perhaps it’s something that’s revisited later in the game.

I only got a little time to explore beyond that, but I get the sense there may be a sizeable world beyond. There were certainly plenty of options in terms of where to go, who to talk to and how to talk to them. I started creeping towards potential resolutions to the greedy-overlord situation, and with hints that however it played out, someone would lose. No easy answers, I suspect.

Thursday - September 24, 2009

Risen - Making Of Video

by Dhruin, 22:34

A 10-minute "Making Of" video for Risen has been released by Deep Silver, along with an accompanying press release:

"Making Of" interview with Piranha Bytes

Deep Silver, the games label of Koch Media, a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, today releases a video clip, almost 10 minutes long, featuring an interview with the developer Piranha Bytes.

During the interview, project director Björn Pankratz and game designer Mike Hoge explain some details about the background story, the concept of free exploration in a game world, the cultural localization of the English version, and why the hero remains nameless in the game.

You can stream it from Deep Silver's Youtube channel or download a 460Mb HD version.

Wednesday - September 23, 2009

Risen - Twitter Competition

by Dhruin, 22:32

Deep Silver has a competition to win one of three copies of Risen for the X360:

Exclusive DeepSilverUK Twitter Offer for 3 lucky RPG fans, who could be picked to receive a Promotional Pre-Launch Xbox360 copy of Risen!

Risen - New Short Story

by Dhruin, 02:29

A new Risen short story, titled Restless Bones:

Breathing heavily, the man worked his way along a narrow cave pathway. Metal clinked before him. It sounded like a sword dashing against chain mail.
“Not again“. A sigh escaped the intruder’s lips. After he had to defeat wolves at the entrance to the cave and later ghouls, the next opponent was waiting for him here. The flickering light of the smoking torch illuminated a hall-like widening of the cave. The sound of feet running up to him reminded him to draw his sword.
Not a moment too soon. Cream-coloured bones peeled themselves out of the darkness. Tattered chain mail hung from the chest and down over the pelvic bone. Empty eye sockets stared across at him – or perhaps not, who could possibly say? With sword raised, joints cracking and yet silently, the skeleton rushed towards him.

The remains of some unlucky warrior had been revived by magic to undead life. The first hits of the attacker bounced off the sword of the intruder, raised in defence. A parry, then a manoeuvre, an attack from the left. The skeleton parried. Mechanically, as if taught. Or was it magic? A quick step to the side, a blow from the left, turn, one from the right and one full tilt from above. Then back. Bones splintered and the skeleton shattered into its individual parts. The remnants of the rusty chain mail crumpled up and fell to the ground. The skull behind it. It formed the peak of the pyramid out of the remains. The jagged sword had disappeared into a wide curve in the darkness.
“Keep going.“ 

Sunday - September 20, 2009

Risen - Fred the Skeleton's Blog

by Dhruin, 01:00

Those crazy things the PR and marketing guys dream up...head here to read the blog of Risen's Fred - a skeleton summoned by the hero.  The dates show this has been up for a while but I don't recall it being raised previously:

I was just getting off to sleep when suddenly *BANG*, I’m summoned to the side of yet another swashbuckling adventurer who wants me to do his bidding.  Great.

Now normally, I’m summoned to fight great, menacing beasts with teeth as long as your arm.  Something I can brag about later..  But this guy?  This guy had me facing off against a couple of stray Death Moths.  There’s no street cred in that!

There was something interesting though.. all over Faranga, ancient ruins have pushed their way up above the ground..

Saturday - September 19, 2009

Risen - Gone Gold! [Updated]

by Dhruin, 00:01

Deep Silver sent us this PR, announcing Risen is Gold and will ship for the PC worldwide on October 2nd as planned, although the X360 version has been delayed to "early next year" and is only mentioned for NA:

Risen PC Goes Gold!


RPG from Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver reaches gold master status

Hermosa Beach, Calif. - September 18, 2009 - Deep Silver Inc., a publisher of interactive entertainment software and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, and the developer Piranha Bytes just announced that the RPG Risen has reached gold status for Windows PC and will be released worldwide on October 2, 2009. The game is expected to be released on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in North America early next year.
About Risen:

This epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island, The "Risen" story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story by his own actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, the player will have a seamless experience while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

More information about Risen may be found at http://risen.deepsilver.com

Thanks also to leth and Evan for similar submissions.

Update:  Despite the official PR above only mentioning the X360 version for NA next year, the Risen blog does specify the X360 version is Gold, presumably for Europe:

Risen has reached Gold status for PC as well as the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, and is now in production. This means that the path is clear for a world-wide release on October 2, 2009.

Wednesday - September 16, 2009

Risen - The Experience #3

by Dhruin, 23:12

Part 3 of the Flash-y Risen Experience is online, allowing you to wander around the island and finish the story.  You can find it here.

Tuesday - September 15, 2009

Risen - New Short Story

by Dhruin, 22:33

The next short story from the Risen site is titled Shadow of Night:

The night was perfect. The narrow crescent of the moon had disappeared a little while ago behind a blanket of clouds that had been pushed in by the sea breeze. Even the whitest and most glistening walls of houses by day in the sun were now dark. The night watchman had already gone by and would not set off again on his next rounds for quite a while.
From out of a corner lying in the shadow of night, a shadow broke away. Silently he scurried along the side of a house, and then turned into an alley. A red dot revealed a last drag on a fag, then the shady figure pulled himself upwards on a cordon, climbed onto the roof and disappeared into the nearby window of a neighbouring house.

Even breaths signalised that he did not have to fear the attention of the inhabitants. The crate with the belongings stood at the foot of the bed. People were so transparent... It would now become apparent if the combination of the lock, which he obtained from his informant, was correct. The lockpick quietly snapped in the lock. With a scratching sound, the lid sprung open.
The even sound of breathing fell silent. The thief remained motionless. “Bloody hell!“ He thought to himself, holding his own breath.
However a loud snore allowed the tension to fall away from him. He slowly and carefully cleared out the chest, in search of the old, valuable amulet that his client had been out to get.

Risen - Gameplay Video

by Myrthos, 08:53

A total of 45 minutes of Risen gameplay can be viewed at GameOne. There are 3 videos in total that appear to have been compressed a bit too much, but they do show several of the gameplay elements in Risen.

Wednesday - September 09, 2009

Risen - Short Stories

by Dhruin, 00:19

We somehow missed a Risen short story, so here are the latest two together:

VI The Don and His Followers

Veils of smoke spread unevenly through the air. Thick, damp mist oozed and was not prepared to give way to the smoke.
Men coughed.
"Cursed soup!" swore one.
"What, Rachel’s?" said a second in surprise.
"No, you joker, the fog," replied the first sullenly.
"Cursed swamp!" elaborated the second.
"Cursed Inquisitor!" A third, who had been silent so far, named the root of all evil.
Since the Inquisitor had arrived on the island with his people, the Don had slipped out of the city into the swamp. There, he was still his own master and did not have to take orders from the new lords. There, he was the boss over his people, over a few acres of stinking swamp and an ancient, rotting temple full of monsters. He just sat it out until the Inquisitor left his city. Until then, the Don lived in the first temple hall.
"Anything come out of the temple today?" asked one.
"A creature? Nah. The front passages are all clean. Fincher just checked them again yesterday."
"Oh."
The conversation dropped off again. The soupy fog was depressing. The mood was bad.
"Anything new out of the city?"
"Nah, nothing."
"Once we’re back in the city..."
They all sighed quietly. And silently went back to their own thoughts. A bottle made the rounds.

VII Master of the Blade

“Hey! Don’t wave the sword around like that. What did I tell you?!“ Edgar leaned on the grindstone and shook his head compassionately. The old sword teacher had withdrawn to the shadows of a wall, in order to observe his pupil. Then he explained once again from the top:
“Hold the sword calmly. Clasp the handle firmly, so that the opponent’s first strike doesn’t knock your weapon from your hand. The point goes towards the opponent.“
Edgar’s pupil tried to implement the instructions to the satisfaction of his teacher.

“And don’t hold yourself so straight and stiff. That looks just awful.“
“And when can I finally fight against someone?“, grumbled the young lad, who was bored of the many instructions. “I want to finish off an Ashbeast!“
Edgar laughed. “Young boy. Put that out of your mind. You first need to learn the fundamentals of striking and parrying. When you have those down, then you can start to work with series of strikes in order to keep the opponent from getting a chance. After that, you’ll need to improve your footwork, so that you learn to dodge. And then you will learn to chip away at your enemy’s blockade.“
Edgar took a meaningful pause. “And then, young boy, then you can maybe start to think about taking on some of these beasts out there. ‘Cause people are predictable. You can study their behaviour and anticipate their attacks. These monsters, on the other hand, react completely imponderably. To succeed against them is something completely different. You are still far away from that.

