Ryzen review: The Best CPU for Gaming in 2022 — Top Gaming CPUs for the Money

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Review: The Value iGPU Gaming King

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

The Ryzen 5 5600G steals the show with a stellar price-to-performance ratio that provides up to 96% of the iGPU gaming performance of its more expensive counterpart, but for 30% less cash.

  • +

    Stellar price-to-performance ratio

  • +

    Faster Zen 3 CPU cores

  • +

    Passable 1080p, solid 720p

  • +

    Excellent power consumption and efficiency

  • +

    Great overclocking headroom

  • +

    Bundled cooler

  • +

    Compatible with some AM4 motherboards

Why you can trust Tom’s Hardware
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Today’s best AMD Ryzen 5 5600G deals


$124. 07


Reduced Price




Reduced Price



Show More Deals

The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes to market as part of AMD’s first salvo of 7nm ‘Cezanne’ APUs for desktop PCs that AMD plans to use to plug big price gaps in its Ryzen 5000 lineup that dominates our Best CPUs for Gaming list and CPU Benchmark hierarchy. We’ve already taken the more expensive eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G for a spin, and today we’re giving the $259 Ryzen 5 5600G the same treatment. When it comes to gaming on integrated graphics, the Ryzen 5 5600G takes the shine off its more expensive Ryzen 7 5700G counterpart by serving up ~96% of its performance but for 30% less cash, making it the CPU to get if you’re looking to weather the GPU shortage with a potent APU for gaming.

The Cezanne APUs come with Zen 3 execution cores paired with the Radeon Vega graphics engine for iGPU-powered gaming rigs, and their arrival is long overdue. Cezanne will be the first new AMD APUs available at retail since the quad-core Zen+ «Picasso» models came to market in 2019. AMD actually augmented that lineup with the more modern eight-core Zen 2-powered Ryzen Pro «Renoir» series in 2020, but limited those chips to OEM systems only. Now, three chip generations after it launched its last round of APUs (Zen 2, XT, Zen 3), AMD is finally replacing its 12nm quad-core Zen+ APUs.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series 65W Cezanne APUs
CPU Arch. Price Cores/ Threads Base/ Boost Freq. GPU Cores GPU Freq. (MHz) TDP L3 (MB)
Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 $359 8 / 16 3. 8 / 4.6 RX Vega 8 2000 65W 16
Ryzen 5 5600G Zen 3 $259 6 / 12 3.9 / 4.4 RX Vega 7 1900 65W 16
Ryzen 3 5300G Zen 3 N/A 4 / 8 4.0 / 4.2 RX Vega 6 1700 65W 8

Cezanne comes to market during the worst graphics card shortage in history. As such, a potent yet affordable APU could be a godsend for enthusiasts looking for a stopgap chip for basic gaming while they wait for discrete GPU pricing to normalize. The new Ryzen 5000G models also pack much more performance than their prior-prior-gen brethren, so even after the shortage recedes, they’ll still be a big step forward for budget gaming, small form factor, and HTPC rigs.

Instead of its traditional separation of the CPU and APU lines, AMD drops the 5000G models right into the Ryzen 5000 stack — AMD says they fill the role of the standard «non-X» models that traditionally offer more attractive price points at a given core count by sacrificing peak clock speed for a lower TDP.

If the numbers hold out in our performance testing, the 5600G could also address AMD’s premium pricing with its Zen 3 chips: AMD’s shift from being the budget brand to the market leader resulted in a $299 cost of entry into the Ryzen 5000 family. The $259 six-core Ryzen 5 5600G reduces that steep price of entry and also comes with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler, sweetening the deal. AMD is still holding back some of its lower-priced 5000G models, though, so our list of the best cheap CPUs probably won’t change for some time.

The GPU shortage appears to be improving ever so slowly, thanks in part to the collapse of mining profitability and China shutting down mining firms, but we expect it to persist to some extent over the next several months. If the 5600G slots in well under its X-equipped counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5600X, it could be a tough chip to beat. However, that isn’t an easy task given the tradeoffs associated with Cezanne’s monolithic die design, which differs significantly from the chiplet-based Ryzen 5000 chips. 

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600G at Amazon for $124.07

The Ryzen 5000G family spans from four to eight cores and has the Zen 3 architecture that provides a 19% IPC uplift over the Zen 2 architecture used in the previous-gen Ryzen 4000G models. AMD is only bringing the eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G and six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G to retail, at least for now. In addition, AMD currently hasn’t announced when it will bring the four-core eight-thread Ryzen 3 5300G or the 35W GE-Series models to retail, meaning we won’t see any significant change to our list of the Best Cheap CPUs any time soon.  

Swipe to scroll horizontally

AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series 65W Cezanne APUs
CPU Arch. Price Cores/ Threads Base/ Boost Freq. TDP L3 (MB) GPU Cores GPU Freq. (MHz)
Ryzen 7 5800X Zen 3 $449 8 / 16 3.8 / 4.7 GHz 105W 32 (1×32) N/A N/A
Core i7-11700K (KF) Rocket Lake $374 — $349 8 / 16 3.6 / 5.0 125W 16 UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU 1300
Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 $359 8 / 16 3. 8 / 4.6 65W 16 RX Vega 8 2000
Ryzen 7 4750G Zen 2 ~$310 8 / 16 3.6 / 4.4 65W 8 RX Vega 8 2100
Ryzen 5 5600X Zen 3 $299 6 / 12 3.7 / 4.6 GHz 65W 32 (1×32) N/A N/A
Core i5-11600K (KF) Rocket Lake $262 (K) — $237(KF) 6 / 12 3.9 / 4.9 125W 12 UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU 1300
Ryzen 5 5600G Zen 3 $259 6 / 12 3. 9 / 4.4 65W 16 RX Vega 7 1900
Ryzen 5 3600 Zen 2 $200 6 / 12 3.6 / 4.2 65W 32 N/A N/a
Core i5-11400 (F) Rocket Lake $182 — $157 6 / 12 2.6 / 4.2 65W 12 UHD Graphics 750 Xe 24EU 1300
Ryzen 3 5300G Zen 3 N/A 4 / 8 4.0 / 4.2 65W 8 RX Vega 6 1700
Ryzen 5 3400G Zen+ $149 4 / 8 3. 7 / 4.2 65W 4 RX Vega 11 1400

