Risen starts of with a dramatic cut scene, the raging seas and a mythical monster. The boat you stowed away on is smashed and you awake washed ashore on the beach. A complete novice to role-playing games, I knew enough to search the area to se what I could find. There was all manner of items to be picked up, but wandering too far down the beach lead me into an encounter with some giant vulture creatures, that killed me with little effort. Itâ€™s then that I realised I should be looking for a weapon before I explore too far. Restarting I set out in the opposite direction looking for a weapon, instead encountering a woman shipwreck survivor who indicated that the drift wood over there would make a good weapon. Not exactly a SMG, but thinking of the period this game is set in, I wasnâ€™t holding out any hope for an arsenal of modern weaponry â€“ the driftwood would have to do. The only way off the beach seemed to be an uphill path, which leads to another of those giant vulture creatures. This time however I was able to despatch of the vile beast with my trusty â€“ um â€“ driftwood. I also discovered that I could tell my now hungry female companion to stay put whilst I make sure the way ahead was clear.Â
A little more exploring and I found an abandoned hut, with water that I could drink â€“ that restored my health and a bed to sleep in that also restored my health. Scrounging around I also found a frypan with which I could cook up some raw meat and serve to my hungry lady friend â€“ that is right after I go back and tell her itâ€™s safe to follow me.
The controls were easy to use, the interface a breeze, and the nice little touches â€“ such as requiring a frypan to cook with over an open fire â€“ were nice. The Island environments were lush and enticing. I could see Risen was going to be an enjoyable adventure, even for a non RPG playing gamer like myself.
As the story progressed I could tell that there would be a fair bit of exploring to do, with cave systems and towns to explore, I would also have to make some careful choices as there were several groups on this island that I could align myself with, and who, in return for my completing quests, would train me in their ways, be it combat, magic or the use of the plentiful herbs.
Games like Risen demand a lot of time and as such Iâ€™ve only just scratched the surface â€“ Iâ€™ve yet to meet up with any ladies of the night to secure information from them, one of the reasons the inconsistent Australians refused to give Risen a Rating â€“ and Iâ€™ve not come to grips with the scarily complex looking inventory system, nor have I managed to figure out how to up skill my character.
As a novice RPG player however, I can say that Risen is a beautifully crafted, easy to get into game that plays like an exciting adventure story. Itâ€™s given me another place to explore, away from the dreariness of the Capital wastelands, but unlike the wastelands, I donâ€™t have a bountiful collection of armaments so have to engage in hand to hand combat â€“ something that Iâ€™m going to have to work at as Iâ€™ve manages to turn my back on my opponent too many times due to my lack of thumb to thumb co-ordination!
Iâ€™m looking forward to immersing myself in the world of Risen and exploring the whole island, growing my character and discovering more of the story as time goes by. Risen loos set to be one of the best post-Fallout 3 RPGs around.
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Available on: XBox 360, PC