Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Risen is a great RPG with only minor flaws. A worthy sequel to the Gothic series.
  2. I rarely come across a title with such an atmosphere, competent AI, interesting combat system and fleshed out characters.
  3. Risen is a great role-playing experience, it is just fun to investigate every corner of the mysterious island. The story and quests are quite varied and the game world gives you an credible feeling of being a part of it. The developers have focused on the strengths of the first two Gothic parts and didn't make any technically mistakes. Role-players should go and grab it!
  4. Faranga is a finely crafted setting for what ultimately turns into a tremendously deep and very satisfying fantasy RPG. It has a few shortcomings; they're largely forgivable, once you get lost in the adventure.
  5. All in all, Risen is a good game with some bugs, like the fact that the nameless hero is resistant against fire. The controls are simple and graphics are quite nice. Fans of RPGs will like it very much!
  6. Piranha Bytes stayed true to old virtues and delivered the role-playing game one would expect: very old-fashioned, very German and very good. But this game requires you to be very active, to explore a lot. If you need to taken by the hand by a good story, then Risen is not for you. The game isn't fun because of the story, but despite it.
  7. Without bringing any true innovation to the RPG genre, after the Gothic's bug-experience Piranha Bytes gains its revenge with Risen, a game that every RPG lover will enjoy in every of its parts. Solidly based on the best elements of western RPGs, this game presents only some difficulties on the combat system that could discourage somebody, while for everyone else it's definitely a must-have.
  8. 86
    Its combat system isn't the greatest and its pacing is inconsistent, but for those who put in the time to see all Risen has to offer, it's an experience that won't be forgotten.
  9. Risen is a solid, engrossing and beautifully presented RPG that's well worth your time and money. [Dec 2009, p.72]
  10. With its beautiful graphics and great environmental sound it is easy to find yourself traveling around the island just picking herbs and mushrooms while stumbling upon the odd monster to fight. In the end this is a must buy because it is rare we PC gamers see a good RPG like this and that is what is most important.
  11. Piranha Bytes has created a new series. Risen is not only a good heir to Gothic, but also establishes solid bases which could mark the way for this studio in the future.
  12. Risen is a challenging, well rounded game certain to please most, if not all, RPG fans.
  13. Do yourself a favor and check out this title on the PC and not on the Xbox 360.
  14. Exactly the sequel all Gothic devotees were waiting for. Nice story, subtle battle & ROG system, great visuals and – for the first time – no fatal bugs in “Gothic” game. [Nov 2009]
  15. 80
    It takes a while for things to start up, but once it gets going, it becomes quite addicting.
  16. Fun, large and with many things to do, Risen is a good game for medieval RPG lovers. It has its flaws, specially due to technical issues, but overall it's a great experience, where every choice has its consequences. The great storyline and the different paths that we can follow are the strongest points of this game.
  17. Risen is a game that does nothing wrong, but at the same is not bringing something new either. The ambiance of the game is perfect and the story is very good and convincing. It’s too bad Risen is starting up slow and the graphics could have been better. This is a game made for RPG fans, people who don’t like RPG’s should probably focus on other games.
  18. While Gothic sails away to other developers, Piranha Bytes turns the tide with this return to the origins of true RPG. Deep, polished, compelling, Risen is an RPG for RPG true lovers. Some small glitches and a general lack of accessibility make it step down a little bit on the score, but it's still THE game to have if you love RPGs.
  19. An old-fashion RPG, with an impressive number of quests and NPC, and a deep level-up system.
  20. After two good first acts, it fails to rise to its own challenge. [Jan 2010, p.91]
  21. Risen has its faults but what it does do is bring you into a world that won’t let you leave till you’ve uncovered the secrets in every corner. To some it’s just something to hold them over until the next Gothic game comes out, but to me it’s the start of something new and wonderful from an experienced RPG developer.
  22. I’d only recommend Risen to people who really enjoyed the Gothic series, or perhaps similarly flawed games like Two Worlds or Dungeon Lords.
  23. There's some great gameplay in Risen, but you have to trudge though too many problems to find it.
  24. You'll enjoy this fascinating and intricate role-playing game in spite of its troublesome combat and scattered bugs.
  25. Risen is actually a real shame because of its promises. The world looks great and it’s funny to explore, but developers didn't pay enough attention to essential aspects like the combat and character progression.
  26. A by-the-book roleplaying jaunt in fantasy-land. There's enough to do in Risen, but never enough to thrill. [Dec 2009, p.118]
  27. A good game, but far from great. A lot of shortcomings and irritations keep Risen from being a recommended, must-own game.
  28. Ironically, while the PC version inarguably shows up the flaws in the 360 effort all the more, it also fares far worse when compared to its peers. Consoles have relatively few RPGs in this traditional mould, but on the PC the competition is much fiercer and so well-intentioned failures are harder to tolerate.
  29. Close to a new Elder Scrolls, but nowhere near as realised. [Issue#25, p.51]
  30. A good game for RPG fans, but with dated graphics and a not so great technical side.
  31. A roleplaying game that wants to be something extra, but fails to achieve that goal. Decent, beautiful, but ridden with technical issues and weak gameplay balance.
  32. There are no gods in Risen – a powerful sorcerer banished them from the world forever, - but the hero still can’t escape his fate. German demiurges strapped him to the pillar of the story so tight that you can’t help but wonder if anyone at Piranha Bytes remembers what “role-playing” means. A game where all problems are solved by kicking butts and giving money is not an RPG. When the difference between working for bandits or the Inquisition in Harbor Town is to whom you report the completed tasks – it is not an RPG. It is laziness, harbinger of boredom.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 502 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 108
  2. Negative: 16 out of 108
  1. Nov 18, 2010
    Very lack luster game. with no quest log to give you guidance, you are merely wandering around half the game. You are very vulnerable to EVERYTHING! Rats will make you scream at the low levels. Could have been so much more. Really wish the developers had taken more time to CARE about what they were making. Story is bland and unentertaining. Don't waste your money on this when you could buy Oblivion or Mass Effect for a much better story AND a better game. Again, stay away from this, its a horrid release and does not deserve your money. Full Review »
  2. Apr 9, 2011
    A challenging and very rewarding game. One of the better RPGs to appear in the last few years. If you are prepared to invest in the game you will get your money's worth and much more. Even if you are only a semi serious RPGer you should give this game a try. I doubt if you will be disappointed. I won't go into specifics, I don't need to, just believe me when I say this game is very very immersive. Of course, if you are an instant gratification bod who wants to be walked through the game whilst playing it, simultaneously one shotting everything in your path, then I wouldn't bother. Full Review »
  3. Jun 3, 2012
    Probably the most linear RPG I've ever played. Crappy voice acting and the backing noise track doesn't fit the game at all. Combat is boring (and once again) linear. I already said this, but I'll say it again: crappy voice acting. At first I was actually laughing at how bad it was until I just stopped playing. Combat is just click-click-other click (hit-hit-parry) style. Third person with no option to go into first is obnoxious. Controls are absolutely horrid, and made me change the layout immediately. Good modeling and design is probably this game's only redeeming factor. Full Review »