The $259 Ryzen 5 5600G lowers the price of entry to the Ryzen 5000 family by $40, plugging the $100 gap between the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X and, well, AMD’s entire sub-$299 product stack. For now, the previous-gen $200 Ryzen 5 3600 represents the next step down AMD’s product stack.

Based on suggested pricing, the 5600G grapples with the Core i5-11600K, meaning AMD has yet to address the Intel Core i5-11400, which is the current value budget gaming champ if you plan on using a discrete GPU. The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes with a 3.7 GHz base and a 4.4 GHz boost clock, 16MB of L3 cache, and seven Radeon RX Vega CUs that operate at 1.9 GHz. The chip has a configurable TDP (cTDP) that stretches from 45W to 65W, though most desktop PCs will operate at the latter threshold.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

As with all Zen 3 processors, the Ryzen 5000G chips step up from DDR4-2933 to DDR4-3200 interface, which will help boost gaming performance with the integrated GPU. Surprisingly, the majority of the Ryzen 5000G ‘Cezanne’ SoC comes from the Ryzen 4000 ‘Renoir’ SoC. To improve time to market, AMD essentially swapped in new Zen 3 cores, leaving the I/O, 7nm Radeon RX Vega integrated graphics engine, and SoC design intact. As such, the 5600G has 24 lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity compared to 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0 found on the Ryzen 5000 models for the desktop PC. AMD also chose to reuse the 7nm Vega graphics engine instead of incorporating newer RDNA variants.

Compared to the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X, you gain the Radeon RX Vega graphics engine but sacrifice 200 MHz of peak CPU boost clock and half the L3 cache. The 5600G does have a 200 MHz higher base clock, though. Stepping down $100 from the $359 eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G requires trading off one graphics CU and 100 MHz of GPU frequency along with 1MB of L2 cache, two CPU cores, and 200 MHz of peak CPU clock rates. The loss of GPU cores and clocks should mean about 15% less graphics performance, though it might be less of a difference than that since both GPUs are still likely limited at least in part by the shared memory bandwidth. The Cezanne desktop chips will find their way into 500-series and some 400-series motherboards, though support on the latter will vary by vendor.

We took a deeper look at the Cezanne architecture in our Ryzen 7 5700G review. Now, on to the testing.  

MORE: Best CPUs for Gaming

MORE: CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

  • 1

Current page:
Zen 3 and Vega Unite

Next Page AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Power Consumption, Overclocking and Thermals

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom’s Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 Review: Firing Back at Alder Lake

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

The Ryzen 5 5600 and Ryzen 5 5500 bring a new level of value to the Zen 3 lineup and could make a great value-centric update if you’re updating a first-gen Ryzen system, but competing Intel Alder Lake processors are a better deal for new builds.

  • +

    Competent gaming and application performance

  • +

    Solid upgrade path for Ryzen 1000 owners

  • +

    Bundled CPU Cooler

  • +


  • +

    Broad support with 300-series motherboards

Why you can trust Tom’s Hardware
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Today’s best AMD Ryzen 5 5600 deals



Deal ends Thu, Jan 5




Reduced Price


$154. 95


Reduced Price

Show More Deals

Intel’s competitive Alder Lake chips have upset AMD’s dominance with its Ryzen processors, particularly in the lower price ranges, but the new $199 six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600 and $159 Ryzen 5 5500 are designed to plug key gaps in the company’s portfolio. These new chips come as part of AMD’s broader launch of seven new Ryzen 5000 models that aim to shore up the company’s rankings in CPU benchmarks and retake its position on the Best CPUs for gaming list.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips fully eclipsed Intel’s performance lead in desktop PCs when they launched back in 2020, but the company has long neglected to launch any sub-$250 chips with the potent Zen 3 architecture. That’s kept the bar for entry unattainably high for value seekers.

AMD’s new chips are long overdue, arriving a year and a half after the first wave of Ryzen 5000 chips, but they’re badly needed. Intel’s Alder Lake launch caught AMD uncharacteristically flat-footed, wresting away AMD’s performance lead. Intel’s aggressive pricing also brought superior value in every price range while exploiting AMD’s glaring lack of any sub-$250 Zen 3 chips. 

AMD’s solution is pretty simple: The company is bringing back its non-X models, but with a twist. As a reminder, AMD’s non-X models are the lower-cost and lower-performing versions of the ‘X’ models (like the Ryzen 5 5600X), but they have historically offered nearly the same performance as their counterparts, particularly after overclocking. AMD is also putting a new spin on the practice: Some of these new models, like the Ryzen 5 5500, are repurposed APUs with a disabled integrated GPU.

