The company "Friv5Online Games Studio" not so long ago arranged a private screening of its projects. The presentation lasted for several hours, and the main event of the evening was the demonstration of one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year - Risen. We were there, we didn't drink anything, we played the project, and that's what we want to tell you.
If you haven't been following the gaming industry closely, here's a quick reminder that the first two installments of the Gothic series were great. We love them, replay them, and then remember them for a long, long time. The third part turned out to be a buggy prodigal, where monsters of the first level - boars - ruled the world. After such a severe failure, JoWooD Productions clashed in a holy battle with Desura Online Games, and as a result of the quarrel, the developer was left without rights to the series.
The founders of the world were upset, said that they were not to blame for all the troubles, but evil producers, bureaucrats and the world's evil, and that if they were given a chance, they would show everyone who knows how to do great role-playing. But the publisher had already transferred the rights and was preparing to release the main rubbish of the year -Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods. Then the Desura Online Games decided that they would make the real "Gothic" anyway, but it will now be called Risen.
The Gothic series struck not with battles, not with an interesting role-playing system, and not even with the beauty of the world. The plot and how we moved along it came to the fore. Remember how you had to look for the thieves guild in the second part? Everyone complains about her, promises a good reward for the capture, tells that this crook has managed to steal. We unravel history, find new facts, and then the lair itself. Moreover, the quest is completely secondary, but it allows us to feel the world so strongly that in many Friv games the storyline does not convey such emotions.
Every piece of the world of "Gothic" is significant. If blood is seen somewhere, then sooner or later we will find out why it is here. If there is a cave in the mountains, then the goblins are sitting there for a reason, the plot will certainly lead us to them. Let it not be the main quest and not even the one that promises a big reward. But for some reason we will definitely find ourselves here. This is a fundamental difference from The Elder Scrolls , where the territories are huge, but most of them are needed only for travel...
To understand "Gothic", you need to go through it at least a quarter. Before that, it is a closed book. And at the presentation, we are swiftly led to different locations, they quickly talk about innovations, about the plot, the hero ... During this time, it will be clear whether Risen willlooks like an old progenitor - very difficult. However, even thirty minutes of the show had already inspired hope. There was a breath of something familiar, and I remembered the past...
For the fourth time from the beginning... It was very easy to transfer the hero from "Gothic" to Risen without copyright problems. What was the name of our character in past Friv games? But in no way, the great Nameless. Everyone has names, but he doesn't. The plot, by the way, also starts out pretty standard. There was a catastrophe (the ship sank), we barely survived, we are in no one knows where, and no one knows what awaits us.
The first minutes of the game are introductory, training. True, this time we will not be told about the world by some old-great-magician, but by a pretty girl who handed the hero a big club. The developers who demonstrated the project said that we will not be distracted by admiring the beach, but will immediately run to fight. At the sea, they say, we'll take a look later.
The hero peacefully walked forward, I was trying to make out the area, and then suddenly a new supermonster attacked us - a porcupine. The same trouble happened as with the boars. The beast beat us with his nose so briskly that the character simply did not even have time to swear at us. He just bounced to the side and said something like "oh!" The demiurges fussed and quickly punished the worthless animal with a blow from the console. After that, they offered to boot from a different location and talk about the plot.
The nameless one instantly found himself in a rebel camp near a huge cave. “We have several sides to the conflict again,” says one of the developers. Moreover, as far as I understand, they will partly resemble those who lived in the second "Gothic". So the local bandits are very much reminiscent of Onar's mercenaries, even the armor models are almost the same.
So, what did happen, and what is the main character ready to plunge into again? Once upon a time, mysterious ruins began to appear on the island. And not two or three things, but a lot at once and everywhere. This, of course, attracted the attention of everyone: the king, bandits, priests, snakes, crocodiles and all kinds of evil in the area. But if the beast, in general, quickly ceased to be interested in crypts that had come from nowhere, then people decided that this was a very important thing, and they needed to control it.
The Inquisition sailed to the island on behalf of the king and is now seeking to understand the nature of the origin of these mysterious objects. She forbids anyone to approach them and severely punishes anyone who tries to stop her.
The rebels spat on all the prohibitions of the gloomy old men and are happy to plunder the ruins, kill inquisitors, drink and row. These two factions are constantly attacking each other and really want to use the hero for their own purposes. As if they know in advance that it is he, one of a thousand people on the island, who is capable of deciding the fate of the world.
The third side resembles neutrals - they are magicians. The developers said that they are a surprise and a secret, so they will not talk about them. However, it became clear that if we nevertheless join the wizards, then neither the rebels, nor the emissaries of the king would no longer want to be friends with us. Well, we are waiting for the release, it is difficult to guess here (by the way, the release date was announced - October 2).
After introducing us to the story, the men from Desura Online Games went back to the menu and loaded the next prepared save. A second later, the Nameless One stood in paladin armor with a clear desire to chop off heads with his great sword.
Combat has changed a lot since the second and third parts of "Gothic". There are no more dull jabs at the enemy and blunt swotting on the same key. The developers said that now the battles will be much more fun, especially since we will spend most of the game time behind them.
Since we were not allowed to control the character, it is difficult to understand how much more interesting it has become to swing the sword. But we can definitely say that the fight has become more beautiful. The hero sometimes gets up to pirouettes with a sword no worse than the witcher Geralt.
Magic has changed even more. Now it is really diverse and interesting. So in our presence, the demiurges froze one of the opponents, then they summoned a skeleton and ran with him to deal with the immobilized enemy.
In the next save, Nameless was already throwing fireballs. The developers were so keen on the process of extermination of living creatures that they did not really explain to us whether different schools of magic would overlap each other. It seems that experience points are spent on the development of a certain line of spells, and if we want to get absolutely all the skills, we can either want to continue or cheat. Otherwise, you will have to choose.
However, the magic does not end on the cold-fire chain. There is summoning magic, like, something of electricity, telekinesis, and also a curious levitation spell. The hero sits down in the lotus position, begins to meditate and slowly lifts himself off the ground. We were secretly told that some places can only be reached by soaring. So, gentlemen, warriors, you will not see the game in full. Although, maybe the magician will not be able to find himself somewhere? In general, the situation for "Gothic" is classic. It's impossible to go through everything at once.
The transformations into animals, loved by many, also remained. We were shown how the hero runs in the form of a small mouse. In this form, we were not touched by wild animals, and we easily ran into some kind of hole. It's just not entirely clear why.
By the way, we are promised an excellent simulation of the life of animals. They say they hunt at night, sleep during the day. If someone is busy tearing apart prey, then he may not notice the hero. But this is all such an old song that I don't even want to argue somehow. Well, it will be, well, well. Not for this, not at all for this, we love "Gothic".
But when we finally got to the port town, I almost shed a tear. Everything is the same as it was before. The characters perform exactly the same actions as in the second part ... Someone sharpens a sword, someone sits on a bench and smokes, all citizens are ready to talk to us, and I even heard almost my native German language (it happened that I went through "Gothic" with the original voice acting). The unnamed man got into a fight, he was beaten and robbed, but not finished. Everything is so familiar, everything is so different...
And in that second it became clear that Desura Online Games could not make a bad project. Gothic 3 failed, yes, but that's why the developers will succeed this time. The people who gave us such powerful RPGs are not able to slide down to the level of hack-work and gray crafts. They will amaze us and take us by the soul. Rest assured it will happen. I don't doubt for a second. They must do it. Obliged.