Risen 3: Titan Lords Review

WHAT IS THE point of a game like Risen 3? We don’t say that to be nasty it’s a genuine question. There is hardly a shortage of Western fantasy-RPGs on the market, and with such great games as Skyrim on shelves and The Witcher 3 on the way, what purpose do titles like Risen 3 serve? Coming from small German developer Piranha Bytes, it’s a series that has always done okay in its native land and eastern Europe, but not so well in the rest of the world. Why is that?

 Well, for lack of a better term, they are janky as all hell. It doesn’t always feel good to rip apart games from small, struggling developers, but we have to judge these things objectively, and Risen 3 just isn’t a good game.

A lot of this comes from the fact that the PS3 version is utterly horrendous. Piranha Bytes is a PC developer, and from what we’ve seen, Risen 3 both looks and runs far better on a decent computer. Unfortunately, we aren’t reviewing the PC version, and what we are left with is one of the worst ports we’ve seen in a long time.

To say Risen 3 on PS3 is ugly to is give it too much credit. It looks, at times, like a PS2 game, and a poor one at that. Lighting effects will frequently disappear and reappear with slight movements of the camera, textures and entire environmental elements regularly pop in at extremely close range and the frame rate is abysmal. Occasionally, elements of character models simply don’t seem to exist, which led to us at one point controlling someone without hips. It was really quite disturbing.

The opening scene, meant to be an exciting battle aboard a pirate ship joined partway through, is an utter mess, characters clipping in and out as the whole thing barely holds itself together. The setting raises another interesting point the game has been marketed as a departure from the pirate themes of Risen 2, which is nonsense. You begin the game as a pirate and spend a majority of it exploring Caribbean-style islands… like a pirate. It’s obviously not a bad thing, so we can’t help but wonder
why the people in marketing felt the need to hide it.
Of course, all the bad graphics and terrible frame rates in the world don’t matter if a game is fun to play, but Risen 3 unfortunately fails in that regard too. The basic combat system is utterly awful, totally broken and often left up to chance. It’s basic stuff: press X to attack, hold it to charge a more powerful move, Square to dodge and hold R2 to block.

The wind-up animations on your attacks are huge, leading to every move feeling sluggish and unresponsive, and you’ll often be attacked before your swing finishes. Blocking and waiting for an opening is pointless, as enemies attack at random with no way to read their next move. Once you do hit, your enemy is often stun-locked enough for you to finish them with an endless string of button presses, their health slowly going down as time ticks away. It’s rubbish.

Get further into the game and you’ll eventually unlock magic powers, and while these make things easier, they don’t make them any more fun. You’ll have had to sit through hours and hours of awful melee combat to get to this point, so it’s not much recompense.

Despite all this, there is a ton of content on offer. After the intro you are left relatively free to explore as you like, and talking to everyone will see a constant stream of quests being unlocked and completed. Unfortunately, utterly abysmal voice acting mars much of this dialogue, so you’ll often find yourself skipping through it. Still, it can’t be denied how large the world is, or how much there is to do in it. Playing on a PC, where the game runs well and you might be able to mod the atrocious
combat, there could be some fun to be had with Risen 3. But on PS3, there is almost nothing to recommend it for. With a variety of far superior fantasy-RPGs out there, you simply never need to play this.

Post a Comment