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600 (AMD Ryzen 5) at Amazon for $154.95

Swipe to scroll horizontally

AMD Ryzen Spring 2022 Update
Header Cell — Column 0 Price Street/MSRP Design — Arch. E/P – Core|Thread P-Core Base/Boost (GHz) TDP / PBP / MTP L3 Cache
Ryzen 7 5800X3D $449 Zen 3 — Vermeer 8P | 16T 3.4 / 4.5 105W 96MB
Ryzen 7 5700X $299 Zen 3 — Vermeer 8P | 16T 3.4 / 4.6 65W 32MB
Ryzen 5 5600 $199 Zen 3 — Vermeer 6P|12T 3.5 / 4.4 65W 32MB
Ryzen 5 5500 $159 Zen 3 — Cezanne 6P | 12T 3. 6 / 4.2 65W 16MB
Ryzen 5 4600G $154 Zen 2 — Renoir 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.2 65W 8MB
Ryzen 5 4500 $129 Zen 2 — Renoir 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.1 65W 8MB
Ryzen 3 4100 $99 Zen 2 — Renoir 4P | 8T 3.8 / 4.0 65W 4MB

The four new non-X models are designed to respond to Intel’s commanding lead on the low end, and AMD has also slashed pricing on its existing Ryzen 5000 models. AMD is even enabling support for Ryzen 5000 chips on older 300-series motherboards, opening up a value option that’s a good fit for the new low-end Ryzen lineup. Here’s how AMD’s new mainstream contenders stack up. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally

AMD and Intel Mid-Range Specs and Pricing
Header Cell — Column 0 Price — Street/MSRP Design — Arch. E/P – Core|Thread P-Core Base/Boost (GHz) E-Core Base/Boost (GHz) TDP / PBP / MTP Memory Support L3 Cache
Ryzen 5 5600X $230 ($299) Zen 3 — Vermeer 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.6 65W DDR4-3200 32MB
Ryzen 5 5600G (APU) $220 ($259 ) Zen 3 — Cezanne 6P | 12T 3. 9 / 4.4 65W DDR4-3200 16MB
Ryzen 5 5600 $199 Zen 3 — Vermeer 6P|12T 3.5 / 4.4 65W DDR4-3200 32MB
Core i5-12400 / F $192 — $167 (F) Alder Lake 6P+0E | 6C/12T 4.4 / 2.5 65W / 117W DDR4/5-3200/4800 18MB
Ryzen 5 3600X $250 ($240) Zen 2 6P | 12T 3.8 / 4.4 95W DDR4-3200 32MB
Ryzen 5 3600 $229 ($200) Zen 2 6P | 12T 3. 6 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 32MB
Ryzen 5 5500 $159 Zen 3 — Cezanne 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 16MB
Ryzen 5 4600G (APU) $154 Zen 2 — Renoir 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 8MB
Core i3-12100 / F $122 — $97 (F) Alder Lake 4P+0E | 4C/8T 3.3 / 4.3 60W / 89W DDR4/5-3200/4800 12MB

The Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 have drastically different designs, but there are a few commonalities. Like their more full-fledged counterparts, both chips come with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler that is sufficient for stock operation. They also support up to DDR4-3200 memory. In addition, these chips are fully unlocked for overclocking the CPU cores, memory, and fabric. In contrast, Intel’s non-K models only support memory overclocking, and the company’s nonsensical decision to keep certain voltages locked restricts DDR4 overclocking headroom.

The $199 Ryzen 5 5600 is a new Vermeer model, meaning it comes with the standard chiplet-based Zen 3 architecture. This chip is the long-awaited and badly-needed ‘non-X’ version of the Ryzen 5 5600X, so it shares the same feature set, albeit with reduced clocks. The 5600 has a 3.5 GHz base and 4.4 GHz boost, so you’re only losing 200 MHz for the base and boost clock rate compared to the 5600X. This chip will grapple with Intel’s popular Core i5-12400.

For its lowest-end Zen 3 chip, the $159 Ryzen 5 5500 finds AMD employing a new tactic of repurposing its monolithic (single-chip) Cezanne silicon that it typically uses for APUs, but the company has disabled the chip’s integrated Radeon Vega graphics engine. This six-core 12-thread chip slots in to compete with Intel’s graphics-less $167 Core i5-12400F.

Aside from the disabled iGPU, the 5500 has the same design as the Ryzen 5 5600G, including support for PCIe 3.0 instead of PCIe 4.0. As a result, this chip will make a great pairing for older, lower-end AM4 motherboards (you definitely don’t want to pay for functionality you don’t need by pairing it with a PCIe 4.0-supporting motherboard).

The 5500 is very similar to the 5600G that has the same architecture, but an active iGPU — there’s only a 200 MHz difference in CPU base/boost clock rates between the two chips. Like its counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5500 also comes with 16MB of cache, half that of the chiplet-based Ryzen 5 5600 that has the same number of cores and threads. This will result in reduced performance in several workloads.

The Ryzen 5 5600 and Ryzen 5 5500 would make great pairings for inexpensive 300- and 400-series motherboards. These chips are already supported on 400-series boards, and as of AGESA version 1207, most 300-series motherboards will support Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 processors after a BIOS update (make sure the BIOS has AGESA 1207 or newer). AMD says that Ryzen 5000 support will vary by vendor, as will the timeline for new BIOS revisions. However, we should see the updates arrive in the April-May timeframe. Notably, these BIOS revisions will also include the fix for AMD’s fTPM stuttering issues. Let’s move on to the CPU benchmarks. 

