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Risen Review – From the Depths to the Heavens

Risen Review – From the Depths to the Heavens






  • Rich and engrossing storyline.
  • Deep, immersive world with active NPC behaviour.
  • Intense, strategic combat system.
  • Extensive range of skills and attributes.
  • Atmospheric and fitting soundtrack.


  • The graphics, while adequate for its time, may seem dated.
  • Some bugs and glitches, particularly on the Xbox 360 version.
  • Combat mechanics may feel clunky at times.

Embark on an extraordinary adventure in the world of Risen, the first part of a thrilling third-person RPG series by Piranha Bytes. This game pulls you into a realm of myth, magic, and mayhem, pushing you to defy the odds and confront colossal Titans. With its engaging gameplay, rich lore, and immersive environment, Risen delivers a remarkable gaming experience that would appeal to seasoned RPG enthusiasts.

  • Developer: Piranha Bytes
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Release Date: October 2, 2009
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
  • Official Website: Official site

Risen Gameplay

Risen serves as Piranha Bytes’ glorious return to form following the Gothic series. Released in 2009, Risen incorporates many successful aspects from its predecessor Gothic 2: Night of the Raven, while injecting fresh and engaging elements. The result is a blend of old and new, forming a unique gaming experience that sets Risen apart.

Risen unfolds its story in four compelling chapters, weaving a tale of survival, exploration, and heroism. The player, as the nameless protagonist, along with the companion Sarah, finds themselves embroiled in an intense confrontation between humanity and the ancient Titans. This epic journey, filled with suspense and intrigue, truly serves as the backbone of the game.

Risen is a true testament to the RPG genre, with traditional mechanics and immersive quests. The game introduces players to a living, breathing world where every action has a consequence. The unique day-night cycle influences NPC behaviours and offers dynamic quests, enhancing the realism of the game world.

The combat in Risen is as immersive as it is demanding, relying on a system of attack, block, and dodge mechanics. It demands strategy, patience, and precision, rewarding players for their tactical prowess. The AI for enemies is developed such that each creature exhibits unique behaviours, forcing players to adapt their strategy accordingly. For instance, wolves might try to flank the player, while boars charge headlong into battle.

Risen delivers a convincingly “living” world teeming with well-realized NPCs and diverse locations. The atmospheric soundtrack accentuates the in-game environment, providing an emotional backdrop to the unfolding drama. Such attention to detail makes the world of Risen not just a stage for the plot but an active participant in the narrative.

Throughout the adventure, the player character gains strength, new skills, and enhanced attributes. The game offers a range of techniques in crafting, magic, and thievery, each introducing unique mechanics such as potion brewing, weapon forging, and stealing. Players can further augment their skills and attributes with the aid of specialist NPCs, who provide training in their respective fields.

In conclusion, Risen is a game that, despite its few shortcomings, delivers a fulfilling RPG experience. The immersive world, intricate combat system, and compelling storyline combine to create an adventure that would keep you engaged for hours on end. Whether you’re a fan of the Gothic series or a newcomer to Piranha Bytes’ works, Risen is a game that’s worth playing.

System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: 256 MB DirectX™ 9.0c compatible graphics card (nVidia® GeForce® 7900/ATI Radeon™ X1800 or better)
  • CPU: 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 Single-core Processor
  • File Size: 2.5 GB free Hard Drive space
  • OS: Windows XP (with Service Pack 3)

Recommended Requirements:

  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: 512 MB DirectX™ 9.0c compatible graphics card (nVidia® GeForce® 8800/ATI Radeon™ HD 2900 or better)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • File Size: 3 GB free Hard Drive space
  • OS: Windows XP (with Service Pack 3), Windows Vista, Windows 7