Published on August 15th, 2014 | by Tony2
Review: Risen 3: Titan Lords
With the quiet time in gaming finally looking to end in about three weeks time with Destiny, the game I’m reviewing today would have been great to have about a month or so ago.
Risen 3: Titan Lords follows on from the previous 2 Risen games (both available for under £4.00 on Live at the moment), but not being a big RPG or Risen fan I went into Risen 3: TL not knowing anything that took place in previous games, which I expect is going to case for many others out there as well.
I think it’s fair to say that Risen 3 is anything but a AAA game, and it’s certainly a series and game that many will have overlooked in the past, me included.
So it was actually nice to have to try something different for once, and by that I mean both an RPG and a Risen game, as me and the whole RPG genre have had a love hate relationship for as long as I can remember.
I only tend to try out an RPG game if I’m told by others that I must give it some of my time.
It took me ages to even give such gaming classics like Mass Effect, Skyrim and Fallout a try, but when I finally did them a go I did find myself enjoying them, but to truly enjoy an RPG you must be ready to invest a lot of time into it, something I hardly have these days with two kids and a site to keep updated.
The question going into reviewing Risen 3: TL though was never going to be could it match the classic games mentioned above, but simply was it good enough to even take notice of?
Risen 3 Titan Lords is classed in the press releases I read before playing the game as being a Classic RPG that sees Piranha Bytes take their favorite bits of Risen 1 and the Gothic series and implementing them into the game. What you’re actually given is almost like a poor mans version of Fable, which by that I mean an action RPG game with worlds that are at very basic levels of quality in terms of eye candy.
While Fable games also tended to have a ton of humour to take you through your jolly romp throughout the game, Risen 3: Titan Lords tries its own sort of humour now and again but fails miserably.
With audio work that sounds like it was spoken by the most bored people in the world no matter what they say be it happy or sad, hopefully you can kind of paint the picture for yourself.
Risen 3 kicks off with your nameless character on his ship at sea being overtook by a ghost like characters, which after being taught the basic combat in the game you then find out it was just your character having a nightmare, or was it a premonition?
You and your sister Patty then visit an island known as Crab Coast on a search for some hidden treasure, but all the time you’re searching this island the ghostly captain seen in your nightmare keeps appearing, almost leading you to the place he wants you to get too.
Not before long you reach a mysterious skull cave entrance which when going deeper into you come across a crystal portal, which before you can say “what is this” sees an undead creature with horns appear from inside it who decides your soul would be a nice afternoon snack.
Assuming you to be dead your sister Patty and crew give your body a nice burial on the beaches of Crab Coast and sail away off into the sunset expecting never to see you again.
Three weeks pass by and another weird character comes into your life by the name of Bones, whose voice seems to be if Ozzy Ozbourne and Jack Sparrow had a man child, all very odd sounding.
Bones digs up your dead body out of your grave and performs your bog standard voodoo magic as you do, which brings you back to the world of the living…..well sort of.
I will leave the story there, as the rest of the game is you searching for your soul by the people who have taken it, but to find it you must search the world which now has all sorts of undead creatures to stop that being an easy task.
The map in the game offers a few places to visit, but the only real difference on each map is some have rocks where other have sandy hills or cliffs.
You have your jungle levels, sandy levels and rocky levels, but nothing that makes an area stand out from any of the others.
To travel to these places you do so via your boat, but don’t go expecting any AC: Black Flag style adventures, as your boat is a simple click to go here affair.
Also while your traveling around each map there is more to do than just quests, as just by me walking around each level I came across hidden caves and other Skull caves in which I could smash other crystal portals to the underworld.
So adding these into the quests will only add to the all round game time that the game will offer.
If an achievement is to be believed in the game you’re looking at a hefty 300 quests in total in the game, but even after 10+ hours I feel like I’ve only just touched the surface.
The quests themselves differ in size and difficulty, and I found some even being utterly pointless tasks that were completed just by clicking the correct answer when being asked a question.
Doing these quests earn you glory which in basically the games XP system, which when earning gives you the opportunity of ranking up your character in a certain section of skill.
There are things like Melee, ranged and a few other things they you need to improve on to become stronger in the game.
The issue I had with quests after a while though is that it all started to become same old thing.
I guess there is only so far you can go with a quests in an RPG, but after fetching this, or going to find “enter name of person here” more than a couple of times I did find my attention span start to dwindle off.
And also the menu in which active quests are saved can get bloody confusing, not knowing what is a simple side quest or part of the actually story in the game can get a little confusing if you are like me and go off the beaten track in these sort of games.
I also found myself doing 75% of a quests only to find I needed something from another quest that I had not even found yet, which would have been nice to know when I started the quest rather than close to finishing it.
I did mention characters like Patty and Bones above, but they are more than just characters that pop up now and again as they can also join your team and help you through each world if asked to join you on your travels.
At the moment of writing this review I have 3 people on my ship able to choose from and travel to each location with me, and to be honest they have been a great help on my travels.
When coming to moments of combat they do become both a hinderance and a great help at the same time, as while they do help you out with battle they also make the combat system totally pointless as you can just stand back and let them do all the fighting.
You still earn the glory that you would fighting the battle for yourself and if they do happen to get killed just clear the area and they shall once again get up like nothing happened.
A key thing in any sort of RPG is combat of course, and the combat seen in Risen 3: TL is basic to say the least.
The combat is easy enough to pick up, but can at times also get a little annoying to say the least.
When having to fight and fend of these “shadows” as the game calls the enemy the combat system can come across a little cumbersome, more so when the fights take place in tight areas due to the camera and scenery in the game. Trying to fight off 3+ at one time and pressing the dodge button one too many times did find me getting stuck on rocks or a tree out of the blue, which in turn gave the enemy a cheap shot to nail me with an attack. The buttons for combat themselves are all pretty basic. You have the RT button being the parry button, which covers any low to mid attacks by smaller enemies. You also have the X button playing the role of the dodge, which is useful when a few enemies are attacking you as it opens things up to use your secondary weapon be it a throwing knife or pistol.
Other than those you also have your basic attack with your A button, which for my 10+ hours played tended to be a sword but I did play around with a shotgun for a while aswell.
You would normally expect a ton of magic when it comes to games like this, but the time I spent with it I never really came across that much of it other than it being used on me.
The first piece of magic you will come across in the game will be the power to fly like a bird, handy for getting to those hard to reach places, so it’s a shame you never feel like using it.
I also came across magic that lets you make fire rain fall out of the sky, but it all felt like something that was there but of no real use, but maybe this was just me being a rookie RPG guy.
Risen 3: Titan Lords is a mixed affair in terms of good and bad things that the game offers, which left me kind of loving it and hating it all at the same time.
The upside is that the game offers you decent value for money in regards to game time, but is let down by a few poorly made things in the game like combat and repetitive quests which let it down hugely.
Because of this Risen 3 comes out like one would expect, and that is a middle of the road release that will see some enjoy it and love it, while others will hate it and let others know.
For me personally while I enjoyed it to an extent if I had the choice to buy it with my own money or give it a rental I would certainly have gone down the rental route rather than parting with my own cash.
Summary: As an RPG rookie I did find myself enjoying and disliking the game in equal measures, but if push came to shove and I was asked to pay £30.00 for this then it would not happen. Rental though is a different kettle of fish completely.