  • MORE: Best CPUs for Gaming
  • MORE: CPU Benchmark Hierarchy
  • MORE: Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 All We Know
  • MORE: How to Overclock a CPU
  • 1

Current page:
The Non-X Factor

Next Page AMD Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 Power Consumption, Efficiency and Test Setup

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom’s Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

Risen: Overview | Stop Game

While in the games of the «Gothic» series gamers saved the world, much more dramatic events took place with the authors of these entertainment programs, German developers from Piranha Bytes . At first, there were no signs of trouble. After the success of the first part of Gothic 2, thanks to the boundless love of the players, it scattered from the store shelves like hot cakes. Good sales saved the Austrian publishing house JoWooD Productions , which had one foot in the grave. The bosses there immediately realized that a lot of money could be made from a franchise. The publisher pushed the development of Gothic 3 with friendly kicks, and the developers were constantly attacked. Even though the product was not yet ready, JoWooD did not give a damn about customers and its reputation, and, obeying the call of quarterly reports, threw a defect on the shelves. The third part of the famous series was teeming with software bugs, impassable story missions and other terrible things that simply didn’t let you play. And a riot broke out on the ship: the indignation of the audience knew no bounds.

Piranha Bytes tearfully vowed to correct all mistakes and told about the tyranny of JoWooD . The publisher, in turn, cursed the developers and tried to shift the blame on them. Having “patched” Gothic 3, the authors completely quarreled with the Austrians and promised never to cooperate with them again. Crushing hosts of JoWooD , having received the rights to the series, continued the pursuit of hard cash by «funding» ( «work for food!» ) the Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods add-on. The creation was entrusted to unknown Indians from Trine Games , whose best creation is «Garbage» (this is the name of the game). I recalled the saying: «whatever you call a boat, so it will float.» The “hard workers” there must have fainted when they learned that they were entrusted with work on a project of this magnitude. As a result, they only managed to accumulate their favorite cows, screw up the graphics engine and disfigure the rich world of Gothic. They weren’t strong enough for more. «Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods» was so terrible that in Russia they began to jokingly call it «Forsaken Bugs». The craft was full of such ridiculous bugs that it made the gaming community wonder if JoWooD in order to save the testing department? Interestingly, the team of the fathers of the series, the German studio Piranha Bytes , is only 20 (!) People, while the Indian Trine Games, which tortured the “addition”, has as many as 190 lazy employees.

Meanwhile, the Austrian publishing house is not even going to stop (after the release of «Bugs» it wildly repented and asked for forgiveness, but there is no more faith in it). Now the creation of Gothic 4, renamed Arcania: A Gothic Tale, is in full swing. Since the series 9 games0003 Gothic was in no hurry to buy in the US, the publisher hopes that the name change will help bring in more profits. The development itself was entrusted to far from the most famous studio (history repeats itself) Spellbound . By the way, recently JoWooD postponed the release date of Arcania, arguing that it wants to increase funding for the project and polish it to a shine. Was it really so bad that they were afraid to let it out? Or awakened conscience?

Having lost the rights to the series and ceased to cooperate with people «hoping for a very successful start of sales of Gothic 3», the craftsmen from Piranha Bytes did not despair. They took up the new «Gothic», but with a different name — Risen . The gentlemen from the much more patient and appreciating their reputation publishing house Deep Silver ventured to finance the development.

If you remember, even before the release of Gothic 3, the army of fans and just amateurs was speculating: what will the third part begin with? Judging by the ending of the second, most of them decided that the hero would get into a shipwreck, but the developers preferred a different plot. But Risen begins… with a shipwreck. The nameless hero (not the same, the other) is thrown ashore by sea waves, where, having regained consciousness, he discovers nearby a miraculously surviving companion and the dead bodies of the rest of the people who died during the disaster. Together with Sarah, the nameless one is trying to figure out what to do and where they ended up. And he understands that sitting still and waiting for help, one can only die of hunger or be eaten — the roar of predatory animals is heard from the forest. You have to defend yourself from aggressive representatives of the fauna than you have to and break through inland. Spiritual Gothic elements are felt from the very beginning: a sense of presence, a certain mystery and a thirst to find out “what is in that cave?”. All this is as addictive as the tales of the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor. nine0011

Comparison with the famous hero of Arabic folklore is not accidental. As a merchant from Baghdad, who, by the will of fate, getting to unknown lands, tried to explore the area and establish contacts with the natives, so the protagonist of Risen tries to get used to an unfamiliar place, to understand its rules. The land area is not too big, but Gothic 3 does not suffer from voids. For example, Farang Island is slightly larger than the valley of mines from Gothic. Slender palm trees on its banks are deceptively beckoning. There are many reasons not to approach him. An active volcano, a struggle for power, dangerous beasts and terrible creatures that crawled out of the ruins of ancient temples that appeared straight from the bowels of the earth. These ruins attracted the attention of the Inquisitor himself, who had arrived from the mainland. Based on his considerations, he established draconian orders here. From now on, people should be outside the walls of Harbor Town and work for the order. Those caught outside the city are declared criminals. Violators are forcibly dragged to the monastery, where they are thoroughly brainwashed and voluntarily-compulsorily recruited. Reminds me of the situation with military service: turned eighteen years old — put your hands on your feet and go to serve. nine0011

Everyone must comply with the law. Caught by the servants of the order, the nameless hero will go straight to the monastery. But, as has always been the case in the Gothic series, the player is free to choose which faction to join. After passing a series of difficult tests, you can become a magician, thereby choosing the side of the Inquisitor, or go against him, joining the so-called «bandits» — people who did not want to obey those who arrived from the mainland. Having joined the orderly ranks of any camp, he must remain in it forever. For each of the parties there are a number of unique tasks. In addition, the process of playing as a mage or a warrior differs significantly. For one passage to know and try everything will not work. True, and repeated races will not be as exciting. nine0011

In addition to the main activity, no one bothers to master additional crafts. Alchemy, blacksmithing and mining, butchering animals, and, of course, theft. There are no new activities that have not yet been seen in the Gothic series, but some of them have undergone changes. From the rock in the caves, in addition to ore and gold nuggets, you can get precious stones. And later, having mastered the skill of blacksmithing, create powerful artifacts from the extracted good on the jewelry table.

