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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Risen [Guest review by Reecey]

(Guest review by Reecey.)

I like pirates.

You like pirates.

Pirates are great, aren’t they?

I also like RPGs!

And I know that Raven’s Cry is crap, so I decided to start the Risen series.

To be honest, the pirates are actually kind of sparse on the ground. This is probably because the whole game takes place on one island.

I mean, fair enough, it’s a new IP, you don’t want to get too ambitious, or you could seriously screw everything up.

Like Raven’s Cry.

Editor's note: Who is she.

You play as Some Guy who was stowing away on a boat when a massive storm hit it and a very suspect looking dude blows your boat up while fighting a thing.

You end up washed up on a beach with your fellow stowaway, Some Bird, and you, as a penis owner, are sent into the island to seek help and shelter.

I half wonder if there was some intention for you to be able to choose between these two, as Some Bird shows up maybe twice more after you first leave her on a beach to see what the heck is going on and get your arse repeatedly handed to you by wild boar.

A more competent alternative?

You will get killed by the wild life a lot.

This game has some weird difficulty issues, but we’ll get to that.

As Some Guy, it’s your role in life to make your way in a world that the gods that once enslaved mankind have been forced to leave. Unfortunately for you, this has lead to massive storms beating across the seas and the lands, stranding you on an island where strange and mysterious ruins have been popping up all over, and strange creatures from the dawn of time have been seen for the first time in aeons.

Oh, and the weird guy who blew up your boat in the middle of a massive, supernatural storm? Yeah, he’s seized control of the island and has trapped everyone he could find and control in one walled town, and everyone he can’t control is living in a swamp.

(Editor's note: Everyone loves a good swamp.)

Editor's note: And a good portside town.

On top of that, any man caught where he isn’t supposed to be or committing crimes is press ganged into his religious order and makeshift army.

(I… don’t know what lady criminals get sentenced to. Maybe they just get a fine?)

One of the major questions of the game is, why, when there are massive storms battering the the world, is this island more or less fine?

Well, there’s this holy flame that extends its aura over the island, protecting it from the dark times that mankind finds itself facing.


It spawns from a volcano and into the monastery of the religious order.

It's a source of comfort and a figure of worship for the people of the island, and yes, this does sound a lot like the first flame.

However, for our purposes, that is the second flame. Dark Souls came out two years after Risen.

I don’t know what to tell you, Germans and the Japanese really like magical, pseudo-divine fire.

As a new comer to the island, you basically have two choices; you can join up with the guy who destroyed the ship you were on killing everyone on it bare you, him, and Some Bird, or you can join up with the swamp bandits overseen by a guy called Don Esteban.

In this somewhat Empire v. Stormcloaks decision, I went with Don Esteban. What can I say? I dig swamps.

I did some things for him before the main plot showed up with lizardmen in tow.

Also, surprise, surprise, the boat terrorist and bald religious tyrant is unbalanced and tries to do something stupid, and it’s our job as Some Guy to stop him.

Ah, such is life.

Editor's note: I bet they perform some killer weddings under that arch.

Riight, let us have at the gameplay.

It is weird.

Your movement is kind of odd, there’s only a soft lock on, it is ridiculously easy to get stunlocked and ganged up on by literally everything, you need to talk to people and pay them to spend learning points on skills when you level up and armour is almost bloody useless.

Personally, I didn’t get any until the second chapter in the game, since I didn’t go to Harbour town until a shockingly late point in the proceedings.

I bloody struggled my way through pretty much the entire game.

The second to last boss put me off for bloody ages, to which I say this:

Yet, I still can’t help but recommend this game. For all its flaws, I really got into it for most of the game, and once you get the hang of the mechanics, they’re not so bad.

Some of the characters are pretty fun, and I got really attached to the summonable skeleton warrior Fred, even though he got made irrelevant pretty fast.

The developers really wanted to make the world seem real, so there is a lot to do. You can sweep, saw, smoke a hookah, smoke ‘Brugleweed’ (which gives you experience because of course it does), harvest animals for parts, smith, hunt, cook, gather plants, and hire a singular prostitute for a scroll and some off screen sex. Oh, and experience, because of course.

Heck, the plot’s even fairly good, even if the ending is… I want to call is a reverse Fable II, only without Peter Molyneux’s total ignorance of how governance actually works.

So, I suppose this is a Reecey Recommends kind of review, but with the caveat to not expect perfection, and to expect a lot of comically oversized spliffs.

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