With the current generation of consoles, we’ve become accustomed to having popular titles from previous generations being touched up graphically in a package with previously released DLC. I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed the likes of Saints Row IV Re-elected with the Gat out of Hell add-on or Payday 2’s Crime Wave edition but I am starting to get a little sick and tired of it now. Joining the already long list of converted titles is Risen 3: Titan Lords, an action RPG whose previous titles have offered me many hours of fun and frustration, but will the latest addition be the same?
The story of the latest addition to the Risen family starts by following the children of the infamous Captain Steelbeard. On a mission to explore an ancient temple on an island they discover, they are in search of riches beyond their imagination. Instead, what unfolds is the death of the nameless hero you play as after being attacked by a demon, leaving your sister and your crew with nothing to do but bury your body. Only that would be a short game if it stopped there so a witch doctor type appears and resurrects you, giving you the task of tracking down the demon that killed you so you can claim your soul back.
Now as in past games the story isn’t the world’s greatest but it has improved on the previous title and as long as you follow the main quests, the game sticks with the story quite well. The difference with this game isn’t just an improved story though; it’s the fact that as part of the plot when you passed to the other side and lost your soul before being revived, you now have the ability to go between the worlds of the living or the dead. This opens up the game in a whole new way because Deep Silver always offer you huge worlds to explore any way, and now you can see the world in a whole new light speaking to the dead to find clues to take you on your way to reclaiming your life.
That’s where the improvements stop though really, apart from the obvious graphical enhancements which still aren’t all that impressive. I mean I know what the PS4 can do and this doesn’t even test it slightly, it still looks like a game that belongs in the previous generation to me. I’m not complaining because the game does look good for the most part, and there is a lot of work that goes into the Risen games so I praise the job the devs do but the quality isn’t there that you would expect from the new gen consoles; it kind of makes you question if it was even worth porting over in the first place.
As much as the graphics may have improved as well I’m not sure how but the devs still fail to lip sync the characters properly with the words that are meant to be coming out of their mouths. This was an issue in Risen 2: Dark Waters as well and it was frankly annoying because it surely can’t be that difficult a task when so many games do it successfully. At times, it is almost like watching old dubbed martial arts films where a short English phrase is spoken and the actor’s lips move for another 5 minutes before the conversation continues.
One other thing that remains from previous Risen titles, unfortunately, is the poor game mechanics which often leave gamers with an annoyingly buggy experience. My first moment began minutes into the intro stages which act as a tutorial; during combat I was failing to correctly strike enemies, it wouldn’t lock on for some reason I just kept hitting next to them. Next was one of those glitches that you can’t help but laugh at through sheer frustration, I awoke from my grave and explored the surrounding beaches where I stumbled across some beasts, I retreated and ran around a nearby tree. Now the witch doctor is a member of your party here and so follows you wherever you go, and I am pretty sure that I didn’t run up the tree trunk and get stuck, but he did, only restarting the game got him down.
Having mentioned all that negativity, though, I will admit that I still somehow manage to enjoy the game. Between laughing at how poorly some of it is made and having fun exploring the world to find hidden treasures and rare items, it is actually kind of fun. Which when I think about it is great, because I actually missed out on getting Risen 3 on the previous gen and now I have the game and a whole host of DLC to go with it for even more magical times. Even without the DLC though Deep Silver have done what they usually do and packed the game full of quests, side quests, and other activities for you to indulge in. So whether you want to get stuck into the story or just dress up as a pirate and explore the world and pillage camps of rival pirates there is something for every occasion.
Overall this is a game that falls short of the expectations gamers have for titles on the new generation consoles, especially in a year of such massive game releases. With the likes of Battlefront, Fallout 4, Halo 5 Guardians and The Taken King all out shortly, I think I can safely assume gamers will rather save their doubloons for these titles. I mean the story writing has improved, and the graphics look moderately better, but things such as the game mechanics seem to be as dodgy as they’ve ever been. Still if you want something to pass the time until then, it could be worth looking at as it is fun and there is lots of content, but I’d probably hold out for a while until the price drops. After all, the port of Risen 3: Titan Lords is considerably more expensive than some other ports we’ve seen arrive this year.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.