But theft has changed the most. To pick out the pockets of an unsuspecting victim, the nameless hero asks (to avert his eyes) the question: “Listen, did such a hefty man with an ax pass here?”, “Do you know any good joke?” Or provokes: “Your goods are too expensive!”, “Your shoelace is untied!” In response, most often not the most flattering words are heard, and at that very moment the swearing inventory appears, and any object can be stolen from it. You can’t take everything at once, and the time to decide what exactly to steal is limited. It is worth delaying, and the victim will understand that they want to rob her, and immediately attack. There won’t be a second chance like this. Therefore, before going to work, it is better to “save”, and if something goes wrong, load the game. Fortunately, the process does not last half a minute, or even more, as it was in Gothic 3, but only a few seconds. nine0011

It will not be possible to master both the main and additional professions on a budgetary basis. Commodity-money relations flourish on Farang Island. Plants collected here and there, trophies from defeated enemies and all sorts of rubbish are allowed to sell to merchants and purchase the necessary things from them. But gold alone is not enough to successfully learn crafts and martial arts. It is necessary to complete numerous tasks and exterminate the aggressive fauna. As a result, the hero gains experience and eventually reaches new levels. For each, ten training points are awarded. “Clicking” the points that have appeared, as is customary in games like Diablo or last year’s Fallout 3, will not work. To gain knowledge and train, you need to find a teacher, negotiate with him, pay a tidy sum to the mentor and part with the required number of training points. So the hero slowly learns crafts, improves his characteristics, becomes a stronger fighter or magician who can use powerful spells. nine0011

Climb out of your skin, but to become a cool terminator uncle who knows everything and hits the target with the first blow will not work. The hero, of course, will become very powerful, but battles must always be approached wisely. Primitive «clicking» won’t work. Enemies are just waiting for this. To defeat people or animals, you need to use tactics: put blocks, strike at the right time, bounce, do not let opponents bypass you from the side. If you gape, the enemies will not even let you hit, continuously wounding the nameless from all sides (the aggressors from Gothic 3, unable to attack together, are a thing of the past). Animals and monsters have their own habits — wolves try to get around from behind, while wild boars, in a fit of rage, rush at full speed to ram the protagonist. Complicating the process is the fact that most creatures can dodge the blade, abruptly bouncing back or sideways, or block it. nine0011

The developers sent straight to hell and a ridiculous opportunity to open inventory right in the midst of a battle. Quietly drinking bottles of healing potions while the aggressors are patiently waiting will not work. There is no Risen and a bunch of software errors. Nobody pushed the developers, and they spent about three months catching bugs. We coped with the task: for the entire passage we did not meet a single one. Only the still weak care of the authors about the physical laws of the world they created can be attributed to glitches. The bodies of beaten people fall into the walls, the monster, being pressed to the abyss, stands with one foot on the ground, and three in the air (!), but does not fall down. It is also unpleasant to watch people sitting, whose legs are often half stuck in the bench. Since in Risen, as in the Gothic series, you need to communicate a lot with NPCs, watching this spectacle for ten minutes in a row during dialogues is a real test. In addition, the interactivity of the objects has not grown a single gram, and it seems that all objects are nailed down. One can only dream of giving the enemy a delicious kick, knocking them down with inertia, as in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. nine0011

In the world of Risen , people don’t stand around the clock in the same place. Except for some guards who do not sleep, do not eat, do not go to the toilet (their work is like that), everyone is busy with their own business. In the morning they start working and communicate with each other about pressing problems, in the evening they rest, and at night they sleep. Don’t laugh: none of the developers really cared about the realistic NPC behavior simulation system until Piranha Bytes released Gothic in 2001. To this day, there are very few RPGs (and games in general) where the sons of Adam behave like real ones. After all, in order for each dummy to turn into a person, you need to do a lot, a lot of work. And — a miracle! — in the city, life begins to throb, and its inhabitants seem to come to life! You don’t even notice that there are no children at all …

Breathed life into the world Risen and the wonderful soundtrack of the German composer Kai Rosenkranz . This man has been involved in orchestral music all his life, and it was thanks to his efforts that the Gothic series was accompanied by a magnificent sound context. Creative inspiration accompanied the writer this time as well. The melodies came out penetrating and mysterious, unobtrusive and absolutely not annoying. And this is amazing, considering that the duration of Risen is about sixty hours. nine0011

Having invested a ton of work into Risen , the authors for some reason did not create enough models for the characters. Eyes callous people with the same appearance and physique, and if you add repetitive voices here, you might even think that the hero is facing clones. What prevented the developers is completely incomprehensible, especially since there was nothing like this in the Gothic series.

But if we close our eyes to this shortcoming, we can say that Risen is beautiful. She wants to stay. To enjoy the sounds of the harp, admire the scenery, communicate with the locals and learn something new. Travel and fight strong enemies, or just sit on a bench and watch the wind sway the grass and the rain quietly drizzle. Looks like get Piranha Bytes GTA 4 budget, she could make a dream game.

Pluses: expectations were justified. Risen is the spiritual successor of Gothic.
Cons: poor support for physics; duplicating character models and the overly famous voices of most of the actors (in the Russian version).

Game screenshots

See all

Game score

Support Stopgame!


588 ratings

Top 9 comments0107


Dwarves need more gold — Dwarf Fortress has been bought almost 500 thousand times

Alexander Kudryavtsev

WHALIEN — an adventure about Ernest Hemmingway inside a mechanical whale

will be released on January 24

Ruslan Prisekin

Metacritic’s Best Games of 2022 for PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch

Ruslan Prisekin

HITMAN 3 will include maps from the first two parts for free

Andrey Makoveev
nine0002 High on Life: Overview

Alexey Likhachev
Release calendar

Most Anticipated Games of 2023

Gleb Meshcheryakov

New York Game Awards jury leaves Stray with no nominations (Elden Ring in place)

Alexander Kudryavtsev

Mother hunts her own children in Rise of the Evil Dead trailer

Alexander Kudryavtsev

Life after Gothic.

