Risen Updated Impressions

The well-received PC role-playing game is heading to the Xbox 360, and we've got a first look.

Risen is a role-playing game for the Xbox 360 that was originally released for the PC in 2009. Developed by Deep Silver, the console version of the game was delayed in order to incorporate changes based on feedback on the original PC game. Earlier today, producers dropped by GameSpot HQ to show off the Xbox 360 version of the game for the first time, and the same open-ended, open-world design is still well intact here.

In fact, in terms of content, nothing has changed between the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Risen. Instead, producers said, the changes made to the console version have included things like better textures and lighting, the addition of brightness controls (which looks to be a welcome addition since parts of Risen seem annoyingly dark), and some control tweaks. What hasn't changed is the scale of the open-world exploration, and the similarly open-ended approach to customization and character development.

Risen's story begins when your character washes up on a beach after a nautical disaster. He then finds himself on an island that is embroiled in a power struggle between two warring factions--the bandits, who are the island's original inhabitants, and the Inquisition, a group that has come to the island to investigate the appearance of strange monsters and subsequently protect the island's inhabitants. Naturally, both of these factions have their own aims and goals, and as the hero of the story, which faction you choose to work for will have repercussions throughout the game's story.

We saw glimpses of the game's early goings; a few hours into Risen's gameplay you'll find yourself in a village known as Harbor Town. The Inquisition has gathered up the island populace into the town and sequestered them, ostensibly in the hopes of protecting them from attacking monsters. As you make your way through the town, speaking with bandit and Inquisition non-player characters along the way, you'll learn more about both factions' motivations. You can choose to work jobs for either faction, and eventually you'll be able to learn special skills. For example, if you side with the Inquisition, you'll eventually make it to the monastery, where you can receive formal training to be a warrior or a mage. If you side with the bandits, on the other hand, you'll learn new skills, such as pickpocketing.

You aren't tied to a specific character path in Risen, however. In fact, the game doesn't use traditional RPG classes. Instead, you'll receive training points as you go, which can be applied to everything from attributes like strength or dexterity, to weapon training, or even more basic skills like blacksmithing, cooking, or alchemy. The latter skills will let you make important items you can use during your adventures, such as new weapons, meals, or potions you can use to regain health, and so on.

Worst. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Risen's inventory system is unconventional--there's no limit to the number of items you can carry with you. As a result, you'll probably wind up with hundreds of items in your bag, including potions, scrolls, armor, weapons, and more. That much loot might end up being an organizational nightmare, but it does offer you plenty of tactical options when it comes to combat. Before a fight begins, you hotkey certain items in your inventory to your directional pad, which you can use in combat with just a press of a button. The nuts and bolts of the game's real-time combat system are straightforward--you press the right trigger to attack and the left trigger to defend yourself.

If the PC version is anything to go by, there looks to be a lot of game content to get through in Risen. The game's open-ended format means that few areas will be off-limits to you, and the constant conflict between the two factions in the game provides an intriguing background for the game's plot to unfold in. This isn't the best-looking RPG we've ever seen--with a sometimes dodgy frame rate and occasionally wooden animations--but in this genre, it's all about creating a believable, intriguing world in which to sink in as many hours as possible. We'll find out how Risen fares on that front when the game is released on the Xbox 360 on February 23.

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30 comments
DAMSOG
DAMSOG

Woah...just had a morrowind moment there. The combat looks terrible, lifted straight out of "my first RPG" game engine, is this going to set a trend? Re-hash some ageing PC title and flog it to a set of new customers. My money is safe.

RogueShadow0618
RogueShadow0618

This one is for everyone that says that they played the demo: Are you talking the PC demo or is there one that if you have a Live account that thinks you are in Europe? Because I can find nothing available to me except some videos.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

I know one thing, they better do something about that clumsy combat-system. There's no reason why users can't track the AI movement while striking or at least have complete control in the direction their striking on the fly. If they don't fix this, the game won't be worth the plastic case it's shipped in. And I love real time combat in RPG's.

lee1823
lee1823

i've played both the Pc and 360 versions. The game was developed by Piranah Bytes (of Gothic fame) but it was actually ported by Deep Silver. What we see in the 360 version (at least in the EU release) is a bad port. The graphics arent too bad, but the draw distance etc are awful. The 360 has churned out much better looking games than this. to all the negative comments though.... if you don't like this type of RPG..... then you're not gonna like it are you? This isnt an action game, and the fighting suffices as a distraction from the main attraction..... storytelling and quests. Lets face it... the fighting in all of the elder scrolls games is crap.... but i love those too for the open world, story and quests. i thought it was a great game and could'nt put it down from day 1 (pc ver). if you don't have a meaty PC then the 360 version isnt THAT bad. it's still an engrossing adventure thats over a bit too soon... but great nontheless.

thanatosser
thanatosser

Ive heard much negative feedback concerning the appaling control system on the console port, it is totally unplayable apparently. This game may be good on the PC however any glory is lost in translation.

peterson
peterson

What a broken piece of crap. Played the demo and sure enough the game is a glitch fest. I got to the village, killed someone and lo and behold I came back later and he was alive and not even mad I killed him! He was even willing to trade with me!

severe_009
severe_009

Hmmmmmm? I taught this already came out? I'm confuse?

