Delve Deep Enough and you will find an Amazing game.
Risen is one of those games that I expect many people picked up played for an hour and quit. And there is a simple reason for that, the first 10-15 hours is all setup to overarching story but its backed up by some decent voice acting and a main character with a face only a mother could love but his take no shit attitude is a nice change of pace.
First lets start with the bad, the combat in the game can be rage inducing, enemies seem to play by completely different rules than you when it comes to speed and blocking, in the early part of the game it is a ballbuster you have no armor and the combat takes Hours and Hours to get the hang of. Its all real time and starts off simply enough, you click the left mouse button to swing hold the right button to block. The problem comes in when you go to swing and the enemy suddenly launches itself at you hitting you multiple times with no way for you to stop it, getting hit is no joke you take 3-4 good hits and your dead and it can tiresome feeling like you have to save your game after every single battle. But once you start talking to trainers and making some money and snagging a few levels the depth of the combat shows itself, soon your doing lateral blows and counter-parrying and putting the hurt on the same enemies that were tearing you apart.
But this game really isn't about combat, its about exploration and some of the best questing I have ever done, the quest are smart and varied requiring you to leave your comfort zone and the different ways you can tackle stuff is really awesome once you realize how open it really is. Do I threaten this girl to get a stolen ring back? Do I replace it with something else or hell beat her up and steal it or pickpocket it? The world itself is beautifully crafted, it feels lived in and its FULL of content and secrets and side quest. The graphics even now a year after release can be stunning on a nice PC the character models leave something to be desired and like I said the main characters face is....well he isn't pretty but his voice actor really grew on me and I just love some of the stuff he will say to people he is a badass. The voice acting for the rest of the cast doesn't really stand out but its all good and believable for the most part.
The story is why you play this game, the dual choice nature of joining the Don and his men in the swamp or helping the Inquisitor save the island and the world is really fantastic. The quest lines in the keep where you meet the Inquisitor are nothing short of fantastic they make you think and look and talk you really feel like your figuring things out this game doesn't hand hold and you will get stuck but when you figure it out its a great feeling.
This game rises (no pun intended) above its early hours to truly become one of my favorite RPGs so if you have a decent PC and you want to get sucked in to some awesome lore give this game a go.