Review of Risen 2 and Risen 3 — Games on DTF

Foreword: the original review was written in the StopGame.ru blogs. I, as its author, decided to duplicate it on DTF. nine0011

10 020

After losing the rights to the Gothic series, Piranha Bytes developed a new series of games — Risen. The first «Rizen» is a decent game that develops the ideas of the old «Gothic» and is very similar to them. The second part of Risen, subtitled Dark Waters, makes a rather strange and bold move: a radical change in gameplay, a change in theme to pirates with muskets, colonies, natives and voodoo magic. Risen 2 destroys «the spirit of Gothic» from the very beginning in a way that, for some people, is a death sentence for the game. nine0011

The gameplay in some places is more simplified than the first part, in some it is simply more convenient. In general, we can say that the game has become more dynamic: there is a division into the main weapon (muskets, sabers, scepters) and additional ones (pistols, throwing daggers and items for «dirty tricks») that can be combined, dodges have been replaced with rolls, healing occurs without animations. Target lock, target-lock, is enabled only when blocking a strike, and even then it is not too hard, because with a simple mouse shift you can switch from one opponent to another. nine0011

Another system has undergone a big change. Having opened the inventory, the game stops and shows a menu with the player’s things in full screen. That is, you can use things in battle without dragging them to the active panel. Helps in some cases.

During the battle, if you need to replenish your health, after drinking a bottle of grog and eating provisions, you will have to dodge attacks for some time and wait until the regeneration takes place, which was not the case in previous games. The advantage of alcohol is that it restores more and faster (UPD: alcohol regeneration only works with a modfix, in the normal version, health is restored instantly) than regular food, which is represented by the food resource. And since the game is about pirates, alcohol does not have any negative consequences (but it could!). nine0011

Leveling has changed: skills can be upgraded for experience points called Glory. Upon reaching a conditional skill level (melee, ranged combat, voodoo, and so on), you can buy certain abilities from a teacher for money, both increasing skills and adding new gameplay abilities. For example, by spending experience points to improve the skill «Agility», it will be possible to buy the ability to sneak and increase the skill of pickpocketing or pickpocketing, although their progression also occurs when leveling the skill. nine0011

Some abilities, like Stop Talking, are only good for memes. In the game, their use is extremely narrow

Speech and intimidation skills have appeared for the first time. You don’t often have to use them, but they add a little variability in dialogues and quests.

The equipment system has changed: instead of one whole set of armor, you need to choose clothes for both the torso and legs. In addition, armor now both protects the player from damage and gives some bonus to skills. For example, a black pirate cloak increases intimidation, and a voodooist’s outfit, respectively, increases magic skills. There are no requirements for the selection of equipment, you can try on everything that the player bought or found. Likewise with weapons. Therefore, in some cases it is better not to sell unnecessary equipment, but to leave it for specific cases. nine0011

Companions are useful in battle, they are an independent combat unit, even taking into account the fact that during the battle they can be defeated. Although there are times when they get stuck in the textures, trying to find their way to the player. They can be given grog, the local «heal» so they can last longer in combat.

Voodoo magic is not too extensive compared to rune magic in previous games, but it is quite mobile in use, does not require mana (because there is simply no such parameter in the game), and it can be combined with other types of combat system. Problem: Only one magic effect is applied to one enemy. You cannot simultaneously hang an «Aura of Fear», which introduces a stun, and a «Curse», which reduces the enemy’s defensive characteristics. It was useless for me to use the “Cult of the Dead” (roughly speaking, a skill that determines the strength of the summoned spirit), since I had the opportunity to summon a “ghost” at the end of the game, due to the fact that at one moment the passage of the main quest becomes non-linear. nine0011

Voodoo magic is useful enough

Speaking of quests. The quest system has become easier due to the introduction of one thing — markers on the map. They are also in the first part of Risen, but rather as an option, the game can be played without them, all the necessary information is given out in text. In the second part, when you select an active task, the targets are marked with a cross on the map. And the quests themselves are often linear, but more on that later.

Another small innovation — mini-games. They are designed in a pirate style, like «Who will outdrink whom» and «Hit a flying bottle with a pistol shot. » The latter, by the way, is a really difficult game that requires maximum concentration. To complete one quest, you need to hit the target eight times out of ten. The task is doable, but you have to sweat. nine0011

Usually I don’t write about graphics, but since I talked quite a lot on this topic with one of my friends, I’ll tell you anyway. Graphics, no joke, good. Water, although it does not “work” in physics, looks beautiful. The environment as a whole is pleasing to the eye, and it is clear that they have worked on the style.

Despite the technical imperfection, the game looks beautiful

The only thing that can spoil the impression is the animations of the characters: they are very clumsy; faces have only a couple of emotions, which the developers are trying to compensate for with abundant gestures, as in the good old days. But the most important miscalculation is the sprint animation. She is the most shameful, chickens laugh. Who approved it and said that it will do? Male models generally have a serious problem: the head is somehow strangely connected to the neck. nine0011

The design of almost every island is corridors of varying degrees of width with small branches and several «hubs». They try to dilute such a misunderstanding with spacious fields so that bouts of claustrophobia do not prevail, as well as with a treasure hunt.