Tuesday - September 08, 2009

Risen - Interview with Mike Hoge at GameReactor

by Corwin, 05:17

GameReactor has an interview with PB's Michael Hoge as a follow up to his GenCon presentation we linked to last week. In it he compares how Risen is different from and in some ways better that the earlier Gothic games. There's some excellent short video clips included, so check it out. I found it Here.

Friday - September 04, 2009

Risen - GC Presentation at GameReactor

by Gorath, 22:22

GameReactor recorded their GamesCom presentation of the upcoming Risen. The guy you hear talking is lead designer Mike Hoge. The language is English this time!

Thursday - September 03, 2009

Risen - New Hero Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:56

R3dshift in our forums notes a video showing off the new Hero in Risen has been released.  It's not as exciting as it sounds but here we go...

Wednesday - September 02, 2009

Risen - London Gamers Day

by Dhruin, 22:52

From the Risen site comes news of a London Gamers Day that will give attendees access to the game:

Risen Gamers’ Day in Central
London on the 12th September.

 
11:00 AM, Sep 02 2009

Attendees will be able to meet other RPG fans, and ask questions about the
game which will be put to the development team. Deep Silver has also arranged a goodie bag to take away at the end of the event!

There are only a few places available for this event, so if you're interested in attending and living in the UK, send an email to deepsilver@jellymedia.com and let us know 'why you're the biggest Risen fan out there!'. You need to be 16+ years of age and living in the UK. The successful entrants will be contacted by email.

Risen - New Hero to be Unveiled?

by Dhruin, 22:26

After criticism of the Hero in Risen, Deep Silver will unveil a new look on the World of Risen forums...if the conditions are met, apparently:

Daniel Oberlercher from Deep Silver announced in our forum that the hero of RISEN which has been reworked after bad critic by the community will be unveiled at the 3rd of September, 2009, exclusively in our forum.

But there's a catch! The hero will only be shown if we manage to gather at least 400 RISEN-Fans in our forums between 18:00 and 18:30 CEST. So come along and bring your friends!

This is 16:00-16:30 GMT, for those needing to make a local time conversion.

Thanks, ikbenrichard!

Risen - X360 Achievements List

by Dhruin, 00:03

Head over to Xbox360Achievements if you'd like to read the Achievements list for Risen.  Obviously, light spoilers apply.

Sunday - August 30, 2009

Risen - Interviews @ WoR

by Gorath, 06:40

World of Risen posted an interview with Andy Walsh, one of Risen's English story authors, and another one with PB's Quy Hoang made at the GamesCom.

13. How much do you try to keep close to the original and how much do you invent maybe even entire new storylines? Are there specific topics that are a complete no-go and must be rewritten from scratch?

[Andy Walsh:] None of the story is different from the German game, all the story even the number of speech files was all set in stone. The English Version does, however, tell the story in a different way to the German game (people say completely different things to the other version on a lot of occasions) and the English version gives more detail about some areas of the story. Other changes...well a number of the characters have different names and personalities to suit the move from German to English, that said their game and story roles remain the same in each.

Risen - European Release Details

by Gorath, 06:28

Deep Silver brand manager Daniel Oberlerchner revealed in a thread at World of Risen that most European countries will receive a multilingual Risen. The following versions will be released:

  • PC: UK version
    English voices & subtitles
    The UK gets only the minimum due to the ongoing price war. Deep Silver wants UK versions to stay in the UK.
  • PC: Multilingual version
    English, French, German voices & subtitles, Italian, Spanish subtitles
    For all other Euro markets within Koch Media's distribution or publishing reach. Confirmed are: DACH, Benelux, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Hungary and "etc.".
  • PC: Eastern Europe
    Cenega and Noviy Disk will make their own decisions for Poland, CIS and RUS. There is enough space on the disk for other languages in addition to Polish or Russian.
  • XBox360
    Per MS requirement every European XBox360 game has to have EFIGS loca. So does Risen. I suppose Italian and Spanish will still be subtitle only.

Release date is October 2nd.

Friday - August 28, 2009

RPGWatch Feature: Risen Preview

by Dhruin, 07:57

Myrthos brings us first-hand impressions of Risen after meeting with Pirahna Bytes at GamesCom 2009 to view the game.  Here's a snip:

There are no skills to avoid a fight but there are some fights you can avoid by acting in a different manner. An example was given where you needed to talk to a prisoner in the jail at the harbor town. One possibility is to knock the guard over to take his key, the second is to learn the pickpocket skill and steal the key and the third is to do a related quest that will eventually bring you inside the jail. There are different possibilities to most of the problems you want to solve but the biggest problem you have to solve is which faction you will join; Inquisition, Bandits or Mages, because each of the factions has a different way to go through the main story line.

Read it all here.

Risen - The Risen Experience #2

by Dhruin, 00:31

Remember the interactive Flash experience for Risen a while back?  Part 2 is now online:

You want to know how the adventure on the Risen experience website continues? In the first chapter, the visitor to the island of Faranga was surprised by gnomes. But, of course, the adventure doesn't end here! Having been rescued by a helpful island dweller, the first priority is now to find and equip a weapon. En route to the next settlement, the protagonist gets to pick one of several possible paths – just like in the RPG Risen itself, the player has numerous options available for achieving the chosen goal.
You are just a click away to enter the experience...

Wednesday - August 26, 2009

Risen - Realistic Screenshots @PC Games

by Gorath, 16:54

PC Games posted 12 new Risen screnshots. The point here is that they were made by them, not by the publisher. They used a resolution of 1280*1024, 8x AF, all details on high, and unfortunately cheats to unlock the camera.

Risen - Short Story #5

by Dhruin, 00:45

Deadly Adventure is the title of Short Story #5 at the Risen site.  Here we go:

Three men worked their way along a narrow, descending passage.
"You want to know what I think?" asked Olf, shouldering a pickaxe.
"No, not really," grumbled Dytar. "Keep the torch up, so we don’t miss any traps."
"I’ll tell you anyway," said the first. "I’ve got a feeling we are going to find a lot of gold. I can feel it in my little finger."
"Aah, in the last temple, it was in your big toe. Can’t you make up your mind?" moaned Dirk. He was carrying a bundle of shovels. "And we didn’t find anything, either."
"Well, that’s because the guys from the Order were faster than us. But nobody’s been here before us."
"Just be glad they didn’t catch us outside the city."
"Hey, watch out! Stop," called Dytar, putting an end to the debate. "Don’t you see that joint, you dimwit? That plate looks strange to me. That’s bound to be another trapdoor."
"Well, that’s better than those nasty spikes we had earlier."
There was a distant roar. Then a sound like nails sliding across stone. Closer. Much closer.
"What was that?" whispered Olf. "Did you hear that?"
"We’re not deaf," breathed Dirk.
"Go back!"

Tuesday - August 25, 2009

Risen - GC Videos & Articles

by Gorath, 23:51

Everything in German unless mentioned otherwise:

Deep Silver press conference @ WoR (DL) and as stream
3Sat: Neues (TV), starting at minute 2:42
PB on the GamesWelt stage
Public presentation at the Deep Silver booth, with half the PB team on stage. The full show, almost 30 minutes, in German with Russian (I guess) subtitles. DL on WoR.

Interview @ GameVista
Preview @ GamerLobby

Sunday - August 23, 2009

Risen - Status Update

by Gorath, 21:34

Piranha Bytes' lead designer Mike Hoge confirmed in a talk with the German print mag PC Games that a release candidate has been sent to publisher Koch Media before the GC. So the games is almost finished and on track for its Oct. 2nd release date. It will go into replication when the Koch Media QA is satisfied.

When asked about the next game Hoge said another Risen game would depend on the publisher. A new project would once again be a typical Piranha Bytes style RPG, in a fresh setting. Mr Hoge refused to give further details, but mentioned he would find a steampunk RPG attractive.

Don't read to much into this. It can mean everything. ;)

Friday - August 21, 2009

Risen - GC Walkthrough Videos

by Dhruin, 23:30

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has links to videos of the GamesCom developer presentation for Risen, broken down into three parts.  I haven't had the chance to view them but it sounds like essential viewing for Risen fans.

You can also check out the Collector's Edition box art at World of Risen, which looks very nice

Thursday - August 20, 2009

Risen - Screens @ UGDB

by Dhruin, 22:58

A site called UGDB.com has a nice gallery of new Risen screens, presumably from GamesCom.

Source: Blues News

Risen - Beta Access in German Collector's Edition

by Dhruin, 22:55

Also from Sir_Brennus comes news the German Collector's Edition of Risen will include a code to access the beta test for Piranha Bytes' next game.  Presumably this offer won't be offered to international versions.

The complete content:

  • map
  • sound track
  • making of ... DVD
  • A1 size poster with PB autographs
  • access code to the beta test for the next PB game
  • gnome and ghoul sticker set

Pics can be found at Word of Risen.

