Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition Review
Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Sony PlayStation 4
When Risen 3: Titan Lords was released on last generation consoles, the response to the game was lukewarm at best. Despite featuring a large, interactive, world for players to explore, critics rightly derided it for its clumsy combat and multiple performance issues. Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition hopes to make amends for the problems associated with the original release. Unfortunately, this hasn’t quite gone to plan, as can be seen by the overwhelming amount of problems that are still present.
As stated above, one of the major issues with the game is the combat. This is a huge problem that remains unsolved in this new edition. Launching an attack on an enemy is still awkward and cumbersome. Sword strikes are painfully slow and ranged attacks are unpredictable and often end up firing in the wrong direction altogether. This would perhaps be acceptable if there wasn’t such an emphasis on hunting down enemies and clashing swords with the undead. Every couple of steps you will find yourself confronted by a new foe. The result of this is that death is never far away. Regardless of whether you’re up against a harmless animal or a beast from hell you should never get too careless for risk of reaching an equally bloody demise.
To make matters worse, the loading times in the game are disappointing, meaning that every time you die you have to endure a frustrating waiting period before attempting a questline again. This is tedious and breaks the flow of the game noticeably. The issue of slow down is not only isolated to loading times. During the game you will also experience some obvious drops in frame rate, as well as witness problems with the draw distance as areas load before your eyes. This has an enormous impact on your immersion. There are also several graphical glitches that have managed to make it into the finished build, like floating items and props that clip through the environments during cut scenes. In spite of these bugs, the game remarkably manages to succeed in looking superior to its predecessor, due to its improved lighting and 1080p resolution. This is not so much a testament to the high quality of the latest edition, but instead a condemnation of its original release.
The story in this new version remains unchanged. Once again you step into the boots of an unnamed hero as he sets out on a quest to reclaim his soul. It’s up to you to bring together a group of adventurers capable of sailing the high seas and repelling the evil that stands in your way. This is an excellent set up, but it is let down by the laughably bad voice acting that confronts you at every turn. The lead actor channels Jason Statham with his performance, though he lacks the charisma of the popular action star. Instead, he delivers his lines in the same monotonous tone throughout all of his scenes, rarely altering the enunciation of his words. Given the high quality of vocal performances over the last few years in similar games, the acting here is a huge missed opportunity to make the characters more engaging and sympathetic for the audience.
The framing during the cutscenes and the dialogue segments is also bizarre. It’s sloppy and repeatedly fails to improve upon the dramatic weight of the scene. The characters are frequently framed speaking directly to the camera, in a remarkably uninspired fashion. A better variety of perspectives and more creativity with the camera would be an acceptable solution to this problem. In addition, props in the environment often block the viewpoint, which means you have to use the manual camera controls to understand what is happening behind the obstruction.
A rare positive in the game is the score. The compositions featured take great advantage of the pirate theme, utilizing an amalgamation of double bass, cello and violin to create a stirring accompaniment. The main theme in particular is worthy of significant praise. It contributes some much-needed emotion to proceedings that is absent everywhere else. It’s just a shame there are so many inescapable problems that ruin the experience of playing the game, as a lot of effort has obviously been dedicated to making this score an enjoyable ride.
Should you decide that you are interested in embarking on the game’s many quests and objectives, you will be rewarded with hours of content to play through. Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition collects all of the previously released DLC. This means that you can explore two additional islands, such as Fog Island and The Isle of Thieves, which include new campaigns to complete. The abundance of material is another positive to take away from the game. If you can somehow successfully ignore the problems that are prevalent throughout, you will find a month’s worth of story to plunder your way through.
Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition is a game that feels like a massive missed opportunity. It suffers from poor characterization, embarrassingly bad voice performances, and plenty of graphical faults. Though there are some exciting elements, such as the premise, the score, and the visuals, you’d be wise to avoid buying this action RPG. After all, there are so many superior titles in this genre currently available to own.