The nooks and crannies are fairly obvious in most cases

In all branches there are niches with small goodies. But the big money is not in them, but in the classic buried chests and temples of the local natives: gold, jewelry, jade idols and expensive cutlery. This is the main source of income. Also, some treasures contain legendary items that permanently increase a certain skill or ability. Some caches need to be reached by a manual monkey (this requires appropriate pumping), since only it can crawl into narrow spaces and jump onto some ledges that are inaccessible to the player. nine0011

The plots of Piranha Bytes are simple, and their unpretentiousness somehow captivates. But in the second «Rizen» I noticed another feature of the plot, which was not so obvious in the previous games of the developers. I’m talking about the satire of adventure works about the choice of the protagonist and the salvation of the world. In «Gothics» it was some kind of violation of the genre template. In the second part of «Rizen» this feature was elevated to the absolute.

Why is the main character chosen? Was he given the power of the gods? There can be no question of divine power, because even in the first Risen it is said that the gods left this world. No, just a hero — a bird of free flight, a frivolous person who always sticks his nose into all the troubles. The game directly states and often emphasizes that the protagonist is not of this world, he stands out too much with his behavior. And the hero in the second part perfectly understands his chosenness, often jokes and refers to this topic. He has the right, because he did great things in the first part! Although it clearly implies that he is fed up with these adventures. nine0011

Similar conversations centering on the personality of the protagonist often occur in the game

The protagonist is not a spineless doll, he has a personality. The player has the right to make certain choices, but this will not affect the character in any way. In the context of the Risen series, I would even say that the roleplaying in the second part is more narrow than in the first. But in fairness, I note that even before the choice in Piranha Bytes games did not really affect the narrative (except for the third «Gothic») — the plot was still completely linear. In the second part, Risen became too direct in this regard. During the passage, this feature does not cause inconvenience, but nevertheless it is a shame that the player was deprived of such diversity. nine0011

But what is most striking is that the protagonist is once again without a name. Like silence to identify the player with the main character, but in this case everything is done . .. for fun? Or, again, subtle German satire? For myself, I decided that this is just one of the storytelling features of Piranhas.

The plot is purely adventurous: you need to collect weapons and artifacts to fight one of the Titan Lords — Mara, who, according to rumors, has the Kraken under her command. They entrust the task, respectively, to the best person in such matters, the lieutenant of the Inquisition, the one-eyed alcoholic — Nameless. In parallel with this, the Inquisition is preparing the evacuation of Caldera and plans to develop new lands, as their mainland is between the two Lords of the Titans, Ursegor and Ishmael. nine0011

Game location map

The Risen universe itself has expanded thanks to the second part: two continents with different cultures and several islands between them are shown instead of one island-outsider in the first part; showed the society of pirates, their way of life; there was a (even too sharp) jump in technology, and bows with crossbows were left out of work.

The Inquisition refused to use magic and vetoed it, as a result of which all magicians dispersed in all directions. The very decision of the Inquisition is clear: the consequences of the events of the first part. The question is: where did the magicians go? The only place they could theoretically go to is the neighboring continent, but there is not a single mention of them, there are no traces. It is clear that it was necessary to explain the replacement of classical magic by voodoo magic, but this was done at least sloppily. I would like to have two types of «witchcraft», but the developers limited themselves to one. nine0011

And where, in my opinion, they excelled themselves, it was in the relationship of the hero with his partners. All comrades are colorful: that the old girlfriend of the protagonist from the first part of Patty (with the habits of a tsundere), that the dwarf thief Jaffar, that the madman Bons who lost his soul, and so on. You often talk to them, they themselves sometimes intervene in the conversation of the hero with someone, everyone has different views on life, and some even have personal quests. But there is no reputation system: no matter what the hero does, relations with partners will not change. nine0011

For me, this is the best story game from Piranha Bytes, but not without problems. The storytelling is great, but it’s too linear. The situation is aggravated by the lack of gameplay diversity, which is why the replay does not make any sense: either the player uses a saber and muskets, or a saber, muskets and voodoo magic, the third is not given. What is sad.

The third part of Risen with the subtitle Titan Lords decided to fix the monotony of the gameplay. The difference with the second is not too much at first glance. But there are differences, and what is different is radically different. I will write only about what has changed, what has been added and how it looks. nine0011

The gameplay has basically remained the same, even the interface and animations, with minor fixes, are directly transferred from the previous game. This omission is compensated for by the fact that in the third part there was a plot and gameplay variety: not only can you join one of three different factions, but with the advent of the moral system, you can play both an eccentric with the letter “m” and a knight on a white horse. A little more about «morality» later.

If in the second part of the magic only voodoo magic was available, then in the third part, the magic of runes and the magic of crystals were added to it. Each magic has unique spells, for example, Lightning Strike, Fire Rain, and Heal are only for Crystals, but Summon Shadowhound is only for Runes. Without joining a faction, a player can use them, but as consumables, scrolls. nine0011

The graphic part has been tightened up, it looks even nicer

As in the second part, there is no mana system in the game, but a division into combat magic and auxiliary magic has appeared. Combat occupies the main weapon slot and has no cooldown, while the auxiliary occupies only a quick access slot and has a spell cooldown.

The discovery of new magical skills occurs after joining a faction and not at the expense of experience points or gold, but with the help of special resources: for «crystals» — magic crystals (logically), for «runes» — ancient tablets, for voodoo magic — jade . With them, the player pays teachers who, in return, teach new spells. All these resources are easily found when exploring the world or in the pockets of merchants. nine0011

Nobody forces you to be a magician. But why deny yourself the pleasure?

Using a sub-weapon without a cooldown doesn’t break the balance as much as it seemed to me at first. Yes, pistols and others like them give significant damage to enemies at first, but the further you go in the game, the more you rely on the main weapon, since it does more damage. Secondary should be used according to the situation.

