Risen 3: Titan Lords is an action role-playing game developed by Piranha Bytes and published by Deep Silver. It is the sequel to Risen 2: Dark Waters and the third installment in the Risen series. The game was originally released in August 2014 for Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3, the enhanced edition is now currently available for the PlayStation 4. Is the game a valuable treasure? or is it best left buried? Find out in this review.
The game begins with the player taking on the role of a new ”Nameless Hero” replacing the protagonist from the previous two games. The new player character was never seen or mentioned before this installment. However is revealed as the brother of recurring NPC Patty and the son of the deceased pirate captain Steelbeard.
Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition: Playstation 4 [Reviewed]
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: 21th August 2015
Price: £34.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
The story begins when the hero is awoken from a dream in which he fights the ghost of the pirate captain Crow, who was killed in Risen 2: Dark Waters. The dream acts as a tutorial in which the player learns the combat mechanics. After completing this the Hero and companion Patty go ashore on the Crab Coast to seek a rumored treasure in an ancient native temple, but are distracted by a Skull Cave rising from the ruins and a number of shadowy creatures emerging from it. When they enter to investigate, they find a magic portal made of crystal, that spawns a demonic Shadow Lord which surprises them and knocks them to the ground. The Shadow Lord proceeds to consume the Hero’s soul, killing him, and leaving Patty and his crew to bury him.
Some time later, you meet Bones another companion who performs a ritual on the Hero’s corpse, which awakens him from death. Bones reveals that he is not quite alive, as his soul is trapped in the Underworld, and that his voodoo magic was only able to reanimate his corpse. The longer he is away from his soul, the more he will lose his mind.
Once the heroes corpse is awakened by bones the player has access to the games map. They can then travel to a number of different Islands ranging from Antigua, the home of all pirates to Fog Island, rumored to be the island of no return. All the Islands throughout the game look visually stunning. The player is able to move from Island to Island using their ship, which is later upgraded to a larger vessel and crew. The game promises hours of game play with a huge variety of quests to complete and many companions to share the journey with. Some of these companions include Patty, who is your sister, Bones who I found very useful in battle as he has the ability to heal, a ghostly pirate and more.
The game also allows you to develop new skills for your main character. This involves spending glory or ‘skill points’. You can gain glory from killing enemies, completing missions etc. You can then obtain new skills by purchasing them from skill trainers. Different trainers can be found on a variety of Islands. Some of the more interesting powers or skills can take a lot of time, money and glory to obtain such as the necromancy and crystal magic abilities. However obtaining these can be quicker with the help of spell scrolls and voodoo dolls. However even with a good set of skills it will not help you in this game because of the broken combat.
The combat is what really let the game down. I found no improvements what so ever from the previous titles. The combat is a basic tactical block, parry and attack system. With the combat being so simple you would expect it to work well. This however is not the case, It was a disaster. My characters attack seemed to have a massive delay compared to that of the enemies. My attacks were slow even when using a light attack rather than a heavy attack which needed to be charged by holding the attack button down. The enemies seemed to attack at lightning speeds. I often found myself midway into an attack and then being hit due to the enemies moving a lot faster. The Secondary attack of using a ranged weapon such as a pistol or throwing knives is not very effective either.
Again the attack is painfully slow and doesn’t always hit.The manual camera also made it hard to keep track of all the enemies on screen, It also made the animations and Impacts look very out of time. I found the only way to progress was to let my companions do all the fighting. They seemed to deal more damage to the enemy than my character, they were also able to revive themselves if they were knocked out. So I simply found that allowing them to fight the enemies was more effective. I still gained XP, even with a companion killing everything.
Overall Risen 3: Titan Lords enhanced edition had buckets of potential. The idea of a Pirate styled RPG was a very good one. The game had a solid main story line that could have perhaps been improved just slightly. The environments were all very eye catching and the game provided hours of game play in a very large open world filled with a variety of quests. What really did let the game down overall was the cheesy lifeless voice acting, the issues with frame-rate and the biggest flaws of all, the combat, camera and animations which really needed work. As a re master I would have thought the developers would have made more of an effort to alter the combat when it was quite clearly the games biggest downfall. However they failed to correct this which makes what could have been a good game very mediocre.