Looking out over the vast and metaphorical landscape of 2014, vast craters have scarred the Earth. These all-consuming acres of destruction represent the RPGs that will be unleashed upon our spare time. Whether it's Pillars of Eternity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Wasteland 2 or The Witcher 3, there are long, winding and morally flexible roads expanding out in every direction. Before you try to unravel this sprawling adventure, pay heed to another RPG that's soon to emerge from the depths of PC development. Piranha Bytes have officially unveiled Risen 3: Titan Lords.
A press release sent out by the developers attempts to summarise the plot. It is, as far as I can tell, mostly gibberish. Here, see if you can do any better than I did:
"The world of Risen 3 is abandoned by all gods and suffers from the Titan Wars when a new threat rises from the soil. A young warrior is attacked from the shadows and deprived of his soul. He sets off to reclaim what is lost amidst the darkness that is spreading throughout the world. The banned Mages could be powerful allies on his quest. To get their help, he needs to find the Mage sanctuary on Taranis, also known as the Island of Thunder. Protected by the Guardians, the Mages search the mines of Taranis for crystals loaded with magic energy. Will the player join the Guardians to get in contact with the Mages? Or will he choose one of the other guilds in Risen 3 to reach his goals?"
It's a fantasy RPG, then. That much is painfully apparent. It's also one with a heavy focus on exploration. Piranha Bytes invoke both earlier Risen games, and their previous series, Gothic, as affirmation of their commitment to player freedom in both Risen 3's story and world.
As always when an RPG is announced, I'm defaulting to a state of cautious optimism. As Rich's review pointed out at the time, Risen 2 was an extremely clunky, but still somewhat compelling pirate themed RPG. Hopefully Piranha Bytes can finally nail the balance of wild and unpredictable story, and competent and stable game code.
Risen 3: Titan Lords is due out this August for PC, as well as Xbox 360 and PS3. More screenshots below.