Risen - Short Stories, Voiceover Video

by Dhruin, 00:36

There's a new short story at the Risen site.  Part 4 is called The Laughing Gyrger:

A bright rectangle thrown by the open door on the floor of the Laughing Gyrger was all that reminded those inside that the sun still beat down mercilessly on the island. But the rectangle darkened suddenly, as a new guest entered the taproom.
"Hey, stranger, join us," rumbled a beefy fellow to the newcomer. "We can always use a fresh face with fresh stories."
"I suppose you know everybody in the city?" replied the stranger.
"I should say so. I’ve been stuck here since the White Robes closed the gates. Say, I’ve never seen you around here before. What are you doing in the city?"
"If only I knew that..."
"Ah, an innocent," joked the big man. "If you’re looking for knowledge, go see Master Belschwur. All you’ll find here is something to drink."
"Master Belschwur?"
"Yeah, the mage! He can tell you all about the Holy Flame and the gods. The gods are gone, but they left the Holy Flame behind as a sign that they’re still protecting the island. But nobody knows how long it will keep burning, since the dark powers that the gods were protecting us against are getting stronger and stronger. The temples and stuff. But what do I know? I’m just a fisherman."

...and a 33Mb file video interview (direct link) from the Official Xbox Magazine talks with Andy Serkis and John Rhys Davies about their work on the game.  Some panoramic shots are shown in the background and we get a two-word sample of the actual voices.

Thursday - August 13, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Boars

by Dhruin, 00:36

Time for Wild Boars in the latest Risen update: 

Risen - Preview @ Destructoid

by Dhruin, 00:31

Destructoid has a preview of Risen from a Deep Silver press event but there isn't much in it for us, because the author doesn't play the genre and Guild Wars is apparently the best comparison because they both have a quick-slot bar:

While I'm not a connoisseur of fantasy RPGs, especially Western-style ones, the feeling that most potently struck me was that this reminded me a bit of Guild Wars in terms of the look and feel of things. You've got a quickslot bar, like in most games, to equip your spells and potions, leaving your attacks to mouse/controller commands. There are a wide variety of tactics at your disposal, such as casting a "Joke" spell to disable a guard in a fit of laughter, or make people forget you're wanted for murder because, hey, you seem like a nice guy.

Risen - Voice Talent PR

by Dhruin, 00:13

We've already posted the headline details but Deep Silver has released an official PR on the voice talent in Risen, which fleshes out some additional roles:

Basingstoke, UK, 12 August, 2009

Risen Voice Talent Cast Revealed

Andy Serkis and John Rhys Davies head notable cast

Deep Silver, the games label of Koch Media, a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, today confirms the A-list voice talent featuring in forthcoming RPG Risen.

One of the busiest actors in the UK, Andy Serkis takes the role of The Inquisitor. Serkis, who has had a long and varied acting career, is best known for his CG character representations Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong in the movie of the same name. Veteran British actor, John Rhys Davies, who has starred in countless blockbuster movies such as Indiana Jones and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, performs as Don Esteban. Movie actress Lena Headey, who played Sarah Connor in Terminator TV spin-off Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles take the role of Patty. “The quality of the voice casting reflects the quality of the game” stated Paul Nicholls, Sales and Marketing Director, Koch Media UK “with such an amazing lineup of talent from movies and TV, there is a voice everyone will recognize; we will attract a new generation of RPG players to the genre”.

Serkis, Rhys-Davies and Headey are joined by a lineup of some of the most recognisable British TV actors; Fincher is played by Torchwood actor Burn Gorman, Larkrise to Candleford star Brendan Coyle takes the role of Commandant Carlos, Damian O’Hare who starred in medical drama The Royal plays Olf. I’m Alan Partridge regular and Star Stories narrator Simon Greenall plays Luis. Oscar is played by Grange Hill actor Donald McCorkindale while fellow Grange Hill actor and Secret Diaries of a Call Girl star Stuart Organ plays Brogar. The Archers actress, Louiza Patikas represents Sara and Timothy Watson who has starred in countless TV dramas from Eastenders to Casualty takes the role of Romanov

All the actors were cast and recorded by award winning London agency Side, with voice direction carried out by Andrew S Walsh.

Developed by Piranha Bytes and releasing on Xbox 360 and PC, this epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island. The “Risen” story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story depending on the player’s actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, Risen offers a seamless experience while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

Risen will be released for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and Windows® PC. More information about Risen at http://risen.deepsilver.com.

Tuesday - August 11, 2009

Risen - Short Stories #3

by Dhruin, 23:17

This one is called The Inquisition:

The city had changed since the Inquisition had taken over.
The fat man sat on a bench outside the Laughing Gyrger and watched. Cid had settled down next to him.
"Man, my old lady has her heart set on a pearl necklace. Where am I supposed to get one, now?" complained Cid.
"How should I know? You boys used to be able to conjure up just about everything."
"Yeah, but back then we didn’t have that damn Inquisitor," stated the bandit. "And we could do business with the town guards. Just imagine, they recently grabbed Rodriguez and dragged him off to the Monastery. Straight to the Inquisitor. And when he came back, he was a completely different person. Almost like they swapped him for somebody else. And now he actually wants to report me if he ever catches me in a crooked deal again. Rodriguez of all people! That's scary. That Inquisitor and his magic eye, he looks straight into your head and turns you upside down. And then you do whatever he wants. You can’t trust that guy. He knows more about those temples and monsters than he admits, bet on it."
The fat man said nothing. That was all too much for him.

Risen - Refused Classification in AU

by Dhruin, 12:45

Gamespot reports that Risen has been refused classification by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification:

GameSpot AU was able to obtain the Classification Board’s full decision report for the game and the document outlines specifics of its failure to adhere to the maximum available rating. In several instances the Board found that the game used sexual activity and drug use in conjunction with in-game incentives. “The game contains ‘quests’ which a player may choose to complete by acquiring the sexual service of prostitutes. Though it is purportedly not a necessary element of the gameplay, players gain rewards or advance through the game more easily by engaging in sexual activity with prostitutes.“ The ruling specifically highlights a scenario in which the game’s protagonist is able to bribe or distract a guard by visiting a brothel and paying the mistress for the use of a girl.

The Board also found that use of an in-game drug called “Brugleweed”, which is “commonly referred to in text and dialogue as ‘weed’ or a ‘weed reefer’ and rewarded players who used it with experience points, failed to meet acceptable classification guidelines. In Risen a player can both trade and smoke this drug, which mirrors an illegal ‘real-world’ drug in its terminology, use and depiction”.

The overwhelming majority of games are ultimately given a rating after appeal or modification, so don't expect this to be the end of Risen in Australia.

Monday - August 10, 2009

Risen - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:25

I haven't compared these to other recent screen releases but Worthplaying has put up 16 Risen nudies.

Risen - Gimli, Gollum and Pratchett Confirmed

by Dhruin, 12:23

Ausir writes that Polish site Polygamia.pl has confirmed with Piranha Bytes that the IMDB credits for Risen are correct.  This means some serious talent has been organised, with John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis and Lena Headey providing voice work and Rhianna Pratchett, James Leach and Andrew S. Walsh writing dialogues.

Sunday - August 09, 2009

Risen - More Screens

by Dhruin, 00:27

First, World of Risen has their latest Friday screenshot.  Some boars get the attention, this week.

Second, French site Jeux Video has some console screens, including a shot showing the different (tabbed) character interface (thanks also to WoR).

Thursday - August 06, 2009

Risen - New Screens

by Dhruin, 22:12

German site PC Games.de has 20 new Risen screens, including one of the character UI.  Spotted at World of Risen.

Risen - Online Store Opens

by Dhruin, 22:07

If you're keen to get your hands on some Risen swag, they've launched an online store:

Starting immediately, male and female Risen fans get to purchase and combine individual outfits and utensils from the shop. Numerous Risen motives are available in many colors and may be combined with personal text. From customized mugs to keychains, from nightshirts to army caps, from tote bags to aprons – anything goes! 

Wednesday - August 05, 2009

Risen - Pack Shots

by Dhruin, 22:49

In case you didn't watch yesterday's video, the Risen blog has shots of the official box.

Tuesday - August 04, 2009

Risen - Cover Art Video

by Dhruin, 23:51

Watch this video from Deep Silver to see the cover art image for Risen:

Risen - Short Stories #2

by Dhruin, 23:32

A second story snippet at the Risen blog is titled A New Hero.  Here's the entire text:

"Hey, did you hear?" Philus was greeted by his fat companion as he entered the tavern. "They say somebody is running around the island that the Inquisition hasn’t caught yet. Nobody knows where he’s from."
Finally back in the Laughing Gyrger after an uneventful day, Philus joined him in a bad temper. "So what? Then he’s a bandit. He’s not the only one," he grumbled.
"Nah, not one of the Don’s people," the fat man whispered. "But he’s sniffing around anyway, going into the temples, and whatnot."
"So? Other people have done that," answered Philus crankily. He had other worries. Nobody was buying his fish.
"Yeah, but unlike them, he comes out again. They say he’s at least six feet tall, that’s what a farmer up in the Gutters told me."
"Nonsense, that’s impossible."
"And why’s that?"
"Well, because the temple passages aren’t that tall. He’d have bashed in his skull and croaked like all the rest a long time ago," was Philus’ irresistible logic.
"Aah, what do you know..."
"Beats me. Buy me a beer, will you? I’ve had a bad day."

