The game sees the player assume the role of Jake Mundrick, a mid 30's grocery store manager with a wife and daughter. As a deadly infection hits, turning everyone into raging cannibals, Jake must venture across the fallen city in an attempt to find his family.
The game features 'ultra-realistic combat'. Jake takes only 3-5 shots to kill on regular difficulty, and enemies take 1-2 shots to kill. Each combat scenario can be approached headstrong, stealthy, or avoided according to the developer. There are also driving sections. The game is an ultra-realistic survival horror game. (Similar to a combination of The Last Of US and Outlast). During the combat segments, players are often given the choice of either making stealth kills, going guns blazing, or avoiding it all together. Ammo is, in most cases, extremely rare. Jake only has access to 5 guns, plus 2 melee weapons. (A pistol, a revolver, a pump-action shotgun, an assault rifle, and an SMG).
The combat is tense, and once enemies become aware, they pursue Jake relentlessly. There are three separate driving sections, two of which Jake shoots while Ryan drives, and one of which Jake drives. This segment is limited, and 70% scripted as far as what Jake can do and how he drives. The game displays a wide linear gameplay style, allowing gamers to explore and find one of the 25 collectible science documents detailing the virus, and one of the 4 documents Thompson records about his sick torture segments.
The game is cutscene heavy, with the ending cutscene running 17 minutes alone. The game has an interesting contrast of visuals, as the player is able to watch the city fall apart before them, quite literally. The excusive mission to each platform allows the player to assume the role of Ryan for a 1 1/2 hour mission. The Playstation level features Ryan progressing through a graveyard, while the Xbox level sees Ryan as the initial outbreak hits, at sea on a boat and progressing through docks.
The city of Los Angeles is hit by a reckoning virus that sweeps the city in a matter of hours. Most are infected, and anyone infected turns in an hour flat.
Jake Mundrick's (Ethan Hawke) mundane life as a grocery store manager gets thrown upside down as the virus hits. Shocked at what he's required to do to survive, he makes his first kill, and is devastated and grief-stricken, fending off the undead that attack his store the best he can with other occupants of the store.
After the undead get inside, Jake retreats and leaves his coworkers to die, securing safety for himself by taking off in one of the delivery trucks. In shock, he rushes home, only to find his wife and daughter missing.
Jake's neighbor, Ryan (Ryan Reynolds), armed to the teeth and not hesitant to kill any undead, meets with Jake and discusses his survival strategy. He informs Jake that his family is safe, and that he sent them to a large military outpost at the edge of the city. Claiming he returned for any survivors, Jake agrees to go with him.
Ryan gives Jake a crash-course on weapon usage, and despite Jake's initial disdain for killing the undead, several near-death encounters with them force him to accept the reality of the situation, and do what needs to be done.
As they force their way to the edge of the city, Ryan's cruel behavior shocks Jake. Ryan doesn't hesitate to mow down innocents along with the undead, claiming that this type of scenario brings out the worst in people, and they can't be trusted.
The two get captured by a trap set by a group of looters, and are tied and tortured. Jake has his two little fingers cut off by the main looter, Thompson, in a sick act of amusement. Thompson then takes out one of Ryan's eyes, but a large blast collapses the building they're in.
Emerging from the rubble, severely wounded, Jake recovers a knife, and stumbles through the destroyed building. He avoids military soldiers, who gun down Thompson and all of the looters. Jake initially sets out to find Ryan, but after seeing how severe the military is handling everything, decides to try and escape the city.
Fending off the zombies to the best he can, Jake resorts to killing a lone military soldier to recover a weapon. He manages to get a vehicle, and speeds off towards a large bridge which separates the city from an outside city.
Struggling to stay conscious, Jake crashes the vehicle as a band of military soldiers begins firing at him. Jake's recovered, and taken alive by the soldiers.
Waking up a few hours later, he finds himself in a concentration camp-type containment area. He manages to find Ryan's family, and immediately asks about his own. Ryan's wife, through tears, informs Jake that his family was gunned down in an act of authority. Jake sobs, and tells Ryan's wife that Ryan was killed as well.
