Comparing the Three Risen Games

This is page 2 of 3.

Spoiler: Face of the Hero (Moderate)

Face of the Hero

Nameless as he is (although I still have this theory that Venturo called him “John” in Risen 2) here’s the face of our hero in all three games. In the first game he had an uncanny resemblance to the actor Wentworth Miller, but this was thrown out of the window in Risen 2 with a lot more hair as well as an eye patch.

In Risen 3, the hero from the two first games was replaced with Patty’s brother, although you do get to meet the old hero sitting by a camp fire on one of the islands.

Spoiler: Face of NPC (Mild)

Face of NPC

Various screenshots of NPC close up, across all three games.

Spoiler: Farm (Mild)


A farm in Risen and Risen 2.

Spoiler: Force Field (Moderate)

Force Field

Only Risen and Risen 2 here. I don’t recall seeing any force fields in Risen 3.

Spoiler: Get Rid Of / Free (Mild)

Get Rid Of / Free

This is a QTE that pops up if you are overwhelmed by an animal and thrown on your back. You then have to mash a button to fill up a bar in order to escape and get back into the normal action.

It was introduced in Risen 2.

Spoiler: Gnome (Mild)


Gnomes were only enemies to kill in the first Risen. In Risen 2 and 3 they are mostly quest givers and even one companion, Jaffar. (This companion has his own spoiler section below.)

Spoiler: Group of Fighters (Moderate)

Group of Fighters

What it looks like with a group of fighters together in the same screenshot.

Spoiler: Harbour Town (Mild)

Harbour Town

Not just the eponymous town in Risen – also similar harbour towns in Risen 2 and 3.

Spoiler: Hawkins (Mild)


A pirate NPC present in both Risen 2 and 3. Seems like the model is the same in both.

Spoiler: Hole in the Floor (Moderate)

Hole in the Floor

It’s interesting to see that shape of one of the holes in Risen 2 was copied and pasted into Risen 3 too.

Spoiler: Inn in Antigua (Mild)

Inn in Antigua

In the harbour town of Antigua (which was introduced in Risen 2) there’s an inn. Neither it nor its bartender changed much in Risen 3.

Spoiler: Jaffar (Moderate)


The gnome Jaffar, with the pirate hat and the hilariously frequent use of curse words, joins your crew as a companion in both Risen 2 and 3. He’s one of the funniest to bring along on your adventures.

In Risen 2 you meet him on the beach after arriving on Isle of Thieves, while you find him together with the mages on the island of Taranis in Risen 3. You have to solve a quest first before he’ll join you there.

See also the spoiler section earlier for gnomes in general.

Spoiler: Levitation (Mild)


In the first Risen you have a typical fantasy levitation spell for gliding across something to reach the other side. Holding a key lifted you up slightly but quickly used up a bar.

Risen 2 cut out a lot of magic, of which levitation unfortunately was one of them.

In Risen 3, a voodoo doll makes it possible to transform into a blue parrot. It actually works much as in the first Risen – you can glide indefinitely, but lifting uses up a bar and is very limited.

Spoiler: Lock Picking (Mild)

Lock Picking

The lock picking minigame is extremely simple in the first Risen. A row of icons appears and the chest is opened by alternating the correct sequence of left or right movement key presses.

The developers must have been dissatisfied with this first version themselves because it was replaced with a more conventional tumbler lockpick minigame in Risen 2 and 3. Pins have to be lifted in the correct in/out sequence to make them stick or some of them will drop down again.

All three games have 4, 6 and 8 slot locks. Below shows 6 slots for Risen and 8 slots for Risen 2 and 3.

Spoiler: Looting a Chest (Mild)

Looting a Chest

Just as with cooking a meal, Risen uses windows and the looting is shown in the actual game engine itself. Risen 2 and 3 both switches to a segregated screen as soon as the opening animation has finished.

Spoiler: Mage NPC (Mild)

Mage NPC

Mages were only present in the first and third Risen. Magic was banned in Risen 2.

Spoiler: Mara (Severe)


Mara was introduced as the main Titan Lord antagonist in Risen 2. She could transform between a female appearance or a big Kraken monster for bringing down ships. Steelbeard was killed by her in Risen 2.

Risen 2 ends with the nameless hero killing Mara, but she appears as a dream ghost in Risen 3.

See also a section later with other Titan Lords, including her appearance as the Kraken.

Spoiler: Mendoza (Severe)


Inquisitor Mendoza was introduced in the first Risen as sort of a quest giver then turning antagonist. He was killed by our hero right before fighting a Titan Lord end boss.

He returns as a ghost in Risen 3 in a dream sequence but also becomes available as a companion, although only for evil players. He leaves if you’re too goody two-shoes.

Spoiler: Merchant Trading (Mild)

Merchant Trading

The common RPG buy and sell interface was shown as window pieces in Risen. In Risen 2 and 3, it all takes place in a segregated screen.

Spoiler: Morgan (Moderate)


I’m actually not sure if this is supposed to be the same Morgan in both Risen 2 and 3 – but if it is, then it’s another example of how radically they changed the model in the next game.

Spoiler: Natives (Mild)


The natives were introduced in Risen 2 along with the pirate theme and are mostly quest givers. In Risen 2 they are also a faction you can join if you want to get better at voodoo magic.

See page 3 for O to W.

2 comments on “Comparing the Three Risen Games

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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