@uninspiredcup: Risen 1 has a lot of parallels to the original Gothic game if you've had any experience with that series, which you have already. I mean Risen is basically the successor to Gothic in all but name.
I didn't finish Risen 3 but I did quite enjoyed the other 2. The second is pirate based and has you going from island to island and exploring more bite sized bits rather than a larger island like the first game. The third game kind of mixes both aspects with a little less emphasis on pirates but still having multiple locations. But really, you need to let these games grow on you a bit. They seem really limiting at first just like in the Gothic series, but as you grow to understand the underlying mechanics, you tend to appreciate the careful design of the worlds with non scaled encounters. Encountering a beastie for the first time can be quite scary in the games as death can be swift.