After weeks in the camp, a harsh-looking Jake, sporting a beard and long, greasy hair, attempts his escape that he's been planning since his arrival. He manages to escape from the fence during a meal segment, and murders several military soldiers from a stealth-based approach. He retrieves the keys, and unlocks the main door, letting everyone run wild.
A head sergeant makes his way towards Jake. Jake shoots him, but the sergeant informs Jake that he's set free all the infected, and that they only contained the infected populous. Jake dismisses the sergeant's claim, before shooting him. As the building they were kept in is set ablaze behind him, he walks to Ryan's family, and embraces them. He asks what they do next, and Jake simply responds that they survive.
The Risen: DownfallEdit
The web comic "The Risen: Downfall" shows a family of four as the virus hits, and a father, John, struggles to put down his infected, and ultimately turned, son, Connor. In the end, he kills his son, along with the rest of his family, and finally himself in his grief.
The game was revealed in Turn 48. A press release was issued from Empire Of Gold. The game garnered cautious hype before its release.
The Risen has received critical acclaim, with reviews unanimously praising the combat and characters. Some light critcism has been drawn at the story, but overall, the game is considered a major success. It currently holds a 93/100 on Metacrtic, and an average of 4.3/5 on Amazon Reviews.
"The Risen is Empire Of Gold's first venture back into gaming since their largely controversial Dead Space: Alteration. In fact, it was admitted on Twitter by an art associate that a lot of the ideas being spin for DLC for Alteration, along with its inevitable sequel, were transformed into things we see in The Risen. So what are we actually getting? It's a surprisingly good horror game with focus on survival and *very* strict combat. Realism is the goal here, and it makes for some tense showdowns with both zombies and human opposition in looters and the military. The story seems to be your standard tale of a man making his first kill and transforming into a stone-cold survivor, but thanks to some strong voice work from Ethan Hawke and Ryan Reynolds, the characters can exist outside of the stereotypical way they were written. There's also a very uncomfortable first-person torture scene you're forced to sit through where your character loses some pieces and the screams are spot on. The voice work is incredible. The gameplay itself borders on repetitive, but there's enough little puzzles and driving segments to break things up, and the zombies and humans have to be approached very differently. When you're fighting both, it's chaotic. The Risen lacks a multiplayer mode, but what we have is a great single player experience that tells an intriguing, if 'safe' (by horror standards) story. The combat and gameplay is fluid and focuses on ultra-realism, so it's not for everyone. The graphics could be better, but the environments are diverse and truly do make sure you see a city fall apart in the 9-hour campaign. To top it off, Xbox and Playstation each get an exclusive mission. These are fun little 2-hour adventures, though the Xbox one 'Dead At Sea' is a lot more fun. Conversely, the Playstation one 'Graveyard' reveals more about how the virus came to be. Overall, The Risen is a good game, but Empire Of Gold stepped it up and transformed a good game into a great game with hard work, dedicated actors, and an unforgiving combat system. 9/10"
"Empire Of Gold is a name that draws interesting comparisons. Some would go back to Rev, which was a great racing game. Or, despite the controvery, Dead Space: Alteration which was surprisingly good given the material it had to live up to. The Risen is a title that Empire Of Gold needed to deliver on, and it did in nearly every regard. The combat is fluid and enjoyable, if frustratingly difficult at times. You actually care about the characters and want to see them succeed. There is a scene done from a first-person perspective that's genuinely hard to watch. The game is so enjoyable that any flaws or stereotypical storytelling is easily overlooked. This game is amazing, and I recommend you pick it up immediately." 9.5/10
"The Risen is a survival horror game from Empire Of Gold. EOG's survival horror roots drop back to Lost Sanity and Dead Space: Alteration. Controversial games in different regards, but I'm proud to say The Risen shows the maturity of a growing developer. While it stumbles on the story front, and falls prey to stereotypical horror plot devices, they're overlooked with strong gameplay and likable protagonists. The weapons, combat, stealth, it all blends seamlessly together to create a linear game with a lot of choice. You can fight, pick the enemies off with stealth, or avoid combat all together. The choice is yours. Driving missions and long, strong cutscenes break apart the gameplay and create a fun, 'you never know what's next' atmosphere. The ending is solid, and if EOG turns this into a series, it may just be the next best horror game series in a long time. For the meantime, enjoy. This is definitely a buy." 8.7/10