Review: Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition (PS4)

risen-3-titan-lords-enhanced-review-banner

Title: Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition
Format: PlayStation Network Download (13.18 GB)
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M
Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition is exclusive to PlayStation 4.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Risen 3: Titan Lords follows an unnamed hero as we guide him through an adventure to find his stolen soul and lay waste to all that stands between him and his prize. Sadly, that very generic-sounding story summary is the very sum of what, as a whole, Risen 3: Titan Lords is – generic. Additionally, the very fine layer of pirate-ism (is that even a word?) that is thrown on the very top of this game is quite disappointing. Instead we follow a story that is found in countless other RPGs and is, quite frankly, worse than other RPGs.

Gameplay:
Though the adventure of our unnamed hero will take you around twenty-five hours to complete, you’ll be at a loss when you try to remember what you actually accomplished at the end of it all. Specific moments will stick out as being fun or memorable, but the majority of your time spent in in the game is forgettable and empty. You may remember that epic sea battle where you took on a colossal sea monster and then maybe a fight between you and a demon lord where at the last second you carved their life away with your sword, but then you’ll realize that those instances were hours apart and you can’t even remember what happened between them.

Upon completing the opening tutorial you’ll be given your first seafaring ship called a sloop, that will allow you to fully explore the Caribbean-themed world. Right away you’ll be able to go to any of the small islands that populate the map to take on quests, meet the inhabitants of those islands, and kill many monsters.

Quests are made available as you talk with various NPCs on each island while others will be unlocked via reading specific books or letters that you’ll find throughout your adventure. Completing these quests will reward you with Glory Points which will allow you to level up your character in specific areas. Foregoing the usual leveling-up system that most RPGs have is one of the best things about Risen 3.

Risen 3: Titan Lords - Enhanced Edition_20150813230844

With the Glory system you’re able to specifically craft the type of player you want to be. Do you want to become an expert at swordplay and lockpicking or do you want to become a master sorcerer and a skilled talker? Those, and many different combinations, are all options due to the way the level up system is built. Once you have spent your Glory Points in the areas that you choose, you’ll be on the lookout for any NPCs that can teach you skills.

Almost all quests that you’ll undertake will need you to kill something, be it a demon, another pirate, or even a duck. The combat system is little more than mediocre and allows for easy exploitation of certain mechanics that minimizes any difficulty found in the enemies. With the tap of a single button, you’ll be able to dodge out of the way of any enemy due to the number of invincibility frames in the dodge animation. Making the dodge move even more ludicrous is the fact that you can just spam the dodge button over and over without stop. Here is a tip – if you want the combat to be at least semi-challenging, don’t dodge.

… you can tell you’re looking at a last-gen game …
One of the many companions that you’ll have join your quest will lend a hand during combat. Each companion has a different fighting style. Some will use guns as their main weapon, others will use swords, while some even will use magic. I stuck with Bones, a slightly crazy nomad, who would continuously heal me when my health dropped below a certain point.

Quite possibly the best use though for these companions is in making them your scapegoat, for they cannot die. In the beginning of the game I would rely on my companion to be the main focus of the enemy (or enemies) if I felt overwhelmed or under-leveled.


Visuals:
Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition touts a handful of updates to the original game’s visual fidelity. Higher resolution textures, new post-process effects, and an all-new volumetric cloud system help bring this PlayStation 3-era game to the new generation of hardware. While all those descriptive words of new technology sounds impressive, the end result is that you can tell you’re looking at a last-gen game. The visuals are pretty, and beautiful at times, but they are nothing compared to what native PlayStation 4/Xbox One games can do, of course.
… Each island…has a unique style and feeling …
Character and creature models are fantastically detailed throughout the game. Like all RPGs, you’ll be running across the same monsters over and over, so the high level of detail that each has makes it a little less annoying after the six hundredth spider you run into.

Each island that you’ll travel to throughout the journey has a unique style and feeling all its own, giving you a real sense that you’re traveling to vastly different cultures through this Caribbean-inspired world.

Risen 3: Titan Lords - Enhanced Edition_20150813232945

Audio:
There isn’t anything to particularly like about the audio in the game, but none of it is too bad. The weakest sounds to piece your ears will be a good amount of the characters you’ll come across, including the main character. Most rely on horrible accents of some nationality, but none of it feels genuine. During specific emotional conversations you’re more likely to hear a very monotone conversation instead of something that resembles real life emotion.

… the characters seem to be bored being in the game …
The only saving grace is the occasional one-liner from the star of Risen 3, Bones. I am not quite sure if some of the lines he’ll drop are meant to be comic relief… but they sure as hell work and had me laughing multiple times.


Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online features.

Conclusion:
If I had to sum up Risen 3: Titan Lords into one word it would be “generic”. Everything about the game screams generic. The story, characters, and quests, there isn’t really anything that is too new or fresh. Combat is easy to exploit, conversations have little emotion, and even the characters seem to be bored being in the game.

While the game itself is solid from beginning to the end, there are other RPGs that deserve your time over this.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Kyle Jessee

Kyle Jessee

Your lone Kentucky writer on staff. Loves the Big Blue Nation, rock music, and Resistance 2 (the best in the series).

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook