Risen - An old school RPG
Introduction With aged graphics and animations you could say that Risen is an old school RPG, but also because of it's long rich gameplay and story, which isn't all that common these days (Anyways, graphics isn't that important... right?). Having played their previous titles Gothic 1, 2 (which I loved) and 3 (which I hate) I'm glad that this game is much more stable and balanced than Gothic 3 (Even though I fell through the ground after 2 minutes of gameplay).
Story The game begins with you floating ashore on an island as an castaway. An island that fittingly is in uproar. As you progress in the game you get to choose between three factions to join. Since I didn't like any of the factions, they were to exaggerated, it would be nice to be able to go solo, but sadly that isn't an option. There is a TON of quests to do and I would think that there is at least 40 hours of gameplay if you're thorough.
GameplayOn the contrary to many other players I love that you're extremely weak in the beginning, that one wolf could finish you off easily. That way you could really see your character develop under the course of the game. Playing on the Xbox360 I must say that the controls are a bit awkward but you get in to them. The fighting is really good and fun especially when fighting another human which involve timing strikes and doing counterblows etc. Learning the skills unlocks new blows and fighting techniques and really change the way you fight. Compared to other RPGs this is one thing I really think they did good, being 1 or 100 in sword, in for an example Oblivion, doesn't change the way you use the weapon.
Summary One good measurement of a game is to ask yourself; "Would you recommend it to a friend?" and the answer is; [pause]... Yes.. but... First I would recommend them to buy the PC-version, the Xbox360 version is a bit shaky. Many "new" players used to todays easy games will perhaps be frustrated at the difficulty and other quirks of the game, but us long time gamers more used to this. If you liked Gothic 1 and 2, go buy this game... since they are very(!) similar.