Risen - Available again

HiddenX

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PC Gamer reports that Risen will be available on Steam Deck, PS4, Switch and XBox on January 24:

After 14 years, Risen is back - I decided to find out why

The re-release adds Steam Deck and gamepad support--and it's surprisingly revealing about how THQ Nordic sees its older games.

Risen comes out next week, on January 24. It's a rough-around-the-edges and unforgiving, yet deeply immersive and interesting RPG, that also happens to have already come out 14 years ago.

[...]

So why re-release it pretty much unchanged in 2023? Obviously, on some level publisher THQ Nordic is hoping to make a bit of money off some new sales--I'm not completely naïve--but it hardly seems like an obvious cash grab. Was there a social media campaign by fans? Or a spike in interest kicked off by an influencer? Is it laying the groundwork for a sequel? I felt like there had to be a bigger reason behind this seemingly innocuous release.

Not exactly a high-stakes mystery, but I thought it couldn't hurt to investigate. After formulating a more diplomatic version of the question "Why are you doing this?", I sent an email off to a THQ Nordic spokesperson. The answer was a pleasant surprise.

"[For] many years, THQ Nordic [has been] following the so-called "Asset Care" strategy. We're often porting older games to new platforms or [e.g.] bringing a patch to the then 17-years old Desperados in 2018 to make it run properly with Win10.

"We think it's important to care for older IPs, especially when they still have an enthusiastic fanbase. The first Risen was a great RPG following the design path taken by the Gothic series, and deserves another shot, especially since its console version back in 2009 was a very bad port. This new version will make Risen for the first time perfectly playable on all popular console systems."

[...]
Thanks Henriquejr!

More information.
 
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LaHolt

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So confirmed it's a feeler for interest.

But releasing with no content change, not even up-ressing textures is an interesting choice.
 
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JDR13

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I never knew it was gone?

Piranha Bytes isn't going back to that series though. I wonder if they're possibly going to let someone else make a sequel.
 
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Corwin

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Yeah, they'll call it Risen 2 and Risen 3!! :p :)
 
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Irien

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I have to say, I'm pleased to hear this. The original was an excellent game, but the console (xbox 360) version was, erm, extemely crude. I actually played it and finished it on xbox (for... reasons) and had a lot of fun with it, but the game was a really crude port - visuals were wildly cut back, and frame rates chugged.

I was always disappointed that the PC version never incorporated some of the few good bits of the xbox version (controller support, mostly), so it is great to hear that a "definitive" version is in the works. Just really hope they don't mess it up. I remember playing PC version much later, and the visuals held up surprisingly well.

Now, just bring on yet another revision of Divinity 2 Ego Draconis (or Dragon Knight Saga) with controller support (again, the only reason to play the xbox port), and I'll be a happy bunny!
 
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bkrueger

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I like this move and hope that some people, who never found the opportunity to try this, will do this now! I replayed it about one or two years ago (on PC) and found that it has aged very well. Starting after a shipwreck with a stick found at the beach immediately brought up old memories. It is a typical Piranha Bytes moment. :smitten:

You can feel Nordic's love for games, when they do things like this.
 
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Drithius

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I had a moment like this back around 2008. Arx Fatalis was basically a bargain bin title by that point but, still, I sent an email asking for technical support with newer DirectX issues. To my surprise, I got a very helpful answer in reply. I'm not sure if it was something as interesting as Ralph Colantonio himself acting as caretaker for his baby, but it left a lasting impression on me.

Putting forth the extra time to try and improve things for their own sake is increasingly a rarity. That's not to be cynical, but it is rather a symptom of a faster pace in all things. And too little time. Kudos to Piranha Bytes.
 
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bjon045

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The last PB game that had some "magic" for me - although it overstayed it's welcome towards the end and had an abysmal final "boss" battle.

Since then PB has been obsessed with bigger is better. More islands, more land to explore (mostly empty), more loot (cups, forks and knives), and more random enemies.
 
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Couchpotato

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milk-milk-meme.gif


This should have been THQ Nordic, or just Nordic, or whatever their called slogan. :LOL:
 
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txa1265

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I tried to play Risen on Steam Deck and while it technically 'works', it is enough of a joyless experience that I quickly gave up. So I will be more than happy to even pay a few $ to play this again (100% of my 2022 PC gaming was Steam Deck).
 
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Couchpotato

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So taking bets the next two get some type of enhanced edition or re-release also. On the plus side at least we get new mediocre sequels to forgotten IP's from this studio.
 
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JDR13

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I highly doubt we'll see any kind of enhanced edition. It just doesn't seem like PB's style.
 
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bjon045

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I highly doubt we'll see any kind of enhanced edition. It just doesn't seem like PB's style.
Have to agree I would bet on it as well. They also have only ever done one "proper" expansion i.e. Night of the Raven. Ever since then support has been limited to a couple of patches and then never touched again! It does seem quite unlikely that suddenly they would change tack start doing multiple expansions / enhancing existing games / making directors cut's / whatever you want to call it.

While I don't really like that approach it does make a lot of sense for a business. The simple fact is expansions and DLC sell significantly less copies than a main line game. They often only make sense when you can make them cheaply or the game sells millions of copies.
 
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duerer

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I tried to play Risen on Steam Deck and while it technically 'works', it is enough of a joyless experience that I quickly gave up. So I will be more than happy to even pay a few $ to play this again (100% of my 2022 PC gaming was Steam Deck).
Another 'Decker here, howdy pardner!
I'd suggest trying out Gothic 1/2 then with some custom gamepad setting -- IMHO it is much better than Risen. I think the secret is the UI and the control:
Gothic's very utilitarian UI suits the Deck better, while Gothic's original clunky KB control works surprisingly well on a gamepad.
(yep, both Gothics DO work on the Steam Deck, but you have to tinker with Wine to get the cutscenes running)
 
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KaosWarMonk

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2.9Gb patch for Risen has been released on Steam.
 
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JDR13

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To celebrate the launch of Risen on modern consoles (PS4, Xbox One and Switch) we also gave this SKU here an update.
The game now fully support DirectInput compatible gamepads (either use the launch option to force it or set Controller Mode in the games option menu). We also updated the languages it supports (Polish and Russian are fully integrated) and added Steam Achievements and Rich Presence via Steam and Discord.
Along the way we did a few gameplay & technical (related to audio and physics) bugfixes, made it use 64bit and also added options like changing the FOV.
Savegames are also compatible with the old SKU and we also added Steam Cloud.
(y)
 
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txa1265

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Another 'Decker here, howdy pardner!
I'd suggest trying out Gothic 1/2 then with some custom gamepad setting -- IMHO it is much better than Risen. I think the secret is the UI and the control:
Gothic's very utilitarian UI suits the Deck better, while Gothic's original clunky KB control works surprisingly well on a gamepad.
(yep, both Gothics DO work on the Steam Deck, but you have to tinker with Wine to get the cutscenes running)

Thanks for that - G2 is my fave, I just figured I'd start with Risen (after Elex 2) and work backwards, but wasn't happy with that so abandoned it ... sounds like I need to try Gothic 2!
 
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