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Risen 3: Menial labor drags down this pirate adventure

Hayden Dingman | Aug. 13, 2014
Many times I've sat here, reviewing video games, and lamented the downfall of the "B-Game." See, when I was growing up, there was no such thing as "Indie" yet. Games were either big-budget AAA affairs or, more often than not, B-games.

It's exploitable. It's broken. It's awkward. Risen 3: Titan Lords could be retitled Risen 3: Kiting Lords because I kited every single enemy I encountered in the game. For hours upon hours.

You have to purchase most of your high-level skills, but then things go the other way — combat is overly easy once you're ten hours in with a few sword skills under your belt. Too hard, too easy — Risen 3 never feels balanced. And that makes combat a chore, either because you're constantly dying and reloading, or because you're plowing through enemies without a hint of danger.

Bottom line

But I said Risen 3 is like a bag of chips, and I meant it. You know what? We humans love filling up bars and completing quests, even if those quests aren't exactly the loftiest of affairs.

You play a few hours of Risen 3 and you have moderate amounts of fun. It's enjoyable! You finish some quests, you kill some monsters, you earn some gold. If somebody came up to you 24 hours later, though, and asked what you did in Risen yesterday, you'd probably draw a blank. You might be able to name one or two quests, but even the main storyline is mostly elaborate fetch quests. Nothing really sticks with you. It's the game equivalent of empty carbs.

That's totally fine. There are better games out there, but maybe you don't want to play a better game, or maybe you've already played those better games. If you're looking for a time-killer — a game to sink hours upon hours into with very little real commitment — then Risen 3 is one of those.

And that's why Risen 3 is unequivocally a B-game.


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