Product Type: Deepsilver Xbox 360 games
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Risen (Xbox 360) - a slightly different take on the RPG
Risen (Xbox 360)
Member Name: millwalljayne
Risen (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Bargain basement price, interesting storyline, took some time to complete
Disadvantages: Awkward controls, plot could have been handled a bit better, menus are badly done
The first redeeming quality of this game is its price. I found it in second hand in a high street store for just under £5, and it seems that it is available fairly cheap in most places. Unfortunately as I bought Saw II at the same time, it was a while before I got around to giving Risen a try.
You wake up on a beach with a female fellow human, seemingly having been victims of a shipwreck. Having a rather distracting toddler running round and also trying to play the game with his mummy, I missed most of the introductory titles, and was therefore fairly lost when gameplay began. It is not very well explained why you are where you are, and you are just asked to find a weapon (piece of driftwood for me) and get on with it. There is a large bird at the other end of the beach picking at a body, and he is your first - rather tricky - enemy.
Make sure that you search everywhere and everything you find - including bodies of stuff that you have killed -, this is where you get the most interesting bits and pieces. You can also pick up various random pieces, sometimes there is gold scattered around and sometimes herbs that you can eat. In time, you reach a hut with another human inside, where thankfully, the storyline is expanded on a bit. This is the point at which you need to make probably the most important choice of the game, to go and join the Don's bandits in the swampland, or the Inquisition in their white robes, in the town (I chose the bandits).
From hereon in the game grows gradually in magnitude, with you carrying out tasks of greater and greater importance to whoever you have chosen to serve. Experienced RPGers will know the drill.
The gameplay is fairly awkward, with a lot of use of the trigger buttons to draw, withdraw and swap weapons, all of which is usually delayed. There are four menus accessed by the control pad, and I found it quite difficult to remember which direction opened which menu. You also need to remember to save regularly - although the autosave does come up periodically, you can go a long way and then get killed by a silly little enemy, which drives you crazy!
You also lose damage points if you pause by entering the inventory during battle, which I found very frustrating, and the inventory itsself could have been designed a lot better, as you can hardly make out what most items are, never mind the tiny little number signifying how many of said item you are carrying. Eventually the game plays out into quite an interesting ending, and it does make you feel pleased that you persevered with it, even if only for the achievements/gamer points.
Were I to play this game again, I would probably do it with the use of a game guidebook, should one be available, as there is always the feeling that you have missed something important. All in all though I felt it was a nice little RPG for fans of the genre who are looking for something slightly different, and are on a bit of a budget.
Summary: You get what you pay for, so shop around for the best price and you wont be disappointed
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