Risen 3: Titan Lords Review (PC)

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Avast, ye scurvy landlubber! Ye say there's a salty mist splashing across your brow, a fair wind in your hair, and a hunger for adventure in ye heart? Well, if ye have the desire to be a buccaneer, Risen 3: Titan Lords packs as much fantasy-pirate action into it as you'll find this side of the Caribbean, but not even voodoo magic is enough to save this seafaring tale from swabbing the poop deck.

In Risen 3: Titan Lords, you'll play as the pirate Bland McGravelVoice, an unnamed swashbuckler whose voice actor is trying so hard to make him sound badass that it often comes out the other side into ridiculousness. After a quick adventure on a tropical island, Gravel meets his end at the hands of a lich. Thanks to some quick voodoo magic, however, Gravel's back to life and on the lookout for anyone who can help restore his soul to its former, living glory. From there the world opens up and, and like the Bioware RPGs it aspires to be like, Risen 3 allows you to head to each area in any order you please on your quest to find the mojo needed to revitalize you. During your journey you'll join forces with other characters, deal with the cantankerous needs of several powerful factions, and shoot more than a few bad guys in the face with your flintlock. The elements are all here for Risen 3: Titan Lords to be a rousing adventure, and yet, so many things about the experience drag it all down.

In Risen 3: Titan Lords, you'll play as the pirate Bland McGravelVoice, an unnamed swashbuckler whose voice actor is trying so hard to make him sound badass that it often comes out the other side into ridiculousness. After a quick adventure on a tropical island, Gravel meets his end at the hands of a lich. Thanks to some quick voodoo magic, however, Gravel's back to life and on the lookout for anyone who can help restore his soul to its former, living glory. From there the world opens up and, and like the Bioware RPGs it aspires to be like, Risen 3 allows you to head to each area in any order you please on your quest to find the mojo needed to revitalize you. During your journey you'll join forces with other characters, deal with the cantankerous needs of several powerful factions, and shoot more than a few bad guys in the face with your flintlock. The elements are all here for Risen 3: Titan Lords to be a rousing adventure, and yet, so many things about the experience drag it all down.

Character customization, however, is one spot that Risen 3 really shines. Rather than the strict, level-based progression of most RPGs, Risen 3 allows you to increase individual attributes such as melee combat or interpersonal interactions any time you please, so long as you have enough "glory,” a.k.a experience points, to purchase the upgrade. It's a neat way of increasing your character's power; it's unfortunate, then, that so much of the combat and social interactions are too bland to reward you for thoughtfully customizing your character.

Another less successful, but equally unique, choice was to have most NPCs act as unique skill trainers and vendors. This is a cool idea, in theory, as it makes the world feel a bit more lived-in, and, as you progress, your character feels more and more like a student of the world. However, in execution this just gets annoying, as it's easy to forget who sells or trains what, so if you don't have the gold to purchase something the first time you see it, you may not be able to find it again.

Risen 3: Titan Lords wants so desperately to be a Witcher, Dragon Age, or Fallout. So desperately, in fact, that it apes these games without ever figuring out what it was that made them so engaging in the first place. There are some occasional bits of fun to be found in this pirate’s tale, but overall its frustratingly dull combat and weak story sink it to the bottom of the RPG ocean.

This review was completed based on a purchased digital copy of Risen 3: Titan Lords for PC.

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6.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating

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