A mini-map has been added to make completing quests even easier. Its problem is that it covers too small a radius, literally five meters. She still shows with an arrow where to go on a task, so the innovation is not so useless. But I turned it off, and it was replaced by the usual compass. nine0011

Naval battles have appeared. Yes, they were not in the second part, although it was positioned as a game with a pirate theme. There are three such battles and… These are not the best moments of the game. The case when you can praise for the idea and diligence, but for the implementation you can barely make it to three out of five.

Naval battles? Rather «sea catchers»

The ship handles like a very slow car, and it doesn’t even need to make a correction for the wind. There are volley shots to the left and right, which are quite difficult to hit the enemy, and an aimed shot from the bow of the ship, which does little damage, but hits more accurately, and more often I used it. nine0011

There is only one battle location. And the whole fight is to catch up with the sea monster, which periodically shoots back with green goo. I don’t know whether to thank the Almighty, but there are only three such sea collisions, as I wrote above (the last one is the most disgusting), and the player will be warned about each of them. In general, such entertainment, but it takes less than an hour from the general gameplay and for me it did not become a critical moment.

I was skeptical about the appearance of a new Nameless One and the fact that the hero was the brother of the protagonist’s girlfriend from the previous parts. That is, for history, the hell knows where the person who came from without a name and a past, but with a great future, as it was before, looks more organic. In the third part, the son of Captain Steelbeard appears out of nowhere, who was mentioned in the first part and appeared in the second, where he took an active part in the plot. In fairness, although the hero is like a piano in the bushes, it still won’t be possible to call him a complete cardboard (I think the fan-made Russian voice acting contributed to this), but it is obvious that he is a flatter character than his predecessor. I suspect that these are the consequences of the introduction of a moral system. nine0011

This system is designed to bring even more variety. Not only are there three factions, each of which you can join, but you can also play three types: good-natured, evil, or situational. There is a one-hundred-point morality scale, where ten means that you are a demon in the flesh, and ninety means an angel. It is influenced not only by the choice in tasks, but also by the usual remarks said by the hero to the interlocutor, as well as the use of some special items. Gameplay-wise, the value of «Moral» will only affect when playing as an evil character: additional opponents will appear in the world. nine0011

The plot is still adventurous, but it has become more personal for the protagonist. Its initial goal is to return its own soul from the Kingdom of the Dead, lost during the search for the next treasure. In the end, this leads to the need to defeat the next Lord of the Titans and save the world. It is worth noting that the degree of satire has decreased significantly. The narrative has become more serious, which does not mean the absence of humor as such, but for me the difference was big. It can be seen that the approach to the narrative regarding the second part has changed. nine0011

Map of the game location. From the common with the second part, only three lower islands on the right

The third part also expanded the Risen universe. Finally, they gave an answer to where the magicians went in the second part: they fled to the island of Taranis, which once belonged to the dwarves. A new continent of Kalador with demon hunters living on it has been opened up for exploration. They showed a new native tribe of Kila, which worships the Oracle or Margolot — the most ancient creature in the world. We talked a little more about the Kingdom of the Dead and the afterlife in general in the Risen universe. nine0011

The game has two endings, good and bad, depending on the «Moral» score, the player will get one of them. To be honest, both suck. No epilogue, no off-screen conversation between the protagonist and Patty like before, no speculation about what’s to come. One big NO-FUCK-ON. There was no such hack in the previous games of the developers. Yes, even if we abstract from past games, the endings are still weak. Especially for the part that ends the series!

The situation is also aggravated by the fact that during the game you are being prepared for a grand finale: they let you talk to important characters from the previous parts, give hints of their direct participation, you can even meet the former protagonist from the previous two games in the series! But in the end, it all looks like an ordinary cameo, which in no way, and I emphasize again, does NOT affect the finale in any way. nine0011

Immediately after the passage, I took this problem not so negatively. But the more I think about the whole situation, the stronger the bewilderment. The series could have ended much better.

A bit about voice acting

The fan-made voice acting from GamesVoice is good, although there has been some strange, overacting and underacting acting, which in principle applies to some extent to the official voice acting of Piranha Bytes games, if you think about it. Even for me, an ignoramus in such a matter, this is understandable. The voice of the protagonist, which at first I did not particularly accept, later played perfectly. The actor sounds both moderately threatening and friendly, very suitable for that same moral system. Why do I write so much about the voice of the hero? Because the English voice, I checked, always sounds equally strained and intimidating, and I did not meet the prerequisites for the fact that the hero is a descendant of the witcher. It’s not that such a game of voice has no right to exist, but the Russian version is closer to me. nine0011

The gameplay is clearly improved and more varied compared to the previous part. But the plot, which is supposed to end the trilogy, ends in nothing, and that very moral system mainly affects only the endings, which suck. In addition, the narrative has lost its satirical approach and has become a little more serious: not only a bad change, but for me personally this is an omission.

I’ve heard a lot of claims that Piranha Bytes is making another «Gothic» from time to time. But personally, I am categorically against calling the second and third parts of Risen «something like Gothic, only worse / better.» The first two Gothic are «Gothic». The first Risen is «Gothic». All other games are similar only in that they were made by the same development studio, but the approaches are completely different. nine0011

In the last two «Rizens» the narration has changed: the protagonist has become more significant for history as a person; the moral system from the third part allows you to win back different types; very often staged cut-scenes on the game engine are used.

The gameplay has also changed: the combat has become faster, the completion of quests has been simplified due to markers, the locations are not very spacious and rather resemble corridors with nooks and crannies (things are much better in the third part, but a fact is a fact). nine0011

The problem with the Risen series is that it falls between the classic Piranha games and the new game universe of the same developers.