Sunday - August 02, 2009

Risen - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Dhruin, 10:31

Hooked Gamers has a Risen preview that looks to be cribbed from existing information:

The bestiary includes some very interesting new creatures in addition to some familiar ones. Starting with familiar stuff, we'll see Wolves, whose aggressiveness in the game is explained by their extreme hunger that makes them attack practically any fleshy target they spot in the wilderness. Another familiar sight to old-timers are undead Skeletons who roam the land, killing every creature who still holds onto life in some manner. Likewise Ghouls have adorned more than one RPG in the past - they are basically zombies but with unearthly hunger for meat. According to the legends on the island, ghouls were once evil humans, who turned to these evil creatures after their deaths - becoming what they always were inside when they were still alive. Ogres, however, are not aggressive creatures at heart and some of them have actually been tamed into human service. Another way to bind one to one's service is blood debt (Wookies, anyone?). Last, and perhaps the least, come Gnomes with their unending yearning to steal anything that they can lay their hands on. Anyone who ever played the Ultima series (especially Ultima III) series will remember these critters with a special sort of fondness.

Source: Blues News

Saturday - August 01, 2009

Risen - Friday Screenshot

by Dhruin, 00:12

The end of the week means a new Friday Screenshot over at World of Risen - this one shows a small rebel camp at night.  Thanks, Kostaz.

Thursday - July 30, 2009

Risen - System Specs Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:33

While we haven't seen any official PR, PC Games Hardware says they have the system specs for Risen.  Here we go:

Risen System Requirements:
Required Hardware Specifications:
• OS: Win XP
• CPU: 2.0 GHz
• GPU: Direct X 9.1; Pixel Shader 3.0; 256 MB (GeForce 7900 - ATI 1800)
• RAM: 1 GB
• Hard disk: ~2.5 GB

Recommended System Specifications:
• OS Win XP or Vista
• CPU: 3.0 GHz Dual Core
• GPU: Direct X 9.1; Pixel Shader 3.0; 512 MB (GeForce 8800 - ATI Radeon HD 2900)
• RAM: 2 GB
• Hard disk: ~2.5 GB

Risen - IGN Blog Launched

by Dhruin, 00:29

Deep Silver has kicked off an IGN blog for Risen, with International Brand Manager Daniel Oberlerchner introducing the project to the IGN audience:

Sometimes Risen doesn’t feel like an RPG but more like a medieval fantasy simulation because of the dense and authentic atmosphere. One important factor to create believable worlds is the immersion and most people tend to forget that a complex or distracting UI can destroy much of the level designers work by reminding the user every time that he/she is playing a game. The interface of Risen on the other hand is both functional and minimalist at the same time since it only consists of a quickslot bar and two bars which display your health/mana at the bottom of the screen.

The second most important component for an organic world is the simulation of believable NPCs. Every NPC has its own daily routine and requirement which means that they will take a bite if they feel so and sit down if they are tired. Even the monsters take a nap at night in the woods which kind of leads to strange situation when you’re stumbling over a sleeping boar in the pitch dark night during a short stroll in the woods nearby.

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Wolves

by Dhruin, 23:49

You can't have a Piranha Bytes game without wolves - and here they are:

Thanks again, Kostaz.

Risen - Nightwish Trailer

by Dhruin, 00:26

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes have released a new ~1.5 minute Risen trailer titled "Nightwish" and featuring the music of the aforenamed symphonic metal band.  You can stream (although I found it very slow) or download the 160Mb HD version from the official site or head over to Gametrailers.

Thanks, Kostaz!

There's also a new German preview at Eurogamer.de for those interested.

Sunday - July 26, 2009

Risen - BBQ Report and Preview @ WoR

by Dhruin, 10:36

World of Risen's English moderator foobar has written a report about a recent Deep Silver community BBQ featuring Kai Rosenkranz from Piranha Bytes and including a preview of Risen based on some play time.  Here's a snip from that:

I can tell you one thing for sure: I really liked what I saw and leaving that room with its RISEN demo PCs was not an easy thing. If you liked Gothic 1 and 2, you will probably also like RISEN and should give it a try. There are differences and also some disputable compromises for what are believed to be the requirements of the modern market. But the product as a whole is really convincing and looks very promising to me.

The article spans two pages, witha description of the event on page 1 and hands-on experiences of the early stages on page 2.

Thanks Kostaz and Ragon der Magier!

Friday - July 24, 2009

Risen - Friday Screenshot

by Dhruin, 23:28

Magic hijinx in the rain is the latest Friday Risen screenie at World of Risen.

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Sea Volchers

by Myrthos, 21:40

The Risen website has been updated with a new creature; The Sea Volchers and a video of it.

Sea volchers are not an uncommon sight in the Faranga Islands; they are frequently seen squatting on boulders, waiting for their next meal with their cold, staring eyes.

Volchers are carrion eaters, which means that they eat anything they find dead on the ground, even if they have not killed it themselves; it has also been reported on various occasions that they feast on creatures which are still alive, but too weak to escape their greedy, hacking beaks.

Thanks Kostaz for the update.

Risen - Sounds & Music Interview

by Dhruin, 00:33

The popular Kai Rosenkranz steps up at the Risen blog for an interview on the sound and music:

How do you design the sound effects for fantasy creatures nobody has ever heard before? A gnome picking his nose, or a roaring ashbeast, for example?
In most cases I use sounds from different animals and mix them together. An ashbeast, for instance, is a mixture of gorilla, lion, bear and walrus, with a little hint of buffalo. Of course, the sounds have to be altered and edited in order to match. However, for some species I had to record my own material. Various layers of human grunting and snarling have made it into the creature sounds for Risen. Some humanoid species have been given their own "voices" in the recording studio.

Sunday - July 19, 2009

Risen - Screenshot @ WoR

by Dhruin, 10:27

Kostaz remind us we overlooked World of Risen's Friday screenshot.  Head over for a sunset.

Saturday - July 18, 2009

Risen - No DRM

by Dhruin, 01:11

World of Risen brings us a comment from Deep Silver brand manager Daniel Oberlerchner that Risen will have no DRM - no serial number or activation - only a standard DVD check.  I hasten to add my German isn't good enough for any nuance and this may relate only to the German release, so please hit the comments if the thread contains more relevant information:

Hallo zusammen,

Wie versprochen melde ich mich bei euch zurück um eine Neuigkeit zum Thema Kopierschutz zu vermelden. Ich darf nun offiziell bekannt geben das wir uns nach reiflichen Überlegungen für eine der Kopierschutz-Optionen für Risen entschieden haben. Wir werden in Risen einen Kopierschutz ...

 

...ohne Onlineaktivierung aka. DRM verwenden. Risen wir auch keine Seriennummer oder sonstige Aktivierung benötigen, die DVD muss lediglich zum Spielen im Laufwerk verbleiben. Ich bin davon überzeugt das wir mit dieser Entscheidung für einen einfachen Disk-Kopierschutz den richtigen Weg für Risen eingeschlagen haben und freue mich schon auf euer Feedback.

Wednesday - July 15, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Skeletons

by Dhruin, 22:11

Skeletons are the next critter in the Risen bestiary: 

...and head over to read the blurb.

Risen - Short Stories #1

by Dhruin, 00:08

Taking a break from bestiary updates, the Risen site has the first of a series of short story snippets.  The first is called The Prophecy and here's the entire text:

Uncaring, people walked past the ragged figure braving the scorching sun in front of a whitewashed wall.
"I tell you, we are all doomed," he ranted, ignoring the fact that no one was listening to him.
"The gods have abandoned the island. Evil has awakened! The Holy Flame alone cannot protect us forever!"
No one stopped. People had their own worries. Business had been bad since the city was closed. The preacher continued without wavering. "Three signs have been revealed," he cried with a rough voice, "three signs!"
"The earthquakes were the first. And no one paid attention. The heathen temples were the second. And again, no one would listen. They were plundered – you have defiled yourselves with their trinkets. The beasts were the third sign. Three signs. The gods have abandoned us, and soon the Holy Flame will be extinguished. Ancient powers will arise. The end is near!"

Friday - July 10, 2009

Risen - Screenshot @ WoR

by Dhruin, 23:36

Screenshot Friday at World of Risen offers a single screen of an impending confrontation. 

