By EndlessMike 8 Comments
Risen was a game I had not heard of until a few days ago. I'm a big fan of RPGs and it's been a while since I played a good third-person adventure style RPG so I downloaded the demo off of Steam. You jump right into the game with your player character laying face down in the sand, in what looks like a shipwreck. After your character stands up you're given control to move around. It's pretty standard control style (WSAD to move, mouse for camera) and you pick up objects by left clicking. Objects appear all around the place by popping up text when something is near which is a good system because the graphics are not something you want to focus on long looking for pieces of gold.
Pretty soon after meeting the only other survivor of the shipwreck (your standard boring video game girl archetype) you're told to pick up and equip your first weapon, the club. Upon doing so you learn the middle mouse button is used to trigger combat mode, which is where I realized this was going to be an action RPG game. Basically it's right click to block and left click to swing, while you can vary your swing depending on which direction you're moving. It's awkward and does not feel like any of your attacks are very effective. No matter which direction you move it seems like your character just swings his weapon with reckless abandon and the blocking is difficult to get a feel for too. The combat just feels too loose, like you don't have enough control over what's going on, and it just leads to you clicking the left mouse button as quickly as possible until either you or your enemy is dead.
Another important note is the difficulty. Because the combat is such a guessing game it's pretty impossible to avoid taking damage, even from the very early enemies. The problem with this is that enemies in this game hit hard and hit often. Soon into the demo I found enemies that were able to kill me in about 3 hits, whereas it took me around 10 to 15 to kill them. Now maybe I was doing something wrong but since the game was giving me literally no direction as to where I was going or how to improve my character I was pretty much left to my own devices.
I decided to look around some of the menus to see if there was something I was missing. I came upon the character screen responsible for distributing stats upon leveling up. It looked pretty lacking for a modern day RPG with the possibilities for the basic warrior, rogue, or mage archetypes. The amount of possible skills were pretty lacking as well, though this could all just be a sympton of the demo and the actual game might be a lot more in depth.
WIthin about 30 minutes into the game it crashed to the desktop. From my experience so far I don't plan on opening it back up and I certain don't plan on paying 50 dollars for it.
If anyone has played the full game and likes it let me know.