As far as I remember, there weren’t any ships in the first Risen as it all took place in one landmass. Risen 2 and 3 introduced the pirate theme and the islands, and thus also a ship to commandeer.
Spoiler: Palm Trees (Mild)
Spoiler: Patty (Moderate)
Patty is one of the important characters of the series and can be found in all three games. She appears behind a counter in Risen and later helps the hero find treasure chests. In both Risen 2 and 3 she’s part of the ship crew and thus a companion.
She’s also Captain Steelbeard’s daughter, and in Risen 3 she’s a sister to the new nameless hero.
Her model changes from game to game, and she looks quite ludicrous in the third one. 🙄
Spoiler: Quest Journal (Moderate)
All three games had the option of showing quest markers on a map, but in the third game a minimap was also added that could show a red arrow pointing towards the quest objective.
Spoiler: Reading a Book (Mild)
Reading a Book
In all three games you can read specific interactive books. In the first Risen, reading bookstands sometimes raise wisdom. In Risen 2 and 3, a book can give hints to the whereabouts of a hidden treasure chest.
Spoiler: Region Map (Moderate)
All games in the Risen series can show both local region maps as well as a world map or sea chart. Region maps usually have to be fetched somewhere first before you can view them.
Risen 3 introduced zooming, but in my opinion this was usually just annoying since the region map was always zoomed in way too much upon opening the map screen.
See also the section with world maps / sea charts later.
Spoiler: Sebastiano (Moderate)
Commandant Sebastiano appears in Risen 2 and 3 and later turns out to be quite a nuisance, often working against the interest of your crew. In Risen 3 he even ends up being killed in a sea battle.
The model of Sebastiano appears to be the same in both games.
Spoiler: Ships (Mild)
Ships weren’t exactly a prominent part of the first Risen since it all took place on the same landmass, but there was at least one anchored in the harbour town. Risen 2 and 3 changed the focus to a pirate theme, and in both of these you can commandeer your own ship.
The screenshots for Risen 3 also shows the small sloop that belongs to Bones.
Spoiler: Skeleton (Mild)
Strange, I only have screenshots of skeletons from the first and third Risen games here. There were no skeletons in Risen 2? I honestly can’t remember! Anyway, apart from skeleton enemies in Risen you could also summon a clothed skeleton always named Fred.
Spoiler: Suspension Bridge (Mild)
The level designers loved suspension bridges in all three Risen games. Risen 3 even had a camp of natives with a more than half a dozen of them strung out between tall cliffs.
See also the section with wooden bridges later.
Spoiler: Tao (Severe)
Tao is sort of the gatekeeper in Underworld where you go when you die in the Risen universe. He appears the first time towards the end of Risen 2. In Risen 3, he only appears in a short dream sequence.
It appears to be another model that wasn’t changed for Risen 3.
Spoiler: Titan Lords (Severe)
This shows most of the Titan Lord bosses which is obviously the biggest spoiler of them all.
The first Risen ends with a boss fight against a stomping Titan Lord. This boss fight is controversial because of the jumping and avoiding needed. It feels like something that belongs in third person platform games.
In Risen 2, there’s the Earth Titan (sort of a big stone golem) summoned by Captain Crow. Towards the end of the game you also get to fight the big Kraken while sailing towards the final island (it’s actually Mara).
For Mara herself, see her section earlier in this blog post.
An Ore Titan appears in the reactor arena in Risen 3 which has to be tied up with glowing shackles. And at the end of this game, you have to fight a Titan of Death that tries to suck the life energy out of you.
Spoiler: Title Screen (Mild)
Spoiler: Training (Moderate)
You train in the same way in all three games. Some NPC can offer certain specialized kinds of training, and you simply ask them to increase a skill by selecting one of the relevant dialog options for a cost.
The NPC then teaches you the skill by explaining what to do in a few sentences.
Spoiler: Treasure Chest (Moderate)
Although the first Risen had treasure chests to be found, the idea of learning the location of a treasure chest and spotting a red cross “painted on the ground” was first introduced in Risen 2.
A red cross on the ground allows for the hero to dig up a treasure chest.
Spoiler: Underworld (Mild)
In Risen 2 it was established that you enter the Underworld whenever you die. It has a yellow tint in Risen 2 and then a blue tint instead in Risen 3, although the latter could be explained by it occurring in a dream.
Spoiler: Ursegor (Severe)
Ursegor is a friendly Titan Lord, a quest giver with some advice towards the end of the first Risen. He also returns in Risen 3 as a ghost in a dream sequence.
The new model in Risen 3 is bigger and more intimidating.
Spoiler: Venturo (Moderate)
Venturo is a young, red-haired soldier of the Inquisition. He first appears in Risen 2 as an NPC that later joins your crew as a companion. His choice of weapon is his trusty musket.
He returns on Fog Island in Risen 3, but only as a quest giver. His model also seems to be the same.
Spoiler: Walking in Water (Mild)
Walking in Water
Actual swimming was first introduced in Risen 3, so in Risen and Risen 2 that’s as deep as you can go.
Spoiler: Wooden Bridge (Mild)
A selection of wooden bridges from all three games. I admit that some of them are perhaps borderline suspension bridges, which can be found in another section in this blog post.
Spoiler: World Map / Sea Chart (Moderate)
World Map / Sea Chart
All games in the Risen series can show both local region maps as well as a world map or sea chart. Unlike region maps, the world map / sea chart is always available from the get go.
In the first Risen, you start with a crude and incomplete world map. Later, someone in the harbour town draws a real world map for a cost.
Risen 2 and 3 shows a sea chart with an overview of islands and peninsulas, however, at least one island is usually hidden until later in the story.
See also the section with region maps earlier.
That’s it. I must say this project became much more of a Wiki than I had anticipated.
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.