Thursday - July 09, 2009

Risen - German Interview @ Eurogamer.de

by Dhruin, 22:45

The German version of Eurogamer has interviewed Bjorn Pankratz about Risen for those with the appropriate language skills.

Risen - Bestiary Update: Thunder Lizards

by Dhruin, 00:20

As the sign says, the Risen bestiary now presents the Thunder Lizard.  Head over for the description and watch this trailer: 

Friday - July 03, 2009

Risen - Screenshots @ Gameinfowire

by Magerette, 16:54

Gameinfowire.com has added 4 screens for Piranha Bytes' rpg Risen to their gallery. You can view them here.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - July 02, 2009

Risen - October 2nd International Release

by Dhruin, 23:15

Great news for Risen fans with Deep Silver announcing an October 2nd international release date for both X360 and PC - the same day as announced earlier for Germany.  The game has apparently been in beta for a few weeks with three QA teams - here's the full PR:

Risen to be launched on October 2nd

The RPG from the makers of Gothic has entered the Beta phase

Risen will make its international debut on October 02, 2009. The new RPG from the inventors of Gothic, Piranha Bytes, has already entered the Beta phase and is now being honed to perfection. Risen will be available for PC and Xbox 360®, the video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®.

"The release date for Risen enables us to introduce the game to the market in the best possible condition," says Daniel Oberlerchner, Brand Manager at Deep Silver. "We have been in the Beta phase here for several weeks, and now our focus lies on eliminating the remaining bugs."

The contents of Risen are already complete, and all dialogs have been recorded. A total of three quality assurance teams are working on the game – one directly at Piranha Bytes, one at Deep Silver, plus an additional external studio.

About Risen:
This epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island, The “Risen” story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story by his own actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, the player will have a seamless experience while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

Risen will be released for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows® operating system. More information about Risen on http://risen.deepsilver.com

Risen - Bestiary Update: Ghoules

by Dhruin, 01:01

Time to find out about Risen's Ghoules:

Wednesday - July 01, 2009

Risen - KaiRo Music Interview (German)

by Dhruin, 01:08

World of Risen has an interview with Piranha Bytes' well-liked composer, Kai Rosenkranz.  The (German) conversation focuses closely on the music and a little on Kai's background.  English readers can try a rough Babelfish translation here.

Monday - June 29, 2009

Risen - Complete Dialogue Scene Video

by Dhruin, 22:41

The Deep Silver Risen forums has a complete dialogue scene video, showing the NPC interacting with a bandit guard, who is waiting for a replacement.  It's in German, of course.

Thanks, World of Risen.

Friday - June 26, 2009

Risen - Screenshot Friday @ WoR

by Dhruin, 23:55

A single new screen is on offer at World of Risen but it is a rather lovely sunset.

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Rotworms

by Dhruin, 23:31

The latest Risen monster is the Rotworm:

 

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

Risen - Screens @ GameStar

by Dhruin, 22:34

GameStar has 55 exclusive Risen screens on offer.  Thanks to Exploding' Gobbo on the forums.

Risen - GameStar Gameplay Video

by Dhruin, 12:29

In the comments thread about Risen's freshly revealed German release date, Moriendor points out a fantastic video clip courtesy of GameStar magazine.  The nearly seven minutes of footage shows a range of gameplay sequences, including a nice dungeon example.  The voiceover is naturally German but it's well worth watching for all fans.

Monday - June 22, 2009

Risen - Official German Release - October 2nd

by Dhruin, 23:30

Deep Silver's Community Manager Pixel has posted on the World of Risen forums announcing an official release date of October 2nd in Germany.  While NA e-stores have dates (Amazon says Sept 15), we'll let you know when something official comes out for the English version but don't expect it for some time after the German release.

Wednesday - June 17, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Ogres

by Dhruin, 22:24

The Ogre is  the latest Bestiary addition at the Risen site.  There's a blurb and a very short video.

Monday - June 15, 2009

Risen - vs Arcania Screen Comparisons

by Dhruin, 22:37

German site PC Games.de has a comparison of several scenes between Risen and Arcania.  The article is in German but the screen composites showing a Risen screen directly next to a similar Arcania screen are pretty obvious.  I'm not sure I learned much but graphics afficianados may see something I don't.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - June 12, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Ashbeasts

by Dhruin, 23:30

The Ashbeast has been added to the Risen bestiary, with a short description and video on offer.

Wednesday - June 10, 2009

Risen - Interactive Website Launched

by Magerette, 18:49

Gamebanshee posts a press release from Deep Silver announcing the launch of what is being called an experience website. It features interactive links that walk you through some narrated video sequences where you can navigate some of the terrain in something similar to a tutorial. Here's the link to the site.

And here's some of the press release itself:

Official Risen experience website invites players to enjoy first adventures

...Deep Silver, the games label of Koch Media, a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, and developer Piranha Bytes announced the launch of the first level of the official experience website http://risen.deepsilver.com for Risen. More content will be made available before the release of the game.

Just like Risen, the new RPG from Piranha Bytes, the website offers different approaches for mastering the challenges that players encounter. From the beach, a path leads into a dense tropical forest – what dangers may lurk there, and where is the best direction to turn? By keeping a close eye on their surroundings, players can discover all kinds of secrets here. Wild beasts and odd creatures haunt the twisted paths that lead deep into the interior of the island. Watch out, or you may be in for a nasty surprise!

The already familiar Risen blog, which provides topical news about the development of the game, is also continued and keeps offering fans all kinds of information from the world of Risen.

About Risen:
This epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island, The “Risen” story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story by his own actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, the player will have a seamless experience while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

Risen will be released for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and Windows PC®. More information about Risen on http://risen.deepsilver.com

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - June 08, 2009

Risen - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:25

11 tasty new Risen screens can be found at Worthplaying.

Thursday - June 04, 2009

Risen - Bestiary Update: Gnomes

by Dhruin, 00:26

Kicking off a new weekly feature, the official Risen site has their first Bestiary entry.  First up are the gnomes, with a description and a very short video.

Monday - June 01, 2009

Risen - Interview @ Risen Island

by Dhruin, 23:00

Polish Risen fansite Risen Island has interviewed Piranha Bytes' Björn Pankratz about Risen.  The original English version is on offer on the World of Risen forums and here's a sample:

Could you tell us just a bit of your secrets about: the number of
towns, guilds and monsters or maybe type of monsters?


Björn Pankratz: We’ve got 3 different factions. The Inquisitor’s army is definitely the
strongest faction in Risen. The Inquisitor has taken over the command over
the island the game is taking place, and has sent all inhabitants into a
small coastal town where they live partially on the streets. He enforces a
curfew for all but his followers, and everyone who is caught outside is
taken prisoner and impressed into becoming a soldier for the Inquisition.

A group of mighty mages from that Island try to help the inhabitants, but
the Inquisitor has also taken the monastery as his headquarter.

And there’s a small group of outlaws lead by the shady “Don” who don’t
conform to the Inquisitor’s new rules. They hide near a deserted ruin in
the swamp and continue their temple raids from there.

Monster-wise we tried to create a set of monsters that have not been seen
in other games before. One of them for example is the Ashbeast. Ashbeasts
owe their name to their gray pelt and the fact that, as a rule, they live
in caves and rocky gorges near volcanoes. They live underground and are
blind, but have an excellent sense of smell. They are very dangerous for
people, who are found on their menu. Ashbeasts are creatures of the
underworld and generally do not leave their caves. However, with the
displacement of the temple ruins to the surface, they have become alarmed
and can now also be found on the surface.

Thursday - May 28, 2009

Risen - Fansite Kit Released

by Dhruin, 01:12

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes have released a fansite kit for Risen (22Mb).  Here is the contents:

  • High resolution Artworks
  • Avatars for Forums, Skype, MSN and Yahoo Messenger as well as Youtube
  • A professional blog theme for the Wordpress blog software to launch a fansite in 4 easy steps
  • Icons for posts in forums
  • Ambient music and sound effects
  • Screenshots from the game
  • Wallpapers for your desktop (2 exclusive wallpapers never published before!)

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

Risen - Should it Bother Rising? @ OXCGN

by Dhruin, 00:48

What a strange article this is.  Australian Xbox site OXCGN has kicked up an editorial piece that somehow concludes the gameplay (and, well, everything else) in Pirahna Bytes' Risen will fail - based entirely the trailers released to date:

The trailer leaves a number of questions: why can’t people leave the city? What are those strange creatures? And what exactly, is the plot behind the game?  At one point you can hear the hopeless cry: “The gods have forsaken us”.   They look to be the gods of plot, visual presentation, and gameplay.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - May 06, 2009

Risen - City Life Trailer

by Dhruin, 01:15

Gametrailers has a short (<1m) City Life Trailer showing some glimpses of activity in Risen.

Thanks, Donald!

