If you’re the type of gamer who prefers polished experiences, well thought-out gameplay and magnificent stories, Risen 3: Titan Lords might not do it for you. Simply put, this game is more or less deeply flawed in a number of ways that might end up making it feel rushed, incomplete or even outright lacking altogether. For many fans of the series, this is of course a big let-down, because a lot of individuals were really hoping that developer Piranha Bytes would get things right with this one. Sadly, it would seem to be yet another missed opportunity of sorts, so close to pulling off something interesting, yet ultimately lacking the polish required to take things to the next level.
Having said that…there are admirable elements to be discovered, they just cannot congeal together neatly. For instance, the swash-buckling adventure setting is certainly nice, as is the overall RPG leveling system and open world exploration. However, these items never seem to hit that sweet spot that you find in other titles, the “immersion point” where you are totally sucked into the onscreen action. In other words, Risen 3 is kind of like a “jack of all trades” yet remains a master of none.
For starters, the game itself is built on a basic hack-and-slash premise, where the action is just a little bit stiff. Traveling around, you’ll essentially take on quests, close demonic portals and run errands for various in-game characters. Sure, this is nothing new and lots of top-tier titles have utilized the exact same formula to deliver quality experiences, but there’s just something off about the action here. One might think of it as being similar to the distinction between name brand and generic products from the grocery store, where an item might look and sort of taste of quality, but ultimately fall flat when stacked up against desirable goods.
Clearly, Risen 3: Titan Lords was inspired by a host of other games, such as Assassins’ Creed IV: Black Flag, the Elder Scrolls series, maybe even Dark Souls. Again however, the title isn’t able to fully deliver its vision to the gamer in a way that is able to retain their interest and drive the action forward. If you like completing stock generic quests and roaming around nice big world and engaging in blocky combat, perhaps you might find it appealing? What’s sad of course is that the game seems so close to getting things right, you’re basically left with an uneasy bittersweetness with an unpleasant aftertaste.
Had Risen 3: Titan Lords been released a number of years ago, it might have ended up being rather popular. The game does after all incorporate lots of standard elements found in popular RPG’s in a semi-creative and original way. Of course, the story / plot remains largely uninteresting and isn’t able to capture your attention, much less maintain a sense of drama throughout the length of the 20 hour campaign. If you’re a big RPG fan and really love open world hack and slashing, consider giving this one a try, if not, avoid it. Don’t’ say we didn’t warn you though…