RockZillaX
RockZillaX

I have the game I got it from Play-Asia.. I don't particularly like the combat. But there is a lot to do and the whole game is voiced which is brilliant.

Ominous_Penguin
Ominous_Penguin

"the console version of the game was delayed in order to incorporate changes based on feedback on the original PC game" Bollocks. The combat still sucks. The experience and levelling elements are still very limited. The whole game is just a huge grind that quickly gets boring. Not even worth a go IMO.

delta3074
delta3074

it seems lika i played this ages ago, came out at the beginning of last october here in the UK,it's no oblivion, but it's well worth a playthrough

grove12345
grove12345

ya im eager to see how the US version plays out. Alot of the reviews ive read about the euro console version seemed to be semi console bashing. This game doesnt hold your hand like fable does, or PC version shadows for the leaves looked 5% sharper so PC version is way better. From what ive seen in the gamespot videos, it moves at a great framerate and while i do agree the graphics dont match a high end PC, it still looks great. Still after playing the demo of Divinty 2 on 360, i got bored in 10 mins, while i know the PC was just 10xs better. Or maybe im just done with solo rpgs. Hope i get a demo first.

Dude_no_way
Dude_no_way

Just played the Demo and jesus it was hard. Freaking bird kicked my butt.

dspidermanboy
dspidermanboy

O, sorry didn't know it was out in the UK, nothing against you.

dspidermanboy
dspidermanboy

Uhhh *damo110011* the game actually hasn't come out on 360 and if u were paying attention to the text you would actually know that.

secnpa
secnpa

@lindaallison Actually, i can remember quite a few previews and reviews for fallout 3 that mentioned the terrible animations.

damo110011
damo110011

got this game in october 2009!!!!! took it back next day awfull game on 360 not played it on pc

lindallison
lindallison

's weird almost every article I've read about Risen mentions the 'wooden animations' - yet animation is hardly ever mentioned in write-ups of Bethesda games, who're guilty of some of the most heinous crimes against the art-form ever seen in AAA titles.... I do wish Piranha Bytes would stay away from consoles, I don't look forward to having their rep savaged by an entirely new audience - Risen is excellent on PC, the 360 version, if the European release is any indication, is terrible terrible terrible.

teem832
teem832

It's been out for the xbox in the UK for awhile now it's nothing to special and the controls and camera are dodgy!!!

Dezuria
Dezuria

Deep Silver did not develop this game, Piranha Bytes did.

ahpuck
ahpuck

The PC version is going for under $40.00, are they going to try to squeeze $20.00 more for a 1 year old PC game? I bet they will.

deltadawgs1997
deltadawgs1997

it got mixed reveiws cus this game is frustrating but good if you can withstand gothic style bullstuff but like they said up there no classes you can use a cross bow and axe long bow staff sword cross and so on this game is decent i think this will have a mixed plot with gothic somehow i didnt play the gothic games so thats a guess its worth buying if your a rpg fan but its not for an fps guy

Lozerman
Lozerman

you guys do realize that the xbox 360 version has been out in stores here in europe sinds the start of the PC version eh. i've had the game for at least 4 months now

samtheauburnfan
samtheauburnfan

So if I join the bandits I can learn to pickpocket, and I can learn to be a Warrior or Mage with the inquisition. Tough choices there, survival or petty theft!

dakan45
dakan45

This is gonna fail badly on x360 and i mean badly!!

with_teeth26
with_teeth26

The pc version of the game got good reviews from many websites (a 8.5 from ign i think), and was very well recieved by the community (average user score of 8.1 i believe), i'm not sure why there are so many reviews for the 360 version out already.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

Why does it say "the well received" when this game looks like it got crud for reviews......I'm confused.

terror_ninja
terror_ninja

LOL! Deep Silver... anyone played Sacred 2 - fail, Deep Silver needs to give up in the game industry with their latest games bringing their rep down. whys the release date for 23 Feb?.... its been on the video stores shelf for ages.

bachilders
bachilders

yeah I loved the pc version but heard BAD things about the console port

bVorkitup
bVorkitup

Did you goofs even play the PC version? Judging from the newly released videos, the North American 360 release looks to be unchanged from the European release. This means that, compared with the PC version, the lighting has been seriously downgraded, the texture resolution has been reduced, and almost all of the foliage has been removed. Do some checking before you believe PR statements like the addition of "better textures and lighting."