While playing through the three Risen games, back to back, I took about 700 screenshots for each of the first two games and more than 1200 for the third. I thought it would be interesting to gather this together and compare similar things across all three of the games, to see how things evolved or changed.
I’ve wrapped the screenshots inside spoiler tags that you have to open up (unless you’re using an RSS reader). I’ve indicated in the spoiler title how severe the spoiler is. Open a section and click a thumbnail to open the media carousel. Game titles are shown in the bottom of it.
You can also just hover the mouse pointer on a thumbnail to see the game title.
Captain Crow was introduced in Risen 2 as an antagonist the hero has to face in a boss fight where a Titan Lord is also summoned. The hero kills Crow in this fight. In Risen 3, Crow appears as a ghost captain in control of a fleet of enemy ships. Apparently his model wasn’t changed.
In Risen 3, the ghost Crow appears both in the very beginning of the game (before the tutorial) as well as in a short battle that is repeated almost verbatim much later in the game. But for some odd reason, he has a blue tint in the beginning and a green tint in the actual battle.
You can see these before and after colors in the gallery too.
Another captain introduced in Risen 2. The hero meets him for the first time together with Admiral Alvarez on the island of Antigua. Slayne betrays the hero who later kills him in a duel to the death. In Risen 3, he appears as a ghost in one of many dream sequences.
It doesn’t look like his model was changed in Risen 3.
The mighty Captain Steelbeard, father of both Patty and of the new nameless hero in Risen 3, is actually only referred to in the first Risen. His first appearance is in Risen 2, where he accompanies Patty and the first nameless hero (with the eye patch) on the island of Tacarigua.
After defeating Captain Crow and obtaining his legendary weapon, Steelbeard is killed by the Titan Lord Mara at the beach. Much later in Risen 2 our hero meets the ghost of Steelbeard in the Underworld. In Risen 3, he only appears as a ghost in various dream sequences.
Apparently his model wasn’t changed in Risen 3, apart from now sporting a blue ghost tint.
Character Screen and Inventory
In the first Risen, the character screen and inventory was mixed together in one encompassing window, although the inventory itself could also be opened in a small window when e.g. looting.
Risen 2 introduced segregated screens with tabs for attributes, inventory, skills, and more. Risen 3 was based on the same style and set of screens, merely tweaking the graphics and attributes available.
The first Risen was also the only game in the series that used levels. The pirate theme of Risen 2 and 3 replaced this with a stream of undivided glory (XP) which could be spent on increasing attributes.
All three games start with almost solely close combat using blades or similar melee weapons. The first Risen had a more traditional fantasy system with blades, shield, and magic based on mana.
Firearms were introduced in Risen 2, either as a pistol in one hand activated with a special hotkey or as shotguns or muskets that has to be aimed with an orange ring that fills up to indicate precision.
This section only shows screenshots from close combat.
Commandant Carlos is one of the good guys of the Inquisition and can be found in all three games. In the first game he’s in the generic harbour town, in Risen 2 he’s in the Crystal Fortress in Caldera right at the start, and in Risen 3 he can be found on the small Fog Island.
It looks like the model is the same again across Risen 2 and 3.
Crouse pops up in both Risen 2 and 3 as a parody of the shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe. They changed his head in Risen 3 (clearly an improvement) but he’s still wearing the same trousers.
Eldric the Druid
Eldric is an interesting NPC that has an important role to play in all three games. In the first and third Risen he’s only a quest giver but he actually joins your crew as a companion in Risen 2.
The model for Eldric has changed considerably across all three games. It actually looks like a completely different person in each of them. Personally I really liked the way he looked in Risen 2.
See page 2 for F to N.
2 comments on “Comparing the Three Risen Games”
Those are some quite significant graphical changes between both Risen 1 and 2 and Risen 2 and 3. 3 even starts to look somewhat modern ;). My first thought when looking at Admiral Alvarez was that damned, that guy sure looks like Sean Connery :D.
Risen 2 and 3 are obviously technically related which can also be derived from the fact that they reused some of the models in Risen 3. However, the models animate a lot better in Risen 3, especially regarding gesticulations and eye movements.
I really liked Risen 3 and I’m looking forward to their post-apocalyptic game, ELEX.