i though Risen was more like Gothic 3..
and i like the game.. its very good..
note: i also liked Gothic 3 if you can look past some bugs
Concerning the bugs: by now, the community patch team has done incredible work, v1.74 is available here: http://www.g3cpt.eu/download/list
I remember being pretty disappointed with Gothic3 at first, but quite a few years later, I replayed it with the community patch installed and really enjoyed it.
(I also used the Questpack, which is available, among other mods, here: http://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/threads/593683-Modifikationen-auf-einen-Blick
; however, I have no idea if there are English versions)
As for Risen... somehow, it didn't capture my attention like Gothic1&2 back then. I picked it up cheaply, played for an hour or two, and haven't continued since. Not that it seemed like a bad game, but I just couldn't get into it.
All I ever saw of Arcania was some (horrible) gameplay video before release and the final remarks of some testers...