Alternative Character Interpretation: When you use a Joke spell on Inquisitor Mendoza, he doesn't laugh out as loud as other characters, and at the end of it, he says "It's been too long since I laughed". He may be a real bastard most of the time, and his attempts at releasing the Titan don't exactly make him any more relatable, but who knows how much horrors he's been through? Maybe he is indeed doing what he thinks is best, instead of being the delusional old man that everyone takes him for.
Idiot Plot: Risen 3. The plot depends on Bones not telling the hero that he noticed suspicious behavior in one of their crewmates. He even tells the hero there was always "something more important" than telling the hero there might be a traitor on board that is sabotaging the mission. This is supposed to be funny and part of Bones' quirkiness but actually pushes your Lancer into What an Idiot! territory.
Game-Breaker: Guardians in Risen 3 can become ridiculously powerful. Not only do the Elemental Punch spells ludicrous damage, but Guardians also get access to a very useful support spell in addition to the regular Heal magic: Rust, which lets you bypass lockpicking completely and frees up a lot of skillpoints that way. Once you powerlevel your magic stat (which isn't all that hard) you won't have problems ever again. The icing on the cake is that the Guardians are also one of the easier factions to join up with, making their skillset even more attractive.
Good Bad Bugs: Due to the way the game is programmed, NPCs can kill a defeated enemy while yelling "You die!", and moments later claim that they'll find the one responsible for the murder.
In Risen 2, the sequence leading up to and subsequent fight between Crowe's Earth Titan when you unlock the Titan Harpoon at the end of Act 1. Marching to the ruins with your chosen faction, destroying anything that gets in your way, then annihilating the other factions forces in a big showdown before the boss fight proper starts is an extremely satisfying payoff for the 10 or so hours spent convincing the faction to help you.
Quicksand Box: A big problem with Risen 3 is that it gives you tons of stuff to do at the very beginning, even though you're in no way equipped or leveled enough for them. It also gives you not much backstory about the Titans, the Titan Lords etc. which is problematic if you're new to the Risen franchise. Ironically, these are the same mistakes Gothic 3 made.
Sequelitis: The first game in the series is considered to be good, and a more worthy successor to the first two Gothic games than the actual sequels. However, even though Risen 2 and 3 have their fans, they haven't been as well regarded in general, mainly because of the combat.
Win Back the Crowd: Though still divisive, Risen 3 has been considered a huge improvement over Risen 2, mainly due to the re-addition of magic and just having that Gothic feeling many felt Risen 2 lacked.