Wednesday - April 29, 2009

Risen - Now on Myspace

by Dhruin, 23:08

If you like your social networking sites, Risen is now on Myspace.

Monday - April 27, 2009

Risen - German Preview @ WoR

by Dhruin, 23:01

World of Risen has a German preview of Risen.  Based on my Google-fu, the piece describes the early gameplay through the tutorial and then encountering the factions on the island.

Wednesday - April 22, 2009

Risen - 2nd Mood Clip

by Dhruin, 23:04

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver have released the second official "mood clip" for Risen. Here's their brief blurb:

Enjoy the second mood clip with impressions from the world of Risen, the upcoming epic roleplaying game from Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes. Visit the harbor city in bright sunlight.

Thursday - April 16, 2009

Risen - Now on Facebook

by Dhruin, 23:34

Risen has a page on that new social network thing everyone is talking about, Facebook:

Become a fan of Risen at the official Facebook fan page. Join the page and you will find trailers, screenshots and more information about Risen. You can interact with other people and show your Facebook friends that you are fan of Risen. If you are registered on Facebook you will find the fan page here >>

Risen - Preview @ TeamXbox

by Dhruin, 13:59

A rare English preview of Risen, based on the X360 version, is up at TeamXbox.  The article doesn't offer much new for fans - other than confirmation of plans for a demo, which is welcome news:

Eickmeyer also emphasized that there’s no linear path you have to follow from the start. There’s a recommended path for following the main story, but there are a lot of side quests that’ll keep you busy. And there are also professions and crafting skills, so you’ll have plenty of activities to occupy your time when you’re not tracking on the main course of the story. Best of all, if you do follow the story to its conclusion, your game doesn’t necessarily have to be over; you can continue playing out the remaining quests, if you choose.

Source: Shack News

Wednesday - April 15, 2009

Risen - Official Video

by Dhruin, 22:36

The official Risen blog has revealed the official first Risen ingame video, although it's pretty much the same gameworld flythrough stuff we already saw from the RPC.

Worthplaying has the same video for download, as well as a handful of hopefully new screens.

Wednesday - April 08, 2009

Risen - German Previews

by Dhruin, 00:35

Here's a list of German Risen previews from the Roleplaying Convention, courtesy of World of Risen:

 

Monday - March 30, 2009

Risen - 3rd GDC Video

by Dhruin, 22:15

World of Risen is pointing out a 3rd Risen video from GDC, this time at a French site called clubic.com.  Here's their blurb:

The third video from the GDC has been released. This time from a french site. The video quality is a bit higher than on the first two videos. The video report addresses multiple games, one of them is RISEN.

As usual, the info that Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver gave about all GDC videos: The aspect ratio is wrong and the combat system is not the final one.

Head over for the link.

Thursday - March 26, 2009

Risen - Video Interview and In-Game Footage

by Myrthos, 09:15

A video interview and some in-game footage of Risen can be found on the Polish site Gry Online. Don't fear the interview is in English.

Thanks goes again to Avantenor for leading us to this.

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

Risen - GDC Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:13

Is this the first major English web preview of RisenIGN saw a demonstration at GDC and returned to write this piece.  Here's a sample:

Instead of being forced in one direction to discover the mysteries of the island and what's going on, I was told that players will have a large amount of flexibility in how you approach everything and everyone. The game, which designers Wizardbox and Piranha Bytes have spent more than two and a half years working on in tandem, has been designed to create a true living world where everything reacts to your actions. For instance, I was told that a player could save a young woman close to the start of the game, and she'll become a companion and aid you with your moves. If you choose to leave her alone, or take her and abandon her later on, the character, and the reactions from other NPCs in the world, will respond to your personal decisions, denying you aid or even attacking you outright. There isn't a particular right or wrong way to play through Risen, and the designers want to allow the flexibility for players to make many more mature choices that aren't solely driven by violence, sex or greed to help them navigate this world. That's not to say that you can't succumb to your baser instincts; In fact, I was told that players that wanted to exercise their homicidal maniac urges could wander from one side of the island to the other slaughtering every single person and creature they meet. It would make things a bit blander storywise, but players could essentially play through the entire game and eventually reach the final boss by being the scourge of the island.

Risen - FAQ @ World of Risen

by Magerette, 15:59

World of Risen presents a long and detailed FAQ for Piranha Bytes upcoming RPG, Risen, covering the setting, characters, weapons, system requirements and more. Here's a brief sample:

Will the new project have multiple parts?
The title should be able to stand on its own, but plans for a purposeful continuation have been made.

Will there be scripted sequences using in-game graphics?
Scripted scenes are not planned.

Will there be objects that increase attributes by often eating/using them?

Yes.

Will there be packs of animals that roam the land? Are there any furry creatures?
Packs and furry creatures are planned.

Will there be a possibility to change into other beings in RPB?
There are plans for transformations, but there is no information on that yet...

..Will RPB have more riddles and a more challenging level design?
Yes.

Will there be rendered sequences and Easter eggs?

Yes.

 

Source: Blues News

Friday - March 13, 2009

Risen - German Previews

by Dhruin, 22:57

World of Risen has links to a couple of German Risen previews that might be worth a look for those with the appropriate linguistic skills.

Wednesday - March 11, 2009

Risen - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 10:51

Worthplaying has 29 hopefully new screens from Piranha Bytes' Risen on offer.

Tuesday - March 03, 2009

Risen - Preview @ PC Gameplay

by Gorath, 01:39

Belgian mag PC Gameplay got an exclusive Risen preview in their latest issue. EDV was kind enough to send us a couple of translated excerpts:

NONLINEAR LINEARITY
[...] Certain dangerous areas will only become accessible after completing an important (main)quest, which will, like in Gothic 1 and 2, start a new chapter. So more story and player control, but won’t this mean less freedom? Piranha Bytes says no because there is an elaborate quest structure with choices which may have huge consequences. You’ll have to decide in the first few hours which group to join: the rebels or the inquisition? Depending on your choice you’ll have a different story which a completely different ending. This however won’t mean you’ll not be able to get quests or trade with the other side. In the volcano stronghold you’ll find not only inquisition troops but also clerics which are masters in magic and have their own plans for the excavations.
The side quests you can undertake can, like the main quests, be solved in different ways and can unlock different story elements. There is for example a quest where you’ll have to solve a murder in the inquisition headquarters. Investigation of the crime scene will point in the direction of a smuggling gang. Which raises the question who to trust? How do they even get their goods past the guards? And wouldn’t it be more interesting to join the gang instead of playing Sherlock Holmes? Many questions and opportunities all from one quest. The developer made about 300 of those extensive quests which will all be more elaborate than those of Gothic 3. Watch yourself however, cause Risen has a dynamic reputation system which will not only keep track of your reputation within a certain community, but also from individual people. Diplomacy and choosing sides in an important part of the game. Not to worry however, because there are several possibilities to work with people from all sides, so you’ll never end up the loner no one will talk to.

HACK & LAUGH
[...] The combat system in Risen is quite instinctive and allows the player with timing and a bit of skill to make spectacular fighting combos. By building your character you’ll also see a difference in the fighting animation of your character. In the beginning it’ll cost you great strength to pull a bowstring back and you’ll have a short time in which you can aim the bow before the shaking of your hand will make aiming impossible. After learning some more about archery from a master teacher, you’ll be able to shoot in rapid succession and with a steady hand. The animations are that unambiguous you’ll wont get the not very subtle “hit now”-icons like in The Witcher. Besides bow and arrow you’ll be able to wield broadswords, stabbing weapons, axes and clubs. Interesting is the difference the type of weapon will make against a specific enemy. A lightly armored enemy can be killed easily with a crossbow, but a guy with plate armor won’t be bothered by you acupuncture. They will be slower and less agile, which can be exploited with a light sword and a big of running.
Risen isn’t only a Hack-and-Slash festival, because also stealth options are present and are required in many rebels mission. Because the developers didn’t want any flashy interface-elements you’ll have to listen to the comment from the people you’re trying to sneak up on to find out just how invisible you are. A loud “Who lurks there in the dark” or “that’s just the wind blowing through the bushes” can usefully when determining your visibility. The presence of magically trained clerics also means that besides warrior and assassin a career as a wizard can be made. The developer don’t want to give away much but transformation spells will be an more important part of the gameplay than in Gothic 3. Think of transforming into a crazy chicken to get to an area you can’t get to walking. Besides offensive classics like the fireball you’ll also be able to use tactical spells like giving the target a laugh he can’t get out of. This is not only handy to ease people you’ve offend but also to distract a guard while you sneak by.

Thursday - February 12, 2009

Risen - Attending the RPC in April

by Dhruin, 22:16

World of Gothic has a (German) press release from Deep Silver announcing Piranha Bytes will attend the April Role Playing Convention in Cologne to present Risen.  This should represent the first detailed opportunity to learn about the game, so watch out for that in the coming months.

