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The earth trembled and ancient temples rose from the ground, followed by unknown creatures. Cyclones drive over the sea and firestorms roam the land with not only thousands of lives, but also the hope that the gods will save the lost humanity. When the dark wave hits, the humans are on their own and only a few enclaves survive the attack. One is a volcano island which has been saved from the worst by an unknown force, but its protection is getting weaker and weaker. The protagonist arrives on the island after his ship is hit and destroyed by the dark waves, finding himself on a deserted shore with only one other survivor. He has to explore the island, discover its secrets, and find his place within one of the factions that strive for power there.
Although the game is calledÂ Risen, it is very similar toÂ GothicÂ games by the same developers. The player once again takes control over a nameless hero from a third-person view and is free to explore the large island, talking to people in multiple-choice dialogues, fulfilling quests and fighting monsters and other enemies while using the experience points earned to level up and learn new skills and abilities. Depending on which of the three factions (bandits, mages or inquisitors) the player joins by earning their respect through fulfilling quests, he also chooses to a certain degree what he wants to be although he is always able to distribute his skill points into anything he likes - as long as he finds a teacher for that particular skill.Â
The game world is noticeably smaller than inÂ Gothic 3, and in general the game rather resemblesÂ Gothic IIÂ in its concept and structure. Combat against the many enemies ranging from gnomes to powerful ash-beasts requires the player not only to invest points into his combat skills, but also to master blocking and dodging enemy attacks while at the same time trying to get through the enemy defense. If a parry is activated at the right moment it is even possible to land an immediate counter-attack.
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