Source: World of Gothic

Friday - February 06, 2009

Risen - Design Contest PR

by Dhruin, 21:14

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver sent out this PR, announcing the winner of their temple design contest:

International winner of the design contest selected by Piranha Bytes!


In November 2008, Koch Media's videogame label, Deep Silver, a leading producer and dis-tributor of digital entertainment products, held, together with the Piranha Bytes team, a design contest for the Risen role-playing game.

In this way, Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver offered the rare opportunity to inscribe oneself in a videogame. The competition's goal was to design an altar of the undead. This design will be used in the game after the contest.

The contest was held in several international areas, and a national winner was chosen from each country's applications.

In the end, a panel of Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver staff members selected the overall international winner. The winner was Marco Wernicke, aka "Arthus of Kap Dun".

The altar of the undead designed by Marco Wernicke will be converted into a real 3D model and integrated into the game by the Piranha Bytes team. On top of that, Marco Wernicke will be mentioned in the game's credits as well as in the game manual.

Due to the great number of highly creative designs, the Piranha Bytes team decided to award another design with a special prize. This design by Nico Biere will also be used in the game.

Along with the PC version, Risen will also appear on Xbox 360®, the video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®.

The official Risen blog the can be found at: http://risen.deepsilver.com

Tuesday - February 03, 2009

Risen - Music Sample @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 20:44

Russian site CRPG.ru writes they've dug up a music sample from Risen that went unnoticed before Christmas (1.75Mb, .mp3).

Monday - February 02, 2009

Risen - Making of the logo, trailer @ Official Blog

by Dhruin, 21:14

A little bit of new content at the official Risen blog with two pieces on the making of the Risen logo and the first teaser trailer.

Friday - January 23, 2009

Risen - Official Blog Launched

by Dhruin, 21:36

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver have launched a blog subsite for Risen.  there isn't much there at the moment but should be worth watching:

Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver welcome all their fans to the Risen blog. Soon you will find more here on the topics of role playing games, game development, and of course Risen, the new project from Piranha Bytes for the Xbox 360™ and the PC! Every now and then, Ralf, Mike, Björn, Kai, and friends will give you a look behind the scenes and let you share in the development. Furthermore, Deep Silver will keep you up to date on important events, contests, and community actions. We look forward to seeing you on a regular basis!

Sunday - January 04, 2009

Risen - Various Interviews @ World of Risen

by Magerette, 18:58

The World of Risen has posted some English translations of various interviews with Piranha Bytes staff members over the holiday period, some of which cover older material. For those who haven't seen them yet, here's a link and snip of a group Christmas interview:

21. Can you tell us something about the amount of NPCs in the game or the number of dialogue lines? How immersive is the world compared to your previous games and how dialogue-focussed will RISEN be? Will we get primarly short and - let's call it result-oriented - chats or do individual NPCs have own opinions which they share with us beside the basic information?

Björn: With amount and complexity of quests, dialogues and characters in RISEN we orientated ourselves stronger towards our predecessors Gothic 1 and 2. The size of the settlements of the individual guilds is similar, too. We set ourselves to make any character in the world unique and with an own personality. The player will meet important characters on several occasions throughout the chapters of our story and develop a personal relationship to them. The goals and intentions of the characters in RISEN are strongly reflected by the quests and dialogues of the respective guild that the player joined. He has to master those guild-quests to advance into the next chapter of the story.

There's also a series of informational interviews that ask the developers the usual questions on their personal backgrounds and experience here.

Wednesday - December 10, 2008

Risen - Q&A @ PixelRage

by Dhruin, 21:55

PixelRage sends word of a (very) short Q&A with Piranha Bytes' artist Ralf Marcinczik about Risen.  No new revelations about the gameplay but we do find out the development is a good way along:

Pixel : When are we going to see Risen / what is the current status ?
Ralf Marczinczik : We are entering the polishing and debugging phase with alarming speed.

Risen - XBox360 Version Confirmed, First Screenshots

by Gorath, 16:36

TeamXbox are the first to publish the long awaited announcement that Piranha Bytes' RPG Risen will also get a console conversion. They also have the first three screenshots.

Risen Arises: Epic Role Playing Experience on Xbox 360® in 2009

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes Reveal New Action Role Playing Epic


Hermosa Beach, Calif.—Deep Silver Inc., a publisher of interactive entertainment software and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, and Piranha Bytes today officially announced Risen for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. The game, which is targeted at a mature audience, is expected to ship in 2009.

The epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island, The Risen story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story by his own actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, the player experiences no tedious loading of areas while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

 

A few details picked up in the WoR forums:

- The screens are two weeks old and WIP.
- Q4/2009 is not official. That's TeamXbox's interpretation. [Which doesn't necessarily means it's incorrect. ; Ed.]
- Piranha Bytes has external help for the XBox version.

Thanks, Janus.

Tuesday - November 11, 2008

Risen - Design Contest @ SPOnG

by Dhruin, 21:15

I had no idea SPOnG had a Piranha Bytes fan community but they've teamed up with PB for a Risen design contest, with the winning entry to appear in-game:

Design an altar of the undead and gain the chance to see it rendered in Risen, the new RPG from Piranha Bytes!

Deep Silver and the Piranha Bytes team are giving hobby designers a unique opportunity to have their work immortalized in the upcoming role-playing project Risen. Artists are being challenged to design an altar of the undead, with hardly any limits being set to their imagination.

The object of the competition is to design an altar of the undead that will be placed in a building as part of the game environment. The maximum measurements of the altar in the game are: 3 meters (approx. 10 feet) long, 2 meters (approx. 6.5 feet) wide and 5 meters (approx. 16.5 feet) high. The altar may also be decorated using appropriate objects such as bones and skulls. The overall design should be suitably dark and sinister. Participants can enter scans of drawings they have made or images saved in JPEG format.

Source: World of Gothic

Tuesday - September 30, 2008

Risen - Making of the Trailer

by Dhruin, 00:59

Over at World of Risen, they have a 2-part interview with "the art director of Piranha Bytes, Ralf Marczinczik, in cooperation with producer Michael Paeck and director Ettore Pizzetti made a very detailed Making-of article in which he explains how the RISEN game trailer was born".  An excerpt from Part 1:

1) Michael, you are co-writer of the story. What was your personal highlight in the trailer creation and how did you divide the work between the different people?

The work started in April this year. At that time Ettore Pizzetti – the incredible director of the trailer – and I were thinking what the goal of the trailer should be.
We came to the result that we should concentrate primarily on the story and not on the features. We wanted to make people watching the trailer long for more. And we wanted some open questions from the trailer left unanswered to provoke discussions in the forum.
After that design goal was set, we from the story department of Piranha Bytes started to assemble the pieces that were interesting and important enough to be included in that one short minute we had as time allowance. Well, that are the scenes you can currently see in the trailer. We agreed upon a certain structure for the trailer: First, there was supposed to be some action and frightening events to gain the viewers attention (flight over the ocean and the monster in the woods). Then, we wanted to show you that the story of the game will be profound and deep and not some fantasy trash (curfew on the island, Inquisition oppresses the people). And finally we intended to show you that there will be some action and the player will be a part of that (arrow in the woods, traps in the dungeon, etc.). This layed down the course of events for the trailer and we started working.

Ettore created the so-called “director's script”. That's a screenplay that not only includes the dialogues but also all instructions for the camera. His experience influenced that a lot. How could we present a certain point in the story in the most effective and most interesting way? Where must the camera be? How to cut the scene? All these questions were answered by that script.

Some storyboard concept arts and the original script are included.  You can find Part 2 here.

Wednesday - September 17, 2008

Risen - GC Video with Subtitles

by Dhruin, 22:40

A few weeks back we reported a Risen video showing several Piranha Bytes presenting Risen at the Games Convention - in German, of course.  World of Risen now has that video with the addition of subtitles, so the linguistically challenged among us can catch up on the press questions at the end:

At the Games Convention 2008 in Leipzig, members of the Piranha Bytes studio presented Risen and also answered questions from the audience. These members were Kai Rosenkranz, Mike Hoge, Björn Pankratz, Stefan Kalveram and Philip Krause.

Risen's publisher Deep Silver recorded the last of these presentations at the 23rd of August, 2008. This video is now available with english subtitles for our international community.

Wednesday - August 27, 2008

Risen - GC Presentation Video

by Dhruin, 03:09

The GC presentation for Risen was recorded by Deep Silver and you can watch (or download, 700Mb) the entire 20 mins at World of Risen.  Unfortunately, I failed my German die-roll so the only other thing I can add is Mike Hoge, Björn Pankratz, Stefan
Kalveram and Philip Krause answer questions at the end.

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

Risen - GC Trailer

by Gorath, 17:31

The new GC trailer for Piranha Bytes' upcoming RPG Risen can be found just about everywhere, for example on World of Risen.

Thanks Sir Brennus!

Wednesday - August 06, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - The countdown has finished

by Myrthos, 12:35

The countdown on the RPB site has finished to reveal that the name of the game will be..... Risen.
Which is the name we already expected.

That is about all the information on the site. For the detailed stuff you have to head over to World of Risen. For those who do not master the German language; make sure to bring your translator to that site (although a small bit of it is in English).

Update: Here's the official PR to match:

Risen: The new video game by Piranha Bytes


Deep Silver announces game title

Deep Silver, the video game label of Koch Media, a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, and the Piranha Bytes team announce the name of their joint role-play project: Risen.

With Risen, Piranha Bytes introduces a fresh, new setting. The game’s protagonist is shipwrecked after a storm and finds himself on a mysterious island. An active volcano dominates the scene. Ancient temple ruins have recently risen from the ground, and bizarre creatures infest the island.

″Piranha Bytes have already proven their enormous talent for creating both enthralling and profound role-playing worlds. With Risen, the team presents a new exciting scenario providing a great variety of adventures, which will keep players glued in front of their monitors.″ says Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, Managing Director of Koch Media.

Further information about Risen will be presented at the Games Convention.

The new teaser site provides a close up of the glowing volcano. A newsletter provides readers with the latest news. The website is located at: http:\\risen.deepsilver.com

The working title of Risen has been ″Project RPB″.

Wednesday - July 30, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - Teaser Countdown

by Dhruin, 23:33

All the cool kids are doing countdowns - and Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver have joined them.  A new teaser is up for RPB with a picture of the familiar volcanic island and a countdown, currently running at just over 6 days.  Here's the accompanying PR:

Deep Silver and the Piranha Bytes team announce the teaser website for their role-playing project


Deep Silver and the Piranha Bytes team today announced the launch of a teaser page for their new role-playing project.

The panorama gives us a first, distant glimpse of the role-playing game's world. What dark secrets and what thrilling adventures lie in wait on that mysterious volcanic island?

All facts regarding the game that are available to date have been listed under "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ). Gamers can discuss them in Deep Silver's own forum or in the message boards on the fan page "World of Piranha".

Subscribe to the newsletter now, and you will always be up-to-date on the latest news about Project RPB.

Project RPB is the current working title. It combines "Piranha Bytes" (PB) and "role-playing game" (RPG).

URL: http://rpb.deepsilver.com

Tuesday - July 29, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - Name = "Risen" ?

by Gorath, 20:54

Straight from the rumor department:

PC Games.de posted a newsbit speculating Piranha Bytes´ upcoming RPG will be named Risen. They refer to a now deleted thread on  the fan site WorldofPB. It seems the publisher Deep Silver has registered the Risen brand last February, and several websites including the word Risen have also been secured, some of them by Piranha Bytes members. PC Games concludes (transl.):

And therefore we consider it possible to very probable that the name of [Piranha Bytes´] RPG will be Risen.

Wednesday - July 02, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - Gameworld FAQ @ WoP

by Dhruin, 01:23

World of Piranha Bytes has a multi-lingual official FAQ on the mythology, setting and gameworld for PB´s upcoming RPG with the codename RPB. In general, RPB will have a setting and gameplay very much like Gothic, although PB promises the entire setting is new and fans will appreciate items like shields and dual-wielding.

The real name of the game will be revealed at the upcoming E3. A teaser site with not much more than a countdown is supposed to go online every minute. 

WoP also hosts a couple of tutorials written by PB team members. Some of them are in English, others in German, often with English annotations to the screenshots. Head over there if you want to get  first hand lessons on the creation of graphic assets.

 

Monday - April 14, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - Interview @ PC Igre

by Dhruin, 23:08

Serbian site PCIgre has an interview with Piranha Bytes' Ralf Marczinczik.  Most of the conversation is about RPB, although Ralf isn't giving too much away:

7. What's the current state of development? How far have you come with RPB Project?

At the moment we are in the thick of it. Parts are playable and a lot of features like the fighting system are ready for fine tuning and completion.

8. What engine are you using - Genome Engine from Gothic 3 or have you developed a new one?

We had to start from scratch- so most had to be developed in house. Of course we take advantage of well established middleware like for example the fmod sound system.

Thanks, VP!

Tuesday - March 25, 2008

Piranha Bytes RPB - Concept Art @ Tiscali

by Dhruin, 09:08

Tiscali has nine pieces of concept art from Piranha Bytes' Project RPB - most of which we've seen from the Christmas Advent Calendar but there are two that are new to me as best I can recall.

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - December 24, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Advent Calendar Complete

by Dhruin, 23:20

Piranha Bytes' Advent Calendar is now complete, with the final piece being a downloadable music track by KaiRo (thanks for the reminder, Maylander). 

Saturday - December 22, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Interview @ WoP

by Dhruin, 00:59

World of Piranha Bytes' has a German interview with Mike Hoge about their work with the new project.  Here's the blurb from WoP and we'll post again as soon as the translation is ready:

Again this year we are happy to present you the now traditional Christmas Interview with the Piranhas. This time, Mike Hoge answers meditate's questions regarding the current state of the game, the storywriting process and many other aspects of developing the new PB project.

At the moment, the interview hasn't been translated into English yet. As soon as an English version is available, this news will be amended accordingly.

Friday - December 14, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Advent Calendar Update

by Dhruin, 21:35

We're sort of halfway along Piranha Bytes' advent calendar, which reveals some concept arts from their unnamed upcoming game, so I thought it might be time to link to it again as a reminder.

Monday - December 03, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Advent Calendar @ WoP

by Dhruin, 21:49

World of Piranha Bytes has an advent calendar that will slowly reveal a piece of art related to Piranha Bytes' unannounced game.  We won't post on this every day but we'll check back from time to time.

Friday - September 07, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Interview with Koch Media

by Dhruin, 00:33

World of Piranha Bytes is pointing out an interview with Koch Media's Martin Metzler at Gaspy's Czech Gothic site, discussing their relationship with Piranha Bytes and the new game.  At this early stage not much is revealed, so the discussion centres on various general publishing matters:

It isn't long since Piranha Bytes has left JoWood and you have become their new publisher, it wasn't big surprise. Did you make terms? Will be Piranhas able to finish their work without some time press? And what about cost estimate?

One of the advantages of not being a stock company is that we can release a product (to use a well-known phrase) "when it's done". We will release the game when the Piranha Bytes team and we feel that it's ready. We will not comment about costs for a title.

Thursday - August 30, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - GC Video Interview

by Dhruin, 23:58

World of Piranha Bytes has a video team interview from Piranha Bytes at Leipzig.  I'm going to assume the 30min video (a smaller audio-only version is also available) is German, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Sunday - August 26, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 00:43

RPG Vault's Jonric caught up with Mike Hoge from Piranha Bytes to discuss Project RPB:

Jonric: What kind of gamer do you regard as your core target audience? In other words, to whom will it most strongly appeal?

Michael Hoge:
It will probably appeal most to the gamers who liked the Gothic series, because those are the games many of the people we employ have been working on for the past few years. And in spite of creating a new gameworld, we still believe in certain design ideas (like not putting to much emphasis on character stats), certain storytelling mechanisms (like using chapters to divide the story and mark the main turning points), and the need to create a living world (to make it a believable one).

In order to achieve this, we have decided to rather create a compact world... to be able to make the setting feel more dense than to try to create a huge world that will feel empty in comparison. So, I think our new game will appeal to gamers who'd rather enjoy a kind of "handmade" adventure RPG with a dense storyline than a "classical" RPG in a vast world with more generic content.

Friday - August 24, 2007

Piranha Bytes RPB - Details Emerge

by Dhruin, 01:26

World of Piranha Bytes has released details on Piranha Bytes' post-Gothic project for Deep Silver, codenamed RPB.  These come from a press conference at Leipzig with Mike Hoge and other Piranhas.

Yesterday, World of PB gave a summary in German and today, this post in English summarises the salient points:

As stated yesterday, the game is set on a volcanic and «forbidden» island. All character animations will be made anew, the game will have dungeons, traps, secret doorways and riddles. The developers are known for maintaining close contact to their fanbase and took up some suggestions like increasing the effectiveness of certain weapons when fighting particular foes, like a hammer for golems. Instead of having a myriad of items in virtually indistinguishable variations, the game will concentrate on fewer but clearly recognisable weapons, armour sets and items.

The new game is again made for a single player and the PC. At the moment no other platform is in development. Whether the game will be made for DirectX9 oder DirectX10 is still undecided. The graphics engine will consist of some licensed components but most of it is being developed by Piranha Bytes itself.

From the limited details so far, it sounds very much like a reimagining of the Gothic series.

Information about

Risen

Developer: Piranha Bytes

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-10-02
· Publisher: Deep Silver

North America
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2010-02-23
· Publisher: Deep Silver

World
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2009-10-02
· Publisher: Deep Silver